Valve’s monthly Steam Hardware & Software Survey, which we’ve been carefully tracking for years now, has been a useful way to gauge how many VR headsets are being used on the platform each month. The latest data shows an odd, sharp drop in the number of VR users on Steam, but Valve isn’t saying why.

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 is 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 and estimate the actual count—not the percent—of headsets being used on Steam.

Monthly-Connected VR Headsets on Steam

We’ve been tracking the data on VR headsets published in the Steam Hardware & Software survey ever since first-gen VR headsets hit the market. The number of monthly-connected VR headsets on Steam has always seen ups and downs, but last month was different.

In the latest data we saw a surprisingly sharp drop in headsets used on Steam. In fact, it’s the single largest drop we’ve ever seen in the data set—from 2.31% to 1.86%—which is why it stood out as perciular.

While it’s easy to look at the data and see that there have been upswings that are nearly, or as large, as the drop, the major upswings have had fairly clear explanations: the big jump from March 2020 to April 2020 was largely due to the launch of Half-Life: Alyx, while the jump from December 2020 to January 2021 was likely due to the holiday season (with Quest 2 having just recently launched). As for this big drop in the last month, we haven’t been able to come up with any clear explanation.

Road to VR has reached out to three separate people at Valve, on multiple occasions, for comment on the data, but we’ve received no response. Until then, we can only really wait to see if next month’s data brings any answers.

We have seen the Steam Hardware & Software Survey report some funky VR numbers here and there over the years, but usually a correction comes within a week or so. Here we are, three weeks into the month, and nothing appears to be changing. So at this point we can’t say for certain which of the following is true:

  • The data is correct, but the explanation for the drop is unknown
  • The data is correct, due to some kind of statistical adjustment made by Valve
  • The data is in error

Share of VR Headsets on Steam

Looking at the breakdown of individual headsets in use on Steam, we don’t see any strange jostling that we might expect to come with the odd drop in overall headset use.

Despite somewhat notable losses from Rift S (–0.69%), original Rift (–0.54%), and Quest (–0.08%), Quest 2’s gains (+1.74%) managed to grow Facebook’s share of headsets on the platform overall, pushing it to more than 60% for the first time.

Even with the strong growth of Quest 2, other headsets found some room to grow too, like Valve Index now at 16.68% (+0.19%), Vive Cosmos at 1.75% (+0.56%), and even the original HTC Vive at 11.24% (+0.13%).

Windows Mixed Reality dropped slightly to 5.48% (–0.17%), though this marks a three month loss-streak, down from 6.50% share back in March.

HTC’s Vive Cosmos Elite took a larger hit down to just 0.14% (–0.68%), making for a five month loss-streak. Combined, all of HTC’s headsets on Steam now account for 15.22%, less than Valve’s Index headset.

This month’s data also reflected the debut of two new headsets, HTC’s Vive Pro 2 at 0.08% and Pico Neo 3 at 0.27%.

Alternative Text

This article may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and buy a product we may receive a small commission which helps support the publication. More information.

Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Digital Dirk

    My money is on the fact that there is a massive heatwave happening, so people are finding it too hot to play VR

    • BCC Dude

      This. Seriously.

      The headset itself gets hot. The physical movement gets us hot. If playing on PC, the waste heat makes it even hotter.
      Unless you have the luxury of some heavy duty air conditioning, you need some very serious passion for VR to overcome all these…

      • Jistuce

        Air conditioning as a luxury… that’s a strange concept to me, as it is a virtual necessity where I live. Heck, we even have a state program to help the poor get AC and afford the electricity for it.

        • Bons

          In the EU were I live AC in households is not common at all.
          Even in stores there is not always AC. So in the summer i don’t play VR, because its too hot for it. i think for most ppl in the EU they skip playing VR games till the temps settle more in the autumn season. So the drop in VR usage in this time of year sounds logical for me :)

          • Jan Ciger

            That and the fact that is is vacation season. With the Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions being lifted and the weather being nice, people prefer to be outside instead of sweating in their HMDs.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            Unless people tend to schlepp their gaming PCs or at least gaming laptops to their vacation destinations, there is no reason why VR usage would fall so much relative to total Steam usage. This may change next year, when at least some Steam Deck owners will be able to play Steam games on their travel-ready devices everywhere, but for most people not being at home influences general Steam usage just like VR.

          • Jistuce

            Intellectually, I know a lot of places just don’t have air conditioning and don’t even need it. Heck, I’ve got some friends that were caught up in the aforementioned heatwave.

            But every time it comes up, my brain staggers as it has to spend a few seconds trying to figure out why someone wouldn’t have something as basic as air-conditioning.

        • Kevin White

          Yep. I live in North Texas. AC is life support.

          It has been the coolest summer that I remember, with temps rarely above 93 F (33.9 C) and a surprising number of June and July days not above 87 F (30.5 C). But you still have to have AC.

          I will say though that even with AC we keep the home at 77 F (25 C) in the day and 73 F (22.8 C) at night, vs. more like 70 F in the day and 65 F at night during the winter. So 77 F can still get a bit steamy if you’re active with a heater on your face for a couple hours.

          • Jistuce

            Yup. I’m here in Dallas and… it isn’t the coolest summer I remember, but it is pretty darn mild.

