Best VR Ready Gaming Laptops in 2021

We have discussed several different aspects and products related to virtual reality.

Our goal has always been to help you be able to know the important differences between VR apps, VR headsets, and other VR-related products.

This will allow you to be confident when choosing your equipment and not regretting your decision after wasting a lot of money.

We are aware virtual reality gaming is a very expensive hobby.

We have discussed the best VR headsets, the best gaming PCs and the best custom PC configurations that would work best for VR and not necessarily cost you the most among your options.

However, some people aren’t meant to stay at home all the time.

You could be a frequent traveler,  you may not spend a lot of time at home or you could just prefer mobility rather than staying in the same exact spot to enjoy games.

If you are someone who is looking for mobility – for whatever reason – and doesn’t want to settle for the lower-end casual VR headsets that can only run casual applications and 360 videos, gaming laptops are your best bet.

Just like VR headsets and gaming PCs,  there are laptops of several kinds, types, designs, price ranges, form factors and configurations on the market.

If you have tried to find a gaming laptop to fuel your HTC Vive or Oculus Rift, you know that it’s a complete mess out there.

Every product looks just about the same when compared to the other.

There is always a product that is more expensive and more powerful based on its configurations.

Just like personal computers, people who use laptops need them for several different reasons.

The market has a little bit of everything so that a versatile demographic can have access to their preferred product.

If you don’t have a lot of technical knowledge about a computer’s components and their worth, it is easy to get overwhelmed.

This in-depth article will help you to understand the type of laptops you should be looking for and the computer components that you should pay the most attention to for VR gaming.

We have also compiled a list of some of the most popular and reliable gaming laptops that can fuel your hardcore-VR passion, almost as much as a high-priced, high-performance PC would.


What Type of VR Headsets Require a Gaming Laptop?

There are currently three main types of VR headsets in the market:

  1. Mobile VR headsets
  2. Standalone VR headsets
  3. PC-based VR headsets

A mobile VR headset is the slowest and cheapest VR headset available which requires a powerful smartphone to be able to run a VR experience.

Even the latest flagship phones are not capable of processing very intensive apps.

This is why mobile VR headsets are typically good for watching 360-degree VR content and play some casual games  (mostly arcade).

A standalone VR headset is similar to a mobile VR headset.

The difference is that a standalone headset has the processor, GPU, display, and RAM required to run a casual VR experience.

This is why standalone headsets don’t need a smartphone to run and cost considerably more than a mobile VR headset.

However, a standalone doesn’t offer much better processing power and typically can only run what mobile VR headsets can run, with slightly higher performance and better graphics.

PC-based VR headsets are the most expensive type of VR headsets that are available today since they offer the best and the most graphics-intensive VR experience among the three categories.

These VR headsets have dense displays, high-speed data transfer capabilities and top of the line motion tracking systems.

This makes them an ideal option for a hardcore gamer who wants to get into serious VR gaming.

PC-based VR headsets can run triple-A titles (that are ported to a VR platform), just as it would run in a gaming computer or laptop.

This is possible because they offload all the processing load to a powerful gaming computer or laptop.

They only display the result of the graphics processing on their displays.


What Kind of Laptops Should You Look For?

The general assumption about the electronics market is that whatever you want to buy, then there will always be something to recommend that will be more powerful and more expensive than the one you originally asked for.

This assumption also dictates that the market is taking advantage of your lack of knowledge.

It is true that everyone would prefer to make a larger profit, by selling you a most costly product.

However, in this case, the market won’t be lying to you.

The first thing that you should know about VR-ready laptops is that your regular laptops do not have enough power to process an intensive VR app within a playable framerate.

For instance, a laptop with latest-gen Intel Core-i7, 16 Gigabytes of RAM, 2 Terabytes of hard disk storage and standard power supply will never be able to run Doom VFR for your HTC Vive.

Not only do you require high-performance and powerful hardware to be able to enjoy VR seamlessly, but you also need this hardware to be capable of transferring data at ultra-high speeds to ensure a consistent and playable VR experience.


Hardware Components

As you are about to invest over $1,000 to fuel your VR passion, it is important that you are able to get the best value out of your money spent on a gaming laptop for VR.

This means that your primary focus should be on the components that are required to run VR applications.

The other features of gaming laptops are not that important.

This section lists in detail all of the major hardware components that you need for a VR-ready gaming laptop as well as the less important components.


Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)

The GPU is the heart and soul of any gaming laptop or PC. Graphical processing is the most complex and most critical part of any game.

This is because any delays in calculating the graphics of every frame cause the game to glitch, become choppy, and even miss frames to keep up with the game’s demands.

