Does the Oculus Rift S need external sensors?

Does the Oculus Rift S need external sensors?

Best answer: The Oculus Rift S doesn't require any external sensors or cameras. Instead, it relies on five built-in cameras.New and improved Rift: Oculus Rift S ($399 at Amazon)

Insight tracking

Previous Oculus Rifts relied on three, or even four, cameras to track yourself and the room that you're in. The Oculus Rift S removed the need for any external sensors thanks to five built-in cameras. These cameras are placed around the front of the headset and track your Touch Controllers and the room you're in. These work together with other sensors inside the helmet to create a seamless experience that tracks you in all directions in the room you're using as a VR space.

The Oculus Rift S supports six degrees of freedom tracking, which means it can follow your movements forward, backward, up, down, left, and right. You can walk around, twist, duck, and jump in real life and have those movements instantly translated into any game that you're playing.

Though the Oculus Rift S doesn't require any external sensors, there does need to be enough light in the room for the built-in cameras to scan around you. This doesn't need to be a professional studio setup by any means. In most cases, a normal light in a room will do.

Opening doors

Oculus Rift S

Oculus Rift S (Image credit: Windows Central)

While the Oculus Rift S does require a cable be connected to your PC, the fact that it doesn't require any external sensors opens the door to more possibilities. You could potentially have a backpack PC setup and have the Rift S track you as you move freely around an area.

Additionally, nothing is stopping you from using the Oculus Rift S on any PC that has the appropriate specs. If your friend has a gaming PC, you could bring your Oculus Rift S over to their house. Similarly, if you have multiple PCs capable of running the Oculus Rift S, you can jump back and forth between them. You don't need to dedicate a specific room or space to VR because you don't have to rely on external sensors that require setting up.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at