Oculus Quest Steam VrSource: Nick Sutrich / Android Central

Owners of the Oculus Quest know just how good the truly wireless experience is. What they may not know, however, is how their gaming PC could transform the Oculus Quest into an Oculus Rift and enable even grander-scale VR experiences. Our step-by-step guide will show you the easiest path to using your Oculus Quest as a PC VR headset, as well as introducing a few ways to keep the experience truly wireless.

Products needed for this guide:

  • Get connected: Oculus Software (Free at Oculus)
  • Access to thousands of VR titles: Steam (Free at Steam)
  • See your computer's desktop through your Quest: Virtual Desktop ($13 at Oculus)
  • Unlock your Quest's full potential: Sidequest (Free at SideQuest VR)
  • Truly wireless VR: Oculus Quest ($399 at Amazon)
  • When a USB-C port isn't available: Modal 10-foot cable ($27 at Best Buy)

The easiest way is to wire it up

Oculus Quest Link PcSource: Nick Sutrich / Android Central

Wired is the best way to go right now for two main reasons. First, the wired experience is unbelievably easy to set up, and second, you'll be getting the highest quality video and audio quality with a wire. To get started, all you'll need is a USB Type-C cable to plug your Oculus Quest into your computer.

The $80 Oculus Link cable will offer the highest quality experience and is officially recommended by Oculus. If your computer doesn't have a USB Type-C port, you can opt for a less expensive $27 Modal 10-foot cable that'll plug into the USB Type-A 3.1 ports on your PC. Once you've got the cable, follow these instructions.

  1. Make sure Steam is installed on your computer. You can get Steam here.
  2. Open Steam, click on the Store tab at the top.
  3. Search the Steam store for SteamVR and click install. You do not need to open SteamVR at this time.
  4. Open up the Oculus software on your PC.
    • If you don't already have it, download it here and then sign in with your Oculus account.
  5. Connect one side of the USB cable to the appropriate port on your PC and the other side to your Oculus Quest.
  6. The Oculus app on your computer should recognize the Oculus Quest once it's plugged in. Click Continue on the screen that pops up to enable Oculus Link.

    Quest Link SetupSource: Android Central

  7. During the Oculus Link setup, you can test the cable to make sure it's fast enough to be used with Oculus Link by clicking the Test button at the bottom of the screen. If your cable fails the test, you should consider one of the cables we recommended above.

    Quest Link FailSource: Android Central

  8. Click Continue and put the Oculus Quest on your head. You'll be asked to set up the Guardian boundaries for your room.
  9. On the Oculus Home screen, select Apps on the left-hand side of the screen, and then start SteamVR.

    Oculus Home SteamvrSource: Android Central

  10. Sometimes, SteamVR needs additional room setup information. If you have not previously set up the room boundaries in SteamVR, you'll need to follow through with the steps on your PC. This will appear automatically on your monitor if it needs to be set up. You may need to take your Oculus Quest off to complete this step.

    Steamvr Room SetupSource: Android Central

  11. Once SteamVR loads up, press the menu button on the left Oculus Touch controller to pull up the SteamVR dashboard.

    Quest Steam VrSource: Android Central

  12. Launch your game of choice and enjoy.

The fastest way to get connected

Oculus Link Cable

Simplicity in design

When you are ready to turn your Oculus Quest into an Oculus Rift, the Oculus Link cable is all you need. Just plug it in and you'll be playing high-end PC VR games without any annoying configuration or additional steps.

The less expensive path

Modal 10' USB cable

Less money, more compatibility

Modal's 10-foot USB-A to USB-C cable works perfectly for the Oculus Quest when your computer doesn't have a USB Type-C port to plug into. It's also less expensive than the official cable and features a durable braided protective cover.

Freely wireless with ALVR

Half-Life: Alyx running on Oculus Quest through ALVRSource: Android Central

While a wired experience will deliver the highest quality and requires the least bit of configuration, wires just aren't all that great to deal with. After all, that's probably the single biggest reason to get an Oculus Quest, so why compromise now? When considering a wireless setup for your PC VR needs, there are two big options: the free option, ALVR, or the paid option, Virtual Desktop.

For this tutorial, you'll need to use Sidequest to get these apps installed onto your Oculus Quest. Please follow our Sidequest guide here. Since it's free, we'll start by showing you how to install and use ALVR.

  1. On your PC, navigate to the ALVR Github.
  2. Download ALVR.zip. You can find this under the Assets section of each release in Github.

    Quest Alvr GithubSource: Android Central

  3. Extract ALVR.zip to a permanent location on your computer. Something like My Documents or the Desktop folder is fine.

    Quest Alvr Windows LaunchSource: Android Central

  4. Open up the ALVR folder you just extracted and run ALVR.exe. Accept any security warnings that appear.

Now to load ALVR onto your Oculus Quest.

