Meta paused shipments of its Elite Strap with Battery for Quest 3 late last month due to a widespread charging fault that would render the battery useless for some users. Meta is now unpausing orders of the device, as it hopes to send out a new batch of battery straps with new firmware by the year’s end.
Update (December 14th, 2023): Meta is resuming orders of its Elite Strap with Battery for Quest 3, which for now is only available direct from Meta. The company has yet to resume orders for the device through third-party vendors such as Amazon or Best Buy, as it seems the company is catching up to fulfill replacements made by existing customers who initially encountered faulty units.
In the US, new orders for the battery strap placed today result in a December 19th shipment date, while European orders are slated to arrive a bit later, estimated for December 29th.
The original article discussing the sales pause follows below:
Original Article (November 28th, 2023): We reported earlier this month that the Elite Strap with Battery was facing serious reliability issues among its users. For some, the $130 accessory, which provides around two hours of extra playtime and better ergonomics than the stock strap, simply refused to charge Quest 3 after a certain point, rendering it largely an expensive counterweight.
At the time, Meta Support told Road to VR that replacing faulty units with a fresh one “may not necessarily resolve the problem,” which ostensibly pointed either to a hardware fault or an issue with the Elite Battery Strap’s firmware.
A Meta spokesperson has now confirmed with Road to VR that it has temporarily paused sales of the device while it manufactures new ones without the fault, which the company says was indeed related to the device’s firmware.
Meta says it’s not recalling the device as such, but rather replacing affected units on a case-by-case basis, and that it’s working with retailer partners to stock new units “as soon as possible.”
In the meantime, official Meta retail partners Target and Best Buy have completely removed listings for the device. Listings are still available on a few retailers, including Amazon and directly through Meta, albeit marked as ‘out of stock’ with no indication when new stock will ship. We’ve reached out to several major retailers for a quote on availability, and will update this article when/if we hear back.
For now, you may still find the odd Elite Strap with Battery for Quest 3 still on the store shelves at places such as Best Buy, although some Reddit users have reported being unable to actually buy units in-person as late as last week, as stores weren’t allowed to sell them. Until new stock arrives, users should be aware they potentially have a faulty unit.
That said, many users haven’t experienced the fault at all, so it’s still not clear what behavior can set it off. Whatever the case, US consumers have a one-year warranty to replace Meta devices, while EU consumers have two years to do so. If you have issues with your Elite Strap with Battery for Quest 3, the company suggests reaching out to Meta Support for troubleshooting and/or replacement.
This isn’t the first time Meta faced manufacturing issues with the Elite Strap line. Released for Quest 2 in 2020, both the Elite Strap and Elite Strap with Battery suffered premature breakage due to design issues that caused the device’s plastic struts to spontaneously crack. Meta extended the warranty of both Elite Strap variants once it unpaused sales in late 2020, or around two months after the company initially halted shipments of faulty units.