Sidequest App QuestSource: Nick Sutrich / Android Central

The Oculus Quest family has a fantastic library of apps and games available, but you can open up new possibilities with the SideQuest marketplace. Both the Oculus Quest and Oculus Quest 2 are Android devices at their core, so you can put APK files onto it just like an Android phone. This means you can install anything from the Android version of Netflix to games and apps that Facebook wouldn't normally approve of having on the official Oculus store. As of April 2021, the easiest way to use SideQuest is with an Android phone. If you don't have one, you can always use a PC to get the job done, although it's quite a bit more complicated.

How to unlock developer mode

No matter which way you end up using SideQuest to connect to your Oculus Quest, you'll need to enable developer mode on your Oculus Quest. This is done through the Oculus app on your phone.

  1. Open the Oculus app.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Select your Oculus Quest headset.

    Oculus Quest developer mode settingsSource: Android Central

  4. Tap the arrow to the right of your device name to drop down more options if they don't show up immediately after selecting your device.
  5. Select more settings.
  6. Select developer mode.
  7. Toggle the developer mode, set to on.

    Oculus Quest developer mode settingsSource: Android Central

  8. This opens a website (unless you've unlocked developer options on an Oculus device before).
  9. Scroll down and select the link below create an organization.
  10. Log in to your Oculus account
  11. Enter the name of your "organization" (this can be anything).
  12. Select submit
  13. Agree to the terms of the agreement.
  14. You'll need to enter a credit or debit card for identity verification. There is no charge to be an Oculus developer. However, Facebook's terms of service require you to verify your identity via this method.
  15. Open the Oculus app again.
  16. Select Settings.
  17. Select your Oculus Quest headset.

    Quest Developer ModeSource: Android Central

  18. Tap the arrow to the right of your device name to drop down more options if they do not show up immediately after selecting your device.
  19. Select more settings.
  20. Select developer mode.
  21. Toggle the developer mode setting to on if it isn't already switched on.

Now that you've got developer mode enabled, it's time to get Sidequest setup with your method of choice: phone or PC.

With an Android phone

As of April 2021, the easiest way to sideload anything onto your Oculus Quest or Oculus Quest 2 is by using the SideQuest Android app. This app is free on the Google Play Store and should run on all Android devices. Still, you'll need to make sure your phone or tablet supports USB OTG. USB OTG support, in a nutshell, means you can connect your Quest and phone with a USB cable for simple communication purposes. Don't worry about doing too much research, though, as the SideQuest app will tell you right off the bat. First, get this SideQuest app:

Sidequest Oculus Logo

SideQuest mobile

Sideloading games and apps onto your Oculus Quest is now as easy as downloading the smartphone app and connecting to your Quest.

Now to make sure you have USB OTG support.

  1. Open up the SideQuest app on your phone.
  2. Select the connections icon on the left side of the bar at the bottom. It looks a bit like a Wi-Fi icon.
  3. In the top section, you'll see USB OTG Support.

    Sidequest App Connection Wifi OptionsSource: Android Central

  4. If it reads Detected, then you're good to continue with these instructions.
  5. If it reads Not Detected, then head on over to the PC tab to get SideQuest set up there.

Wiring it up

Grab a USB Type-C to Type-C cable for the connection. If you don't already have one, here are the best USB cables for Quest.

  1. Power on your Oculus Quest or Oculus Quest 2.
  2. Open up the SideQuest app on your phone.
  3. Using a USB Type-C to Type-C cable, plug one end into your phone and the other end into the Oculus Quest's USB port.
  4. Your phone should display a permissions prompt to allow SideQuest Installer to access Quest 2. Check the Always open SideQuest Installer when Quest is connected box and select OK.

    Sidequest App Usb Connection PermissionSource: Android Central

  5. Put your Oculus Quest or Quest 2 on your head.
  6. You should see a prompt to accept a connection from the connected device. Select always trust this RSA fingerprint box and select the Accept button.
  7. Select Allow on the next prompt to allow your phone to access your Quest's data.
  8. Take off your Quest and return to your phone.
  9. On the main SideQuest screen, you should see a green circle next to the connection status button, located in the middle of the bottom navigation bar in the app.

    Sidequest App Connected To QuestSource: Android Central

Your phone is now connected with SideQuest. Have fun sideloading games and apps!

