Another month, another record high count for the VR usership on Steam. Quest 2, despite being a standalone headset, has helped to drive much of the growth thanks to its ability to connect to a PC to play PC VR games on Oculus PC or Steam. It has become the most used headset on Steam for the first time.

Monthly-connected VR Headsets on Steam

Each month Valve collects info from Steam users to determine some baseline statistics about what kind of hardware and software is used by the platform’s population, and to see how things are changing over time, including the use of VR headsets.

The data shared in the survey represents the number of headsets connected to Steam over a given month, so we call the resulting figure ‘monthly-connected headsets’ for clarity; it’s the closest official figure there is to ‘monthly active VR users’ on Steam, with the caveat that it only tells us how many VR headsets were connected, not how many were actually used.

While Valve’s data is a useful way see which headsets are most popular on Steam, the trend of monthly-connected headsets has always been obfuscated because the data is given exclusively as percentages relative to Steam’s population—which itself is an unstated and constantly fluctuating figure.

To demystify the data Road to VR maintains a model, based on the historical survey data along with official data points directly from Valve and Steam, which aims to correct for Steam’s changing population to estimate the actual count—not the percent—of headsets being used on Steam.

SEE ALSO
Quest 2 Leaps to 2nd Most Used on Steam as Headsets Hit Record High of 2.6 Million

The latest shows that the holiday surge has not relented, with February bringing Steam’s monthly-connected headset count to a new record high of 2.8 million. The record figure comes immediately after January had set the prior record at 2.6 million.

Quest 2 was the most significant driver of the increase seen in February, with Quest 2 becoming the single most used VR headset on Steam.

Share of VR Headsets on Steam

Looking at the breakdown of individual headsets in use on Steam, we can see that Quest 2 is continuing to take a large bite out of the pie. While the headset saw an inflated gain last month (because it was the first month the headset got its own category Valve’s data), this month shows the headset’s true pace, picking up a whopping +5.51% in share for a total of 22.91%. This makes Quest 2 the most used VR headset on Steam in February, besting the 21.58% share held by Rift S.

Though the gains in Quest 2 appear to have come largely from other Facebook headsets; even though Quest 2 picked up +5.51% share, the share of all Facebook headsets on Steam only rose by +1.58% (suggesting existing Oculus customers are trading up to a Quest 2). Still, this furthers Facebook’s position overall, with 57.98% of headsets in use on Steam made by Facebook.

Other winners this month was Valve’s own Index headset, which has reached 16.0% (+0.17%), and Windows Mixed Reality which, despite adding a few thousand headsets, actually dropped in share down to 6.15% (−0.23%) as a result of bigger proportional gains by others (like Quest 2).

SEE ALSO
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The largest losses in the share of headsets on Steam in February came from Rift S (−1.78%), Quest (−1.58%), and HTC Vive (−1.01%), with the share of all HTC headsets on Steam dropping to 17.24% (−1.29%).

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  • jimmy

    It’s a shame that all that software money go to valve they don’t even reinvest it in vr

    • Ad

      This is true. They should be throwing money at VR projects that are already showing promise if they don’t want to fund brand new ones.

      • jimmy

        they should fund indie devs like oculus does

        • Ad

          Facebook has done a terrible job of that and the record is pretty miserable. 3/4 of the games they funded fell flat on their faces.

          • h4rr4r

            25% is an unbelievable success rate for small business

          • Ad

            wat

          • h4rr4r

            An indie developer is a small business.
            For small businesses only about 30% make it a decade. For very small businesses like the average indie dev, the rate is even worse. 25% is pretty much amazing.

            Games as a whole have a lot lower a success rate.

        • IcedForce

          You mean “buy” indie devs to make exclusives like Facebook does?

          Not as in develop their APIs so that they support the most HW out there out of the box and not just their own HW or offer their tracking system license basicly to anyone with pocket money and wave some of the fees and give a bit smoother road for VR projects on their platform?
          But literally pay the devs to not develop/publish their game on any other platform than your because you fear your platform cannot survive without having exclusives?

          • jimmy

            no, oculus paid a lot of indie devs to make games for years without asking for exclusivity

    • Elaine Berry

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  • Sjonnie

    And still it feels like VR is dead … almost no AAA titles, no new high end headsets …

    • You have to have a mainstream ecosystem before you have AAA games. The one cannot come before the other. And if lack of AAA games is the only way you rate a platform, the real world is going to be very disappointing. Us in the VR training industry are making a KILLING, and Oculus is pretty much responsible for it. VR is nowhere near dead, just because it doesn’t have video games you like.

  • Sjonnie

    And still it feels like VR is dead. Almost no AAA titles and no new high end headsets

    • alxslr

      It’s just not evolving the way some of us wanted, but evolving, and it will get there, although through another road.

