The Oculus Quest 2 remains an amazing and reliable Virtual Reality headset capable of a lot. The standalone VR set can easily run games and experiences without the hassle of any wires or base stations. However, did you know that the Quest 2 can even run SteamVR games just like the Rift? And before you start wondering, it doesn’t require any sideloading or workarounds. If you have set up your Oculus Quest 2, and are looking to run SteamVR games on your headset, you’re at the right place. This complete guide will teach you how to go about connecting your Quest 2 to PC to seamlessly run SteamVR games. So without further ado, charge up your headset, and let’s dive in.
Play SteamVR Games on the Oculus Quest 2
This guide to playing SteamVR games on the Oculus Quest 2 has been divided based on the various types of connections you can use. Depending on if you prefer the wired or wireless method, use the table below to jump to the needed section.
Things You Need for SteamVR on Oculus Quest 2
While the process to run SteamVR games on the Quest 2 is easy enough, there are a couple of requirements that you should know about. Some of these are extremely important so make sure to go through them before beginning.
1. A VR Ready PC
It’s no secret that running virtual reality games and applications requires a good amount of graphical and processing power. Depending on the type of games you plan on playing, this requirement may be more. The Oculus app, the software responsible for letting you play PC games on your Quest 2, has certain requirements. You can head on over to Facebook’s official Quest 2 compatibility page to find out if your system qualifies. Also do be aware that as time passes, these requirements may change accordingly.
2. Oculus App
Facebook has its own suite of VR software that seamlessly connects with the Oculus Quest 2. Titled Oculus, the software is the one responsible for getting your Quest 2 up and running with the PC. So if you’re someone looking to play SteamVR games on your Quest 2, the Oculus app is the way to go. You can download Oculus Link (Free) and install it. Make sure you sign in with your Facebook account as the headset will use that. Gamers looking for the wireless option also need to download this.
3. Oculus Link Cable or Other Fast Type C Cable
Oculus Quest 2 users looking to hook up their VR set to the PC for Steam will need a cable. The official Oculus Link Cable ($79) is the best option if you’re willing to spend the money. It is a fast and long transmission cable that will see you walk easily around with your set on while it’s connected to the PC. However, if that seems too expensive, you can just buy a compatible Oculus Quest 2 cable that supports high data and video transfer. Furthermore, make sure that the cable you do get is suitably long (15ft or more) so you don’t feel restricted while you play. You will find many good cables online.
4. Installing SteamVR on PC
Last but definitely not least, we will need SteamVR (Free) itself to make things happen. The SteamVR software itself can be easily found in the Steam Store and it is fairly small in size. Once you download it, simply let it install and keep reading. We will need it a bit later on in the process. Also make sure, that whichever VR games you’ve bought have been installed and are ready to go.
How to Set up Quest 2 for SteamVR Games (Wired)
We will first begin with the wired way of connecting the Oculus Quest 2 to our PC. Before we begin, make sure the Oculus Quest 2 has been connected to your PC using the cable and you have opened the Oculus app. Once done, follow the steps below.
1. As soon as you connect your headset, you will be bombarded by a host of permissions. Grant them all and accept the option that asks to enable Oculus Link.
2. On your PC’s Oculus Software, the add a device menu will open up. Click on the ‘Link (Cable)‘ and click on ‘Continue‘.
3. Since our headset is already connected, just click on ‘Continue‘.
4. The next step will allow you to check your cable connection. If you’re connected through the Oculus Link cable or any other good one you can skip this step and click on Continue. Otherwise, click Test Connection to do so.
5. And you’re all done! Simply click on the ‘Close’ button to continue.
Go ahead and put on your headset. Oculus Link is now live on your Quest 2 headset and is ready for SteamVR. You can even browse through the store first and access your desktop from the headset itself if you wish.
Allowing SteamVR on the Oculus Quest 2
With the Quest 2 ready, we are almost ready to begin. However, we need to perform one last step to allow SteamVR to connect to the Oculus Quest 2. For that follow the steps below:
1. On the Oculus app on your computer, click on ‘Settings‘ on the left taskbar.
2. On the next menu that appears, click on the ‘General‘ tab.
3. Click on the ‘Unknown Sources’ toggle to enable it.
4. On the next confirmation, click the ‘Allow‘ button to finalize your decision.
Your SteamVR will now be allowed through the gates when it’s run. Now let’s begin by actually starting it.
1. Open the Steam app on your PC.
2. On the main page, simply click on the small ‘VR‘ icon that has appeared to start SteamVR. Alternatively, you can find it in your game library and start it from there.
Now put on your headset again and you’ll find yourself in a nice woodside cottage having the time of your life. Welcome to the world of SteamVR. You can walk around the cottage and explore so you can jump straight ahead and start a game. The Steam Library works in the same way as on your PC albeit with a different UI.