    • Jonathan Winters III

      This, plus large amounts of people are getting back to work, much less play time at home.

      • Christian Schildwaechter

        The drop from 2.31% to 1.86% is relative to the whole Steam user base, so if people have less time, this should apply to all of Steam, not just the VR players. So unless VR players are working more than other players, their percentage of the player base should have remained the same, even if the total number dropped.

        The “it’s too hot for VR” makes more sense, because heat actually affects VR players more, but the heatwaves have been local and mostly lasted only days, which makes it hard to explain a global drop of 20% in VR player activity.

        • Psycold

          I’m in Idaho and the heatwave has been going for over 3 weeks now and is expected to go into August. We’ve rarely had a day under 100 degrees. I grew up here and we usually have 3 or 4 days that go over 100, and they usually aren’t consecutive. I’m not saying you’re wrong otherwise considering the global drop. I think it’s mainly a lack of content.

        • Jeppe

          I’ve been away from my VR setup for 2 weeks now because of summer, so others might be in the same boat. I’m definitely not a permanent drop in the statistic though.

        • Zack71

          VR players are older so yes, they are working more.
          In Italy in this season it is not possible to play with an headset, it’s too hot.
          I will restart to play in September.

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            Age of VR players in the US and UK in 2021 (GlobalWebIndex):

            16-34 35%
            35-44 26%
            45-54 12%
            55-65 6%

            78% (it is unclear where the missing 22% went)

            Age of video game players in the US in 2020 (Statista):

            -18 21%
            18-34 38%
            34-54 26%
            55-64 9%
            65+ 6%

            Men who own VR headsets tend to be younger (aged 18 – 34) whereas women owners are more evenly distributed across age groups. – Limina Immersive

        • d0x360

          Actually being too hot isn’t it. Steam only counts an HMD if it’s plugged in. So even if the service is running (like it always is) it won’t be counted

          I unplug my Rift S after every time I used it. I keep the extension cable plugged in but that goes to nothing unless I’m playing.

          So my guess is if vr saw negative growth then it’s because people didn’t have their HMD plugged in at the time of the survey.

          • My Index is never left plugged in, it lives in a ventilated storage unit to keep it safe. Never left any of my headsets connected when not in use.

            Can recall only participating in 1 Steam survey since getting Vive in 2016 so it’s missed all my headsets since.

    • VR5

      Summer heat seems a plausible explanation to me. It’s not that bad where I’m living this year thankfully but heat definitely affects enjoyment of VR.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      Everybody seems to love heat as an explanation, probably because this would mean that this is just a temporary effect, but please consider these:

      – There was no significant dip in Steam VR usage during June from 2016-2019.
      – The dip in 2020 followed an increase by 100% earlier due to HL:A, and was much smaller than the one in 2021, which is larger than the drop of June/July 2020 combined.
      – A drop from 2.31% to 1.86% means that there were 19.5% less VR users in June compared to May, which is a lot.
      – June 2021 was indeed hotter globally than the years before. 0.11ºC/0.2ºF hotter than 2019, 0.13ºC/0.23ºF than 2020. Local heat waves no doubt reduced usage, but I not so convinced an increase by 0.11ºC globally has such an dramatic impact.
      – The drop is relative to all Steam users, and while wearing a VR HMD is especially sweaty, everything that causes people to go outside would impact all of Steam, not just reduce the percentage of VR players on Steam.
      – Considering that it is very likely that the total number of Steam players fell due to summer and the end of CoViD-19 restrictions, the absolute drop in VR user numbers will be much larger than 19.5%

      I’m sure that heat has had an impact, but the drop is too large to be explained by temperature alone.

      • JakeDunnegan


        Plus, the heatwave basically started, in very late June, and the stat listed is for the entire month of June (not July- which has been uber-hot).

      • kebo

        In July 2018 there was a small drop, too. Not 20% but it was there. Like someone pointed out: this were the hardcore gamers backthen that play even when it’s hot.

        You point out that the last big drop in 2020 was because of HL:A. Why should a systemseller decrease the number of headsets? Have so many people tried VR and said: i don’t like it?

        Lastly PC players and VR players are not 100% the same. Many PC players turn on the computer without playing games for hours. They still take part in the survey (you don’t have to start a game for this). VR only players moreoften likely tend to start the computer only to play VR. That’s why i don’t think the drop is much largen than 19.5%.

        • Christian Schildwaechter

          HL:A didn’t directly decrease the number of headsets, instead the count initially exploded after it was released in March 2020. You can see on the graph that within two month, the share of VR users more than doubled.

          After that it starts to drop somewhat, not to pre-HL:A levels, but about 20% until July 2020. This is the drop I am referring to, and it is most likely caused by people that got into VR especially for HL:A. By May they had played through the game and some of them lost interest in VR afterwards and no longer connected their headset as often. So HL:A in total created a large increase which consists of an even larger jump up and a smaller decline. The decline just happened partly in June, which is why I had to address it when comparing historical data for that month.

          In the end, I don’t know why there is such a large drop, how PC and VR players react during heat, how many VR users live in areas affected by heatwaves or how much influx new users from Asia might have. As mentioned, my argument is not, that heat has no influence, just that it is unlikely to cause a global drop of 20% all by itself.

