With the v25 Quest 2 update, Oculus added App Lab, a new way for developers to sell beta experiences through the Oculus Store so users can access these apps without sideloading or developer access. Lowering the hurdles for the Quest Store allows smaller studios or indie devs to launch demos, pre-releases, or full paid experiences without meeting Facebook's rigorous quality standards. Quest 2 App Lab games aren't visibly listed on the Oculus Store, so we'll explain all the different ways you can find and install them on your computer, through the app, or while wearing your headset.
Quest 2 App Lab Where to find games
Before the App Lab launched, you had to know how to sideload apps on the Oculus Quest. This guide is still pretty useful, as there are hundreds upon hundreds of SideQuest games compared to just a dozen or so games on App Lab thus far. Among the best SideQuest games for the Oculus Quest 2, many of them will probably never make it onto the App Lab due to legal restrictions, particularly mods or ports from other platforms.
A lot of Quest 2 owners don't want to bother with that whole process but would still love to expand their library. Thankfully, finding App Lab games isn't difficult once you know where to look. Because Oculus and SideQuest have teamed up, developers have the option to list their game on SideQuest with the "App Lab" tag, making it easy for gamers to find and purchase.
- You can also modify your search to only search for Free or Paid App Lab games.
- Open any of these games.
- Directly to the right of the game's title, you should see a button labeled Oculus App. Click on it.
- You cannot currently gift App Lab games or redeem a gift code for one, although this option may be added in the future.
- Make sure you are logged into your account.
- Click the blue button to download or purchase the game.
- Open the Oculus mobile app.
- Open your Library by tapping the book icon in the top right.
- Tap the App Lab game you just downloaded.
- Tap Install on Headset. It will now appear amidst your official games on the Oculus Quest 2!
Find App Lab games on your phone or headset
You can also search directly for App Lab games on the Oculus Store, which is easier if you want to find it directly in the Oculus app or on your headset. Just keep in mind that you need to use the exact name of the game in order to find it.
Search for "Crisis VRigade," for example, and you'll see an App Lab search result warning you that the app "may be experimental or still in development" and an option to "View app" that takes you to its hidden store page. But Crisis VRigade 2 won't appear in the results because you didn't search for "2." Similarly, if you search for "Puzzling Places," you won't find it because its name is technically "Puzzling Places - Beta".
Finally, developers can distribute direct links to their Oculus Store pages, which you can simply click on to access. For whatever reason, some developers have added their games to App Lab without adding them to SideQuest, so they're difficult to find. If you want to cut out the middleman and just start adding App Lab games to your headset, we've collected every App Lab game available on Oculus Quest 2 for you to download or buy.
Or, if you're looking for more free Quest 2 experiences, check out our picks for the best free games for Oculus Quest 2.
Our favorite Quest 2 accessories
Mod your Quest 2
Make your App Lab experience more comfortable
The Quest 2 Elite Strap replaces the standard strap that ships with the headset. The Elite Strap is more ergonomic and has a fit wheel that lets you twist the headset to a nice, snug fit.
PC VR compatible
Another way to build your Quest 2 library
This 16-foot-long PC VR cable lets you enjoy Rift games or sideload SteamVR games, giving you enough length to comfortably move around your living room.
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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.