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Home How to How to play SteamVR games on the Oculus Quest

How to play SteamVR games on the Oculus Quest

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Owners of the Oculus Quest and Oculus Quest 2 know just how good the truly wireless experience is. What they may not know, however, is how their gaming PC could transform these devices into an Oculus Rift and enable even grander-scale VR experiences. Our step-by-step guide will show you the easiest path to using your Oculus Quest as a PC VR headset, as well as introducing a few ways to keep the experience truly wireless. The best part is that your PC will be storing all the games needed, so you can opt for the less-expensive Oculus Quest 2 64GB.

Products used in this guide

  • The easiest way to connect: Oculus Link cable ($79 at Amazon)
  • When a USB-C port isn’t available: Modal 10-foot cable ($27 at Best Buy)
  • See your computer’s desktop through your Quest: Virtual Desktop ($20 at Oculus)
  • Unlock your Quest’s full potential: SideQuest (Free at SideQuest VR)

With an Oculus Link (wired)

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Wired is the best way to go right now for two main reasons. First, the wired experience is easy to set up and, second, you’ll be getting the highest quality video and audio quality with a wire. To get started, all you’ll need is a USB Type-C cable to plug your Oculus Quest into your computer.

The $80 Oculus Link cable will offer the highest quality experience and is officially recommended by Oculus. If your computer doesn’t have a USB Type-C port, you can opt for a less expensive $27 Modal 10-foot cable that’ll plug into the USB Type-A 3.1 ports on your PC. Once you’ve got the cable, follow these instructions.

Make sure Steam is installed on your computer. You can get Steam here.
Log in with your Steam account and download SteamVR.
While that installs, open up the Oculus software on your PC.

  • If you don’t already have it, download it here.

Sign in with your Oculus account.
Connect one side of the USB cable to the appropriate port on your PC and the other side to your Oculus Quest/Quest 2.

The Oculus app on your computer should recognize the Oculus Quest once it’s plugged in. Click Continue on the screen that pops up to enable Oculus Link.

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During the Oculus Link setup, you can test the cable to make sure it’s fast enough to be used with Oculus Link by clicking the Test button at the bottom of the screen. If your cable fails the test, you should consider one of the cables we recommended above.

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Click Continue and put the Oculus Quest on your head.
If asked to Allow access to data, select Deny. Select Enable Oculus Link on the next pop-up that appears.

On the Oculus Home screen, select Apps on the left-hand side of the screen, and then start SteamVR.

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Once SteamVR loads up, press the menu button on the left Oculus Touch controller to pull up the SteamVR dashboard.

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With Virtual Desktop (wireless)

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Virtual Desktop is the best wireless experience but it’ll cost you extra (if you want to go free, check out the ALVR tab above). When you connect an Oculus Quest 2 to a Wi-Fi 6 network, Virtual Desktop will be able to provide even higher quality visuals with lower latency.

Whichever Oculus Quest you use, make sure to buy the correct Oculus Quest version of Virtual Desktop, which can be found on the Oculus Store right here (the Steam and Oculus Rift versions won’t do the same thing). Once you’ve got that, put your Oculus Quest on and get Virtual Desktop installed:

Open your library tab on the Oculus bar at the bottom of your view. It’s the square grid of 9 dots.

  • If you don’t see the bar at the bottom, press the home button on your right controller.

Install Virtual Desktop by clicking the install button on the Virtual Desktop tile.

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Once it’s done installing, take your headset off. Don’t launch Virtual Desktop just yet.

Head on over to your gaming PC now.

Plug your Oculus Quest into your computer with a USB cable. SideQuest should recognize your Oculus Quest if you’ve gone through our SideQuest setup guide.
Navigate to the SideQuest app on your Desktop PC.
Use the search bar on the top right of the SideQuest app to search for Virtual Desktop or just click here.

Select Virtual Desktop.

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Click the Install to Headset button to install the Virtual Desktop patch onto your Oculus Quest.

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Click on the tasks button on the top and ensure the patch was successfully installed.

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While still on your PC, download the Virtual Desktop streaming app.

Run the application once it’s done downloading.

