One of the best features of Oculus Quest 2 is that it can be manually connected to a gaming PC via USB to play more demanding VR games, which cannot be run on headsets.If you want a way to play the game, great Half-Life: Alyx, But the obvious disadvantage is that you are now tethered to your PC-the wireless freedom Quest 2 advertises is so great.
Fortunately, the developers have discovered the seemingly impossible: how to run system-intensive games on a PC and stream video sources to a VR device while simultaneously synchronizing all actions via Wi-Fi. It gives you the best of both worlds: you can play the games you want without connecting it to your computer via a cable.
Doing this is not as simple as installing the app through the Oculus store. Several steps are involved. I will guide you through the steps required to achieve this on the Quest 2 virtual reality headset. The same steps may work in the first iteration of Quest, but here only the latest models are provided for testing.
Get the link cable
Even though this is the way to experience VR without wires, you still need a wire to get started. Oculus sold an expensive 16-foot cable for about $80, but this is designed for people who really want to use Quest 2 in wired mode. There are other lower cost alternatives, such as Anker’s 10-foot USB-C to USB Type-A 3.0 cable, which costs about $20 and can get the job done.
Many USB cables that come with modern Android phones may also work. The cable does not have to be too long-we are just doing some simple data transmission here. Unfortunately, when I tried, the USB-C cable that Oculus came with Quest 2 did not work during the process. Only used to charge the headset.
Enable developer settings
If you want to load files into Quest 2, you need a developer account. Fortunately, this is easy to do, but it is a strange process and actual developers must use it.
Go to this page and log in to your Facebook account in the browser of your choice. Just make sure you are logged in to the same Facebook account as Quest 2.
- The next part of the process is to name your “organization.” You can name it whatever you want. If you are lost, you can find a direct link to this page here.
- Through these two steps, open your Oculus mobile app (iOS or Android) and log in with the same Facebook account. Then navigate to the Settings pane by clicking in the lower right corner of the application window.
- On the next page, click “Oculus Quest 2” under the name, and more options will be expanded there. Click “More Settings”
- When you arrive, tap “Developer Mode” and turn it on
Install Quest 2 driver for your PC
The next few steps will pave the way for you to sideload the software onto the Quest 2 headset, a feature that is usually reserved for developers. If you are using a Windows PC, you need to install the ADB driver so that your PC can write to the headset. According to the Oculus website, macOS and Linux systems do not require drivers.
Download the linked software hosted by Oculus here. (Just check the box indicating that you agree to the license terms (you can read the license if you want) and click “Download”.)
- After downloading, unzip the contents of the folder. Then right click on the item named “android_winusb.inf” and select “Install”.
Purchase a virtual desktop application for Quest
Through the virtual desktop application, you can access the PC through the lens of the VR headset. You can use it for games like us, but you can also watch movies stored on your PC in various virtual environments. You can purchase a Quest-specific version of the app here for $20. (Please make sure it is compatible with Quest under the “Buy” button.)
After purchase, install it on the headset. Later, we will return to this application, but for now, you need to perform some other steps.
Connect Quest 2 to PC
Connect the Quest 2 to the fastest USB port available on the PC via the side-mounted USB-C port. If you have done everything correctly so far, you will see a message in the headset asking if you want to allow USB debugging. Allow it to continue.
Download and install SideQuest on PC
SideQuest is a free app and storefront that side-loads the experience into your headset. For the purposes of this method, you will use it to apply the necessary patches for the Virtual Desktop application I just recommended that you purchase and install on the Quest 2 headset.
Go here to find the correct installer for your operating system (I use the Windows 10 version in this operation guide) and download the installer
- After the installation is complete, run SideQuest
- At this point, your headset should be connected to the upper left corner of the SideQuest application on your PC with a green bubble. If it doesn’t show as connected, check the headset’s display for tips. It may be waiting for you to allow your PC to access and modify the file system of Quest 2.
Side load the Virtual Desktop VR patch for Quest 2
In SideQuest, type “virtual desktop” in the search bar. The result you are looking for is called a “virtual desktop VR patch”. This is a necessary key to make the computer mistake the Quest 2 as a wired headset.
- After connecting Quest 2 to the computer, click the “Install to Headset” button located under the application search bar in SideQuest. The process should be very fast, only a few seconds.
Download virtual desktop streaming
There is also a free application available for download: Virtual Desktop Streamer. Made by the person who purchased the virtual desktop app on Quest 2, the app only streams PC content to your headset via Wi-Fi.
- After downloading and installing this app, you need to enter your Oculus username in the Streamer window
- If you don’t know what to do, you can find it by opening the Oculus app on your mobile device, navigating to “Settings”, and then clicking on the area that shows your name and email address. The name that will be displayed next to your avatar is your username.
- After inputting, click “Save”
- That is the last step! But remember, it is essential to open the Virtual Desktop Streamer application for the headset to communicate with the PC.
Open the virtual desktop on Quest 2
If each step is completed correctly, you will see the PC popped up in the list of available devices to connect to in the virtual desktop application of Quest 2.
After connecting, map the “Options” button (the left side of the Oculus Touch controller is equivalent to the Oculus button) to open the top menu of the virtual desktop, as shown in the figure below. Here, clicking “Games” will display every game installed on your PC. You just need to start each computer from there, and your PC can handle all the hard work.
If you are not satisfied with the visual fidelity of each game, you can customize some settings that will affect the delay, refresh rate, etc. Please note that if your PC is powerful and the internet connection is fast, you will get clearer and smoother images. Considering your dependence on Wi-Fi networks, your wireless router also plays an important role in providing a smooth experience.
Streaming VR via Wi-Fi is certainly not a perfect solution. I have 6 routers that support Wi-Fi and relatively fast Internet (downlink speed 235Mbps, uplink speed 19Mbps), but I still occasionally experience delays and blurred images. Despite the full adjustments on the Virtual Desktop application (turning off Wi-Fi for rarely used technical items will never cause harm), I think you will have a good time.