The Differences Between Oculus Go and Oculus Rift

Because there’s more than one way to step into virtual reality.

When you can’t even with this reality, try your hand at virtual reality to escape it. VR devices have become super popular in recent years even though the stereotype tends to pinpoint techies and gamers. We can assure you that literally anyone, even your grandparents, can use and find enjoyment out of VR.

Oculus Go and Oculus Rift are two such VR devices. Purchased on their own, Oculus Go retails for a cool $250, and Oculus Rift can set you back almost $2,000. We know making that kind of commitment is overwhelming and expensive, so that’s why we made it possible for you to borrow them from us. But hmm… Which one do you choose? There are some big differences between Oculus Go and Oculus Rift, so we’re going to joy-splain them to you below. If all else fails, just borrow both! Extra Joy tip: Oculus Go and Oculus Rift are two of our most popular bundles so we recommend booking a couple of weeks in advance. To virtual reality and beyond! That’s how the saying goes, right?

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Oculus Go

The name says it all. Oculus Go makes it easy to press power and play. No wires, computer or sensors needed! It’s an all-in-one standalone device. The lightweight headset rests comfortably on your head, and the velcro side straps enable flexibility for all head sizes and shapes. It’ll probably feel weird at first, but you’ll be amazed once you turn on the device and are surrounded by a 360-degree landscape. Look up, down, all around and there it is! Suddenly, your apartment becomes so much cooler.

Oculus Go comes preloaded with games and visual experiences. Just use the handheld controller to make your selections and immerse yourself in a Jurassic Park land or feel the effects of riding a virtual roller coaster. Oculus Go is perfect for the VR newb, kids or someone who doesn’t want to take the time to set up Oculus Rift. It’s not quite as immersive as Oculus Rift, but the headset does offer sound capability and a variety of virtual reality experiences like Cirque Du Soleil, Disney VR, Fruit Ninja, Google Earth, VR Funhouse and more.

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Oculus Rift

This is the cooler big brother to Oculus Go. Considered the best of the best in VR, Oculus Rift is much more immersive than its counterpart. For the full VR experience, Oculus Rift requires some set-up and configuration for each player. This allows for a more realistic virtual experience. (Is that an oxymoron? Asking for a friend.) Like Oculus Go, the Oculus Rift headset is fully adjustable. It also comes with built-in headphones for 360-degree spatial audio effects.

To get this thing working, you’ll need to connect the device to a computer and link your two handheld motion-sensor Touch controllers. Two additional sensors, that look like T-shaped towers, also get hooked up to the computer. Remarkably, these little sensors allow you to create a virtual world within the space of your home or apartment and track your movements (in a non-creepy way, we swear).

Don’t worry, we label everything so you know which wire goes where. Totally foolproof! Finally, the high-powered gaming computer that comes with every Oculus Rift bundle is loaded with hundreds of games and videos. Oculus Rift is ideal if you want a truly immersive VR experience that moves with you. Just keep in mind that you’ll need some extra time to set everything up.


No matter which VR bundle you choose, prepare to play for hours on end. Just be sure to let your friends get in on the action. No one likes a VR headset hog. To sum it all up for you, here’s a quick rundown:

Oculus Go

  • $60 for the weekend
  • Pro: No setup; just press power and play
  • Pro: Comfy standalone headset device
  • Pro: Anyone can use it
  • Pro: Comes loaded with games
  • Con: No 360-degree spatial sound
  • Con: Not as immersive as Rift

If you’re new to VR, hosting a variety of friends that want to play or have zero patience and just want plug-and-play, you’ll love Oculus Go.

Oculus Rift

  • $80 for the weekend
  • Pro: Completely immersive experience custom to you
  • Pro: Incredible 360-degree spatial sound
  • Pro: The realest VR experience out there
  • Pro: Dual Touch controllers and motion sensors
  • Con: Requires extra time for gaming computer, controller and sensor setup
  • Con: Requires customization per player to start
  • Con: Only one player per headset and gaming computer

If you’re a seasoned gamer, love tinkering with tech or have the patience to fully customize your VR experience, you’ll love Oculus Rift.

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