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The Best Affordable Steering Wheels For VR Headsets (PSVR, Oculus Rift & HTC Vive)

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There were always a few hardcore fans of driving simulator games, simply because in order to fully appreciate the experience a game like DiRT Rally has to offer, well, you have, besides already having purchased a high end VR headset, invest additional funds into some of the  appropriate steering wheels for VR, but also in a proper rig to set your cockpit up. But if you are one of the few still standing fans, you know it’s well worth it! I mean, come on, just look at this guy!

Since inception of virtual reality it was obvious that this new tech may resurrect the nearly extinct racing simulator genre. Anyone who has ever played games using racing simulator peripherals could never go back to playing on gamepads or, God forbid, a keyboard! Virtual reality paired with a proper race gaming gear turns out to be incredibly immersive and satisfying experience.

We are gonna throw a few quick suggestions at you on how to set your hardware up into a respectable cockpit simulation, just in case you are thinking about purchasing your first ever racing peripheral.

Then we will present the VRBorg’s list of best affordable VR steering wheels available right now.

A beginner’s guide for setting up Steering Wheels for VR

Firstly, you want to make sure you don’t get just a steering wheel without pedals and a gearbox. Having this in mind, you need to ensure you are well seated, in a comfortable chair and dedicate the spot on the ground, i mean literally on the floor, where you will set up digital driving playground.

If you can figure out a way to construct the rig yourself, well you are probably a smart and creative person. There are many DIY ideas and some look incredibly simple, yet effective. However, during long gaming sessions comfortable, yet sturdy seat and a realistic driving position are crucial for achieving complete immersion. The choice of your steering wheel rig is entirely up to you. Just make sure it doesn’t cause any back pain.

While it must feel amazing to build the VR steering wheel rig yourself, many of us don’t have the time or the prowess to do so. Luckily for us, there is a huge offer of both steering wheel stands and seats available on Amazon. We are pretty sure that after some browsing, you will find just the right deal.

Best 3 Affordable Steering Wheels for VR

Well now that you have taken care of where to mount your VR steering wheel, it’s time to actually decide which one you want to purchase.

Thrustmaster T150

Thrustmaster T150 is the most affordable steering wheel from the Thrustmaster T series. It is a great entry point for someone who is a newcomer to the world of racing sims. The steering wheel provides a powerful force feedback for much less money than the competition. The wheel is rubber-coated and even as the feedback has a serious pull to it, it remains sturdy and won’t slip from your grip.

The pedals however are pretty basic, and not as impressive as the wheel itself. It is a two-pedal plastic setup but you can upgrade them separately from the wheel. You can also go for Thrustmaster T150 PRO version, which features 3-pedal 100% metal pedals set. This is the cheapest VR steering wheel available, so if you are on a limited budget, this is a perfectly reasonable choice, offering a solid performance.

Check out the best deals on Amazon!

Thrustmaster T300RS

The Thrustmaster T300 RS is a best you can get for PS4 or PC in under $400, and also gives you a taste of what $500+ high-end steering wheels feel like. This is as high-end as you can get for the given price, and there are few to none reasons not to recommend this steering wheel for VR.

Thrustmaster T300 RS is perfectly mapped for PS4 which provides a realistic driving experience. This is something that you’d expect, since it is an officially licensed PlayStation 3 & PlayStation 4 racing simulator. The belt system which is responsible for the wheel turning mechanism received some improvements compared to the T150 version. Force feedback, while still very powerful, feels a lot smoother and realistic. Rotation angle is adjustable from 270 to 1080 degrees.

Pedals are fully adjustable and also feature metal parts. However, it is a 2-pedal setup and, just like for the Thrustmaster T150, the build quality of the wheel is far superior to that of the pedals. Regardless, Thrustmaster T300 RS is definitely one of the best steering wheels for VR that you don’t have to spend a fortune on.

Check out the best deals on Amazon!

Logitech G29

Logitech G29 Driving Force is a force feedback wheel designed for PS3 and PS4  (also works on PC). There are few reasons why you might choose Logitech G29 over the aforementioned Thrustmaster T300RS, besides the obvious – it is cheaper.

Firstly, the leather padding over the wheel feels a lot better then the rubber and plastic coating of the Thrustmaster’s racing simulators. Additionally, Logitech G29 features a much better made pedal-board – a full metal 3 paddle system.

There are of course, a few flaws as well. The force feedback system isn’t as smooth as it is with the Thrustmaster T300 RS, and may seem “glitchy” at times. Also, the design with bunch of brightly colored details may be a thing not everyone enjoys, but since you’ll be wearing you VR headset, why bother with the minor design flaws. The wheel feels great in one’s hands and the pedals are generally better than the Thrustmaster’s – and yeah, for less money!

