SteamVR in May 2022: A puzzling jump in VR users

SteamVR in May 2022: A puzzling jump in VR users

Valve’s VR user statistics spiked sharply in May. A mistake?

Valve’s monthly hardware and software survey covers all VR headsets that were connected to PCs with a Steam installation at least once in the month in question and whose users participate in the survey. Among other things, the statistics show the percentage of SteamVR users in the total Steam user base.

The highest value recorded so far is 2.31 percent (May 2021). In April 2022, it was 1.89 percent. According to Valve’s statistics, that figure rose to 3.24 percent in May, an increase of 1.35 percentage points – a sharp jump that can’t be easily explained.

SteamVR user numbers: Error or correction?

The increase could be related to fluctuations among Chinese users, or Valve could have made a mistake. It is also possible that Valve miscalculated in the past and has now corrected the number. We do not know. Only the figures from June or a correction from Valve should bring clarity.

Assuming that Steam had an average of 132 million monthly active users last year, the 3.24 percent SteamVR user base would roughly correspond to 4.3 million users with SteamVR-compatible VR headsets – that would be just under 1.8 million more than in April and indeed strange.

Meta Quest 2 stagnates, Valve Index grows

The following statistics show the market shares of VR headsets tracked by Steam in March and April 2022. Devices that have less than one percent market share are not listed.

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VR users who only use Meta/Oculus platforms and Viveport and do not have Steam installed or do not participate in Steam data collection are not included in the statistics, nor are PSVR players. Meta Quest 1 & 2 users who only use their VR headset in standalone mode are also not included. Accordingly, the SteamVR statistics only reflect a small part of the entire virtual reality market.

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There is little happening in the statistics in May: Meta Quest 2 has hardly grown for a long time, while Valve Index makes up market share.

April 2022 May 2022 Difference
Meta Quest 2 47,97 % 47,99 % + 0,01 %
Valve Index 15,35 % 15,79 % + 0,44 %
Oculus Rift S 11,07 % 10,94 % – 0,12 %
HTC Vive 7,02 % 6,86 % – 0,16 %
Windows Mixed Reality 4,69 % 4,58 % – 0,11 %
Meta Quest 3,73 % 3,77 % + 0,04 %
Oculus Rift 3,85 % 3,67 % – 0,19 %
HTC Vive Pro 1,57 % 1,62 % + 0,04 %
HTC Vive Cosmos 1,47 % 1,54 % + 0,07 %
SteamVR user base 1,89 % 3,24 % + 1,35 %

Meta had another high at the beginning of the year, due to Christmas sales, but has been steadily declining since then: The market share of all Meta devices of over 67 percent (!) fell by just under one percent since January – a sign that the market is saturated with Meta headsets. The second largest manufacturer is Valve: The company holds a market share of just under 16 percent with Valve Index.

Valve’s survey data does not tell us how often and intensively the SteamVR Hedasets are used. The following statistic, which shows the monthly average of maximum concurrent SteamVR users, gives a better clue. This number reached a new high of 24,000 in January 2022, dropping to just under 17,000 players in May. The slump is probably seasonal.

Sources: Steam Survey