Is Valve Index Better Than Rift S?

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By Valerie Becker

When it comes to choosing the best VR headset, the options can be overwhelming. Two of the most popular headsets on the market are the Valve Index and the Oculus Rift S. But which one is better? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at both headsets and compare them to help you make an informed decision.

Design and Comfort

The Valve Index has a sleek and modern design that feels sturdy and well-built. It features adjustable lenses, a comfortable head strap, built-in headphones, and two controllers with finger tracking. The headset also has a unique feature called “off-ear audio” that delivers sound without blocking out external noise.

On the other hand, the Rift S has a more practical design with a simple headband that can be adjusted to fit different head sizes. The headset comes with built-in speakers that deliver sound directly to your ears without blocking out external noise. However, some users have reported discomfort after prolonged use due to pressure points on their forehead.


The Valve Index boasts impressive specs with a resolution of 1440×1600 per eye and a refresh rate of 120Hz (or 144Hz with overclocking). The headset also features an adjustable IPD (interpupillary distance) for better clarity.

The Rift S has a slightly lower resolution of 1280×1440 per eye but still delivers clear visuals. It also has a fixed IPD which may cause some discomfort for users who have wider or narrower eyes.


One significant advantage of the Valve Index is its superior tracking system. The headset uses base stations that emit laser signals to track your movements accurately in real-time. This results in minimal latency and jitter, making it ideal for fast-paced games that require quick reflexes.

In comparison, the Rift S uses inside-out tracking technology powered by five cameras on the headset itself. While this system is convenient and eliminates the need for external sensors, it’s not as accurate as the Valve Index and may result in occasional tracking issues.


The Valve Index is undoubtedly the more expensive option, with a price tag of $999 for the full kit (headset, controllers, and base stations). However, it offers better specs and features than the Rift S, making it a worthwhile investment for serious gamers or VR enthusiasts.

In contrast, the Rift S is more affordable at $399 but still delivers a solid VR experience. It’s an excellent option for casual gamers or those on a budget.


So, which one is better? Ultimately, it depends on your needs and preferences.

If you’re willing to spend more money for top-of-the-line specs and superior tracking accuracy, then the Valve Index is the way to go. But if you’re looking for a more affordable option that still delivers a great VR experience, then the Rift S is an excellent choice.

Regardless of which headset you choose, both offer immersive virtual reality experiences that can transport you to new worlds and enhance your gaming experience.