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The Oculus Quest is getting multi-user support soon

Oculus Quest headsets will soon support multiple users, Facebook has announced. The functionality will allow Quest owners to set secondary accounts on their headsets, which will allow other people to log in and access content shared by the primary user while maintaining separate save data and achievements.

The primary account holder will be able to add three secondary accounts and share apps on a single device, though Facebook says you’ll later be able to share purchases across three headsets; the company may also adjust these parameters based on feedback. Apps will be automatically opted-in to the sharing functionality, but developers can opt out before February 12th.

The Quest 2’s Facebook account requirement has been controversial, and unsurprisingly nothing changes here — secondary account users will have to log in with a Facebook account of their own. For households that already have multiple Quest users, though, the features should make life easier.

Facebook says the functionality will come to the Quest 2 next month in experimental form, meaning you can switch it on with a toggle in the settings menu before it gets released to all Quest headsets, including the original model.

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How to use your Oculus Quest 2 to play any PC VR game wirelessly

One of the best features of the Oculus Quest 2 is it can be manually linked via USB to your gaming PC to play more demanding VR games you couldn’t otherwise run natively on the headset. That’s great if you want a way to play games like Half-Life: Alyx, but the obvious downside is that you’re now physically tethered to a PC — so much for the wireless freedom that the Quest 2 advertises.

Thankfully, developers have already figured out the seemingly impossible: how to run system-intensive titles on your PC and stream the visual feed to your VR device while syncing all of your movements over Wi-Fi. It gives you the best of both worlds: letting you play the games you want without being attached by a cable to your computer.

Doing this isn’t as simple as installing an app through the Oculus store; there are several steps involved. I’m going to walk you through the steps required to make this happen on your Quest 2 virtual reality headset. The same steps likely work on the first Quest iteration, but I only have the latest model here to test.

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

Get a link cable

Even though this is a how-to on experiencing VR without wires, you’ll need a wire to get started. Oculus sells an expensive 16-foot cable for around $80, but that’s made for people who really want to use the Quest 2 in wired mode. There are other, less costly alternatives, like Anker’s 10-foot USB-C to USB Type-A 3.0 cable, which costs about $20 and gets the job done.

Many USB cables that come with modern Android phones will likely work, too. And the cable doesn’t have to be long — we’re just doing some simple data transfer here. Unfortunately, the USB-C cable that Oculus includes with each Quest 2 didn’t work for this process when I tried it. It’s simply for charging the headset.

Oculus Link cable

This is the official Oculus Link cable. It costs $80 and is difficult to find in stock. You don’t need this specific model to get through this how-to!

Enable developer settings

If you want to load files onto your Quest 2, you’ll need a developer account. Fortunately, it’s easy to do, but it’s a strange process that’s meant to be used by actual developers.

  • Go to this page and sign in to your Facebook account in your browser of choice. Just make sure you sign in to the same Facebook account that you signed in to on your Quest 2.
  • The next part of the process is to name your “organization.” You can name it whatever you’d like. You can find a direct link to this page right here in case you get lost.
  • With those two steps out of the way, open up your Oculus mobile app (iOS or Android) and sign in with the same Facebook account. Then navigate to the “Settings” pane by clicking it at the bottom-right corner of the app window.
  • On the next page, click “Oculus Quest 2” right beneath your name, and a few more options will expand from within it. Click “More Settings”
  • Once you’re there, tap “Developer Mode” and switch it on

Click here to see more options, including “More Settings” that contains the Developer Mode toggle.

Install the Quest 2 driver for your PC

The next couple of steps pave the way for you to sideload software onto the Quest 2 headset, which is a feature usually reserved for developers. If you’re using a Windows PC, you will need to install ADB drivers to let your PC write to the headset; according to the Oculus site, macOS and Linux systems don’t need a driver.

  • Download the software linked here, hosted by Oculus. (Just check the box saying you agree to the terms of the license — you can read it if you want — and click on “Download.”)
  • Once it’s downloaded, extract the contents of the folder. Then right click the item called “android_winusb.inf” and select “Install.”

Oculus ADB driver

Install this driver to get this process started.