          • Could the ugly truth be that there simply isn’t enough highly compelling content to keep people repeatedly using their headsets?

            VR is in direct competition for our precious leisure time and money against well funded media industries producing highly compelling content and experiences whether television, cinema, music, books, sporting events, location based entertainment, etc.

            As Gabe Newell famously in an interview with polygon back in 2017,

            “Some people have got attention by going out and saying there’ll be millions of [VR unit sales] and we’re like, wow, I don’t think so. I can’t point to a single piece of content that would cause millions of people to justify changing their home computing.”

          • Jonathan Winters III

            It’s an ugly truth, but yeah – as far as PCVR goes, HL:Alyx gave a huge AAA shot in the arm, but there’s little news of any upcoming title that can top that. That said, Star Wars Squadrons and Flight Simulator are awesome. I’m sure more will come as well, including System Shock 2 coming soon.

          • mirak

            But Squadrons appears to be too niche in the end.

            Only flying is boring to people, that’s why BF1942 was fun, you could choose your fun, ground, air, sea ^^

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            Without doubt the lack of compelling content drives away potential and active VR users, and the lack of VR users drives away investment in content. This has been the case for a couple of years now. The situation has actually improved somewhat, even though many small developers got burned and dropped out. But unless everybody all of a sudden decided that 15 month after HL:A they were no longer willing to wait for another highly compelling title, this is probably not the cause of a sudden 20% drop in VR users.

    • johann jensson

      Or maybe summer is a good time to socialize more (especially now, after those long lockdowns). []-)

    • Oliver XRehab

      this is literally the first thing that I thought too. You also notice dips in the summer period in the previous years but maybe not as noticeable.

  • kebo

    I am surprised that the author shuts his eyes and is not seeing the exact same loss 1 year ago which happend over 2 months instead of 1 month. Yes, the overall loss this time is bigger due to a higher number in gerneral – nothing surprising here.

    In December btw we have always a peak. Opposite effect, everyone is at home. So if you want you can write 2 articels per year and act surprised.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      You cannot extract a “yearly cycle” when you are looking only at the previous year, where there were two special releases that lead to giant jumps up, and all the years before didn’t show any seasonal changes. There was no HL:A like release this year that would explain a spike and following drop similar to summer 2020.

  • Christian Schildwaechter

    My guess is that this is at least partly about player retention, which has historically been rather bad for VR devices. Basically this means that people are hyped about a product, buy it, but then stop using it after a few times.

    John Carmack mentioned during his OC 2019 keynote that the Quest had a better retention than any other Oculus hardware before, even if the improvement wasn’t as big as the jump from Gear VR to Oculus Go. The worst would probably be Google Cardboard, where tens of millions were distributed. People used it a few times, impressed their family and friends, then never touched it again. Gear VR suffered a similar problem, partly because it was bundled for free with the initial Samsung Galaxy S7. It generated thousands of Youtube videos of unsuspecting parents screaming on virtual roller coasters, but then usage dropped sharply once novelty wore off.

    The current drop might be a partly “correction” of the increase we saw with the Quest 2 release and holiday season. This brought in a lot of new users. The Quest 2 had already reached 17.4% share of all HMDs on Steam in 2021-01, then climbed up to 31.07% by 2021-06. This was mostly at the cost of other Oculus headsets, and is slowing down, with the increase from 2021-05 only 0.95%. The continued increase after the holiday season may be due to the Quest 2 being initially out out of stock in some regions.

    So for a few months now everybody that wanted a Quest 2 had the chance to get one. A lot of people did, indicated by the Steam share and Facebook reporting record sales. These people now had the time to play several titles, possibly play through Half-Life: Alyx on Steam, and are now running into the same problems as other VR players before.

    Some may get hooked on daily Beat Saber sessions, but these will mostly use the native Quest version, not connected to Steam. Some will continue to play their way through Steam titles. But for many the Quest 2 will start to collect dust, just like with the Gear VR, Oculus Go or Rift before. While VR is great, it still requires a lot more effort than playing on a Switch or regular pancake games. The comfort is rather horrible, esp. when it is hot, and you cannot really play on your Quest 2 during a picnic like you could with your phone.

    So we have at least three factors:
    – We had a prolonged increase after the Quest 2 release and holiday season due to shortage, but by now the market of interested buyers is at least partly saturated.
    – There is a “natural” drop in interest in VR devices, and while retention is better on the Quest than anywhere else, lots of people still drop out after the initial WOW factor is gone.
    – VR isn’t usable outside, still rather inconvenient and uncomfortably hot, which are all problems during summer months when everybody wants to go outside with friends after being in lockdown for a year.

    The weather factor will pass, the other two will not. This isn’t all doom, it is more a natural cycle for a niche product where growth is driven by large, attention grabbing events like the release of HL:A or the Quest 2. There will be another jump in VR users once Resident Evil 4 is released or anything big happens that will draw in new people from outside the VR community. Or if Facebook decides that a few hundred millions for advertising to get new college kids hooked after the summer is a wise investment.