Even an old GPU with 2-4 GB of DDR5 video RAM (VRAM) and several stream processors can run many of the latest games at low settings, low frame rates, and low video resolutions.

Being able to lower these critical graphics settings is one blessing that VR gaming, unfortunately, doesn’t have.

When you play a low-graphics and low-frame rate game on a traditional display, you feel the game lagging a bit.

However, it doesn’t physically harm you.

It causes some frustration, but it can be tolerated if the story of the game is amazing.

In VR, however, the brain is being tricked into believing that you have become a part of a completely new world.

Imagine what it would be like if someone adjusted the setting of reality and everything became blurry due to low resolution and you could see sharp corners in curved objects.

Moreover, imagine if the reality had a choppy frame rate, where everything gets stuck for a couple of microseconds before your eyes are able to see the next frame.

It seems like a nightmare, doesn’t it? The same logic can be applied to VR.

A VR player cannot afford a blurry display resolution and a choppy frame rate.

Although you can make do with a low graphics setting,  it often ruins the immersion of the experience.

Therefore, you will at least need an NVidia GeForce GTX 10-series GPU, in order to get a playable display resolution and frame rate.

A lower-end graphics card might be able to run the VR game you want to play.

However, it will result in a terrible experience,  as well as physical damage including nausea, motion sickness, severe headaches, and even damaged eyesight after prolonged usage.

We would strongly recommend that you select an NVidia GeForce GTX 1060 or 1070 or an AMD RX 480 graphics card in your laptop.

The Oculus Rift’s officially recommended graphics card includes NVidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti and AMD RX 470.

However, you will definitely face issues with them, when playing a graphics intensive VR game.


Processing Unit (CPU)

A CPU is the mind of any computer. The better CPU you have in your laptop, the better and faster your gaming laptop’s experiences can be.

However, an extremely-powerful CPU is not as important as an extremely powerful graphics card for VR gaming.

The reason is that the VR games that are currently available for popular VR headsets are not as general process-intensive, as they are graphics intensive.

The logic behind these games doesn’t require a latest-gen Core i7 with an extremely-high clock speed to process what the next frame needs to be.

However, it important that your gaming laptop has an extremely powerful and fast graphics card to calculate the graphics that need to be displayed on your high-resolution display in the VR headset.

In summary, if you get an option where you can step down the performance of your processor, in an exchange with a faster or more powerful graphics card, it would be a wise decision to make.


Number of USB Type-C Ports (or USB 3.0)

Many people don’t really pay attention to the input-output ports that are available in a VR-ready gaming laptop when they are browsing.

The number of USB Type-C ports available in a gaming laptop is a crucial factor since the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive’s tracking devices need Type-C or USB 3.0 ports to connect to the laptop.

USB Type-C ports are extremely fast when compared to USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports.

As frequently mentioned in this article, speed is of the utmost importance when playing VR games.

Delays of even a few microseconds can cause the processor and the graphics card to lag behind.

This can ultimately result in a choppy frame rate that can cause nausea and even motion sickness.

While HTC Vive has a superb tracking system that can make do with just two base-stations to track your movement and environment without any delays or inaccuracies, the Oculus Rift’s two trackers included in the package are not capable of seamlessly and accurately tracking your movements and environment.

You will probably have to buy a third sensor if you want to buy an Oculus Rift (or already own one).

Since the sensors require USB Type-C or USB 3.0 ports to send the data to the computer (or laptop, in your case), it is important that you have at least three USB Type-C or USB 3.0 ports in your gaming laptop, so that you don’t run into any issues when setting up your Oculus Rift.


Memory (RAM)

The random-access memory (or RAM) only keeps the data for an application in a speedy storage device.

It is, therefore, not necessary to increase the capacity of RAM.

A gaming laptop with an 8 or 16 GB of DDR4 memory is more than enough.

While you can select 8 GB of DDR4 memory, it would be better to choose a gaming laptop with 16 GB of DDR4 RAM.

This will ensure that VR games with an even larger size will be able to run on your computer, without the laptop running out of memory.

We have established that an extraordinarily huge capacity isn’t necessary for your VR-ready gaming laptop.

However, there is another aspect of RAM that can help make your gaming laptop run faster, even when running the latest VR games.

That aspect is the clock speed. DDR4 memory is typically available with clock speeds ranging from 2,200 MHZ to 4,400 MHZ.

However, anything above 2,800 would work great with VR games.

The gaming laptops we will discuss in this article, either have the recommended clock speed for RAM or faster.

Therefore, technical considerations, like the RAM speed, shouldn’t be an issue for you.



This is one aspect of any gaming computer that is expensive but has no value to a VR gamer.

Displays are also one of the most common areas in a gaming laptop, where newcomers often overspend.