Buy the Virtual Desktop app for Quest

The Virtual Desktop app lets you access your PC through the lens of a VR headset. You can use it for games, like we’ll be doing, but you can also watch movies you have stored on your PC in a variety of different virtual environments. There’s a Quest-specific version of the app that you can purchase here for $20. (Make sure it says that it’s compatible with Quest underneath the purchase button.)

After you purchase it, install it on the headset. We’ll be returning to this app in just a bit, but for now, a few other steps.

Virtual Desktop

Virtual Desktop running on the Quest 2.

Connect the Quest 2 to your PC

Connect your Quest 2 via its side-mounted USB-C port to your PC’s fastest available USB port. If you’ve done everything correctly up to this point, you’ll see a message displayed in the headset asking if you want to allow USB debugging. Allow it to proceed.

Download and install SideQuest on your PC

SideQuest is a free app and storefront for experiences that can be sideloaded onto your headset. For the purposes of this how-to, you’re just going to use it to apply a necessary patch to the Virtual Desktop app that I just suggested you buy and install on your Quest 2 headset.

  • Head here to find the right installer for your operating system (I used the Windows 10 version for this how-to) and download it
  • Once it finishes installing, run SideQuest
  • At this point, your headset should show up as connected in the top-left corner of the SideQuest app on your PC with a green bubble. If it’s not showing as connected, check your headset’s display for a prompt. It may be waiting for you to allow your PC to access and modify the Quest 2’s file system.

Sidequest app

The green light indicates that your headset is connected.

Sideload the Virtual Desktop VR patch for Quest 2

Within SideQuest, type “virtual desktop” in the search bar. The result you’re looking for is called “Virtual Desktop VR Patch.” This is the necessary key to fooling your computer into thinking your Quest 2 is a wired headset.

  • With your Quest 2 connected to your computer, hit the “Install to Headset” button in SideQuest, located just below the search bar in the app. The process should be pretty snappy, lasting just a few seconds.

Sidequest

Install this necessary Virtual Desktop patch to your Quest 2 headset.

Download Virtual Desktop Streamer

There’s yet one more free application to download: Virtual Desktop Streamer. Made by the same folks who made the Virtual Desktop app you purchased on the Quest 2, this app simply streams PC content to your headset via Wi-Fi.

  • Once this app is downloaded and installed, you’ll need to input your Oculus username in the Streamer window
  • If you don’t know it off the top of your head, you can find it by opening the Oculus app on mobile, navigating to “Settings,” and then tapping on the area that shows your name and email address. The name that will display next to your avatar is your username.

Oculus app

Having a hard time finding your Oculus username? Tap on your full name in the Settings menu to see this view pictured above.

  • After that’s entered, hit “Save”
  • That’s the last step! But remember that it’s crucial to have the Virtual Desktop Streamer app open in order for your headset to communicate with your PC.

Virtual Desktop Streamer

Here’s what the Virtual Desktop Streamer app looks like. It’s very simple.

Open Virtual Desktop on your Quest 2

If every step was done correctly, you’ll see your PC pop up in the list of available devices to connect to from within the Virtual Desktop app on your Quest 2.

Once you’ve connected, the Options button (the left Oculus Touch controller’s equivalent of the Oculus button) is mapped to open up the top-level menu for Virtual Desktop, as shown in the image below. From there, clicking “Games” will reveal every game that’s installed on your PC. You can simply boot each one from there, and your PC will handle all of the hard work.

Virtual Desktop

All of the VR-ready games installed on your PC will show up within Virtual Desktop.

If you aren’t happy with the visual fidelity within each game, you’re free to customize some settings that affect latency, refresh rate, and more. Note that you’ll likely get a clearer, more fluid image if your PC is powerful and your internet connection is fast. Given the reliance on your Wi-Fi network, your wireless router plays a large role in delivering a smooth experience, too.

Streaming VR over Wi-Fi certainly isn’t a perfect solution. I have a Wi-Fi 6-ready router and relatively speedy internet (235Mbps down, 19Mbps up), and I still experience the occasional spot of lag and slightly fuzzy image. Though with enough tweaking on the Virtual Desktop app (turning Wi-Fi off on seldom-used tech items never hurts), I think you’ll have a good time.