    • VR5

      Good post and comfort definitely is a big factor. Lots of people didn’t use the 3D on 3DS also because of comfort reasons (you needed to keep your head still or the stereoscopy would break). Most people will choose easier and never look back. Few will try to accustom to something new and make it work for themselves.

      VR is impressive enough to get more people to not give up instantly but the summer heat escalates comfort issues and we lose a lot of people during that time.

      I found comfortable setups for my Quest 1 & 2, which both were a step back coming from previous headsets. But not everyone will do the same. Long term this is something Quest needs to get better but it will be linked to reducing size and weight.

      • Cragheart

        No IPD adjustment, SoC slower than PCs running DK2 in 2014, heavy, large.

        • VR5

          Quest 2 actually has IPD adjustment and isn’t that large. Actually, it being smaller makes the (also reduced) weight press harder on your face if you’re lying on your back, for media viewing. Because the weight is concentrated on less surface.

          Comfort is the Quest’s weakness. The Quest 2 still is my most used HMD, up versus previous gens, which also got heavy usage.

    • wheeler

      Another factor that has to be considered is that any time there’s a significant bump in Asian language users, VR headset percentages fall. Non-Asian language users dropped ~10 percentage points over the past month and VR headset usage on Steam predominantly takes place in western countries. This is typically timed with the release of a major RPG.

      • Foreign Devil

        Indians? South Korean? FB is banned in China so no China based users. Also why would non-asian users drop if there are more Asian users??

        • Arno van Wingerde

          The share of non-Asian users will drop of there are many Asians and of course, most people live in Asia, so if they massively join Steam, the impact on shares will be quite noticable.

    • Cragheart

      Poor comfort, low res, no IPD adjustment, high PC hardware prices, high temperatures, lack of new good games contribute to the drop. VR headsets make you feel very uncomfortable after a prolonged use. I don’t blame people. VR needs lots and lots of improvements before it’s really mainstream like Fortnite or Minecraft or League of Legends.

      • Hecking Frick

        Quest 2 is better than you think.

        I spent years thinking the quest was just the headset people got when they couldn’t afford a proper VR setup, but my brother got a Q2 recently, and I had a go and it’s actually pretty good for AIO VR, about on par with the Index’s image quality. It has some IPD adjustment, but not much.

        We tried Oculus Link later, but that was massively disappointing. People make it out to be the best thing since sliced bread, but it’s really not that good. Laggy and compressed looking (even after configuring the bitrate with config settings).

        I’d never buy one (if nothing else, just due to Facebook), but it’s likely better than you think.

      • mirak

        With good games you don’t give a shit about that.

  • Nosfar

    I wonder if the reason could be connected with one peak Vacation time as well as Oculus Airplay on quest 1-2 Steams VR survey registers headsets connected to pc but woth Airplay there is no connection to register. Just a thought.

  • JB1968

    Simple answer: PCVR is dying because of Quest2

    • ViRGiN

      Haha, i love how downvoted you are for stating a fact. Gotta understand that those who paid $1000 for full index set yet years ago still think are on bleeding edge, but hey, steam numbers constantly show that the best to offer on pcvr is beat saber, tec room and pavlov – literally all mobile games, already running on mobile devices, ported from pc where they never looked nearly as good as 15 year old games.

      • JB1968

        Yeah, VR enthusiasts always run away from the “real reality” :-)

  • I doubt I used my Quest 2 on Steam at all last month, just now getting back into using it via Virtual Desktop since Airlink is messed up rn. My guess is I’m not the only one out there doing the same…

  • Rudl Za Vedno

    It’s June/July people. Easy equation: VR = HOT = reduced use

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      Looking at the graph, there was no significant June drop in 2016, 2017, 2018 or 2019. There was one in 2020, but it was obviously related to HL:A, which had doubled the number of Steam VR users shortly before. The current large drop is indeed unprecedented.

      • Rudl Za Vedno

        Exponential rise, off cliff fall. It looks legit to me. Steam had less than a million VR users until 2019, now it has 3M. 1st bunch were hardcore VR enthusiasts, now with Quest era we’re getting more causal VR users and behaviours of these two groups are not the same imho.

        • Christian Schildwaechter

          A couple of the enthusiasts here posted that they stopped playing due to heat, so hardcore users seem to be just as affected as casual users. And if it is too hot for 10% of the players, you see a 10% drop, no matter if there are 10,000 or 10,000,000 players.

          I’m sure the heat has an influence, but the drop in activity is a whopping 20% globally, which cannot be explained by temperature alone.

  • Yeah, I’ve not used my Quest 2 much recently, but that’s because it’s just not as great a VR experience all round as I would like (too heavy, bad sweet spot, low field of view, low contrast, etc) and there’s just not been anything truly compelling to get me into it for a while, which is also just an issue with it in general because they games made for it simply aren’t as impressive as desktop VR and aren’t capturing my attention and exciting me as much as I hoped. I think standalone VR might be just a little below my threshold for a genuinely exciting and compelling VR experience right now–I almost feel a little duped by Facebook on this, as my original Rift CV1 somehow still feels like a fuller experience all round–but it will get there eventually.