      Ther is still no revolution in games, almost a year after HL Alyx. That’s dissapointng, yes, Games have to be deeper and better. I want to think that in the Hype Cicle, hardware and people are fully in the Slope of Enlightment and even approching the frontier to the Plateau of Productivity, while in the software area many are still in the Trough of Dissillusionment or maybe already in the Slope of Enlightment but being still cautious or begginiing investments that we’ll have to wait 1 to 3 years to see flourish.

      About high end hardware, good entry level headsets (Q2) are bringing more people, and I whant to think that that will bring more high end ones (Apple, maybe Quest Pro…).

      In any case, anything but dead.

      • MosBen

        I’ve been saying for years that it’s ok of VR doesn’t take over the world immediately. It just needs to limp along, staying moderately successful as the hardware and software matures instead of dying off from the consumer market like it did in the 90s. The hardware behind VR is still evolving quickly; not just better screens and such, but also design philosophies and comfort. Similarly, though we’ve had a few years of active development now, we’re still relatively early in the development of VR as an artistic medium. Devs are still working out the language of VR and exploring what works best for the user experience.

        Clearly, we’ve gotten to a place where we can reasonably expect an affordable price for reasonably decent VR products. Now we just need to hope that companies continue to see a bit of growth and a bit of profit, enough to stay invested in VR. If VR continues to develop, it will eventually reach the point of a must-have device.

        • Cragheart

          I think that current prices of PC hardware play a role in slow VR adoption.

          • MosBen

            Sure, plus just the lack of supply. It’s bad for PC gaming in general.

    • Arno van Wingerde

      Hm, I think you’re just thought that after COVID19, people would have gotten a feeling for what exponential curves look like… that curve in the artikel is a very nice example! With the way things develop, the number of games that start making more serious money and the development of better toolboxes, it is only a matter of time before more AAA titles come out.
      The HP Reverb 2 came out 3 months ago… these things do not come out every week you know. Sony updates its system next year, by then we will likely also see the Quest3, perhaps even with a higher end version.
      What keeps amazing me is that every manufacturer seems to almost deliberately build in flaws: the HP seems to have superb clarity but is let down by its controllers, Quest2 has no real IPD adjust and the worst black values of any screen I have seen in ages and a mediocre sound system, Index needs the external lighthouses and is expensive…

  • Ad

    The number of chinese users is key to this, it gone up massively and that likely held down the percentage of VR users.

  • Facebook is slowly heading towards a monopoly, which I’m not happy about.

    • Exactly this. No one seems to be able to compete with it, and this is a huge problem for the future of the market

      • Ratm

        Steam literally kills fps in oculus link..
        If OpenComposite or a nice windows way to launch games come up
        they will literally kill steam and i will be dancing.
        They kept causing troubles in any headset besides there own.
        Cant believe what they did for years to wmr controller’s…
        i will be happy.

  • Bumpy

    Cost is king. Its a no brainer the cheapest (yet decent) headset will sell the most.

    If the G2 or Index were $250, they too would have jaw dropping numbers.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      yeah, but then the Quest 2 would be $99 and still beat those 2..

    • Tabp

      The Index is limited by Valve’s production capacity so if it cost $250 it would have exactly the same numbers.

    • wowgivemeabreak

      Not to mention the wireless aspect. It’d be interesting to see the breakdown of Quest 2 users using Virtual Desktop and those being shackled to their computer using link.

      I think many PCVR headset diehards that have never used a Quest have no clue how much more immersive being untethered is. I will NEVER go back to being tethered. The Index could be $99 and I wouldn’t bother with it.

  • TechPassion

    WaveVR is closing. That is sad. IT was a very original platform.

  • wowgivemeabreak

    So if the 2.8 mil headset figure is pretty accurate, that means almost 700k Quest 2 users are also using it with PCVR. The Rec Room dev guessing 2 mil Quest 2s were sold within the first 3 months may indeed be accurate.

  • mirak

    People enjoy garbage, and justify it by saying it’s cheap.

    It’s like when cheap LCD flat screens poured on the market.

    A few years before that, when it was expensive, people were saying that it was too big and that it was disfiguring the living room.

    When it became “accessible”, like 400€, people didn’t think it was too big anymore, and didn’t cared the image looked like shit.

    • And here comes the gatekeeping. If it’s not an Index connected to a $3000 PC then it can’t be “REAL VR” huh? Hate to break it to you cupcake, but there are MILLIONS of us who love our Quests and are having a great time in VR.

  • JohnnyV

    Yeah, another one. Not sure what to think of it. Is it the best
    of its kind? I doubt it!