From flagship smartphones to VR headsets, first-party accessories tend to be pretty expensive. Along with the higher price tag though, consumers typically expect exceptional quality. After all, the product’s designers had a head start, so those day-one accessories should be, if not the best out there, at very least high quality. Meta sells an array of useful accessories to fit that description, although some of its most expensive first-party stuff—namely its Elite Strap—continues to face reliability issues even today, as many users of the Elite Strap with Battery for Quest 3 are reporting faulty units.

If you’re looking to use the headset long-term, ditching the default fabric strap is one of the biggest single ways to improve your overall comfort. Meta knows this, and if you’ve worn either a Quest 2 or Quest 3 with the stock strap for more than an hour, you probably know it too. Depending on your point of view, you might call it product modularity, planned obsolescence, or even exploitative accessorizing.

Since the release of Quest 2 in 2020, Meta has produced its own brand of aftermarket headstraps: Elite Strap and Elite Strap with Battery, the latter of which comes with an external battery on that back that adds around two hours of extra juice. Yes. They’re priced at an eye-blistering $70 and $130 respectively for Quest 3, and $10 bucks less for both for Quest 2 versions. They do improve ergonomics by a wide margin though, and the extra battery is nice too.

Quest 3 Elite Strap with Battery | Image courtesy Meta

Granted, you definitely don’t have to buy them—one look at Amazon shows Meta’s first-party stuff is usually well and above double the current asking price for third-party alternatives—but Meta is betting you’ll at least consider it before hitting the checkout button.

And that would be fine if they didn’t break a few months out of the box like early batches of the Quest 2 Elite Straps did, or refused to work at all, which is the case for many who currently own the Elite Strap with Battery for Quest 3. Again, a $130 accessory. To be fair, Meta issued a two-year extended warranty on its Elite Straps for Quest 2 because so many users were reporting excessive and unwarranted breakages of the plastic struts, but at this point the product line is starting to feel cursed.

SEE ALSO
The Best Meta Quest 3 Accessories & Why You’ll Want Them

Since its launch in October, many users across Reddit and Meta forums have reported the Quest 3’s Elite Strap with Battery isn’t working. The battery works for a bit, but then won’t charge the Quest 3 at all, rendering it essentially an expensive counterweight.

We conducted an informal poll, and 43 percent of respondents who had the strap for Quest 3 stated they’ve experienced similar charging issues, which suggests it’s not simply user error either, but rather some sort of manufacturer defect.

Image courtesy Meta

So what? The answer should be easy. Just send it back and get a new one, right? Well, Meta isn’t suggesting its customers do that.

“While we typically offer RMA (Return Merchandise Authorization) for defective units, replacing the strap may not necessarily resolve the problem. We are aware of the emerging issue where the Meta Quest 3 Elite Strap with Battery is not recognized by the headset or fails to charge,” Meta support told Road to VR. “Our engineering team is actively working on finding a solution for this issue. Once they have identified a resolution, we will contact you with an update.”

Some users report successfully going through the RMA process, only to have to go through it multiple times to receive a unit that actually works.

I would say you should think twice about buying it, but just today Meta took down availability of its Elite Strap with Battery for Quest 3 across all of its supported regions.

Image captured by Road to VR

While out of stock directly through Meta, you can still nab it from participating retailers though, like Best Buy and Target, both of which feature their fair share of 1-star user reviews citing that very issue.

For now, Meta hasn’t shared any further insight on what the problem exactly is, whether it be software or hardware related. Until the company addresses it though, we strongly advise you against buying the Elite Strap with Battery for Quest 3, as it could put a serious damper on the holidays.


We’re following this story as it develops. Check back soon for updates.

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Well before the first modern XR products hit the market, Scott recognized the potential of the technology and set out to understand and document its growth. He has been professionally reporting on the space for nearly a decade as Editor at Road to VR, authoring more than 3,500 articles on the topic. Scott brings that seasoned insight to his reporting from major industry events across the globe.
  • gothicvillas

    I have returned 2 Meta charging docks. Both didnt charge headset at all. Fiddled with both of them for hours. Some said its hard to find the charging sweetspot. Honestly i tried everything. Product is simply not ready. Meta’s accessories are trash. Shame really.

