Is The Meta Quest 3 Good For Sim Racing?

The Meta Quest 3 is the newest VR headset from Meta, and it is a vast improvement over the Quest 2. But is the Meta Quest 3 good for sim racing? And is it the new go-to sim racing VR headset?

Meta Quest 3 VR Headset

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Sim racing in virtual reality has always promised the most immersive experience. However, it still divides sim racers due to so many reasons. The new Meta Quest 3 is the newest VR headset, and the immediate question is whether this is the best VR headset for sim racing.

I’ll look at how good the Meta Quest 3 is for sim racing in this mini review. I’ll also compare how much of an improvement the Meta Quest 3 is over the older Quest 2.

What is the Meta Quest 3

The Meta Quest 3 is the newest virtual reality headset from Meta, and is a direct replacement for the older Quest 2. It’s designed to be the go-to VR headset offering fantastic performance and experiences for a relatively affordable price tag.

Inside the Quest 3 is a brand new Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chip which really helps this headset deliver much higher levels of performance. The resolution is increased as well due to this increase in performance up to 2208 x 2064 pixels per eye.

One of the biggest improvements in the Meta Quest 3 is the new pass-through mode. Gone is the grey pixelated pass-through video. In its place, you get a full-colour, relatively high-resolution pass-through mode. This allows you to see your environment in much more detail and transforms this headset into a mixed-reality headset.

The price of the new Meta Quest 3 is split between the 128GB and 512GB storage versions. You can pick up a Meta Quest 3 today thanks to it being released on the 10th October 2023.

Sim racing in VR with the Meta Quest 3

One of the biggest improvements that the Meta Quest 3 offers is the new lenses which remove the tricky process of finding the right position to prevent blurring. This along with the higher resolution make this a much better VR headset for sim racing.

How to connect the Quest 3 to your PC

There are multiple ways to connect your Quest 3 to your PC to allow for sim racing. You can use the Quest Air Link to race completely wirelessly or via a wireless remote desktop, although these options will only allow for around 2 hours of battery life.

The better option is to connect your Quest 3 via the Quest Link cable. Using the Link cable you can connect the Qust 3 directly to your PC and run games via your Steam account. This will allow for the best resolution and gameplay performance whilst also allowing for unlimited play time as the cable will charge the Quest 3 while connected.

Meta Quest 3 Components
Graphics improvements

Whenyou I did jump into a game, specifically Automobilista 2 or Assetto Corsa Competizione, I was impressed immediately. It’s important to say that the new chip that the new Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chip will help games that are run directly from the Quest 3 look good. For your PC games to look as good as possible on your Quest 3, you’ll need a powerful graphics card.

I am running an RTX 4080 in my system and everything could run at pretty much ultra graphics settings when linked via the Quest cable. If you’re running an older or less powerful GPU, you may need to fine-tune your in-game graphics settings to maintain fluid performance.

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The actual visuals through the Quest 3 are incredible. They’re much sharper than racing the same game, with the same PC on the Quest 2, and this is thanks to the increased resolution. While not perfect, these are the best graphics I’ve seen through a VR headset at this price point.

Heat dissipation while sim racing

Now many gamers have reported their Quest 3 running hot after a long while of gaming. However, I haven’t actually experienced this. If anything, it felt a little cooler and comfier to use than the Quest 2.

The Quest 3 is more ergonomic and fits better than the Quest 2 did, and this helped me feel comfier with it on my head. It’s important to say that the Quest 3 isn’t any lighter than the Quest 2, in fact its marginally heavier.

Pros and cons of sim racing with the Quest 3

Overall, my sim racing experience on the Quest 3 was really solid. It’s an improvement over the Quest 2 certainly. The increased resolution makes items that are up close such as your car’s interior look crisper. Although details that are far away such as brake markers still remain very similar in terms of detail as they did with the Quest 2.

Other than the resolution increase, the shape and position of the lens made the biggest difference for me. With the Quest 2, there were only a few preset positions for the lens and I always got some distortion no matter how I adjusted it.

With the Quest 3, the lens are a different size and shape and the adjustments are much more fluid. This made such a difference as I was able to position the lens in the perfect spot to avoid any blurring or distortion at the edge of my vision.

Meta Quest 3 Lenses
Graphics look much better

As mentioned, the fidelity of details is certainly a step up with the Quest 3. When sim racing, the cockpit looks much sharper, and external details such as track details and other cars have a little improvement. The further away from you that you look though, the fuzzy details become and the difference between the Quest 2 and 3 of far away objects is very much the same.

FPS is solid

Another improvement is that the Quest 3 has a higher refresh rate than the older Quest 2. Previously, you could only hit 90Hz without tapping into an experimental 120Hz mode. With the Quest 3, 120Hz is available right away.

This makes the overall performance incredibly smooth as long as your CPU can achieve a good frame rate to match.

The upgraded pass-through mode

The new pass-through mode is one of the biggest improvements on the Quest 3. While this doesn’t directly help sim racing, it is much more evident when playing some of the mixed reality games that are available on the Quest 3.

Also, you can activate pass through mode between sessions to see items around your sim rig, make adjustments, change steering wheels for example.

Frame drops can happen

During my time with the Quest 3, I did notice some instances of frames dropping. This is partly due to me running a slightly wide field of view along with the increased resolution of the Quest 3.

I was incredibly impressed with just how good everything looked while using the Quest 3. This made the frame drops a little more jarring than they would be if using a regular monitor. You can fix the frame drop issue by lowering the in-game graphic settings or adjusting the field of view to minimise how much information is rendered.

Screen door effect

The noticeable screen door effect was one of my biggest issues while sim racing with the older Quest 2. This is the ability to see the gaps between pixels while racing which makes the display appear pixelated.

With the increased pixel resolution of the Quest 3, this issue was much less noticeable, however, it was still present. The Quest 3 isn’t quite there in terms of providing a high enough resolution to completely mitigate this effect. But the improvement makes the overall immersion much higher than racing with the Quest 2.

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Article written by Mjolnir

Mjolnir is one of the main setup creators and content writers for SimRacingSetups. He has had years of experience in sim racing, both competitively and casually. After a decade of sim racing experience, he co-founded to share his passion and knowledge of sim racing and Formula 1 with other sim racers.
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