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Oculus is shipping the Quest 2 Elite Strap again and extending its warranty after quality issues

Oculus is resuming shipments of its Quest 2 Elite Strap accessory and extending the warranty after reports of defective straps. As UploadVR reported earlier, the Facebook-owned virtual reality company paused Elite Strap shipments in November, saying a small number of users had reported them snapping after use. Now, it tells Android Central that it’s pinpointed the issue as a “processing inconsistency with some early units,” and the product is going back on sale.

Oculus maintains that the Elite Strap problems affect a “very small percentage” of customers. But it’s increasing the standard one-year warranty to a two-year period, during which Oculus will replace broken straps free of charge.

The $49 Elite Strap (and a $129 version with an external battery and carrying case) replaces the standard cloth strap of the Oculus Quest 2 VR headset. It’s a major upgrade that makes the $299 Quest 2 far more comfortable, and since it’s reappeared on the Oculus store and is being restocked elsewhere, it’s apparently a viable option once again.

Update 6:00PM ET: This piece has been updated to reflect the Elite Strap being restocked on the Oculus store.

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The Oculus Rift S is $100 off at several retailers

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Only the best deals on Verge-approved gadgets get the Verge Deals stamp of approval, so if you’re looking for a deal on your next gadget or gift from major retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target, and more, this is the place to be.

Oculus has knocked $100 off the cost of its Rift S tethered virtual reality headset, which brings the price down to $299. This makes it the same price as the Oculus Quest 2 standalone headset that doesn’t require connecting to a PC to play games and experiences — yet the Rift S doesn’t require a Facebook account to use it. Oculus announced earlier this year that it discontinued the Rift S, so this discount could be its way of clearing out stock. You can get this price at several retailers, including on Oculus’ site, Lenovo (the headset’s manufacturer), as well as Walmart and Amazon.


Oculus Rift S

Prices taken at time of publishing.

The successor to the original Rift has tracking capabilities built into the headset, eliminating the need for exterior tracking sensors. Its cable is five meters long and the headset includes two Oculus Touch controllers.

If you’re considering your options, this price cut makes the Rift S far more affordable than the Valve Index, which currently takes weeks to deliver after placing an order. The Quest 2 has been a popular holiday gift item, resulting in it selling out at most stores. So if you don’t mind being tethered to your modest gaming PC with the Rift S, this might be your best option to get a solid VR headset in time for the holidays.

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Oculus has discounted VR games and experiences for Black Friday


Oculus is hosting a big sale on games and experiences for Black Friday, with more discounts coming on Cyber Monday. There are plenty of standalone deals, but Oculus has also curated several bundles, each one on a different theme. And you can gift titles to other people from the Oculus store, too. You’ll just need their e-mail address when checking out.

According to Oculus, all of the games in the bundles below will work with Quest standalone headsets. Be aware, though, that only some of them support cross-buy, meaning one purchase will work both as a standalone app on Quest and when wired to your PC via Oculus Link. All others are exclusive to either Rift or Quest. To avoid confusion, I’ve labeled which support cross-buy. Make sure you check the product pages to see which platform each title is made for.

To see the full list of games and experiences on sale, you can visit the Black Friday landing page over at the Oculus store. But if you just want the bundle details, you’ll find those below.

Tetris Effect is available as a cross-buy title from Oculus.

First, there’s the “Must-Haves Pack,” containing Onward, Job Simulator, In Death: Unchained, Tetris Effect (which supports cross-buy), Space Pirate Trainer, and I Expect You to Die. Normally, all of these titles would cost $145 purchased together, but this pack costs only $90. It will last until Saturday, November 28th at 2:59AM ET.

There’s also a “Premium Pack,” which costs $165. It contains Superhot VR, Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted (which supports cross-buy), Vacation Simulator, Arizona Sunshine, The Room VR (which supports cross-buy), Red Matter, Espire 1: VR Operative (which supports cross-buy), Moss, Gun Club VR (which supports cross-buy), and Space Pirate Trainer. All of these titles together would normally cost $275. This pack will also last until November 28th at 2:59AM ET.