Running a Game on SteamVR in Oculus Quest 2
While the layout of SteamVR is very easy to understand, we will teach you how to go about starting a game in SteamVR so you may get used to it. Follow the steps below to do so:
1. Face the right side wall inside the SteamVR home and using your controller, click on ‘Browse Steam‘
2. From the next menu that appears, select Store or Library depending on your preference.
You can now browse through the Store or your game library and simply click on Play to begin the game. Once done, tap the Oculus Button and click on Quit to exit SteamVR, and get back to your home screen.
And that’s it! You just learned how to Install SteamVR on your Oculus Quest 2! Easy wasn’t it? You can now go ahead and buy SteamVR games and easily play them on your Quest 2 headset. Just make sure to connect both the devices together. For the users looking for a wireless method, don’t worry as we have you covered in more ways than one. Keep reading.
How to Set up Quest 2 for SteamVR Games (Using FB Air Link)
Now before we begin with the wireless method, do keep in mind that it won’t be as reliable as the wired one since wireless connectivity is involved. Thankfully, Facebook provides its free Air Link service for users to play SteamVR games wirelessly. However, there are some additional requirements that you must meet before you begin. Keep in mind the following:
1. An AC or AX Router with 5GHz Network
Since wirelessly streaming content from the PC to Oculus Quest 2 will be involved, having a fast Internet connection is mandatory. Make sure your router conforms to the latest speed standards and has a 5GHz band selection. Furthermore, you will need to connect the router to your PC using an Ethernet cable for the best possible connection.
2. A Fully Charged Oculus Quest 2
The wired method not only brings a lagless experience but users also benefit as the headset constantly charges itself during the process. However, if you decide to go wireless, the Quest 2 will be going off on its own battery and that will only last you for so long. Make sure to fully charge your Oculus Quest 2 to ensure you get the best possible experience while playing SteamVR games wirelessly.
Now that you have the above in mind, let’s begin with setting up the wireless method.
Enable Air Link on PC and Quest 2
Since Facebook Air Link still counts as an experimental feature, it must be enabled on both your PC and the Quest 2 separately. We will begin with PC. Follow the steps below to do so:
1. On the Oculus app on your computer, click on Settings on the left taskbar.
2. On the next menu that appears, click on the Beta tab.
3. From the list that appears, toggle on Air Link by clicking on it once.
And you’re done. Now let’s move on to the Oculus Quest 2.
Enable Air Link on Quest 2
1. From the main menu, tap on ‘Quick Settings‘.
2. Tap on the ‘Settings‘ option on the top right.
3. From the next menu under ‘Experimental Features‘, toggle on ‘Air Link‘ and acknowledge any notice.
Your PC and headset are now ready for Facebook Air Link. Let’s begin by turning the feature on.
How to Turn on Air Link on the Oculus Quest 2
Now let’s begin by making one final pairing and launching Facebook Air Link on the Quest 2. Follow the steps below to do so:
1. From the main menu, open tap the ‘Quick Settings‘ button.
2. From the next menu that appears, tap on ‘Oculus Air Link‘.
3. Click on your computer’s name and then click on the ‘Pair‘ button.
4. Once done, click on the ‘Launch’ button to start Air Link on your Quest 2.
And you’re there. You’ll find yourself on the Oculus Link page with a console around you. While you can browse this area, if you want to run SteamVR, simply put down your headset and follow the Running SteamVR section above. As mentioned before, you may encounter lag if your connection is unstable. However, in our experience, the experience remains a good one with games running well. Depending on what kind of user you are, you may use Air Link or the wired method.
Alternative to Air Link: Virtual Desktop
While Facebook Air Link is a good solution to playing SteamVR games wirelessly, that isn’t to say there aren’t alternatives. A famous third-party app called Virtual Desktop works in the same way as Air Link. Virtual Desktop allows users to basically stream their PC onto the Quest 2 to control from there. Users can also launch their SteamVR or other VR games by using Virtual Desktop.
However, do be aware that Virtual Desktop is a paid software and requires users to download both a PC client and an Oculus Quest 2 one. Like Air Link, the performance in VD will vary depending on your network and hardware configurations. However, if you want to still try it out, sit tight because we have a complete guide for virtual desktop on the way.
Enjoy SteamVR Games on Your Oculus Quest 2
We hope you are having an amazing time running SteamVR games on your Oculus Quest 2. With Facebook changing its name to include new VR possibilities, it will be interesting to see what the company has in store for Quest 2. Which new SteamVR games are you buying for your Quest 2? Or did you encounter any problems while setting it up? Let us know in the comments below.
I have been playing around with all three methods, Air Link for me is the absolute worse…I get very slow connection speeds for some reason using 3200ACM router. Virtual Desktop is far superior and enjoyable experience, also was able to play Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 and at a decent resolution it was completely unplayable using Air Link.
Using Oculus Link I’m still undecided about, the whole thing seems buggy to me.. and why do I have three mouse cursors in a box when viewing the Desktop (Air Link as well) instead of a single cursor. However in game looking around is definitely smoother than virtual desktop but not able to play at the same resolution and it keeps crashing on me.
I’m going to upgrading my PC soon so hopefully the issues, I am experiencing with Air Link and Oculus Link will be resolved by the upgrade because my PC is rather old now… but as things stand my vote goes to Virtual Desktop.