The Oculus Quest 2 Elite Strap is a complete gamechanger

I am a fair weather VR fan. I jump in, enjoy my short time throwing shapes in my living room, and then step out before I really have to commit – this is not an analogy for my personal relationships, thank you very much. While I feel like a part of me is ready to stay in VR longer, it’s usually the lack of convenience in my choice of VR headset, the Oculus Quest 2, that puts me on early retirement.

I find myself adjusting the fabric strap that came with the Quest 2 frequently, an important immersion breaker if there ever was one. For short stays and stationary gaming, the standard strap is decent enough, but jumping around in Beat Saber or spending long periods of time in VR isn’t quite the job. I find it puts a lot of weight on the front of my face – really unsurprising given the fabric design – and that means when I find exactly the perfect point above my eyes and after about half an hour pull it around my head, the mask printing starts me to overcome.

Speaking to the broader PC gamer team, it looks like mileage with the prepackaged strap will vary from person to person. Personally, an upgraded strap is as close to a necessity as I can imagine for my Quest experience, at least if I hope to enjoy longer VR games. The ones I’m interested in right now are anything but snappy: Half-Life: Alyx, The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners, and Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond, to name a few.

With that in mind, I thought I’d better do it right the next time I try. I’ve had decent, if not excellent, experiences with other VR headsets – the Valve Index, Vive, and Rift – but I’ve never personally owned them to put really sizable hours into a long game. Looking to upgrade, I ventured onto the Oculus website, flipped through the accessories, and decided to spend a little money making VR more responsive.

In the end, I bought the Oculus Elite Strap and Oculus Link Cable in the hope that together I would have enough food for a varied experience and enough comfort for a lasting experience.

Oculus Quest 2 with Elite Strap in front of the window

(Photo credit: future)

I’ll admit the cable was a frivolous purchase, but I’m a sucker for fancy fiber optic cable that promises to be two meters long over the most reliable alternatives. Perhaps that’s the least of my worries when Virtual Desktop and now Oculus’ own wireless beam technology come into play, but it feels good to have the wired option for a little extra battery juice.

However, the Elite Strap was crucial to my renewed leap into virtual reality. It’s easy to assemble, adjustable at the back, and comes with a single fabric adjustment strap so it fits snugly and the lenses are properly aligned with my eyeballs. Once I had it on, I found it easy to adjust it on the fly, make micro-adjustments that stick, and keep the weight from resting completely on my face or cheekbones.

The valve index still sticks in my mind as the ultimate in VR convenience, but for a $ 49 add-on to the Quest, I’m not complaining about the Elite harness.

Right from the start, I happily stayed in VR for more than an hour. That’s new for me. Not only has this fundamentally changed the way I view games that require more time in VR, it has also boosted the immersion, mostly by largely preventing those reality-damaging moments of belt readjustment. I still feel the need occasionally, but with much less regularity than in the past.

Perhaps there is something to be said about whether the premium bracelet should be included in the base Quest 2 package. But if the partially positive reaction of the employees says something about their opinion worldwide, I imagine that the lower price for Quest 2 is the cheaper option compared to a more expensive package with the Elite Strap.

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Oculus Quest 2 with Elite Strap in front of the window

Mounted with the Elite Strap. (Photo credit: future)Image 2 of 2

Oculus Quest 2

With the standard fabric ribbon. (Photo credit: future)

And let’s not forget that some Elite harnesses were prone to breakage in the first batch. An issue that Facebook has admitted, citing “processing inconsistency,” and has since resolved. Granted, not a good start for a harness that I’m pretty keen on right now, but so good here so far.

There is something to be said for the more ergonomic and comfortable headband designs with modern VR headsets, and as I said earlier, this is not an issue I remember when I came across more expensive devices. The Quest 2 found her to be less considerate than some others in the harness department, but I am willing to give her some leeway due to her great value for money.

What I really wanted to get out of with this article was that this premium accessory made a huge difference to how I enjoy VR with the Quest 2. The previous strap just didn’t cut it and kept me from investing so much time in virtual reality for extended periods of time, but I’m happy to announce that the Elite Strap negates most of my complaints in this department.

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