Check out the best deals on Amazon!

Steering Wheels for VR add-ons

We have previously established that all things considered Thrustmaster makes better, more precise standalone wheels, which provide more accurate force feedback. The only thing Logitech has on the wheel itself is the leather padding compared to the rubber/plastic of the Thrustmaster T series, but the Logitech’s included pedal-board is of a better build quality. You can however, for some extra cash, upgrade your Thrustmaster racing simulator to a high end gadget.

Thrustmaster VG T3PA-PRO

A realistic 3-pedal add-on set for Thrustmaster steering wheels adds that one missing component. And if it costs an additional $100 to achieve the completely satisfactory driving simulation experience – well you probably already know it is well worth it!

The gas pedal can be adjusted to 4 positions, while  the brake and clutch pedals have 3 positions available for each. This allows you to set the rig up for both F1 and GT racing styles. Not only the pedals are full metal. The footrest is also made out of this material and the non-slipping is granted. It is compatible with Thrustmaster T series, starting from the Thrustmaster T300 RS. If you decide to purchase a newer steering wheel from the series in future, you should definitely consider purchasing this add-on.

Check out the best deals on Amazon!

The Best Cheap Google Cardboard Alternatives

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Best cheap Google Cardboard Alternatives

There are a lot of low cost VR headsets that are cheap and reliable alternatives to Google Cardboard. It make sense to not spend on an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive without first trying out the VR experience. The best part Is that the costs of these cheap headsets range between thirty dollars to a hundred. Of course, all these headsets are based upon smartphones, so you’ll need an iOS or an Android to make them work.


Daydream View

You can usually get this one within eighty dollars or so. Daydream is a great platform, very easy to use, with a superb VR interface, and a continuously-increasing selection of apps – Daydream is an open platform, after all, which means there will always be new apps being created for it, and lots of compatible headsets and hardware.

Of course, the phone that you’re using needs to be compatible with Daydream. Generally speaking, it’ll need to have Nougat to work.

Perfection in Simplicity

The headset is simple to the point of being barebones, and all the real functionality is supplied by your phone. In keeping with google’s original concept, the actual daydream headset is little more than a shell with the right lenses. The headset’s controller has a motion sensor, which allows for hand tracking.DayDream View

This headset wins hands-down – even over high end sets like the Rift and Vive – for ease of installation and use.

You don’t have to configure anything. Just download the app, slip the phone into the headset’s slot, and you’re good to go. The calibration of the headset is done automatically by the app, and when you put it on, you’re inside a virtual world where you can intuitively choose apps, watch videos, play games, and much more.

Which brings us to perhaps the best part about Daydream View – the number of apps compatible with it run into the thousands. And developers are creating thousands more. This headset really does allow you a whole virtual universe to explore.

Check the best DayDream View deals on Amazon

The FiiT VR 2S

One of the simplest Google Cardboard alternatives requires neither a Daydream-compatible phone or a Samsung. The FiiT VR 2S is compatible with any phone that has a gyroscope, as most phones do these days. It’s very cheap, retailing from between sixteen to twenty dollars, depending on where you get it from, and the deals being offered.

FiiT VR 2S

The FiiT is very light and intuitive

It also allows for individual lens adjustments. It’s important to note that this viewer doesn’t have a button that lets you control the phone from the outside.

Android phones allow you to interface with a separate controller. But if you happen to own an iPhone, this could be quite a problem.

Comfort

The FiiT VR 2S is one of the most comfortable headsets we’ve tried, and it can be worn even if you have glasses on, which doesn’t hold true for every headset.

Check the best FiiT VR 2S deals on Amazon


Gear VR

The problem with the phone-based VR scene today is that we have different phone companies creating headsets that are compatible with ‘their’ phone, and which can only use ‘their’ apps. In short, if you own a different phone, you cannot access the apps and software of a competing company.

But that’s quite alright, because the Gear VR is its own universe of possibilities, and the 2016 version comes for less than fifty dollars these days. The newest version has a motion controller, which means that the Gear VR is up to par with the Daydream in hardware and interface.

Check the best deals Gear VR deals on Amazon

Gear VR

The Oculus store has a reasonable selection of apps, but hardly as much as Daydream. This is rather a disadvantage. If you have a Samsung phone, and cannot opt for DayDream, the Gear VR does provide a reasonable experience, but I would still recommend getting a cheap Google cardboard so that you can access Google cardboard apps.


The Homido Mini

Homido MiniThis is a good one, small enough to fit into one’s hand. There’s no box, no headset, just a couple of lenses that clip on to your phone. It’s relatively cheap, at less than ten dollars.

However, there are actually a lot of folding lens-based VR viewers out there that are even cheaper.