  • Rayza

    Surely simple because it’s too hot to use VR in summer? I haven’t been able to use mine this week because it’s too hot

  • VRenthusiast

    Yeah that is so true I usually play for 2-3 hours a day but this heatwave has brought that down to a big fat 0 it’s just not nice being turned into a sweat soaked mess, even seated gameplay is sweaty due to the HMD being warm it just compounds the issue

  • David

    This data isn’t easy to interpret without comparing it to the number of active Steam users overall, i.e. the number of people that are simply playing other games, versus not playing anything at all. It’s summertime, people are getting vaccinated, getting outside more, even going on vacation. Without that other data, I don’t think this data is useful for determining the usage of VR specifically.

  • wheeler

    Get past the honeymoon phase of VR and you’re left with weighing the discomforts, limitations and frictions of VR against whatever functional benefits remain that don’t rely on spectacle–spectacle is temporary. There are two ways of tipping that scale, each with diminishing returns, but mass accessibility under these conditions is just a temporary measure/stopgap.

  • Gonzax

    I think it’s normal for the summer, people play less. I certainly don’t play as often this time of year.
    Also the lack of interesting titles hasn’t helped much.
    I’m sure it will change at the end of summer with Lone Echo 2 and even more when the summer’s over. Nothing to worry about.

  • Gildahl

    Yeah, I’ll agree with the environmental and seasonal reasons. I’m a VR enthusiast, and while I use it regularly, I have to say that my sessions have been rather short lately. Heat and summer is a factor. And I do agree that the fact that this downturn is linked almost exactly with the reduction in COVID restrictions, makes this a likely contributor. The fact that we’re still above the levels of the Alyx bump is still encouraging, but we are still in a very definite dry period for next-gen tech and need some big titles. VR is a heavily tech-enthusiast and content-reliant hobby, and when those are in short supply interest is going to wane.

  • MosBen

    Honestly, as someone who has been a proponent of VR for years, used a Google Cardboard, Gear VR, bought a Rift CV1, and then a Quest 1, I haven’t actually used VR in a long time now. First, I was waiting until I could build my new PC, but then the GPU shortage meant that though I built a new PC I was still running my 1070 GPU, which isn’t bad by any stretch, but the point of waiting was for an upgrade and I didn’t get one. Also during my break I sold my CV1 in hopes that by the time I got a new GPU I’d also pick up a new top of the line headset, since my CV1 had fallen pretty far behind the bleeding edge. But the Index is starting to look a bit long in the tooth, and I don’t feel like dropping full retail price for a 2 year old headset. But at the same time, the new headsets that have been released haven’t seemed to definitively take the crown away from the Index as the best option. And on top of that, Facebook’s moves with the Quest (requiring use of your Facebook account, starting to insert ads, etc.) meant that I’m not willing to buy another Facebook HMD, which means no Quest 2.

    All of which is to say that I really love VR, but it’s been hard for me to really double down as a user for the last year or so. Hopefully things turn around soon.

    • Ad

      Personally I hope most people pass on the Quest 2, facebook’s bet goes bust, and then Valve and Sony restart things on healthier ground.

      • Sven Viking

        > Personally I hope most people pass on the Quest 2

        Based on Steam’s hardware survey percentages I’d consider it too late to hope that.

        • Ad

          Most people means normal people. If it fails to hit critical mass then it’s not as big a deal.

      • ViRGiN

        Yeah, let’s put faith in company who joined vr out of jealousy that Oculus got bought by fb for a lot of money. The same company who released like two games, including one tech demo, that your valve fanboying mouth can’t stop talking about. Enjoying alyx for 100th time? Fuck valve and their empty vr promises over the years.

        • Ad

          okay fuck valve then. Just not Facebook, Amazon, or google. Valve is just small and structurally weak enough to not be dangerous long term.

        • Hecking Frick

          Okay, fuck Valve then (you missed quite a few games there though).

          Alternatively, consider ASUS, Acer, HP, HTC, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony, Pimax, Lynx, or literally any other company.

          Or, you could wear the headset made by a company that outright lied to you before (See: Oculus accounts) and forces you to use a Facebook account, which has to be real or they’ll just ban it and brick the headset.

          Valve is a mess, but Oculus is a PoS that’s now basically just a puppet for Facebook to own VR.

          • ViRGiN

            Who lied to me? Palmer tweets or reddit shitposts are not official statements of the company, he sold Oculus long prior.
            You are spreading lies about bricking the headset anyway.

        • There are tons of great PC VR games to play after Alyx, how ignorant are you, lol? This kinda scratches the surface but of course, it’s just to get started:
          Why would Valve have to make all of them or something, they don’t make the vast majority of games on Steam either but Steam is still the best PC storefront that most people, gamers and devs, use.

          • mirak

            This are mostly sub games.
            You need the big games from time to time, and it’s been almost a year without a big title.

            The last ones for me are Walking Dead S&S and Boneworks, who are not even real AAA games budget wise.

        • mirak

          I was speaking about Deck, and I realised that there isn’t even a Linux version for Alyx, while I managed to play Doom VFR on Linux with the Vive.

