Oculus Quest can function as a stand-alone headset, but you can also connect it to a PC for a full VR experience. The process is relatively easy, works with a wired or wireless connection and offers full access to SteamVR and a huge universe of virtual reality games for PC.
What you’ll need
To play virtual reality games for PC with Oculus Quest or Oculus Quest 2, you will need a few things:
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The USB cable should be long enough to fit the type of VR experience you want to play. If you only want to perform experiments standing or sitting, you can get away with a shorter cable than is necessary for room-scale reproduction. We’re using a 16ft USB 3.1 cable in this case, which looks like a good length commonly used for virtual reality.
An official cable
Oculus link cable
The official Oculus Link cable is 4.8 meters long and works with Oculus Quest, but other cables can also work.
Preparing your tutor
Before connecting your Quest to your PC, you need to set your game space limit. You will do this using your Quest in standalone mode. Whenever you place your Quest in a space that has no boundary information stored, you will be prompted to create one. Therefore, place your Quest in the area you want to play and confirm that there is a suitable limit or create a new one when prompted. This will be the same limit when using PC VR.
How to set up a wired connection
The first time you use your Quest with a PC, you will first need to do an initial setup job. We assume that you have already set up your Quest as a stand-alone headset and will only handle the PC virtual reality process using Quest here.
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First, download the Oculus Software for Windows. It’s an installer called OculusSetup.exe. Run the installer and simply follow the guided installation instructions. Downloading the approximately 5 GB of data required by the app may take some time.
During installation, you will be prompted to create or log in to your Oculus account. Please note that for Quest 2 users, the linked facebook account is mandatory. A Facebook account will be mandatory for original Quest users in the future unless Facebook changes its plans.
Once you’re actually connected to the Oculus app, it’s time to set up your Quest for PC VR.
First, select “Devices” from the left sidebar. Then click “Add Headset”.
Choose the right headset model. In this case, it’s Quest 2 for us.
Then choose the connection method. For a wired connection, choose ” Link (Cable)”. We will deal with Air Link (wireless) separately below.
Now connect one end of the cable to your PC and the other end to your Quest. Be sure to use a USB 3 port if using a USB 3 cable.
Then you will have the opportunity to test your cable. We strongly recommend that you do this to make sure you have enough real bandwidth to get the best experience. If you are using a USB 2 connection, you will receive a warning. You can still tap USB 2, but you will get a more compressed image and the performance may not be as consistent.
Once you get to the “Full Settings” screen, click close and place the headset still connected.
Inside the headphones, you will see a message asking if you want to activate Oculus Link. Say yes and you will be moved from Quest environment to Oculus PC environment. Now you’re ready to play!
How to play Oculus Native Games
Playing native Oculus PC games with Quest is no harder than playing native Quest games. Once in the virtual space of Oculus PC, all you need to do is access your library and select the game you want to play.
Of course, if you’ve never done this before, you’ll have to start by buying and downloading some games. Some Quest games offer PC and Quest versions of a game, so you can already see some titles in the Oculus PC library.
You don’t need to buy or install games from inside the headphones. It is easier and more comfortable to do this using your standard monitor, mouse and keyboard.
How to play SteamVR and other virtual reality games
What if you want to play games that are not in the official Oculus library? The good news is that any older game that supports Oculus Rift also supports Quest with Oculus Link.
SteamVR, which basically covers all VR games sold on Steam, is the platform that most Quest users are likely to use, in addition to the native Oculus store. Before attempting to run a SteamVR game using your Quest, first make sure that SteamVR is installed on your system. Just search for” SteamVR ” in the Steam store and install it if you haven’t already.
There are a few ways to start a SteamVR game to play with your Quest, but all require the Oculus software to be open.
The easiest way is to simply launch a SteamVR game from your Steam library from the desktop after connecting your Quest and running the Oculus software. Then, put on your headphones and play.
You can also launch it in the same way from the PC Quest environment, but by pressing the desktop button on the Oculus VR interface and launching the game via Steam.
The third method is to start SteamVR first, this will take you to Steam’s home virtual reality environment. From here, you can adjust the universal settings of Steam VR and launch games from the library within virtual reality.
In addition to SteamVR, other VR games will work with Quest as long as they include Oculus Rift as compatible headsets. For example, all we had to do to play the Epic Game Store version of Trover Saves the Universe was click on the game’s three dots in the EGS library and select “Start in Oculus VR”.
How to set up a wired connection
The last piece of the Quest PC VR puzzle is Oculus Air Link. This is effectively the same as the cable-based Oculus Link method, but it uses WiFi, which means you can play your VR games on your PC without cables connecting you.
At the time of writing, in September 2021, Air Link was still experimental. Therefore, you need to enable it in Settings & gt; Beta in Oculus PC software. You will also need to enable it in your mission settings while in standalone mode in Experimental Resources.
Once enabled on both devices, make sure the PC and Quest are on the same network. Preferably, the PC should be connected to your router via Ethernet. The Quest must be connected to the router using the 5 GHz frequency band via Wi-Fi 802.11 ac (also known as Wi-Fi 5) or Wi-Fi 6 (also known as wireless 802.11 ax). If your router isn’t up to the task, you may need a new router.
If you are classified, select the quick settings in your Quest and select Air Link. You will see a list of Air Link-enabled PCs on the network. Choose the PC you want to use and it will be transported to the Oculus PC environment. From here, things work exactly as they work with cable. In addition to Air Link, you can also use the third-party Virtual Desktop app, although it costs $ 20 extra.