You can get the complete collection of Star Wars Vader Immortal episodes bundled together for $20. Each episode usually costs $10, so you’re saving 33 percent. This pack will last until November 28th at 2:59AM ET.

There are two more bundles being sold until Monday, November 30th at 12AM ET. The “Fitness Pack” contains FitXR, Creed Rise to Glory, and Sports Scramble for $60, which is 35 percent off the normal cost (all of these titles support cross-buy). Lastly, the “Action Pack,” which costs $60 as well, contains Pistol Whip, Phantom: Covert Ops, and Trover Saves the Universe.



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Oculus rolls out support for 90Hz games in first big Quest 2 update


Oculus has rolled out its first big update for the Quest 2 standalone virtual reality headset, fulfilling a few promises it made when the headset launched last month. Headlining the new features is the 90Hz refresh rate mode that now expands to all system-level apps by default — including through Oculus Link, which has officially exited beta.

The company says it’s now allowing developers to ship Quest titles with native 90Hz support, as opposed to the Quest 2’s 72Hz base refresh rate that was active by default. Soon, the likes of Superhot, Echo VR, Beat Saber, Vacation Simulator, Job Simulator, Racket: Nx, and Space Pirate Trainer will support the higher refresh rate. Hopefully Tetris Effect and Rez Infinite will soon join that list.

If you connect the Quest 2 to your PC via an Oculus Link cable (or a cheaper, compatible USB 3.0 cable), you’ll be able to toggle between 72Hz, 80Hz, or 90Hz through the Oculus app on PC. Oculus says it has improved overall visual quality when using the Link function and the automatic graphics profile settings have been retuned to tax your GPU harder for better performance. You’ll find a new interface for tweaking graphical settings in the app, as well as for easily adjusting the render resolution for a sharper image.

Next week, Oculus is rolling out Oculus Move, the app that lets you track fitness metrics gathered from playing VR games. With it, you’ll be able to see how many calories you’ve burned and minutes spent being physically active in games that you play. It seems kind of neat, especially if you aren’t moving around all that much outside due to the pandemic.

There are two more additions: Later in November, Oculus is going to let you capture the headset’s screen through the iOS or Android app, so you can make clips of your own. Before this, you had to either share recorded clips directly to Facebook or manually hook up your Quest 2 to your PC and drag-and-drop the files.

Lastly, Oculus is making it possible to gift games and experiences through the Oculus store, either in-browser or from within the app. You’ll just need your friend’s e-mail address. The company mentioning this feature is timely, since the Black Friday sale at the Oculus Store will kick off next week, so maybe hold off on buying new games until then.



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The Oculus Quest 2 was preordered five times as much as the original


The new Oculus Quest 2 VR headset was preordered more than five times as much as last year’s original model, Mark Zuckerberg confirmed on Facebook’s earnings call. Zuckerberg characterized the launch of the Quest 2 as the company taking “major steps forward in building the next computing platform.”

“I’ve been very impressed and excited by the progress that our teams have made on this,” Zuckerberg said on the call. “I think that the new Quest 2 product is extraordinary. I love using it. And I’m really proud of the work that we’ve done there.”

It’s not really surprising that there’d be pent-up demand for the Quest 2. The improved standalone headset is shipping with a starting price of $299 — that’s $100 less than the previous model, which has been difficult to find in stock all year. Facebook is clearly going all-out to make this as mainstream and as accessible a device as it can be.

Third-party Oculus developers are benefiting from the influx of new users, too. Denny Unger of Pistol Whip creators Cloudhead Labs says the games sales have increased tenfold since the launch of the Quest 2, while Apex Construct studio Fast Travel Games saw an 800% uptick in sales.



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The Oculus Quest 2 will not support Oculus Go games, says John Carmack


If you bought a new Oculus Quest 2 with the hopes of experiencing games from the now-discontinued Oculus Go, I have bad news: the company has decided not to include support for Go titles on the Quest 2, Oculus’ consulting CTO John Carmack confirms on Twitter.