      • mirak

        Won’t happen, I think that with the help of Facebook, Oculus can use IA and machine learning, to target consummers better xD

  • It’s never been accurate, not once in years has the survey detected my always plugged in Rift CV1 no matter what I tried (starting the Oculus client, starting Steam VR, starting an actual VR game etc). On the other hand you lot count total Quest hardware sales as active users. Your analysis also always falls short of the methodology for getting actual numbers. The only reason this data is public is exactly because you can’t ever get hard numbers from that, which Valve essentially has no right to disclose in the first place for third party products (and don’t do so for their own stuff regardless). That is why, even though you lot claim only Quest VR games sell, just because PC VR gamers fall back to flat games when nothing truly great for VR is out, the biggest yet VR hits are Alyx and Beat Saber on Steam and it’s only when you go way lower the popularity tier that Quest ports overtake PC (ie down to Pistol Whip which is clearly a way less popular rhythm game overall). Of course it’s also the visibility since VR fake news sites like this never show PC VR (other than once in a while reminding how wonderful Link/Airlink/VD are, yet never really showing all the amazing content you’d use it with) yet mainstream gaming news sites cover PC (non VR) so folks see & buy flat games.

    • Ad

      That video store thing is hilarious.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      Man, you really don’t like being voted down, do you? Okay, I will give you an explanation, so you will at least have a proper reason why you down voted every single one of my comments in this thread:

      1. You criticize the article for using inaccurate, relative data, while at the same time admitting that this is the only data that is available. Which the article itself admits.
      2. You assume that the data must be false, because your configuration was never included, but fail to see that with large surveys a typical error is always included, which averages itself out when only looking at relative changes.
      3. The whole post then slips into a rant about bias against PCVR and claims of suppressing information without any evidence, basically just insulting the authors.
      4. The whole thing is topped by an extremely long list of unexplained videos and tweets which are probably intended to prove something, but it is unclear what. It is basically spam.
      5. Finally you upvoted your own comment.

    • Farnborough

      It’s never been accurate, not once in years has the survey detected my
      always plugged in Rift CV1 no matter what I tried (starting the Oculus
      client, starting Steam VR, starting an actual VR game etc).<<
      Can only agree to that. About ten days ago I was asked to participate in their hardware survey. G2 attached and WMR portal running, I agreed. When I checked the log I read like 'No VR headset dedected'.
      Well, obviously it's not a new bug, so it's probably not the reason for the drop.

    • Kunakai

      The first game you linked is covered by this site? (I didn’t bother to check on the others because you don’t seem to give enough of a fuck to vet your own fake news..)

      • When did I claim they’ve never ever covered any of the games I posted? I just said here’s news, as in, the specific videos & tweets, not (necessarily, but often also) the whole project/studio/whatever. That trailer in particular was released today (well, yesterday by now) to coincide with the game’s full launch for everyone on all the platforms it’s on (and not just those who preorded on a specific platform) so it’s new and not fake, lol. Like, launch trailers are kind of a big deal for every game project, doe. What’s next, coming here after they post about something days later so you can retort that they did post about it when at the time of writing they had not? Yikes. Oh well, I already know you know you’re wrong because you did look at other trailers as well and you’re just so sad you’re trying to pretend you’re a smartass, but you aren’t being smart, you’re just being a funny ass, lol.

    • benz145

      You’ve been specifically asked not to spam the comments with off-topic content. If you want to drop a link here or there (that’s relevant to the article), that’s fine. But it clogs up the comment section and doesn’t provide value to the discussion when you just drop 50 links. I don’t want to have to warn you again.

  • Zack71

    It’s easy: without good software there is no reason for Quest players to connect to Steam.
    Why should I play through Steam, if I can play in standalone with the same quality?
    All the new Steam VR games have the same graphic quality of standalone games.
    The few games that have a better graphic quality (like Sniper, Medal of Honor) in PC version, have a poor gameplay…the difference with the standalone version is not so great…the gameplay is the same, the story is the same…
    We need more AAA VR games, like Alyx, Lone Echo, Raw Data, Asgard’s Wrath, Fallout 4 VR, Skyrim VR…(I know, the last two are ports of flat games).

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      None of the causes you mention have changed in the last few months, so why do you think that “it’s easy” to pin a sudden drop of 20% in user activity to these? Or was this just a rant about a lack of high quality titles combined with a gross overassesment of the graphical capabilities of the XR2?

  • I see also fewer people at online events… I guess people are going outside while the restrictions are lifted

  • My gut is saying COVID restrictions lifting would have this effect. If so, we should see this same dip in general Steam PC users. It would appear that this seems to be the case as seen in “peak concurrent users” on SteamDB:

    While VR dipped by 9%, general Steam PC users dipped by 8.5% for the same period.

    • Christian Schildwaechter

      Out of curiosity: how did you derive a 9% VR dip and a 8.5% Steam dip for June? The monthly breakdown on the page you linked to shows a 5.4% drop from April to May and a 1% drop from May to June for concurrent users on Steam, and I have no idea how to show only VR usage on SteamDB.

  • Ad

    I think it’s more people on Steam. No one ever takes that into account even though from the languages section it’s clear more people are joining the platform. The actual percentage with headsets is probably a lot higher than people think since we are thinking of a fixed US+western europe market.

    • JakeDunnegan

      Well, the data is in the # of connected headsets, not just the percentage of users.

      The actual number of headsets dropped by almost 20% (3M down to 2.4ish M).

