Latest Quest 2 update seriously improves hand tracking, adds button remapping

Meta Quest 2 with hands
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The new Quest update enables Hand Tracking 2.2, which reduces latency between your real and virtual hands by 40%, or "75% during fast movement."
  • This upgraded tracking enables "swipe to type," so you can move your finger across a virtual keyboard instead of tapping individual keys.
  • In addition, the Quest 2 now has more accessibility features, including system-level live captions and a full button-remapping tool.
  • The Quest update v56 officially began rolling out on July 20, but may take a few days to arrive on every headset.

Nearly three years after launch, Meta is still impressing us with how far it has optimized the Oculus Quest 2 hardware. The latest trick, courtesy of Quest update v56, is significantly reduced latency for hand tracking — especially for fast-moving or delicate applications like boxing or typing. 

Specifically, Meta claims that the Quest 2 will be "up to 40%" better for typical use or "up to 75%" better for fast movement, once you receive the update. This should make your virtual hands more accurately match your real-world location, preventing mistimed actions or nausea.

The last v55 update gave the Quest 2 a 26% performance boost; it's highly likely that this extra processing power helps the VR headset track your motions with better accuracy than before, as well as software fixes behind the scenes.

You can see an example of this faster-paced hand tracking in Meta's video below, in a new App Lab tech demo called Move Fast. You can try the demo yourself to air box, block, and karate chop to the beat (similar to the gameplay of Supernatural), and see for yourself how much better the hand tracking feels.

Last year, Meta enabled Hand Tracking 2.0, which improved tracking continuity, gesture support, hand overlapping, clapping, and other common motions. Then version 2.1 reduced "tracking loss" and the "recovery time" it took to reestablish your hands' position if tracking was lost. Version 2.2 seems to be focused solely on raw speed.

With this update, we're hoping that the best hand-tracking Quest games will become even more enjoyable without using a controller.

In addition, the Quest v56 update adds the ability to "swipe to type using the virtual keyboard," rather than having to hen-and-peck whenever you're searching for something. You'll have to go into the Experimental Settings to enable this, however.

Best of all, the Quest 2 now supports button remapping. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Mobility, and you can fully remap every button on either Oculus Touch controller, then create custom layouts you can save for later. 

This could come in handy for "serious gamers" trying to climb the leaderboards in certain games, but it can also serve as a useful accessibility tool for "people with dexterity challenges," as Meta put it.

One other welcome accessibility addition: the Quest 2 now supports Live Captions at the System Level, specifically for the Meta Quest TV, Explore, and Meta Quest Store, with more apps to come.

We're glad that when the Quest 3 launches later this year, it'll benefit from all of the methodical upgrades that the Quest 2 has added since 2020. We expect it to have upgraded tracking cameras on par with the Quest Pro, as well as a faster processor; this should help the hand-tracking realism improve even further from what the Quest 2 can offer.

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.