Remember that your VR headset has its own super-crisp and high-resolution display that will be used to output the result of what the graphics card has processed.

This means that you simply don’t need an ultra-high-resolution display on your laptop.

Unless you wish to use the same gaming laptop for both VR gaming and traditional gaming, you don’t need a 4K OLED display with abnormal refresh rates like 144Hz, which is the current top-tier standard in the gaming industry.

You VR headset also has a dense resolution that is stuffed in a small display and has a 90 Hz refresh rate.

This configuration is adequate for you to enjoy seamless VR experiences, as long as the graphics card and processor on your gaming laptop are powerful enough.

You should feel free to sacrifice ultra-high display resolutions in exchange for a better and more powerful graphics card and CPU.



Storage is another feature of a gaming laptop that does not affect the processing speed or performance of the laptop.

The only thing that changes with the change in storage type in a gaming computer or laptop, is the loading time of VR games.

A hard-disk drive takes considerably more time to load a game or a cutscene than an NVME M.2 Solid-State Drive (SSD) or a PCIe SSD.

However, once the game or the cutscene has been loaded, the storage speed of the storage does not make the game or cutscene run faster or smoother.

Since most of the latest gaming laptops – even the budget gaming laptops –  offer SSD storage, it is not necessary to worry about storage type.

However, the capacity of the drive may be important to you, if you plan on keeping a large number of 4K movies and several VR experiences and games in your laptop at the same time.

In that case, you should consider buying a 1 TB External Hard Drive which will cost the same or even less than a 250 GB SSD.

The downside to hard drive storage is its considerably slower transfer speeds.


How Much Will a VR-ready Gaming Laptop Cost You?

Now that you are aware of everything you should consider when buying a gaming laptop for VR, it is necessary to discuss the price.

A budget system that can play VR games with adequate display quality and speed will typically cost as little as $850.

However, if you want to spend more money to get an extremely powerful system, you may have to spend up to $2,400.

Remember that buying a budget system will save you a lot of money.

However, its low-configuration could become a problem in the long run.

There is no guarantee on when Oculus may remove the GeForce GTX 1050Ti graphics card from the Rift’s officially recommended hardware specifications.

Even if Oculus takes a few years before making that decision, there are VR games and others in development that will not be playable on a typical budget gaming laptop configuration.

Keep in mind that HTC doesn’t recommend an NVidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti.

A 1050 Ti will be able to run VR games in HTC Vive, but the experience may not be playable.

Buying a high-performance gaming laptop for VR will cost you considerably more than a budget system.

However, it will be a great long-term investment.

Not only will you be able to play VR games seamlessly, but the graphics-intensive VR games released in the next two years will be playable on your gaming laptop.


Best Laptops for VR

We have now discussed almost everything you need to know before choosing the right gaming laptop for your VR journey.

The next section will look into some of the most popular gaming laptops that are great for VR and are a great value for their price.

To help you make your decision, the laptops will be divided into three price ranges from affordable (or “low-budget”) to high-performance.


Affordable (or Budget) Gaming Laptops


  • Processor: Intel Core i7 8750H 2.2 GHz
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4
  • RAM speed: 2666 MHz
  • Video RAM: 4 GB
  • Storage: 256 GB Flash M.2 SSD
  • Number of USB 3.0 ports: 2
  • Screen size: 6 inches
  • Display: 1920×1080
  • Price range: $880

The ASUS FX504 TUF gaming laptop is among the most affordable gaming laptops in the market.

This configuration is great for traditional gaming. However, in VR, this gaming laptop might not be able to handle everything that the VR industry now has to offer.

Nevertheless, most of the VR games that are currently available on HTC Vive and Oculus Rift should be playable with occasional lagging.

Two USB 3.0 ports are enough for HTC Vive’s base stations.

However, for Oculus Rift,  you will, unfortunately, have to make do with only two tracking sensors connected to USB 3.0.

While it isn’t a game changer, inaccurate and glitchy tracking can sometimes be a frustrating experience.

MSI GV62 8RD-034

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 8750H 2.2 GHz
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4
  • RAM speed: 2400 MHz
  • Video RAM: 4 GB
  • Storage: ~1 TB Hybrid Drive (128 GB SSD boot drive + 1 TB hard disk drive)
  • Number of USB 3.0 ports: 3
  • Screen size:6 inches
  • Display: 1920×1080
  • Price range: $950

The MSI GV62 8RD-034 is another inexpensive gaming laptop.

This gaming laptop can be compared to the ASUS FX504.

However, one major difference is that the MSI GV62 8RD-034 has 3 USB 3.0 ports.

It means that this laptop can afford a third tracking sensor if you are going to play VR on the Oculus Rift.