      • Ad

        They don’t give a number of headsets, R2VR is estimating that based on the percentage.

        • JakeDunnegan

          Fair enough – didn’t know that!

      • Sven Viking

        If I’m not misunderstanding that number is an estimate by RoadToVR based on an estimated total number of active Steam users, so a weird jump in Steam users quite possibly would have this effect. Their estimate does assume the number of Steam users continues to grow, though, so for that to be the case there would have had to be a huge jump in Steam users (who don’t use VR) last month as compared to other months.

        • Christian Schildwaechter

          To cause the percentage of VR users to fall from 2.31% to 1.86% while the absolute number of VR users stays the same, the number of Steam users would have to increase by 24% within a single month. That would be more than a weird jump.

          • Sven Viking

            Agreed. I can think of no plausible explanation for something close to that except perhaps some major adjustment to the collection of data like “most Chinese Steam users weren’t being counted until now” for example. Something related to the VR data specifically would seem like the more likely explanation for (at least the bulk of) the change.

  • JakeDunnegan

    My guess – it’s an “accounting error” – which means one of two things, basically.

    They made an adjustment to the way they are tabulating the usage which will result in this being the new, accurate counting, and we’d expect the general upward trend to continue. (When they say connected headset – they could simply have changed this from a set being connected for 5 minutes in the past, to 15 minutes now, or something similar.)

    I’ve seen this type of thing when I’ve run web pages and we could adjust the users count based on changing the length of time a person actually spent on the page.

    Or, they made an error just this month, which would lead to a large spike next month as the accounting is “fixed”.

    The drop is far too significant, without some hardware manufacturer, or Steam, etc – having announced some significant issues.

    On the flip side, it could be the heat, but I don’t know. Not sure that the heatwave impacted 20% of VR users for the entire month, and I’m not even sure the heatwave had even really started by the time these June numbers were being aggregated.

  • JakeDunnegan

    But was it that hot in June? the current heatwave started in late June, depending on where in the world you are.

    That’s one of my main issues with blaming (crediting?) the drop on the heatwave. It’s only really been uberhot for most people since July. I’m in the Mid-Atlantic US region and had one of the mildest weather Independence Days, I can recall ever having.

  • Charles Raisor

    heatwave + not many new innovative games coming out + tons of new people coming to Steam since they just officially launched in China for instance.

  • Shawn McDonald

    I’m surprised no one’s mentioned Elite Dangerous. While I bought my first CV1 to explore all the wierd and wonderful vr experiences, it (and later my Quest 2) turned into an Elite Dangerous accessory. I’m so disenfranchised with Odyssey and its lack of VR support I haven’t put my headset on in the longest time

  • Summer holidays, too much confinment

  • TechPassion

    Holidays. There is other thing. BORING, BORGING, PRIMITIVE content for VR. I’m like many people here a VR fan. Honestly, there is barely anything to do in VR. Pavlov VR in the evening, vrchat, a few, yes, a few games to play. The VR platform is struggling. Lots of totally crap content you won’t spend 1 USD on. Not a good situation.

    • Clownworld14

      yeh, this is the reason Im not on it. limited content, got bored. Nothing dynamic that keeps me on.

    • mirak

      I stopped to play since two months, and I was playing Pavlov a lot.
      It’s just that you can’t play Pavlov all the time, it will drive you mad.

  • Chirpes

    I haven’t dusted off my Quest 2 in months. I just haven’t found, and stopped looking for, a VR game I’m excited to play lately. So I personally believe it’s partially because of player retention.

  • how is people blaming the quest 2 when it’s use on steam grew during this drop in use. so while less people r playing vr over all more r staring to because of the quest 2

    • Elite-Force_Cinema

      And how do you think VR games suck until the point you want them to die as a whole? Name one good VR game in existence without mentioning Half-Life Alyx, Crisis VRidge, or To The Top you clown!

  • guest

    Yeah heat. These numbers have always been overcooked, plus Beat Saber was such a hot killer app that it overheated!

  • VR5

    Considering heat and sweat, PSVR does it right by not having a cushion pressing against your face and instead shutting out light with a bendable plastic wall. I have a VRPanda halo strap for my Quest 2 and while there still is the face cushion, it doesn’t press but rest on my face as the strap holds the device in front of my head, like the PSVR. The cushion still collects sweat of course but I have a cool subterrain room and Germany hasn’t been that hot this year for continued periods.

    Even the PSVR can fog up if you sweat too much though. Really depends on room temperature and how much of a workout the game is.

