Easy methods to use your Oculus Quest 2 to play any PC VR sport wirelessly – The Madison Chief Gazette

One of the best features of the Oculus Quest and Quest 2 is that they can be manually connected to your gaming PC via USB, so you can play more sophisticated VR games that otherwise couldn’t be run natively on the headsets. This is great when you want to play games like Half-Life: Alyx, but the obvious downside is that you’re now physically tied to a PC – so much for the wireless freedom that the Quest platform touts.

Since then, the developers of Virtual Desktop – and more recently Oculus itself – have figured out how to stream the visual feed from your PC to your VR headset while quickly syncing all of your movements over WiFi. With either option, you get the best of both worlds: you can play the games you want without being connected to your computer via a cable.

The Oculus method, known as Air Link, is now a free feature of the headset (if you’re running the v28 software), while using Virtual Desktop requires a $ 20 app. Both options have their advantages, so we’ll walk you through setting up each option.

First up is Oculus Air Link.

Install and activate Oculus Air Link

In late April 2021, Oculus released the v28 software with Air Link, a feature that enables wireless PC streaming. To verify that the correct software is running on your Quest:

  • Click the gear icon at the bottom of the headset screen to access system settings
  • Scroll all the way down to find the About section and click on it. When you’re there, make sure the version number is 28 or higher.

Now you have to activate the function in the Oculus app on your PC. First, make sure that the app, like the headset, has been updated to version 28.

  • Click on “Settings” in the left navigation area.
  • Go to the General tab and scroll all the way down to see the version number.

  • In the Oculus PC app settings menu, click the Beta tab. This is where you should find Air Link, at least until the beta ends.
  • Toggle the switch to turn on Air Link. This FAQ on the Oculus website should provide the most up-to-date information for these steps.

Open Settings, go to the Beta tab and turn on Air Link.

Turn on Air Link in your Quest headset

After your software has been updated and the function has been activated on your host PC, you can activate it in the headset. In order to do this:

  • Put the headset back on and open System Preferences again.
  • Find “Experimental Features”. Air Link will be embedded in this menu (at least as long as Oculus considers this to be an experiment). Tap the toggle switch to activate it.

Activate Air Link to play a game

The Oculus app for PC must remain open for your headset to connect over WiFi.

  • Physically position yourself in sight (or as close as possible) to your WiFi router for the best experience possible. Then put your headset back on and click into the system settings again.
  • The first option on the left side of the menu is “Quick Actions”. Click on it.
  • You should see a large button for Air Link on the right side of this menu area. Click on it.
  • After clicking Air Link, the next prompt will ask you to choose from a list of devices to connect to. Find your computer and once you have successfully connected you will be taken to the Oculus desktop interface, which looks a little different from the Quest interface.

If you need to quickly adjust Air Link’s bitrate to optimize performance (or if you want to quit Air Link and return to the Quest interface), you’ll see the option at the bottom left of your field of view (shown below) in the menu (shown below) You can do both.

Oculus Air Link

This is what the Air Link menu looks like in the Oculus Home interface for the PC.

Alternatively, you can buy the Virtual Desktop App for Quest

The Virtual Desktop app also allows you to access your PC through the lens of a Quest VR headset. You can use it for games like we do here, but you can also watch movies that you have saved on your PC in different virtual environments or just surf the internet. There’s a Quest-specific version of the app that you can get for $ 20 here. (Make sure it says under the buy button that it is compatible with Quest.)

Compared to using Air Link, Virtual Desktop doesn’t take you completely out of the Quest interface. You can still press the Oculus button on the right touch controller to display the Quest universal menu. However, it allows for much finer tuning than Air Link currently does. There are tons of settings to adjust to find the perfect performance for your setup, and there are even some additional enhancements such as: B. the ability to choose the type of virtual environment that the app should boot into. There’s an apartment, a computer room, an auditorium, and the vastness of space, to name a few examples.

Get Virtual Desktop if you really want a custom experience, or alternatively if Air Link isn’t working that well for you.

Virtual desktop

Virtual desktop running on Quest 2.

Download the Virtual Desktop Streamer

There is one other downloadable application for your PC: Virtual Desktop Streamer. It’s free, and it’s made by the same people who created the Virtual Desktop app you bought on Quest or Quest 2. This app is required to stream PC content to your headset via WiFi.

  • Once this app is downloaded and installed, you will need to enter your Oculus username in the streamer window
  • If you’re unsure, you can find it by opening the Oculus app on your phone, navigating to Settings, then tapping the area that shows your name and email address. The name that appears next to your avatar is your username.

The eye of the app

Having trouble finding your Oculus username? In the Settings menu, tap your full name to see this view shown above.

  • After this has been entered, click on “Save”.
  • This is the last step! Remember, however, that it is essential to have the Virtual Desktop Streamer app open for your headset to communicate with your PC.

Virtual desktop streamer

This is what the Virtual Desktop Streamer app looks like. It’s very easy.

Open Virtual Desktop on your Quest headset

Your PC should appear in the list of available devices to connect to in the Virtual Desktop app on your Quest or Quest 2.

Once connected, the Options button (the equivalent of the left touch controller to the Oculus button) is mapped to open the top-level menu for Virtual Desktop, as shown below. If you click on “Games” from there, you will see every game installed on your PC. You can just boot anyone from there, and your PC will do the hard work of opening the required apps.

Virtual desktop

All VR-enabled games installed on your PC will be displayed in Virtual Desktop.

If you are not satisfied with the visual fidelity in each game, there are a few settings you can adjust that affect latency, refresh rate, and more. Note that if your PC is powerful, you will likely get a clearer and smoother picture. Your WiFi router also plays an important role in a smooth experience.

Streaming VR over Wi-Fi is certainly not a perfect solution. I play just a few meters from a Wi-Fi 6 enabled router that is connected directly to my PC via an Ethernet switch. Nevertheless, there are occasional delays and slightly blurred images. Although the Virtual Desktop app has been optimized enough (turning off Wi-Fi on infrequently used technical elements never hurts) I think you’ll have a good time.

Update April 30, 9:16 a.m. ET: This post has been updated with the steps to set up Air Link for Oculus Quest and Quest 2.

Correction: The original article incorrectly suggested that internet speed played a role in your ability to use this wireless solution to play your VR games. Everything is handled locally. Due to a faulty USB-C connection on the author’s PC, it was incorrectly stated that the USB-C cable included in every Quest 2 cannot be used to complete these instructions. One reader suggested it will work and the author confirmed this by using the cable with an OTG adapter. We regret these mistakes.

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