  1. Plug your Oculus Quest into your computer with a USB cable. Sidequest should recognize your Oculus Quest if you've gone through our Sidequest setup guide.
  2. Open up the Sidequest application on your desktop PC.
  3. Click on Games and Apps at the top.
  4. Use the search bar on the left side of the screen to search for ALVR or click here. The full title name you'll see listed in Sidequest is ALVR - Air Light VR.

    Sidequest SearchSource: Android Central

  5. On the store page within Sidequest, click the pink Install Latest button to download and install ALVR onto your Oculus Quest.

    Quest AlvrSource: Android Central

  6. Once the installation is complete, unplug the Oculus Quest and fit it to your face as you normally would when playing.
  7. Navigate to your Library.

    Quest Oculus LibrarySource: Android Central

  8. Select Unknown Sources from the left-hand list, and then select ALVR from the main pane.

    Quest Alvr Home launcherSource: Android Central

  9. ALVR will launch into a white screen. Pull your visor up but leave the Oculus Quest on your head to keep it from falling asleep. On your computer, click the Connect button within the ALVR app next to the Oculus Quest listing.

    Quest Alvr clientSource: Android Central

  10. Once it's connected, you'll see your headset's statistics and information displayed in the ALVR app on your desktop. SteamVR will automatically launch and you'll be greeted with SteamVR home from within the Oculus Quest.

    Quest Alvr clientSource: Android Central

  11. If you have not previously set up the room boundaries in SteamVR, you'll need to follow through with the steps on your PC. This will appear automatically on your monitor if it was not previously set up.

    Steamvr Room SetupSource: Android Central

  12. Once SteamVR loads up, press the menu button on the left Oculus Touch controller to pull up the SteamVR dashboard.

    Quest Steam VrSource: Android Central

  13. Launch your game of choice and enjoy.

Get your entire desktop with Virtual Desktop

Virtual-DesktopSource: Android Central

Virtual Desktop is the other wireless experience, and it's installed much in the same way that ALVR is with one exception: You'll need to buy a license for Virtual Desktop first. Begin on your PC.

  1. Open the Oculus App and search for Virtual Desktop or just click here.
  2. Purchase Virtual Desktop but don't install it.
  3. Download the Virtual Desktop streaming app on your PC.
  4. Run the application once it's done downloading.

    Quest Virtual Desktop streamerSource: Android Central

Now that you have the program, here's how to get going.

  1. Plug your Oculus Quest into your computer with a USB cable. Sidequest should recognize your Oculus Quest if you've gone through our Sidequest setup guide.
  2. Navigate to the Sidequest app on your Desktop PC.
  3. Click on Games and Apps at the top, then use the search bar on the left side of the screen to search for Virtual Desktop or just click here.

    Sidequest SearchSource: Android Central

  4. On the store page within Sidequest, click the pink Install Latest button to download and install Virtual Desktop onto your Oculus Quest.

    Sidequest Virtual DesktopSource: Android Central

  5. Once the installation is complete, unplug the Oculus Quest and fit it to your face as you normally would when playing. Navigate to your Library.

    Quest Oculus LibrarySource: Android Central

  6. Select Unknown Sources from the left-hand list, and then select Virtual Desktop from the main pane.

    Quest Alvr Home launcherSource: Android Central

  7. Follow the in-app prompts to complete setup. Virtual Desktop will pass your Oculus Guardian room setup to SteamVR and shouldn't require any additional setup from Steam.

    Steamvr Room SetupSource: Android Central

  8. Once SteamVR loads up, press the menu button on the left Oculus Touch controller to pull up the SteamVR dashboard.

    Quest Steam VrSource: Android Central

  9. Launch your game of choice and enjoy.

You're done!

No matter how you get there, whether it's by connecting a wire or setting up one of the excellent wireless experiences, it's now simpler than ever to turn your Oculus Quest into an Oculus Rift and play super-powered PC VR games.

Untethered VR

Oculus Quest

VR without the need for external sensors

The Oculus Quest is a tetherless VR headset that doesn't require a computer and uses inside out tracking. You can move freely without worrying about tripping over cables or setting up external sensors. It comes in both 64GB and 128GB versions.

Apps you need

SteamVR (Free at Steam)

Steam offers VR gamers thousands of options to choose from, whether it's big-name VR titles like Half-Life: Alyx, or indie-developed wonders and even free experiences, Steam has just about everything you'll want.

Oculus Store (Free at Oculus)

When Facebook bought Oculus many moons ago, few understood just how much the company would end up investing in VR. The biggest names and hits in the VR world are on the Oculus Store, and many titles even work cross-platform between Oculus Rift and Oculus Quest!

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