Sideloading over Wi-Fi

Once you've followed the steps above, you can enable Wi-Fi sideloading for future sessions. Here's how to do that:

  1. On the SideQuest app, select the connections icon on the left side of the bar at the bottom. It looks a bit like a Wi-Fi icon.
  2. In the Wifi/USB Options section, click the Enable Wifi button.

    Sidequest App Connection Wifi OptionsSource: Android Central

  3. Your Quest's IP address should automatically be filled in below.
  4. Unplug the USB cable that connects your phone to your Quest.
  5. Click the Connect button in the SideQuest app to connect to your Quest wirelessly.
  6. On the main SideQuest screen, you should see a green circle next to the connection status button, located in the middle of the bottom navigation bar in the app.

    Sidequest App Connected To QuestSource: Android Central

How to find your Oculus Quest's IP address

There's a likelihood that your Quest's IP will change over time. If you click connect in the app and it fails, here's how to find your Oculus Quest's current IP address:

  1. With your Oculus Quest on, press the Oculus home button on your right controller.
  2. Click the Wi-Fi status icon, located on the left side of the Oculus universal menu bar at the bottom.

    Quest 2 Screenshot Menu Bar Wifi IconSource: Android Central

  3. Select the current Wi-Fi SSID name that you're connected to.
  4. Scroll down and select advanced settings.
  5. Find your IP address and jot it down in the wifi options section in the SideQuest mobile app.
  6. Click the Connect button to connect the SideQuest mobile app to your Quest over Wi-Fi.

Happy Sideloading!

With a PC

To get started, you'll need to download SideQuest from GitHub and install it. It's an executable file, so if you've used those before, it should work like any other. You can download it on Windows, Mac, and Linux, but here's a step-by-step breakdown of the process on Windows.

  1. Go to SideQuestVR.com.
  2. Click on the GET SIDEQUEST button at the top of the page.
  3. Select the version for your computer's operating system, either Windows, Mac, or Linux.
  4. Open the downloaded installer file.
  5. Accept any security dialogs that appear and run through the installation process.

    Sidequest Windows InstallerSource: Android Central

  6. Once the installer has completed, launch SideQuest from your Start Menu, applications menu, or quick launch bar.

    Sidequest Windows Star MenuSource: Android Central

How to connect your Oculus Quest and SideQuest

To set up SideQuest and install any applications, you'll need to connect your Oculus Quest and your PC.

  1. Connect your Oculus Quest or Quest 2 to your PC using a USB cable.
  2. SideQuest should recognize the headset and show a green circle with the name of your headset on the top bar.

    Sidequest ConnectedSource: Android Central

  3. Put on your headset, and select Allow USB debugging.
  4. Make sure to check Always allow from this computer.

How to install apps through SideQuest

Now that the setup is out of the way, you can sideload apps. If you've done everything correctly, you won't have to repeat any of the steps above.

SideQuest has a great library of apps and games available directly from the SideQuest app on your computer. To install any of those, follow these steps.

Installing apps already on SideQuest

  1. Browse or search for an app inside SideQuest using the search bar located at the top of every page.
  2. Click the Install to headset button at the top of the store listing.

    Alvr SidequestSource: Android Central

  3. A progress notification will be displayed on the bottom of the SideQuest window.
  4. To check the status, select the tasks button at the top of SideQuest. It looks like a checkmark.

    Virtual Desktop SidequestSource: Android Central

That's it! You can also uninstall an app using the same process, but select uninstall instead of install.

Installing APKs from elsewhere

You can also install APKs that you download from anywhere else.

  1. Click the Install APK file from folder on computer button at the top of SideQuest.

    Sidequest Install ApkSource: Android Central

  2. Select your APK of choice from the pop-up dialog box and click open

How to launch sideloaded games

Now that you have your games or apps installed, you need to launch them.

  1. From the Oculus home screen within the headset, select Library on the bottom bar. If you don't see the bottom bar, press the Home button on your right controller.
  2. Select Unknown Sources from the right-most drop-down menu.
  3. Select the game or app you'd like to use.

    Alvr Quest LaunchSource: Android Central

That's it! SideQuest makes it simple to sideload apps and games and is an excellent resource for the Oculus Quest.

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