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Valve Index is in trouble as Meta Quest 3 closes Steam VR headset gap

Figures from the Steam Hardware Survey indicate that more Steam users are turning to the Meta Quest 3 instead of Valve Index for VR.

A large Meta Quest 3 (top) looms over a small Valve Index (bottom)

In the months since its launch, the Meta Quest 3 has proven particularly popular among Steam users, eclipsing most other VR headsets. While its predecessor, the Quest 2, and Valve Index have thus far proven the only difficult roadblocks in the Quest 3’s path to dominance, it seems all but certain that this is set to change.

Both the Meta Quest 3 and Valve Index appear on our best VR headset shortlist as both remain great options for any virtual reality setup. However, the market is a decidedly different place from where it was when the Index first launched, back in 2019, and it’s clear that Steam users are turning elsewhere in lieu of a successor.

March 2024 April 2024 Change
Meta Quest 2 37.84% 38.03% +0.19%
Valve Index 16.68% 15.92% -0.76%
Meta Quest 3 15.03% 15.49% +0.46%

According to the latest Steam Hardware & Software Survey, the difference in the number of Steam users rocking a Quest 3 compared to those with an Index has never been smaller. Just 0.43% separates the two headsets, but it’s enough to keep Valve’s VR headset in second place for now.

It’s likely that this will be the last survey in which the two headsets will be in their respective position as the Quest 3 has occupied third place since January 2024, just three months since its launch in October 2023. While it understandably hasn’t maintained such high levels of momentum, its trajectory remains more positive than the Index.

A screenshot of the Steam Hardware Survey, dated April 2024, showcasing the share of VR headsets among users

Making the case all the stronger for the Quest 3, exclusives like Batman: Arkham Shadow and Assassin’s Creed Nexus further strengthen its value against the Index. However, it seems the recent Quest 2 price cut has inspired some to adopt the aged headset, further strengthening its position as the current favorite VR headset among Steam users.

Conclusions drawn from these statistics naturally don’t include Quest 3 headsets being used outside of Steam. Important as PCVR is, particularly for high-end headsets like the Pimax Crystal, standalone play is an advantage that the Index sorely lacks. Hopefully this can be addressed with the long-rumored successor, codenamed Deckard, but this remains to be seen.

Check out our Meta Quest 3 review for an in-depth look at what is sure to become the most popular VR headset on Steam in the coming years. Give our Valve Index review a read as well, if you’re unsure between the two.