Quest 2 owners who want to play PC VR games on their headsets have loads of options. Virtual Desktop also lets you play PC VR games on Quest, while Oculus Air Link is built into the headset and supports smooth 120Hz refresh rates. But not everybody has a fast Wi-Fi network or a PC that's equipped to keep up with the network speed needed for wireless PC VR. If that sounds like you, an Oculus Link Cable's your best bet.
You can't just hook any cable up, though. You need one that's both long enough to allow you to move freely and one that's fast enough to handle all the streaming data that PC VR requires. Here's a list of our personal favorites, the PC VR community's top picks, and Oculus's official Link alternatives for the Oculus Quest 2 (opens in new tab).
These are the best Oculus Link cables you can buy
VOKOO has a fantastic Oculus Link cable alternative for PCs without a USB Type-C port. This 16-foot cable is long enough to reach across an entire play space, making it convenient to play room-scale games without worrying about pulling on the cable.
Meta-tested and approved
On the official Oculus Link support page, the company states it tested this USB-C to USB-A Anker cable "internally with good results." It hits the USB 3.0 5Gbps standard for fast data transfer and supports 15W fast charging, so your Quest 2 remains fully powered under the heavy workload. It's reliable and popular with Quest 2 users, but you may want a longer cable with a 90-degree USB-C cable head if you plan on playing more motion-heavy PC VR games.
Built for roomscale PC VR
It's another 16-foot cable, but the Amavasion also has a 5Gbps maximum and a limited charging capacity to extend play sessions, but not keep it running indefinitely. Compared to the PartyLink Cable, this is rated USB 3.2, but doesn't take full advantage of the higher standard and costs more. That being said, it's also a thinner cable that may feel lighter dragging behind you during your VR adventures.
Meta's official Oculus Link backup, the 10-foot Anker cable, sometimes goes out of stock, and this cable is the closest alternative in price, features, and quality that you can rely on. It supports 5Gbps data transfer and 5V charging. Made of double braided nylon, it should be durable when jerked around, and even comes in four colors for a little extra personality.
Add 16 feet to any Link Cable
USB 3.0 cables are typically maxed out at three meters (or around nine feet) to preserve their fast speeds, but this won't be enough for games where you want to stand up and move far away from your PC. This 16-foot extender will preserve the power transfer and 5Gbps data speeds. Of course, you'll need to buy one of the USB 3.0 to USB-C cables (such as Anker's or Amazon's) in addition to this, but that plus the CableCreation extender will cost less and stretch 10 feet longer than the official cable.
Coverage and quality
KIWI Design makes some of our favorite accessories for the Quest 2. This cable is USB-C to USB-C with a 90-degree head for the headset; it's only capable of 5Gbps, but this should be plenty for Oculus Link. It's incredibly affordable, too. This is a great, cheap alternative with minimal compromises.
Make your cable Quest-friendly
Some of the best USB-C cables have straight heads that aren't made for a headset jerking around left and right. With an adapter attached, your Link Cable will sit perpendicular to the headset, which should make it less likely to get bent when you move around. These tiny adapters are USB 3.1-compatible with transfer speeds up to 10Gbps, so they will have no trouble passing through your data and power.
Skip the cable altogether
Before Air Link, Virtual Desktop gave Oculus Quest superusers a way to sideload PC VR games without any cable. Now, Oculus offers wireless streaming for free with similar performance levels, making the paid Virtual Desktop less unique. But it's still one of the best Quest 2 Link Cable alternatives to have in our opinion. It not only lets you play games, but also watch movies or use your PC in-headset, while surrounded by cool virtual environments. It gives you much more customizable control over PC settings than Air Link. Many users claim VD still runs PC VR games better than Air Link in some areas, such as latency.
What specs do you need in an Oculus Link Cable?
Finding the best Quest Link Cable alternative is really tricky. Lots of imitation Link Cables out there are plain faulty, and some can even damage your Quest 2. We've read horror stories about USB-C heads snapping off inside the Quest 2 port, making it impossible to charge your headset. More commonly and less drastically, you'll find cables that will only work for a couple of weeks before they wear down until they can't properly connect your headset to your PC.
We scoured the internet to find the best options for those who can't afford the official Oculus Link Cable, but if you want to look for your own alternatives, or see if the USB-C cable you own now could work, here's what you need to know:
- You want a cable rated USB 3.0 or higher. This means that it simultaneously supports 5 Gbps data transfer and 5V charging. You need this data transfer speed to stream the game from your PC to your headset without lag. The power transfer is necessary to keep your headset charged while running more power-intensive PC VR games.
- Most fast-charging USB cables with high wattage will have some semblance of data transfer, but you'll often see the number 480Mbps. Unfortunately, this isn't enough for Oculus Link.
