Side loading is one of the real pleasures of an Oculus Quest 2 viewer. It’s one thing to buy games directly through the Oculus Store (at premium prices) and another to explore a world of mostly free games. We’ve already written our list of the best games you can find on the Oculus SideQuest alternative app store, but here’s how to download SideQuest games on your Oculus headset.
What is side loading?
Side downloading is the process of transferring files between two devices (instead of downloading and uploading). What sets it apart from regular file transfers, particularly in the case of Android devices, is that it allows you to install applications and games from outside the Play Store, Oculus Store or any source source that a given device uses.
Oculus and Google want you to get stuff from their stores on their devices, of course, but you’re not legally obligated to do so, and sideloading helps you get around the entry-level restrictions these companies put in place to keep you in their stores and keep you lining their pockets.
Side downloading is a great way to explore apps and games that you may not find in the default stores that devices impose on you.
How to install SideQuest
The first step to downloading games on your Quest 2 is to set the Developer Options on your headset. You will need to first register on the Oculus site as a developer, ideally with the Facebook account that is linked to your Oculus account.
Once you have done that, turn on your headphones. Then, in the Oculus app on your phone, tap Devices, select your device (which should say “Connected” if it’s on), then tap “Developer Mode” and turn it on. Restart your headset.
To check if Developer Mode is enabled, go to Settings on your headset and you should see a new “Developer” option available. Congratulations, you are now posing as a developer!
Next, you will need to allow content from unknown sources on your headphones. Open the Oculus application on your PC, then go to “Settings -> General” and activate the “Unknown Sources” slider.
Next, download and install SideQuest on your PC. There’s also a nifty SideQuest app that allows you to download by using your Android device, although it’s still in beta, and you may need to enable wireless ADB on your headphones to download apps.
How to download SideQuest games
Connect your headphones to your PC (ideally via the same cable you use to charge them – a USB data cable that can be used for downloading), then run SideQuest.
Everything is going fine, a green circle should appear in the upper left corner of SideQuest, which means that your headset is connected to SideQuest and ready to download. If it is orange, you may need to put on headphones and grant the corresponding permissions necessary for SideQuest.
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Once you get that green circle and your headset is linked with SideQuest, you can start downloading! Just search for the application or game you want in SideQuest, then click the Download button (which downloads the game from the Internet and then transfers it directly to your headphones).
To view the download status of the games you select, click on the icon shown below.
Now that you have downloaded SideQuest games on your Oculus headset, enjoy the game. If you’re looking to play on your other devices, check out our list of great Chromebook games and our guide on how to play PS3 games on your PC using RPCS3.