When the Oculus Quest 2 launched three days ago, some people noticed there was no feature on the UI that allowed users to access Go apps and games, something the original Quest headset featured. Carmack did not go into much detail on why support was not added other than “[he] totally lost the internal debate over backwards compatibility.”

The Oculus Go was discontinued in June, but last year, Carmack tweeted out that Oculus planned to bring Go emulation to the Quest, allowing users to play games originally released on the Go onto its then-flagship virtual reality headset. Not every app and game released on the Go was backwards compatible, but Quest owners had access to a decent library of titles released on Oculus’ first standalone headset, which was accessible through the Quest’ user interface. But production of the original Quest ended following the reveal of the Quest 2 in September.





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Facebook is accidentally locking some users out of their new Oculus headsets


Facebook says a “small number” of customers have been locked out of their new Oculus Quest 2 headsets, following a string of reports that buyers were unable to use the virtual reality headsets because their Facebook accounts were suspended. On Twitter, it urged users to contact Oculus if they had problems.

As UploadVR reported yesterday, users complained that they had been suspended for unclear reasons while they were trying to set up the Quest 2. One poster on the Oculus subreddit, for instance, described getting banned after creating a Facebook page for the first time and merging it with an existing Oculus account. “I logged into Facebook’s website to lock down my profile, as I had no intention of using the social media site more than was needed, and within minutes of merging accounts and changing profile settings my account was banned without any reason given or cause I can think of,” the user told The Verge in an email — rendering the Quest 2 a “new white paperweight.” Other people in the subreddit chimed in with their own experiences getting locked out.

The Quest 2 is the first Oculus headset to require a Facebook login rather than a login with a separate Oculus account. Many existing customers used Oculus accounts on previous headsets, and setting up the Quest requires merging them — a process that, for some users, has gone far from seamlessly. Oculus promised in a statement to UploadVR that this wouldn’t permanently compromise access to purchased games. “Someone may temporarily experience an issue accessing content if they have trouble logging in to Quest 2 with their Facebook account, but they will be able to access their content once those login issues are resolved,” a spokesperson said.

New Oculus buyers who are already active Facebook users may see fewer problems, as they’re simply prompted to sign up via Facebook without needing to merge any accounts.

The potential for lockout was a known risk for the Oculus Quest 2, which was announced in September and shipped yesterday. Facebook requires people to use their real names on its service, and it suspends accounts that it believes are inauthentic. It may reinstate them if users send pictures of driver’s licenses or other proof of identity, but the process can be slow, impersonal, and hit-or-miss thanks to Facebook’s massive scale.





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The $299 Oculus Quest 2 VR headset starts shipping today


The Oculus Quest 2, Facebook’s new virtual reality headset, has started shipping today. The Quest 2 is a cheaper, revamped version of the original 2019 Quest. It’s got the same untethered standalone design but with a new chipset and a big bump in screen resolution and controller battery life. And it’s starting at $299 for the base 64GB model and $399 for a 256GB version, a $100 drop from the original Quest.

Quest 2 preorders have been open since September, and it’s available through Oculus’ own site and stores like Best Buy and Walmart, with a full list of retailers in Oculus’ announcement post. It was difficult to buy an original Quest over much of the past year, thanks to persistent supply problems, but the Quest 2 still appears to be widely in stock.

As we wrote in September, the Quest 2 improves some of the Quest’s biggest shortcomings, particularly its weight and balance problems, as long as you pay the extra $49 for an alternate head strap. Oculus has also expanded its library since the original Quest’s launch, and it’s got a slate of upcoming games promised for later this year. The only potential catch is that you’ll need a Facebook account — not just a separate Oculus account — to use it.

The Quest 2 is replacing the original Quest, and starting next year, it’s going to be Facebook’s only headset, since the tethered Rift S will be discontinued in the spring. The product still has some higher-end competition, including the Valve Index and upcoming HP Reverb G2. But if you’re looking for relatively cheap VR that doesn’t require a PC, the Quest is in a unique position — and now, it’s on sale.



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