- The other end of the cable must be USB-C to connect to the headset's charging port. We recommend one that sits at a 90-degree angle, which should make it less likely that head motions will put physical pressure on the cord and damage your headset port.
- You want a cable that is at least 10 feet long. Even if you only plan to play PC VR games seated, anything shorter than that could cause you to yank something and damage your PC port — or hurt your neck.
- If you have a three or six-foot USB 3.0 to USB-C cable you like, you could use it along with an extension cable, which would solve the problem. Extension cables can cause a slight slowdown in the transfer, but there shouldn't be an issue if it's rated high enough.
What is the best Oculus Link Cable length?
Oculus' official cable is 16 feet (or five meters), which should give you plenty of space to move around a room. Oculus' cable is so pricey partly because it manages to maintain a high data transfer speed across five meters as a USB-C to USB-C cable. By comparison, most other USB 3.0 cables are maxed out at 10 feet. As a result, standalone cables longer than that might not be able to transfer enough data from a powerful PC without losing some information.
This is why we included extension cables on our list, even if you might not want to build a massively long Oculus Link combo cable, the data transfer should work perfectly. The longer your cable, the more it will extend across a room and dip downwards in the middle. This will create a tripping hazard for both you and anyone else who lives with you. When that happens, you'd better hope the cable comes out of one of the ports because either your head or the PC is getting yanked downwards. That's also why you should always velcro strap the cable to the head strap, as it'll help save your USB port from being damaged.
Decide whether you plan on doing room-scale VR or not. If not, you may be able to make do with a 10-foot cable like the Anker Powerline Cable. Otherwise, you can try your luck with a 16-foot cable like the VOKOO cable or pair a short cable with the CableCreation Active USB 3.0 Extension Cable for a particularly long daisy chain of link cables.
How to use your Oculus Link Cable
We hope that our Oculus Link Cable alternatives can meet your needs, but be sure to test the cable as soon as it arrives, so you can return it if the cable (or your PC graphics card) turns out not to live up to the task. Here's how to use Oculus Link on the Oculus Quest 2:
- On your PC, go to www.oculus.com/setup (opens in new tab) and click "Download software" under "Oculus Link".
- Open the app and click "Install Now."
- Turn on your Oculus Quest 2.
- Plug your USB cable head into a compatible PC port, then plug the USB-C end into the Quest 2's charging port.
- Put on your headset.
- You should see a pop-up to access to data. Select Deny. Selecting Allow will cause the cable to disconnect from time to time because Windows is trying to find files, which will interrupt Oculus Link.
- You'll then see an option to Enable Oculus Link. Select Enable.
Now you should be able to use Oculus Link. If you were unable to connect or your PC games struggled with performance issues, you may have a problem with your cable or PC.
If you're suffering from random disconnections, make sure you select Deny when the "Allow access to data" pop-up appears after connecting the cable. Selecting "Allow" will cause connection inconsistencies. If you're having other issues, this Oculus Link Cable troubleshooting guide (opens in new tab) can help you out.
Consider going wireless instead
Oculus Link Cables, official or unofficial, will give you the most consistent visual performance. Even if ditching a physical cable causes a slight dip in visual quality, it's so much less restrictive.
You won't need to worry about yanking a cable and damaging something; that's why lots of people prefer the Quest 2 so much over any wired PC VR headset! Plus, Air Link is completely free and doesn't suffer from wear and tear like an actual cord would, so maybe give it a test run before paying for a cable.
Air Link lets you wirelessly stream your PC games to your Oculus Quest 2 by way of your home's Wi-Fi network. It arrived in the v28 Quest 2 update (opens in new tab) in April 2021 and got upgraded in v29 (opens in new tab) to support a silky-smooth 120Hz refresh rate.
Setting up Oculus Air Link (opens in new tab) is a simple process, thankfully. But for your games to perform well, you'll still need the right hardware for the job. Specifically, a PC with graphical chops to handle hardcore PC VR games is non-negotiable. If you're having trouble in that area, feel free to check out our list of the best-prebuilt PCs for Oculus Link (opens in new tab), which will tell you what kind of specs you may need and how much it'll cost.
To go the wireless route, you'll also need a router that hits the necessary network speeds and signal strength. The best Wi-Fi 6 routers (opens in new tab) should deliver the performance you need.
With the right computer and a fast router, you'll be prepared to play Quest 2 games wirelessly. You can do so through Air Link for free, or you can try out the Virtual Desktop app to get the full PC-in-VR experience! Either way, these tools will make your Quest 2 truly wireless again, even when playing demanding VR games like Half-Life: Alyx.
Michael spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He's a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.
Get the best of Android Central in in your inbox, every day!
Thank you for signing up to Android Central. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.