Explore the best Homido Mini deals on Amazon


Google Tech C1 Glass

A little more expensive than the Homido Mini at around twenty five dollars, but with considerable advantages, the Google Tech C1 Glass is a very good choice. The advantage lies in stability. The Homido has just one arm, and this can shift position on the phone if you’re not careful.

Google Tech C1 Glass

However, the Google Tech C1 Glass is just as compact, but holds on to the phone with two arms. The best part about these ‘open sided’ headsets is that you have full access to the phone’s controls, all the time.

Explore the best deals on the Google Tech C1 Glass on Amazon


The Powis Headsets

These are very slick, and great if you want a cheap but impressive headset for corporate events, or to give away with a product. There are massive discounts on these headsets if you buy them in quantity from the company. The Powis Headsets

They are also folding, which means they can be stored flat. Powis headsets without a built in button are very cheap, but the V2 Powis is very good because it has a control button conveniently located on top of the headset.

This is the version of the Powis that is most recommended – don’t buy any other, because flaws in previous versions have been corrected here. The Powis custom headset is also a very good device, ergonomically manufactured to fit into the hand comfortably, and with a very intuitive design.


Other Headsets

There’s ‘I am Cardboard’, which is actually made of cardboard. Others in this category are ‘Unofficial Cardboard’, KnoxLabs, and Mr. Cardboard. The Cobra VR is also reasonable. There are plenty of others at a very reasonable price, but the ones above are really the best. If you experiment with other headsets, make sure you have three things covered..

  • The lenses should preferably be adjustable.
  • There should be a control button, and preferably not a magnet button, which can fall off.
  • There should – preferably – be a strap that could hold the headset on.

7 Must-Watch VR Videos on YouTube

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best 360 degree videos on youtube

While there are plenty of videos available on YouTube that are either 360 degree videos or 3D videos, or both, and all of them are compatible with a VR headset, not all of them are in the same league. While an Oculus Rift or an HTC Vive would be preferable to view these with, they can also be viewed with just about any Cardboard close as well. Let’s take a look at a selection of videos that stand out from the rest!


Flight in Tanna

Let’s start with something simple. This is a lovely 3D movie of an unpowered flight. Soar across landscapes like a bird and look out upon the world. This is a 360 degree video too, so you can look around as your glider moves across mountains and valleys and towards a lake in the distance. If a video is only as good as the emotion it creates, then this simple video is certainly a good one, as you look over a planet that is far removed from your point of view, which, for as long as the video lasts, is that of the eagles themselves.


On the Edge of Forever

If you liked the previous flight, you’re going to love this one. The camera is tethered to a balloon due to travel to the very edge of space. You start out at ground level, and suddenly you’re soaring upward, moving towards the stars at nearly 70 mph. And the planet unfolds before you. As you soar higher, you can see the curvature of the earth, and the edge of the universe itself as it touches the atmosphere of our planet.


Exploring the Hadron Collider

Explore the wonders of perhaps the largest scientific device in the world, and see how particles are smashed to discover the building blocks of the universe itself. This 360 degree video will give you a very real idea of the massive size of the collider, as well as a reasonable grasp of how it works and what it’s meant to do. A fine combination of the awe-inspiring and the educational.


Landscapes of Dali

Step into a world strange and twisted, as the surrealist paintings of Salvador Dali come to life in glorious 3D. The landscape is alien, imaginative, brilliant and perhaps a trifle terrifying. All of Dali’s paintings have been turned into virtual worlds for everyone to explore. Step into one such world… right now.


Exploring the Microcosmic

Step into another universe – the microcosmic realm that lies within the cells of a living being like yourself. Learn of the almost mystical processes that are the basis of life, as you explore a realm that can be explored in such detail in no other way. VR opens doors to strange realities.

Here’s another fascinating video of the world within the cell. This one is a 3D 360 degree video, with a brilliantly educational narrative in the background.


Swimming with Dolphins

And finally, step into the world of perhaps the most intelligent species on the planet. Did you know that a species of dolphin has twice as many neurons (brain cells) as a human? Or that they have been shown to be capable of mastering grammar, and could well have a complex language of their own that humans have been unable to decode.

Did you know that each dolphin has its own unique name? Or that they use ultrasonic bio-weaponry to stun prey?

So here then, are one of the most intriguing species on planet Earth, and one that humans do seem to value – as the dolphins seem to value humans in return. Is this then the first contact between two rational species? Both evolving on the very same planet?

It very well might be so.

We hope you enjoyed that journey of discovery into the wondrous world of VR. While these videos were interesting, there are thousands more just waiting to be discovered. So get out there and explore the wondrous worlds of Virtual Reality.