New Study Reveals 23 Percent of U.S. Adults Have Tried Virtual Reality

New data from Thrive Analytics & ARtillery Intelligence reveals who's using VR, how often, and with what hardware.

APRIL 19, 2021 – KETTERING, OHThrive Analytics and ARtillery Intelligence today released a new report: VR Usage & Consumer Attitudes, Wave V. ARtillery Intelligence authored survey questions and a narrative report while Thrive Analytics administered the survey through its established survey engine and ongoing Virtual Reality Monitor™ research.

Highlights include the fact that 23 percent of consumers have used VR, up from 19 percent in last year’s study. More importantly, they’re using it often: 82 percent of VR users engage at least monthly. Seventy percent of VR users report that they’re satisfied or highly satisfied.

Non-VR users conversely report low interest in the technology – 20 percent, down from 29 percent in Wave IV. This downward trend is concerning for VR, as public interest continues to wane from its peak during the technology’s circa-2017 hype cycle. The disparity between user satisfaction and non-user ambivalence represents an ongoing marketing challenge for VR.

On the bright side, Standalone VR – exemplified by Oculus Quest 2  — was a standout in this year’s survey. The Facebook-owned Quest 1 and Quest 2 have grown in use from 13 percent of survey respondents in Wave IV to 24 percent in Wave V. This is driven by Oculus’ competitive feature set, expanding library of hit games & experiences, and aggressive pricing.

"Facebook is investing heavily in VR and is playing a long game. That investment includes bringing Quest 2's price down to accelerate its market share and network effect, which is classic Facebook. The result is that consumers end up with a compelling device that's less expensive than it should be."

Mike Boland, Chief Analyst of ARtillery Intelligence

Virtual Reality Monitor™ applies Thrive Analytics’ acumen and time-tested practices in survey research. The VR survey in this wave (Wave V) included a sample of more than 46,000 U.S. adults. Furthermore, five completed waves of research now enable robust longitudinal analysis and trend evaluation. Thrive Analytics and ARtillery Intelligence also produce a corresponding AR report which was published last month.

"AR and VR are still in early adoption phases. There are still technology challenges, but we think AR & VR have the ability to transform the way people work, connect, and learn. We're excited about the prospects and committed to measuring them."

Jason Peaslee, Managing Partner of Thrive Analytics
Report Availability

VR Usage & Consumer Attitudes, Wave V is available through ARtillery Intelligence. Deeper access to the base data and additional strategic analysis can be obtained from Thrive Analytics.

About ARtillery Intelligence

ARtillery Intelligence chronicles the evolution of spatial computing, otherwise known as AR and VR. Through writings and multimedia, it provides deep and analytical views into the industry’s biggest players, opportunities and strategies. Products include the AR Insider publication and the ARtillery PRO research subscription. Research includes monthly narrative reports, market-sizing forecasts, consumer survey data, and multimedia, all housed in a robust intelligence vault. To learn more, go to

About Thrive Analytics

Thrive Analytics is a leading digital marketing research and customer engagement consulting firm. With clients spanning leading national brands as well as publishers and agencies serving the small business community, it pairs proprietary market research services and data analytical tools with time-tested business insights and methodologies to help organizations measurably improve customer experience, loyalty, and sales results. Its mission is to provide superior research and support services that inspire clients to make smarter decisions. Learn more or contact Thrive Analytics at


About Virtual Reality Monitor™

Virtual Reality Monitor™ is Thrive Analytics’ proprietary survey of virtual reality/augmented reality technology users. These surveys, conducted semiannually, track the adoption rates, usage, satisfaction levels, profiles, and many other areas related to VR/AR users. Each wave has a customizable section for client-specific inquiries. Results & critical insights are communicated in advisory reports & presentations, charts & infographics, newsletters & articles, and custom data views. Information from these studies are used by marketers, product managers, consultants, and other people working in the technology space.