  • Daniel Lingard Leaper

    I said this would happen on various channels & got told the opposite. I’ve been mentioning a big drop coming in the next year for VR & worry for its future to be honest. I’m going to bet the Quest 3 doesn’t do anywhere near the numbers FB are hoping. It may outsell the Quest 2 but it wont be the growth seen from Quest 1 to 2. When I mentioned this on channels people told me I was wrong but we’ll see. I said VR (and various other platforms like zoom etc) have seen a massive growth over the last 2 years, a false boom all due to the pandemic. I spend a lot of time in VR & through talking to lots of people found a lot of people bought quests BECAUSE of the pandemic & were likely going to lose interest once they were able to have their freedoms back. Over the last 6 months I’ve noticed my friends list dying! I’ve made lots of various friends through different apps & everyday I go into VR notice that a lot of these people are never seen again! There’s an initial wow factor, then a few weeks of seeing them active in VR…………then nothing! Like never online again. There’s no way round the clear evidence I have experienced of a lot of people just seeing it as a novelty that quickly wears off. Obviously I love it but I’m starting to understand that a lot of people just dont………and never will. I’ve pushed and pushed VR to people & am now tired of trying to MAKE people want something they dont. Its as simple as that. I like many thought “seeing is believing” but its not, I’ve pushed it to people who have never tried it only to get them in VR, have them say, yeah its cool, then to ask……”so ya getting one then”………Nope! You can tell people they need this till you’re blue in the face but if they dont want it, they dont want it………..and a lot of people just dont! I’ve had people quote that the quest has maybe sold 9m units, ok, but how many are still using it 6 months later? 12 months later? From my own small scale study (and admittedly this is small) I found the number could be half the people buying them still use them after a few months. I managed to persuade 4 people into VR of varying ages, out of the 4 people 1 still uses the headset……….sometimes! So even if I’m being generous lets say 2, that would mean for all the quests sold about half are used in any active capacity. Doesn’t sound great to me.

  • shadow9d9

    Summer time and less covid restrictions.

  • FSOnet

    No one is mentioning the fact that there have been ZERO significant game releases recently. Even the one highly anticipated release back in June (Larcenauts) was an utter deplorable mess of a failure. All the while games like PopOne and other popular titles are losing steam and only hardcore players continue the daily grind. A popular game needs a big update or a big new release to make some players want to pick up their headsets and play something rather than check out the latest and greatest pancake release.

  • Andross

    in my case i reduced the usage time really much because i can’t find a GPU at a decent price, so i can’t play many new games…

  • Geogaddi

    Heat? Work?

    No no… This is obviously the work of a deranged serial killer who only targets VR users.

  • d0x360

    Valve needs to start counting users with the software installed.

    For example I have a Rift S but unless it’s plugged in then it doesn’t count even though the oculus service is running.

    What really sucked was this latest survey was the first where I wasn’t picked in a long time and it was like 3 days after upgrading from an i7 5820k to a Ryzen 5800x…

    During that survey AMD growth seemed to slow and VR growth was in the negative and I would have counted towards both… If I plugged in my hmd.

  • Rogue Transfer

    There’s a major numerical error in the article – the Quest 2 didn’t gain 1.74%, but around half that, at only 0.95%. This didn’t make up for the combined drops in Rift S(0.70%), Rift CV1(0.54) & Quest 1(0.08), meaning that there was a drop in Facebook’s overall share of the VR market last month – not a gain, as written in the article, at this time.

    • benz145

      The prior month Quest 2 was at 29.33%. This month it’s at 31.07%. That’s a 1.74% difference.

      Where do you see 0.95%?

      • Tabp

        When I click to expand the VR Headsets section in the hwsurvey page, it says “Oculus Quest 2 31.07% +0.95%” there. When I mouse over the graph at the top of the page, last month’s graph tooltip says “Oculus Quest 2 30.1”

        This is a “Simplified Chinese +6.18%” month with the usual associated distortions like Windows 10 64bit -2.51%, Windows 7 64 +2.91%, and Intel CPUs getting bumped. In the past these were errors multi-counting internet cafes, and those big pre-10 spikes in the DX10/11/12 chart are examples of that.

  • Jim K.

    How about the fact that Steam VR crashes constantly and interrupts the game. You have to reload and start over again each time. That was my reason for stopping!!

    • What HMD are you using?

  • Hecking Frick

    It’s 28 degrees outside.
    (Very hot for the UK)

    I can put the headset on, but I’ll sweat so much I’d have to send it for water damage repair after.

    tl;dr hot hot no vr because too hot

  • Sky Castle

    I personally haven’t bought a single VR game this year. Personally tired of short experiences and 10 hr indie games. Just waiting for the next AAA game. Things should pick up again with Lone Echo 2 coming.

  • Ad

    Something to do with Steam China maybe. Keep in mind that VR has a cost and culture that situate it in specific income levels and language environments globally more than flatscreen, so even without the ban in china you’re still going to see a gap. India has very little distribution and lower income, even though there are no laws in the way, for example.

  • huh

    Ive played zero VR since HL Alyx.
    Nothing else has appealed to me.
    Played a bit of Warzone, loved Rumble.
    Then, which I never ever thought I would do, started playing Star Citizen !
    Been hooked ever since.
    Now if SC was to ever enable proper VR then I doubt I will ever come back to reality.
    And I mean proper VR, not VorpX which I have never found succesful on my Vive OG.
    Also I have been watching new headset releases for an eventual update, but none of them tick all my boxes yet.

  • ShaneMcGrath

    Facebook adding adverts to games, Needing a log in to use headset, I would be turned off all VR as well.

  • Clownworld14

    Because there isnt enough content for VR – that’s the reason. + Summer season, so everyone wants to go out instead.

  • mirak

    I haven’t touched a VR headset in two months.
    To lazy.
    But I didn’t played video games either.
    Plus the weather is great, it’s nice to just go out.