Do Quest 2 Link cables work for the Meta Quest 3?

The Meta Quest 3 sitting on top of a PC with a Link cable attached
(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

Does your old Quest 2 Link cable work with the Quest 3?

Yes! We've tested PC VR gaming on the Quest 3, and have confirmed that the process remains unchanged compared to the Quest 2, both in terms of set-up and compatible cables. 

You can play PC VR games without a cable via Air Link or Virtual Desktop, but if you want a consistent physical connection to your gaming rig, you'll need a USB-C 3.0 (or higher) cable with 5Gpbs or higher data transfer speed and at least 10 feet (preferably 16 feet) of length.

Despite being designed as a wireless all-in-one device, the Oculus Quest 2 has been the most popular PC VR headset for years, according to Steam hardware surveys. Now its heir-apparent, the Meta Quest 3, has arrived, with the same easy access to SteamVR. 

On the official Meta accessories page for its USB 3.2 Gen 1 Link Cable, the "compatibility" section lists the Quest 3, Quest 2, and Quest Pro, leaving no room for doubt that it is forward-compatible. But there was little reason to assume otherwise; both the Quest 3 and Quest 2 have the same USB-C port, after all.

Many Quest owners don't use this official cable, which is excellent but also expensive. We maintain a list of the best Link cable alternatives from third-party brands that applied to the Quest 2 and now works for new Quest 3 owners; if you already have one of these, you won't need to buy a new one!

The Meta Quest 3 sitting on top of a PC with a Link cable attached

The Quest 3 works with a Link cable, but you're losing the perk of wireless gaming in exchange for a sturdier connection. (Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

Quest 3 owners don't necessarily have to buy a Link cable at all. You can use the official Air Link service to connect wirelessly to your PC over your network; conversely, you can buy Virtual Desktop, a third-party app that lets you check your PC desktop in-headset and (according to many Quest owners) gives you a more consistent connection than Air Link.

Our step-by-step guide on how to play SteamVR on the Quest 2 should also apply to the Quest 3, if you want to try some wireless options in lieu of buying a cable. 

We've seen a few Redditors say that they've had trouble accessing Air Link after switching from their Quest 2s to their Quest 3s. Our Quest 3 reviewer told me he never had any similar problems, so we couldn't work the problem for ourselves; by their accounts, you may need to make sure your PC VR-connected Quest 2 is powered off, or to go into your "experimental settings" and enable Air Link there.

The Quest 2 has Wi-Fi 6 support, while the Quest 3 switched to Wi-Fi 6E — theoretically giving you a more secure connection without needing a cable if you have a Wi-Fi 6E router

As for other Quest 3 vs. Quest 2 differences that specifically apply to PC VR, you'll enjoy 30% enhanced resolution, the wider FoV without the same narrow "sweet spot," and a more balanced fit.

Michael L Hicks
Senior Editor, VR/AR and fitness

Michael is Android Central's resident expert on fitness tech and wearables, with an enthusiast's love of VR tech on the side. After years freelancing for Techradar, Wareable, Windows Central, Digital Trends, and other sites on a variety of tech topics, AC has given him the chance to really dive into the topics he's passionate about. He's also a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves D&D, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings.

For wearables, Michael has tested dozens of smartwatches from Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung, Apple, COROS, Polar, Amazfit, and other brands, and will always focus on recommending the best product over the best brand. He's also completed marathons like NYC, SF, Marine Corps, Big Sur, and California International — though he's still trying to break that 4-hour barrier.