Meta has temporarily stopped selling the Elite Strap with Battery for the Quest 3, reportedly because of a firmware-related charging defect. The $130 accessory, which extends the standalone VR headset’s runtime by up to two hours while providing a counterweight for comfort, is currently unavailable from Meta and third-party retailers. Short of conducting a recall, the company told Road to VR, which first reported the story, that it’s currently manufacturing a new batch that fixes the firmware issues allegedly behind the defect. Meta told the publication it plans to replace the headsets on a case-by-case basis for buyers who contact customer support.
Owners have reported that the Elite Strap’s battery typically works at first but stops charging the headset earlier than expected. Informal polls, anecdotal social media comments and a separate report from Road to VR earlier this month suggest the issue may be at least somewhat common. Meta hasn’t stated whether the defect is universal, but chalking it up to firmware that requires newly manufactured units suggests it may be. I own a Quest 3 with the battery accessory and haven’t noticed any charging issues, but I also don’t remember if I’ve run its battery down enough to have noticed.
Engadget contacted a Meta spokesperson, and we’re still waiting for confirmation and any extra details about what to look for. We’ll update this article if we learn more.
The company told Road to VR it’s working to stock fixed units “as soon as possible.” Meta’s product page for the accessory says it’s out of stock, and its listing has been pulled entirely from the websites of retail partners Best Buy and Target. Amazon’s product page says “currently unavailable.”
In addition to that model, Meta makes a $70 Elite Strap without a battery focused solely on ergonomics. The company also had early troubles with its Elite Straps for the Quest 2, as both versions of the 2020 accessory were prone to cracking. Meta paused sales of that model and extended the accessory’s warranty after issuing a fix for subsequent batches.