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Oculus Quest 2 will make experimental 120Hz graphics boost permanent

Meta Quest 2 display
(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Oculus Quest 2 apps and games will soon be able to default to a 120Hz display, up from the current default of 90Hz.
  • The 120Hz mode has been available for Quest 2 headsets since last year, but only as an experimental feature.
  • John Carmack said developers should consider increasing from 60 to 120Hz, but also noted that most apps cannot run at high rates.

Oculus Quest 2 headsets could soon see their maximum refresh rate increased to 120Hz out of the box, giving VR players a much smoother experience with games and apps without having to toggle a specific setting first.

Oculus Consulting CTO John Carmack revealed on Twitter this week that the company will be making 120Hz a default for the Oculus Quest 2, and said that developers should consider upgrading their apps to the higher display from 60Hz to avoid flicker and making “imperfect release tempo less harsh.”

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Carmack did not announce which upcoming update would add default 120Hz mode, noting in a follow-up tweet (opens in new tab) that Quest Home Browser videos will also default to 120Hz. 

He also tweeted (opens in new tab) that he developed a demo app that takes advantage of 120Hz and hopes to release it “if the content owner allows.”

Games in 120Hz mode do burn through the Quest 2's limited battery life more quickly. Carmack said (opens in new tab) in the replies to his tweets that battery life used for the new display option would only be affected when specific apps use it, since only a “modest handful take advantage of it” and that most apps cannot run at high rates. 

The 120Hz display has been available for Meta Quest 2 apps and games since introduced in the v28 update last year, but users had to manually enable the mode in the experimental features section within the settings. Some of the best Quest 2 games even unintentionally supported the new frame rate or immediately took advantage of it when it launched.

Other games can't hit the target frame rate, and will default to 60Hz even after this update. But Carmack clearly hopes developers will update their games to take advantage of the improved potential, now that it's available on all headsets automatically. Allowing apps to automatically run at higher refresh rates than the current default of 90Hz will give users a much better experience than digging through experimental settings.

Thomas Meyer fell in love with video games starting in the mid '90s with a NES, Super Mario Bros., Duck Hunt, and Jack Nicklaus' Greatest 18 Holes of Major Championship Golf. He hasn't stopped and is not planning to anytime soon. Freelance for Android Central and Windows Central.