Home >Blog >Stand Alone VR and PC VR: What are the Differences?

Stand Alone VR and PC VR: What are the Differences?


stand alone vr headset


There are several different types of VR headsets on the market today, and each has its unique features and abilities. Recently, one style that has begun to grow in popularity is the standalone VR headset. Let's look at this type and how it differs from other varieties.


What is a Stand Alone VR Headset  

A standalone VR headset is a type that doesn't need to be tethered to a PC, allowing the user to walk freely around the room without any cables attached. In addition to standard VR capabilities, it can stream content from a computer or other device.


It also contains high-quality eye-tracking software that allows users to select menu items or change their field of view without pressing any buttons or moving any switches. These devices can also display high-quality images and video to the user for high-performance tasks, which previously required a computer connection.


Stand Alone vs PC VR Headset: What's the Difference?  

The main difference between standalone and PC VR headsets is that the latter must be connected to a computer to receive information, while the former can do so without an attached cable. However, there are many other differences between the two, which will be outlined using the PICO Neo3 headset as an example of a high-quality standalone headset.


The graphics on a VR headset connected to a computer will naturally have slightly better graphics because the information can be transferred more quickly and at higher rates through a cable instead of wirelessly. However, the difference is almost negligible with high-quality VR headsets like the PICO Neo3.


Standalone headsets have built-in trackers and sensors that can easily detect eye and hand movements for fully immersive VR experiences. Computer-based VR models take this a bit further, as the increased power they can consume through the connected cable allows for slightly increased capabilities. However, in many cases, the tracking in headsets like the Neo3 family is so advanced that it makes the differences more difficult to tell.


PC VR headsets are portable, especially if connected to a laptop that can be placed anywhere. Some can be fitted with external batteries that increase their portability. However, with standalone sets, the user is free to travel anywhere without needing a computer. This is the most important advantage that standalone sets provide over their counterparts. This also makes them ideal for situations like shared VR experiences, especially with both users in the same room at the same time.


Although both types of headsets are comfortable to use, standalone versions like the PICO Neo3 offer high levels of comfort because they remain untethered to the computer. With a PC VR requires a USB-C or similar type of cable to be attached to the computer at all times, which can limit the user's mobility and range of motion. With a standalone, users can move freely and without limitation, which can make for a more comfortable and enjoyable virtual reality experience.


Since a PC VR headset must always remain connected to a computer, they generally do not have batteries. Some models can be used with an external battery pack, although this will require the user to have the battery somewhere on their body, which can interfere with the immersion offered by the VR experience.


Standalone headsets, however, will always contain a battery pack. The PICO Neo3, for example, offers up to three hours of battery life on a single charge. As the battery is an internal component, users don't have to worry about accidentally knocking it loose or having it swing wildly during VR experiences, unlike a PC VR user might.


Both varieties can play similar types of content, including VR movies, video games, and much more. However, standalone sets can be more limited than their PC counterparts, as standalone models generally require that content be downloaded from an app store. In contrast, PC models can stream content from the computer over the cable. However, some standalone models do come with hard drives or internal memory that support downloads from external sources.


Featuring the PICO Neo3 stand-alone VR Headsets  

The Neo3 Link and Neo3 Pro Eye are state-of-the-art Standalone Headsets produced by PICO, which has long been the international standard for VR technologies. These devices feature high-quality optical tracking and crisp, beautiful graphics, providing an incredibly immersive virtual reality experience. They have an adjustable knob on the back to ensure a perfect fit and are made with PU foam, making them easy to clean.


They also provide many advantages, including switching between PC mode and standalone. This gives the user the ability to enjoy higher-quality graphics and lower latency when playing online games, as well as increased portability and the ability to enjoy amazing experiences untethered to a computer without using heavy, constricting external battery packs.


Unfortunately, these devices have minor limitations, mostly due to how new they are. There aren't many standalone games for the units at present, although that number is expected to increase significantly over the life of the headset. There are also a few minor bugs in the software, although new fixes and updates are released regularly, ensuring that the device's performance is always being improved.



Standalone VR headsets are quickly becoming popular due to their high quality, high performance, and the ability to enjoy virtual experiences untethered to a computer. Whether you prefer standalone or PC VR, PICO Neo3 provides both in one unit. Pick up your PICO VR headset today!

Be the first to know new product launch, offerings, and news from PICO!