Do all Quest 2 games get Quest 3 upgrades?
For other upgrades, such as adding new textures, game assets, dynamic shadows and lighting, and mixed-reality elements, developers need to update their games to take advantage of the Quest 3's upgrades.
Thus far, we've seen a couple dozen Quest 2 games with new Quest 3 game updates, but we can expect many more to come.
At the same time, despite the Quest 3's many improvements over the Quest 2, the millions of Quest 2 owners still represent a larger audience, meaning they should still receive the same games moving forward — only with significant downgrades.
How Quest 2 games are enhanced for Quest 3
You'll find two main types of Quest 3 graphical enhancements: graphical and performance improvements like the ones depicted in the Red Matter 2 comparison video above, and specific mixed-reality additions to games initially designed for virtual reality alone.
Red Matter 2 blew us away with how good it looked despite the Quest 2's limited hardware. Still, thanks to the Quest 3 hardware boosts, developer Vertical Robot could add PC VR-quality textures, shadows, lighting, and other boosts for Quest 3 owners. In fact, according to co-founder Norman Schaar, the Quest 3 version had to be enhanced beyond the PC port in some ways:
This Meta blog post runs through some other games like Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners 2 and Espire 2 that received key upgrades that go beyond visual improvements, but also make the gameplay better.
Walking Dead received "more vibrant colors, increased foliage and set dressing," and similar perks like high-res textures and dynamic lighting. Most importantly, according to Skydance Senior VP Guy Costantini, "You’re going to definitely see more walkers on camera where it matters. It is quite stunning when you see the number of walkers that we’re able to render on-screen simultaneously."
As for the stealth game Espire 2, texture upgrades improved by 4X, 8X, or 16X in different areas, including "physical-based rendering" of metallic surfaces, as well as more graphical power for new assets like birds and cockroaches. It also added 24 mixed-reality missions, but these essentially constitute new gameplay rather than enhancements.
In general, you can expect most developers to improve Quest 2 games with graphical upgrades because it's easier to add content to PC-quality levels than it is to take a PC VR game and downgrade it to Quest 2-level graphics. If a game already has a PC VR port, that makes it especially likely that you'll see new Quest 3 enhanced games soon.
As for mixed-reality enhancements, most Quest games receiving them are those that would benefit from seeing your surroundings, such as exercise-focused games to ensure you don't injure yourself or social games like Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, where you'd like to see people around you while you play.
Which Quest 2 games have Quest 3 upgrades?
Below, we will list Quest 2 games alphabetically with mixed-reality enhancements, followed by games confirmed to have graphical enhancements. We'll also include new Quest 3 titles with confirmed MR elements or upgrades since these titles will also be available on the Quest 2 in a downgraded form.
This won't be a comprehensive list, and it will continue to grow over time, but it should give new Quest 3 owners an idea of where to start. You can also check our list of upcoming Quest 3 games for an idea of what's coming in the next few months.
Quest 3 mixed-reality games and upgrades
Mixed reality isn't just a gimmick; it is providing a whole new dimension to VR gameplay. But some developers are using it to actually develop new content meant for MR, while others are simply using full-color passthrough for gamers playing in smaller spaces.
Here are the earliest examples of Quest 3 mixed-reality enhancements:
- BAM: A tabletop robot-fighting game designed for full-color MR.
- Broken Edge: "Blend your digital and physical worlds! You can now open a rift in your living room and duel against fellow players! Transform your house into an arena and unleash your inner warrior without restraint."
- Cubism: One of the first games to use passthrough on Quest 2, Cubism now supports Space Setup, a recenter button to snap a puzzle to a table, and the ability to take your puzzle anywhere without a boundary.
- Cybrix: Cyberpunk table-tennis-esque gameplay with an MR mode.
- Espire 2: 24 exclusive mixed-reality missions designed for you to sneak around your home.
- Figmin XR: An MR application for designing in 3D that uses Tilt Brush tech.
- Hoame: This guided meditation app now lets you customize your home living space with virtual objects like plants and candles.
- Holofit: The fitness app now supports a mixed-reality mode in a 6'x6' space.
- Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes: Although you're still isolated during gameplay by design, you can see your friends while in the lobby, choosing the next mission.
