What you need to know
- Road to VR reports widespread charging issues with the Quest 3 Elite Strap with Battery.
- The $130 accessory allegedly provided less than an hour of extra battery due to a "firmware" issue.
- Meta is aware of the defect and has taken the accessory off market, but isn't "recalling" the strap.
- The Quest 2 Elite Strap previously had widespread structural issues, leading to them snapping under pressure.
The more powerful Quest 3 has a shorter battery life than the Quest 2, making the Elite Strap with Battery accessory a really tempting upgrade despite its hefty $130 price tag. But since the headset's October 10 launch, users have complained that the battery pack doesn't significantly extend their playtime. Now, we know why.
Road to VR's Scott Hayden has been documenting the issue for the past month and now has confirmation from Meta that it has "temporarily paused sales" of the Quest 3 Elite Strap with Battery.
Meta has discovered a firmware issue that causes some Elite Straps to cease charging the connected Quest 3 at a certain point, even if they have a charge remaining. As there's no way for users to access and update the accessory's firmware, the only option is for Meta to sell new accessories with fixed firmware.
Despite this, Meta isn't "recalling the device as such, but rather replacing affected units on a case-by-case basis," Hayden reports. That puts the onus on you to contact Meta Support if you own the accessory (that link takes you directly to the relevant page).
Meta intends to start selling a fixed version of the Elite Strap with Battery "as soon as possible." For now, most retailers have removed store listings for the accessory, while the meta.com page has a "Notify me" option if you want to buy the fixed version when it's ready.
Sadly, this development isn't surprising for Meta. The company previously ceased selling the Quest 2 Elite Strap because many users reported them snapping when tightened, which was attributed to a manufacturer defect with a small batch of straps. It also recalled the Quest 2 because its built-in foam shield caused contact dermatitis on people with sensitive skin.
In that context, it makes sense that Meta wants to treat this as an isolated case-by-case incident rather than a full-on recall with more bad press. That doesn't change the fact that a lot of loyal day-one Quest 3 buyers are getting frustrated by the charging issue right now, unaware that it's a fault with their expensive Battery strap.
However Meta spends its tens of billions on Reality Labs, it seems more of that needs to go into product QA testing at this point. This is happening too often for accessories that are priced at a level that should imply confidence and reliability.
And we do need a reliable Quest 3 battery pack. Other third-party accessory makers sell their own battery packs, but from our experience, these only add about an hour of extra playtime because they can't keep up with the Quest 3's extra power demands.
Your current best option is to use the Battery Saver feature introduced in update v59, which "reduces FPS to 72Hz, applies fixed foveated rendering, and lowers brightness to 50% (which can be overridden later)," according to Meta. But this takes away from the Quest 3's more powerful performance and visuals, which feels like a waste.
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Michael is Android Central's resident expert on fitness tech and wearables, with an enthusiast's love of VR tech on the side. After years freelancing for Techradar, Wareable, Windows Central, Digital Trends, and other sites on a variety of tech topics, AC has given him the chance to really dive into the topics he's passionate about. He's also a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves D&D, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings.
For wearables, Michael has tested dozens of smartwatches from Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung, Apple, COROS, Polar, Amazfit, and other brands, and will always focus on recommending the best product over the best brand. He's also completed marathons like NYC, SF, Marine Corps, Big Sur, and California International — though he's still trying to break that 4-hour barrier.