Better tracking always results in better immersion and a better overall experience.

The 8 GB RAM in these two laptops is sufficient to run most of the VR games that are available today.

However, a few available very heavy VR games may require a larger memory capacity.


Mid-Range Budget and Performance Gaming Laptops

Eluktronics N870HP6 Pro VR Ready

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 8750H 2.2 GHz
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4
  • RAM speed: 2400 MHz
  • Video RAM: 6 GB
  • Storage: 512 GB Performance SSD
  • Number of USB 3.0 ports: 2 USB 3.0 ports + 1 USB 3.1 Type-C port
  • Screen size: 3 inches
  • Display: 1920×1080
  • Price range: $1,400

The Eluktronics N870HP6 Pro will enhance your VR game considerably, compared to the ASUS FX504 and MSI GV62 gaming laptops.

The most obvious upgrade is the NVidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card.

It not only has 2 GB of additional video RAM but is also much faster than the GTX 1050 Ti.

This gaming laptop officially meets the requirements of both the most popular VR headsets, the Oculus Rift, and the HTC Vive.

Along with the two USB 3.0 ports – which is enough for the HTC Vive – the additional USB 3.1 Type-C port is a bonus for the Oculus Rift users, who want to add a third tracking sensor to their setup.

The 16 GB DDR4 RAM is also a great deal since you will be able to enjoy every VR game currently available for your headset.

MSI GV72 8RE-007

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 8750H 2.2 GHz
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4
  • RAM speed: 2400 MHz
  • Video RAM: 3 GB
  • Storage: ~1 TB Hybrid Drive (256 GB M.2 SSD boot drive + 1 TB hard disk drive)
  • Number of USB 3.0 ports: 2
  • Screen size: 3 inches
  • Display: 1920 x 1080
  • Price range: $1,500

The MSI GV72 8RE-007 is a great gaming laptop.

However, I wouldn’t strongly recommend it for virtual reality.

The main problem with this gaming laptop is that the manufacturer sacrificed video RAM for better storage.

The 1 TB Hybrid Drive storage setup is a great way of saving money while providing a high speed, as well as a mass-storage option in the same laptop.

However, as discussed earlier, we want to capitalize on processing power and graphics power as much as possible.

Therefore, the 3 GB video RAM might be a bottle-neck in a few very graphics-intensive VR games.

It could also become an even bigger problem for you in the future.

If hardcore VR gaming is not your only intention with this gaming laptop, it’s a great choice and offers great value for its price.


High-Performance Gaming Laptops

ASUS ROG Zephyrus S Ultra-Slim

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 8750H 2.2 GHz
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
  • RAM: 24 GB DDR4
  • RAM speed: 2666 MHz
  • Video RAM: 8 GB
  • Storage: 1 TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Number of USB 3.0 ports: 3
  • Screen size: 6 inches
  • Display: 1920×1080
  • Price range: $2,400

With the sudden bump in configuration, the laptops in this category are the ultimate gaming laptops.

They can offer you the best VR gaming experience in the market.

There are even more expensive and more powerful gaming laptops available.

However, their value-to-price ratio is not high enough for us to recommend them to you.

The ASUS ROG Zephyrus S has an even more powerful graphics card, 8 GB of Video RAM, and 24 GB RAM.

This is enough to beat any laptop in the affordable or mid-range category when it comes to performance and speed.

The Zephyrus is the only gaming laptop on the list that features 1 TB of pure NVMe M.2 SSD.

This means that you get a huge storage capacity and with very high data transfer speeds.

If you want to splurge on VR gaming, you can buy his laptop with an HTC Vive Pro, which is currently the best VR headset in the market.

However, the HTC Vive Pro is too expensive for its configuration.

We don’t recommend that you buy it unless you are an absolute VR gaming maniac with at least $1,100 to spend for a VR headset.

MSI P65 Creator 8RF-450US Ultra-Thin

  • Processor: Intel Core i7 8750H 2.2 GHz
  • Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070
  • RAM: 32 GB DDR3
  • RAM speed: 2400 MHz
  • Video RAM: 8 GB
  • Storage: 512 GB NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Number of USB 3.0 ports: 4
  • Screen size: 6 inches
  • Display: 1920×1080
  • Price range: $2,299

The MSI P65 Creator 8RF-450US is another extremely expensive and powerful gaming laptop.

It is capable of satisfying your VR passion for many years.

The 32 GB DDR3 RAM is the largest memory offered among the gaming laptops we have discussed.

However, since it is DDR3, it is a bit slower than the DDR4 RAMs and cannot be upgraded in the future.

The 512 GB NVMe M.2 SSD should be adequate for your needs unless you like to keep all the VR games, VR videos and high-quality movies that you have watched.