- Knockout League: Adds a new mixed-reality mode to make boxing safer.
- Les Mills Bodycombat: The mixed-reality mode makes your side and rear surroundings visible, while the front is VR-only.
- Linelight: The "Passthrough and Hands 2.0" update lets you play this relaxing puzzle game without controllers and with your surroundings visible.
- Naer: It's a new "mixed-reality productivity app where colleagues collaborate in a truly hybrid, immersive workplace."
- Noun Town Language Learning: "Add 3D objects or annotate items in your house to bring your learning into your home," and "play new minigames designed for MR."
- OhShape: The MR update has the walls approach you in your living room surroundings; it's currently only available for newer music packs but will later come to older albums and custom songs.
- PianoVision: This MR app is designed to overlay instructions over your real-world piano or keyboard.
- Synth Riders: In its mixed-reality mode, your surroundings "respond to the music" with visual effects that match the beat.
- Vermillion: You can mount and frame your paintings on your real-world walls, with double the painting resolution as the Quest 2.
- VR Workout: Mixed-reality mode and the Jungle Gym update let you use real-world props like a chair or wall during exercises.
- Xtadium: Designed to let you "attend" NBA games or NASCAR events, you can now put them on virtual screens without losing access to your real-world view instead.
- Yuki Space Ranger: The new MRcade mode has foes attacking you in your living room from all sides; you must punch or blast foes before they reach you.
- Zoe: A 3D content-creation app that now supports a mixed-reality mode.
Quest 3 graphical enhancements
The Quest 3 is unleashing the potential of Quest 2 titles. By default, it'll give a basic boost to every game. But for the games below, you'll see purposeful improvements and changes that the Quest 2 couldn't possibly handle.
Here is the current list of Quest 3 games with graphical enhancements:
- Death Horizon: Reloaded: Adds improved visual effects, exclusive 120FPS mode, and new weapons.
- Espire 2: Texture improvements, volumetric lighting, atmospheric particles, birds and cockroaches added, and X-ray effect improved.
- Guardians Frontline: New decorative objects like plants, environmental effects like snow and dust, water reflections, improved terrain textures, metallic shaders, etc.
- MOTHERGUNSHIP: FORGE: "Higher resolution, sharper textures, improved framerate, and new post effects."
- Pistol Whip: Visually enhanced shadows and bloom effects, increased 3D detail, resolution upgrade, and support for 90FPS.
- Puzzling Places: Aside from mixed-reality co-op, if you own two headsets, it now "runs at 1.5x default render resolution with 4x MSAA anti-aliasing. Quest 3 owners can choose between two modes: "higher visual fidelity or higher frame rates (72hz vs. 90hz)."
- Red Matter 2: 16X more pixels per texture, dynamic shadows, and shadow filtering.
- Resist: Atmospheric fog, puddles, weather effects, shadows, weapon effects like muzzle flash, and steady 90Hz.
- Shadowgate VR: New textures, objects, and real-time lighting effects.
- Smash Drums: The Quest 3 version has "2.6 times the resolution of the Quest 2."
- Synth Riders: Shorter load times, improved graphics, sharper text, and improved haptics.
- Walking Dead S&S 2: More vibrant colors, increased foliage, and set dressing, more detailed and higher resolution textures, dynamic shadows, dynamic lighting for the flashlight, and more zombies visible at once.
- Zenith: The Last City: The "Might and Mastery" update includes "performance and memory optimizations" along with "extra details" that use the Quest 3's hardware.
As you can see, many of the best Quest 2 games aren't listed above. As of publication, we're barely a week out from the Quest 3 launch, meaning it's not unreasonable that many developers need more time to optimize their software for the brand-new headset.
Many major VR developers sell their games on PC VR and PSVR 2, as well as Quest, giving them ready-made assets to transfer to the Quest 3. Others that sold exclusively on the Quest 2 will have to develop new textures and visual effects from scratch to take advantage of the Quest 3's performance gains. That means a longer delay.
Best VR experience
The Meta Quest 3 enables your old Quest 2 purchases to run better than ever before and allows developers to add all of the tech and assets that the older headset didn't have the capacity to support. It's built to immerse you in VR worlds better than ever, as well as unlock your surroundings for mixed-reality experiences.
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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.