Steam is, without a doubt, the gaming platform for PC; it contains the vast majority of the game library and user base. It also has a somewhat extensive library of virtual reality games. If you have an Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headset, you obviously want to be able to play the games it offers without having to use your computer. However, you may also want to play some of their Steam-based VR games. Especially if you already have a copy of a game on Steam and don’t want to buy it again. Fortunately, there are a couple of options for playing Steam VR games on your Quest 2 – you’re not just limited to the official Oculus games.
There are two main ways to connect your Quest 2 headset to play Steam VR games, with a cable and wirelessly. The use of the official Oculus five-meter link cable will bring you the best performance and stability. Still, it costs $80, which is a lot for a USB cable. Other cables will work – make sure that it is at least USB 2.0, preferably 3.0, that you get a USB Type-C connector. You get an adapter for your computer if necessary.
You will need to purchase “Virtual Desktop” from the Oculus Store for the wireless option, No the version on Steam. This software costs $20 and may or may not work smoothly for you. Users report that the performance varies from excellent to poor, so your mileage may vary depending on your settings.
Regardless of which connection method you choose, you will need a computer powerful enough to run virtual reality games, with Steam and Steam VR installed. Steam VR can be found for free in the Steam store. You will also need the Oculus application installed on your computer.
Connection with the link cable
With the above software installed, connect your Quest 2 headset to your PC with its link cable. Once connected, the Oculus app should recognize your headset as Quest 2 and perform a quick performance test on your connection to the headset. This test verifies that the cable connecting the devices can transfer data fast enough for a virtual reality experience. The official Oculus link cable will pass this without problems unless you have connected it via an adapter that is too slow. Third-party cables may not be suitable.
Connect your computer to the headphones with the link cable and test the connection.
Once you have closed the performance test, but with the Quest 2 headset turned on. If you see a pop-up window asking for “Allow data access” on the headset, select “Deny”, as allowing this permission can cause disconnection problems. Select “Activate” in the next pop-up window to connect.
Click “Activate” in the pop-up window of the Quest 2 headset to connect to the computer.
If it does not appear, open the settings by pressing the Oculus button on the right controller and selecting “Oculus Link” from the “Connections” menu.
Enable “Oculus Link” on the Quest 2 headset to connect to the computer.
A new main hall of Oculus link will appear. On the home screen, select “Steam VR” to switch to Steam VR startup.
Launch Steam VR from the Oculus Link classroom.
You can now launch your Steam VR games from the Steam VR home. Press the “Menu” button on the left controller to open the list of Steam games.
Launch your Steam VR games from the Steam VR lounge.
If you want to connect wirelessly, you need to do everything to have the best connection. Ideally, connect your computer to the router with an ethernet cable, and then make sure that your headphones are connected to the 5 GHz Wi-Fi network. The closer the headset is to the router, the better the connection, since the signal quality degrades with distance and especially with walls. You will also need the hardware and software mentioned above, minus the link cable.
To connect wirelessly, put on the Quest 2 headset, then purchase and install the “Virtual Desktop” application from the Oculus store.
While it is installing, take off your headphones and log in to the Oculus application on your computer, then install the Virtual Desktop streaming application. Run the application when the installation is complete. You will need to enter your Oculus username, and then click “Save”. You may also want to configure the options on the right according to your personal preferences.
Advice – this software streams the game to your headphones and vice versa – you cannot use it to stream videos to streaming sites such as Twitch.
Install and run the Virtual Desktop Streamer application on your computer and set up your Oculus username.
With the streamer application running on your computer, put on your headphones again and launch the Virtual Desktop application. Select your computer from the list of available connections.
Launch the Virtual Desktop application on the Quest 2 headset and connect to your computer.
Once connected, press the menu button on the left controller to open the virtual desktop menu. Next, select “Start Steam VR” from the left menu to open Steam Home. Alternatively, you can launch a specific Steam game from the “Games” tab.
Launch Steam VR Home from Virtual Desktop Home, or launch a game from the “Games” tab.
You can launch Steam games from the Steam VR home by pressing the menu button on the left controller again.
Suggestion – To reopen the virtual desktop menu, press and hold the menu button.
The Oculus store offers a wide variety of games for your Quest 2 virtual reality headset. If you have a powerful gaming PC, you may already have some VR games in your Steam library. It is completely reasonable not to want to have to pay for them again in order to be able to play. By following the steps in this guide, you can connect your Quest 2 headset to your computer. After doing so, you can play your Steam games with a link cable or wirelessly if you prefer.