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Fill in your Oculus username in the box and press Save.
For the best future experience, make sure Start with Windows and Start minimized in tray are selected.
With those options selected, all you’ll need to do in the future is turn your PC and launch Virtual Desktop on your Oculus Quest.

Time to put the Oculus Quest on your head and game.

Launch Virtual Desktop from the library tab on the Oculus bar at the bottom.

When Virtual Desktop loads up for the first time, you’ll need to select your Desktop PC from the list to connect to it. It’s probably the only thing listed.

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Once SteamVR loads up, press the menu button on the left Oculus Touch controller to pull up the SteamVR dashboard.

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Enjoy wireless SteamVR on your Oculus Quest or Oculus Quest 2!

With ALVR (wireless)

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ALVR delivers a wireless VR experience without the extra cost. It’s come a long way in a very short amount of time and, in most cases, the quality gap between it and Virtual Desktop has quickly shrunk. That’s why we love ALVR and can recommend it as a great way to go wireless without spending the extra dough.

For this tutorial, you’ll need to use SideQuest to get ALVR installed onto your Oculus Quest. Please follow our SideQuest guide here if you don’t have SideQuest installed yet.

On your desktop computer, navigate to the ALVR Github.

Download ALVR_server_Windows.zip. You can find this under the Assets section of each release in Github.

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Extract ALVR_server_Windows.zip to a permanent location on your computer. Something like My Documents or the Desktop folder is fine.

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Open up the ALVR folder you just extracted and run ALVR.exe.

Accept any security warnings that appear.

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Follow through the initial setup to make sure your Windows Firewall is configured correctly.

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Now to load ALVR onto your Oculus Quest

Plug your Oculus Quest into your computer with a USB cable. SideQuest should recognize your Oculus Quest if you’ve gone through our Sidequest setup guide.
Open up the SideQuest application on your desktop PC.

Use the search box at the top of the screen to search for ALVR or click here. The full title name you’ll see listed in Sidequest is ALVR – Air Light VR.

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On the store page within Sidequest, click the Install to Headset button to download and install ALVR onto your Oculus Quest.

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Once the installation is complete, unplug the Oculus Quest and fit it to your face as you normally would when playing.
Open your library tab on the Oculus bar at the bottom of your view. It’s the square grid of 9 dots. If you don’t see the bar at the bottom, press the home button on your right controller.
Select Unknown Sources from the rightmost dropdown list.

Scroll down and select ALVR from the main pane.

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ALVR will launch into a white screen.
Pull your visor up but leave the Oculus Quest on your head to keep it from falling asleep.

On your computer, click the Trust button within the ALVR app next to the Oculus Quest listing.

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Once it’s connected, you’ll see your headset’s statistics and information displayed in the ALVR app on your desktop.
SteamVR will automatically launch and you’ll be greeted with SteamVR home from within the Oculus Quest.

Once SteamVR loads up, press the menu button on the left Oculus Touch controller to pull up the SteamVR dashboard.

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Enjoy wireless SteamVR on your Oculus Quest or Oculus Quest 2!

You’re done!

No matter how you get there, whether it’s by connecting a wire or setting up one of the excellent wireless experiences, it’s now better than ever to turn your Oculus Quest into an Oculus Rift and play super-powered PC VR games.

Untethered VR

Oculus Quest 2

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From $299 at Amazon
From $299 at Best Buy
From $299 at Walmart

VR without the need for external sensors

The Oculus Quest 2 is the latest wireless VR headset, with the ability to play games by itself like a console or hook up to a PC for even more powerful experiences.

Link it up with a PC

Oculus Link

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$79 at Amazon
$79 at Best Buy
$79 At Walmart

The only official solution

Oculus has officially discontinued its Rift hardware, making way for the Oculus Quest 2 as its replacement with an Oculus Link cable.

Apps you need

SteamVR

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Free at Steam

Steam offers VR gamers thousands of options to choose from, whether it’s big-name VR titles like Half-Life: Alyx, or indie-developed wonders and even free experiences, Steam has just about everything you’ll want.

Oculus Store

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Free at Oculus

When Facebook bought Oculus many moons ago, few understood just how much the company would end up investing in VR. The biggest names and hits in the VR world are on the Oculus Store, and many titles even work cross-platform between Oculus Rift and Oculus Quest!

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