Oculus Quest 2 Initial Thoughts

By Anni Chai

An Oculus 2 headset and controllers

The following review comes from UC Berkeley Student Anni Chai, who recorded her experiences upon trying out an Oculus Quest 2 for the first time.


The headset itself is lighter in weight and less bulky than I had imagined. More importantly, it feels very balanced in my head, which I think is an important factor in comfort. I’m impressed by how adjustable the fit is. I can adjust the overhead strap as well as the band around my head to ensure the best fit. I can also adjust the lens by shifting them together or apart. There is a glasses spacer in the kit that I haven’t tried on. I’m curious to see how the headset would feel with glasses on.

Setting Up for the First Time

I was surprised to find out that I had to download the Oculus app on my phone before setting up the headset. I was also a bit hesitant to sign in with my Facebook account because I wasn’t sure what information collected by the headset will be linked to my Facebook account. The initial setup and installs took about 10 minutes.

First Impression

The first time I stared into the lens felt quite mind-blowing, although I was just viewing the setup screen. It felt like I was watching some kind of movie screen in the front row but without the discomfort of sitting too close to a big screen in an actual movie theater. The sound effect is amazing even without headphones and the controllers are pretty intuitive to use- although I believe gamers will have an even easier time learning to use the controllers

My first VR Experiences

Smoking ruins of World Trade Center tower after 9-11 attack

“Surviving 9/11”

I found this viewing experience on my suggestion page. I’ve watched many 9/11 documentaries and have been to the museum. But this experience really takes you back in time and guides you through the story of a survivor. One of the scenes shows what sitting in the office seeing papers flying down the air is like. There was another scene that takes you on the narrator's escape down the stairs from sixty-something floors down to the thirteenth floor, then everything goes dark, because the building had collapsed, and the next second you are already in the building’s remains. The experience engaged all my senses in a way that I didn’t think was possible.

Cartoon scene of zombies attacking a roller coaster

EPIC Roller Coasters

I went on a few roller coaster rides with the headset. I loved the adrenaline rush without the sensation of weightlessness - I know it’s some people’s least favorite part of a real rollercoaster ride. The visuals are great, I could turn my head around and look in other directions to check out the scenery. However, I did experience motion sickness from the fast-changing visuals. The game has a target in front of my seat that it tells me to stare into whenever I experience motion sickness, but it doesn’t help much! Good thing is I can always just take off the headset if I feel too dizzy on the ride - can’t quite do that on a real rollercoaster ride!

Checkered blocks, red and yellow bongo drum, rings ball, etc. floating in a blue sky virtual world

Jumpy Balls

I found the game Jumpy Balls recommended in the browser. It is an in-browser game made by Mozilla.

In the game, you have a canon that shoots a ball in a certain direction every few seconds, a few blocks of different materials and physical properties, and a target. Your task is to rotate and place the blocks in mid-air in a way that the ball will bounce off the blocks and reach the target.I really enjoyed the game because I got to use both my controllers here to complete some tasks. It is surprisingly easy to rotate and place blocks. If you’ve ever dealt with a graph on a 3D axis on a laptop, you would know that it is very hard to rotate and orient the graph to get it to sit exactly how you want. But in this game, the same operation of rotating and orienting blocks is made so easy by the controllers. You can intuitively turn your wrist and the block would go exactly as your hand moves without any lag and with much precision. There aren’t many buttons on the controllers, and I’m very surprised that these complex hand movements like rotating, picking up, and letting go, could be modeled with so few buttons.

Glasses and Contacts

My nearsightedness is at about 3.0, which means I can not see traffic signs or the board in class without glasses. I tried putting the Quest 2 on with contacts, glasses, and bare eyes. Contacts undoubtedly provide the greatest comfort. What I see in the headset with my bare eyes overall feels similar to the real world, although in the real world when I lean closer, objects appear clearer and that isn’t the case in Oculus.

Glasses, on the other hand, can be more complicated when paired with the headset. If you want to wear glasses with the Quest 2, your glasses will need to fit entirely into the headset without touching the lens or the sides. The Quest 2 provides a glasses spacer in the kit, which gives you an extra 4 mm of space (I found that their XL Spacer adds 6.5mm), giving room between your glasses and the Oculus lens. I’m not sure if that’ll do for most people, but it certainly works for me. However, not all glasses can fit within the width of the headset. Unfortunately, my glasses are slightly wider than the headset meaning they’re squeezed from the sides by the headset, causing them to be lifted off my nose when I wear both, which affects my vision and comfort in the VR experience.

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