    • Sven Viking

      Weird that 3rd-party companies with lower prices and less early access to the hardware are still doing better at this after multiple headsets. (The official Oculus Rift accessories I can remember were good though.)

  • ViRGiN

    “I would say you should think twice about buying it”

    I have zero regrets. Yeah, mine stopped charging the headset after few days.
    BUT – I reached out to Meta and got a replacement 2 days later, didn’t have to send original one back. Passed it to a friend who only had standard strap.

    Meta still has the best customer service, probably among all tech companies.

    The strap imo is excellent – feels and looks premium, although that wired connection does ruin the aesthethic.

  • wowgivemeabreak

    Not a surprise as their history should have been enough of a warning for people to not assume this one would be issue free. This is one thing that often separates people from each other: some who actually learn from the past and don’t repeat the same mistakes and those that don’t and keep falling for the same thing and then wondering why.

    As for the stock strap on the Q3, it’s been super comfortable for me using the AMVR back pad that they came out with for the Q2 (works great on the Q3) and then strapping a 10k mah battery bank to the back. I could wear this for many many hours and have no problems at all. Definitely an improvement over the Q2 with the same setup. The biggest issue for comfort with the stock straps n these headsets is them not having a back pad so there is nothing to cup the back of your head which means having to tighten the strap more than what is really required to prevent it from slipping. Get that AMVR one for like 15 bucks and a stock strap gains maybe 90% the comfort of aftermarket straps. Take the bad pad away from aftermarket straps and they’d get the same complaints as the stock straps do.

    • ViRGiN

      That first paragraph is so fucking stupid

      • VrSLuT

        Good thing the Chinese didn’t copy that because the one that’s built in to theirs work for years…

        • ameba#23234 mdrea

          This is hilarious. Well done.
          The two usernames. really funny

  • Duane Aakre

    Again?????

    Luckily, I got the elite strap with battery on day one for my Quest 3 and mine has been working fine ever since.

  • Collin Drennen

    My experience with the Quest 2 Elite Battery Strap was quite pleasant, so I felt no apprehensions about buying the Quest 3 version.

    Unfortunately (?), I bought mine through a Best Buy on launch day. My Quest 3 Elite Battery Strap lasted just over 3 weeks before it ‘gave up the ghost’ (e.g., it charges, but cannot supply a charge to the Quest 3. When I plug it in, the Quest 3 only recognized it for a couple seconds, then nothing). Unfortunately, by the time it failed, this exceeded the allowable return time for a regular customer (14 days), leaving me no recourse but to go to the Meta website to exercise the 1-year warranty.

    When I went to the Meta website about a week ago, there was literally no link available to lodge a complaint/seek a refund or replacement; there was only a link for the Docking Station (that was perhaps the most frustrating aspect of this problem). Maybe it has changed by now.

    On the Meta forums, I was able to find a discussion on this very issue, so there was some comfort that I wasn’t alone in my misery.
    One thing that was nice about the forums was finding out some alternative ways of troubleshooting (e.g., resetting the battery by pressing the button for at least 12 seconds), but unfortunately nothing worked.

    As far as I can gather, it could be either a firmware issue or a hardware, but the jury is still out on that one.

    I’m very happy for those that have a working battery strap. I was happy too, for 3 weeks.

    Thank you for this article, as it gives me more hope that Meta is aware of this, and is taking steps to correct it.

  • Prince Harry

    When will you do a survey on the dead pixel situation plaguing new devices?

    • Jonathan Winters III

      Had 2 Quest 3s, no dead pixels at all. Some people might have it but it’s rare.

  • Mat Pawluczuk

    Not again..

  • Jonathan Winters III

    More scare tactic “news”. It’s a software issue, not hardware. They’ll be patching it soon.

    • Oroku Saki

      This was also a problem for the Quest 2 straps. So this has been a problem for years. A “patch” is likely NOT on the way anytime soon.

  • NL_VR

    Metas headstraps are over priced crap.
    Much better to buy thirdpart like Bobo or Kiwi. Hell even cheap “noname” headstraps on Amazon is better.

  • Oroku Saki

    The Elite Strap with Battery for the Quest 2 had the same exact problems that this one does. Makes me think Meta ISN’T actively working on finding the problem and offering a solution. It’s been years. They should just recall and refund imo. I bought a cheap $50 knockoff of this thing on Amazon and it works perfectly.