HTC Vive Pro 2 vs Valve Index is quite an important battle on the front of high-end HMDs, especially when you consider that the pair of them represent two of the best VR headsets money can buy today.
There are some differences between these high-spec behemoths, which we'll get into in a moment, but if you're looking to upgrade your setup, or just invest in a new headset, we're here to help you decide.
Let's take a look!
HTC Vive Pro 2 vs Valve Index
When deciding which headset is best amongst the pair of these PCVR beasts, there's an awful lot to consider with regards to things like general specs, cost, and how easy they are to set up.
To help you out, we've broken down some of the most integral points below to demonstrate which headset wins at which sections.
HTC Vive Pro 2 vs Valve Index Specs
For starters, let's have a gander at both headsets' respective spec sheets in the side-by-side comparison below:
|HTC Vive Pro 2||Valve Index|
|Refresh Rate||120Hz||120Hz (backwards compatible to 80Hz/90Hz & experimental 144Hz mode)|
|Field Of View||120 degrees||130 degrees|
|Tracking Type||6DoF (marker-based)||6DoF (marker-based)|
|Finger Tracking||Yes (when used with Index controllers)||Yes|
|Audio||USB-C Headphones||Built-in speakers/Headphone jack|
There are some elements where the Vive Pro 2 can be seen to win over the Index, such as with its displays, although it is a little bit heavier. We're going to get into more detail on these below, plus a whole lot more.
HTC Vive Pro 2 vs Valve Index Resolution
By way of their resolution, it's fair to say there is a little bit of difference between the Vive Pro 2 and the Valve Index.
The Valve Index utilises a 1440x1600 resolution per eye on LCD panels, and the HTC Vive Pro 2, whilst also utilising an LCD panel, features a per-eye resolution of 2.5K or 2448x2448, which allows for a total 5K resolution.
In short, the Vive Pro 2 features more powerful displays that should allow for higher quality and more detailed imagery than the Valve Index, although that isn't to say the Index's images won't be nicely detailed, because they certainly should be.
It is worth noting though that both panels are LCDs, whilst future headsets such as the PSVR 2 is confirmed to utilise OLED displays to allow for practically infinite contrast.
HTC Vive Pro 2 vs Valve Index Refresh Rate
Whilst the displays of both headsets do differ on the front of their resolution, their resolutions are rather similar.
Both headsets have the power to output at 120Hz for super-smooth inputs, although, if you need it the Valve Index is backwards compatible to work with 80Hz and 90Hz, and even features an experimental 144Hz rate, which is rather cool.
The range of refresh rates allows the Index to set a rate that suits the power of your system, so if you're running on min-specs, then the headset may run at 80Hz as opposed to the full 120Hz.
HTC Vive Pro 2 vs Valve Index Price
As both of these VR headsets are some of the most premium available today, it's no surprise that they're both rather expensive, although there is a somewhat stark difference in price.
The $799 RRP for the HTC Vive Pro 2 may seem tempting at first, but it's worth noting that is just for the headset, and if you don't already have base stations and controllers, you'll need to pick up the bundle that features two of each for $1399.
By contrast, the Valve Index costs $999 for the entire bundle which, whilst is still expensive, represents a practical $400 price cut on the Vive Pro 2, although you are making some sacrifices when it comes to displays.
HTC Vive Pro 2 vs Valve Index Setup
In short, both of these headsets should be pretty convenient to set up, as they're both designed specifically for PC and also use similar tracking methods.
What this means is that to, for instance, set up the Index, it's a case of marking out your play area with the included Base Stations that also track movement, and then plugging in the headset, running SteamVR and following the on-screen prompts.
It's much the same story for the Vive Pro 2 with you setting up the base stations, and then plugging the headset in, running the Vive software on your PC and completing the setup that way.
HTC Vive Pro 2 vs Valve Index Games
Both the Index and Vive Pro 2 are designed as tethered headsets and therefore require one of the best gaming PCs for you to get the best out of them, but what this also means is that there are plenty of the best VR games for you to try out on platforms like Steam.
For example, if you're looking for some of the best VR multiplayer games to either play with friends locally in the case of Keep Talking & Nobody Explodes, or over the Internet in the case of Pavlov VR.
Or, if you're wanting to experience a fright with the best VR horror games then Steam has plenty for you to get stuck into including The Exorcist: Legion VR.
Playing on PC also allows you to mod too, and there's a fantastic selection for games such as Blade & Sorcery and Skyrim VR that can add everything from new mechanics and weaponry to entirely new side quests and worlds to explore.
HTC Vive Pro 2 vs Valve Index Design
On the front of design, both headsets definitely look fantastic, with the Index offering a purposeful, single-colour look, whilst the Vive Pro features something a little bulkier, although with some smatterings of blue involved.
In terms of weight, there's not too much to pick between them with the Vive Pro 2 weighing 850g and the Index featuring a mass of around 809g, making it a little bit lighter.
Which Headset Should You Go For?
In conclusion, we'd say that the decision for which headset to go for is down to what you prefer, but if we had to pick, we'd say that the Valve Index is a better bet for most.
This is down to its significant price cut compared to the Vive Pro 2 for the full kit, the fact it can adapt to work with lower-spec systems and also the point that both headsets can play the same games anyway.
With that being said, there is the point that, if you've already got a base station and controllers, then picking a standalone HTC Vive Pro 2 could be better for a bit less.
Regardless of this, both headsets are incredible for PCVR and the bottom line is to go for what you can afford, and more integrally, what your needs are and what you prefer.
Be sure to check back in with us for more VR guides, news and info, especially with 2022 looking like such a bumper year for alternate realities with headsets like Project Cambria potentially being on their way.