- The Meta Quest headset offers an affordable way to experience virtual reality, with the added benefit of wireless gaming and no additional hardware required.
- Connecting Quest 3 or Quest 2 to a gaming computer via cable (Quest Link) provides the best connection and lowest latency, but sacrifices wireless freedom.
- Alternatively, you can connect your Quest headset to your computer wirelessly using Air Link, although this may reduce performance and requires a strong and fast Wi-Fi network.
The Meta Quest headset is the most affordable way to get into virtual reality, and the ability to play for free from cords and without the need for additional hardware is amazing.
One of the best things about both Quest 3 and Quest 2 is that they can easily connect to a gaming PC and play PCVR games as well. So if you’re after a little extra visual fidelity, or hoping to play a niche title that hasn’t been ported to Quest, you absolutely can.
We explore the different ways you can connect this VR headset to your PC to help you get started.
Connecting with a cable (Quest Link)
The most reliable way to connect your Quest 2 or 3 to your gaming PC is with a cable. Unfortunately, this loses the freedom of wireless, standalone virtual reality, but it also ensures the lowest latency and best connectivity.
First, though, you need to make sure your computer meets the basic requirements for Quest Link (formerly known as Oculus Link) and is VR ready. Minimum requirements required are:
- Processor: Intel i5-4590/AMD Ryzen 5 1500X or later
- Graphics card: GeForce Nvidia 9 series and higher (see exceptions here)
- Memory: 8 GB or more RAM
- Operating system: Windows 10
- USB ports: 1x USB port
Higher specifications naturally give you better results. Virtual reality games on PC require more processing power for better visuals – Half-Life: Alyx, for example, needs some power to run well.
Correct cable for Quest Link
Meta Quest Link cable
The official cable is not cheap, but it is the most reliable way to ensure that the Quest Link works as expected and without problems.
To connect your headset to your PC, you’ll want to preferably use a fast USB-C cable. There is an official cable you can buy from Meta that isn’t cheap but is guaranteed to do the job. It’s a flexible 5 meter cable which means you have plenty of length to get your game on without a problem.
Alternatively, you can purchase a high-speed cable that meets the USB 3.0 specification. Preferably USB-C to USB-C, provided you have a USB-C port on your gaming machine.
To set Quest Link in wired mode, you must first download the Oculus installer. This software is a required part of the installation and acts as a bridge between the Quest 2 headset and your game library. Once downloaded and installed, launch the software and click through the various steps.
- Connect your headset with your USB-C cable
- Twist headset on to establish the connection
- Click Continue to end the process
- Put on the headset and click on the prompts to allow the connection
Once that’s done, you can choose to buy games from the Meta Store, launch games you already have there, or run games through Steam VR in Oculus mode. The best games that work with the Rift S and other headsets should also play well with the Quest 2 and 3.
It’s worth noting that you can enable and disable the Quest Link connection from the headset as well – provided the cable is connected and properly detected.
To do so, simply navigate to the settings by clicking the gear icon from the headset navigation bar. Under these settings you should then see a section highlighted Headset and from there you also have access to a button to disable and enable Quest Link.
Obviously, you can also do this from your desktop computer, but the headset seems to play well when you give it commands directly.
The Quest 3 has some serious processing power on board, and the Quest 2 is also very fast. That’s why you can play games wirelessly without being connected to a gaming computer. But when you’re connected to a more powerful machine, it means you can take advantage of extra things.
One of these is improved refresh rates. Quest 2 and 3 can work up to 120Hz in some cases. You can enable this via the Oculus installer once it’s installed and your headset is connected.
Follow these steps to do so:
- Open Oculus software on your PC
- click Units from the menu on the left
- click Mission 3 and Touch option to open a menu bar on the right
- Look for Advanced settings and Graphics settings
- Click there and set your choice refresh rate – We would suggest 90 Hz would be a good test option
- Click Okay and your headset will restart to apply the settings
- Put on the headset and enjoy
You can also adjust the rendering resolution in these settings, which is ideal if you want to get the most out of your high-end graphics card.
Play Steam VR games
To run PCVR games from Steam, just open your Steam game library as usual. If you haven’t already, you’ll need to install both the SteamVR app (within Steam) and purchase or download any Steam VR games.
Once that’s done, navigate to the VR games you’ve already installed and click to launch. When you do, you’ll usually get a prompt asking if you want to start in VR mode or standard mode. Sometimes this prompt will also ask if you want to play in Quest mode.
There are two ways to do this. You can launch the games directly from your PC desktop, but you can also do it from Quest 2 or 3.
To do this look for the option to view your desktop on Quest 2 or 3’s navigation menu. Click it and you’ll get a view of your PC desktop, and you can then click to launch games on Steam. This makes it easy to run games but also switch between games when you want to try something else.
Connects wirelessly (Air Link)
In addition to connecting your Quest headset to your PC with a cable, you also have the option of connecting wirelessly. This gives you back some of the freedom of the wireless headset, but it comes at the price of performance. It also requires good hardware to run.
You need a stable home Wi-Fi network to begin with. Air Link, as it’s called, allows Quest owners to play Rift-compatible games wirelessly, without having to connect directly to a gaming PC. However, the company notes that you need a “strong and secure Wi-Fi network” for the best experience and ideally be within 20 feet of your router.
It is also recommended that you do the following for best results:
- Make sure your gaming PC is connected to your router with an Ethernet cable (not wirelessly)
- Connect your Quest 3 or Quest 2 to your Wi-Fi with 5GHz instead of 2.4GHz
How to connect Quest 3 or 2 wirelessly
The first step here is to open the Oculus installer and go through the steps there, but most of the work has to be done in the headset itself:
- Put on the headset and click on the navigation to find settings
- In these settings you will find The systemand click on it
- Then Select Quest Link in the resulting menu
- Click Start Quest Link
- Switch Air Link on
- click PC you want to connect to in the following prompts
- Then click Launch
Once that’s done, you can then launch PCVR games directly from your gaming PC or you can open the desktop view on the headset and do it from there.
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