How to Setup Oculus Link: Connect the Quest to your PC

Oculus Quest can function as a PC VR headset with the Oculus Link feature. This means that you can play Steam VR and Oculus Rift S games on your Quest headset, powered by your gaming PC! In this guide, we will show you how to setup Oculus Link with the Oculus Quest step by step. We’ll also go over the advantages of connecting your Oculus Quest to your PC

Before we get started, there are some things that you’ll need to ensure the process works smoothly. At launch, the feature only supported USB 3.0 cables, which awkwardly didn’t include the cable that came in the box with Quest. A recent update to Oculus Link now allows Quest to use the feature with USB 2.0 cables, including the one it ships with.

We go through all of those details and other tips and tricks below.

If you have any trouble trying to setup Oculus Link, comment down at the bottom of this guide, and we can help you out.

RELATED: Check out everything we know so far about the Oculus Quest 2, which will include Oculus Link improvements!

ALSO RELATED: If you don’t want to buy a pre-made PC to use Oculus Link, check out this step by step guide for building your own VR-Ready PC one component at a time.

Oculus Link Requirements 

A VR-ready PC

vr gaming pc

Not all PCs are compatible with the Oculus Link, even if they are “VR Ready” PCs. In order to connect your Oculus Quest headset to your PC, you’ll need the following computer specs:

  • Windows 10
  • At least 8 GB of RAM
  • A spare USB 3.0 port
  • A CPU for VR that is equivalent or greater than the Intel i5-4590 or AMD Ryzen 5 1500X
  • A graphics card for VR great than the NVidia GeForce 1080.

We have a list of gaming PCs for VR here. Any of these are able to run Oculus Link and any PC VR games you want!

Compatible cord

The recommended cable for Oculus link is a USB 3.0 USB-C to USB-C or USB-C to USB-A cable. The one you should buy depends on the ports available in the back of your gaming PC. USB-A is more common, but the USB-C is a newer standard that new machines have. Oculus sells an official Link cable on their website so that there is no confusion.

A recent update by Oculus now allows a USB-C to USB-C or USB-C to USB-A 2.0 cable. The C-to-C version is what comes with the Oculus Quest for charging.

Another highly rated third-party Oculus Link cable is this one from JYSW. It has over 200 5-star reviews on Amazon from Oculus users who are happy with its quality.

Oculus Home

oculus home

Oculus Home is the PC software that lets you search, download, and play PC VR games. It’s also required to complete the Oculus Link setup on your Oculus Quest.

You can play Steam VR games on your Oculus Quest as well, which can be setup after you have Link ready to go. Once everything is setup, you will be able to play Oculus Rift S games on your Oculus Quest using your computer. You can also download new games to your Oculus Home via the Oculus app on your phone.

11.0 Firmware

Your Oculus Quest firmware must be on at least version 11.0 or higher to support Oculus Link. Since the firmware version is up to version 17 or higher now, this shouldn’t be a problem for most players.If you don’t like to update your firmware though, you’ll want to make sure before you follow the Oculus Link setup below.

If you meet the minimum requirements, then you can setup Oculus Link with your Oculus Quest!

Let’s show you how to set things up.

Underneath our setup guide, learn more about the Oculus Link cable and check out some common troubleshooting questions and answers too.

What Can I Do With Oculus Link?

Users love the Oculus Quest headset because it is completely wireless. It runs off of an internal processor and you can take it on the go wherever you want.

However, the internal Snapdragon processor is not nearly as strong as a real VR gaming PC. In fact, some tests suggest that the Quest is almost 5 times less powerful than a typical gaming PC.

When you setup Oculus Link, it gives you the ability to run all of those awesome PC virtual reality games again. You use your Quest display and controllers, but the games are powered by your PC.

Plus, the selection of VR games available for PC in the Oculus Home store or Steam VR is far greater than the Quest. So by setting up Oculus Link, you’ve just multiplied the number of games to check out. Like Roblox VR or any of the awesome multiplayer VR games we’ve featured before.

With the basics out of the way, let’s show you how to setup Oculus Link.

How To Setup Oculus Link With The Oculus Quest

In this guide, we’ll show you how to setup Oculus Link with the Oculus Quest so that you can connect your Quest to your PC and play PCVR games on the headset.

Total Time: 10 minutes

Download and Install Oculus Home

download and install oculus home

The first step is to download and install the Oculus desktop software from Oculus. Visit Oculus official website via https://www.oculus.com/setup/, click on the Download Software button. After downloading the Oculus Link software, install the software on your PC like you would any other program.

Go to the Devices Page

setup oculus link - 3

Launch the Oculus desktop app and setup your account if you don’t have one yet. Then, select Devices from the left had side menu.

Select the Oculus Quest

setup oculus link - 4

Select Quest from the list of headsets displayed on your PC and continue.

Connect and Enable Oculus Link

After selecting Quest, the next thing is to connect your Quest to your PC. First, turn on your Oculus Quest. Then, plug one side of your USB-C cable into your headset and the other end into a USB port on your PC.

Conformation of Connection

confirmation of connection to oculus link

Once the headset is connected, Oculus home will give you a green light – showing you that your headset is connected. 

Confirm that Oculus Link is Enabled

Put on your Oculus Quest to confirm whether Oculus Link has been enabled. 

Set the VR Download Directory

Lastly, Oculus Home on your PC will ask you where to set your default content directory. Since some PCVR games are quite large, don’t set this to your main system disk if possible. 

And that’s it! You’ve setup Oculus Link with the Oculus Quest and are ready to start playing PCVR games through your Quest VR headset. You can check out and download games to your PC via your computer or from the Oculus app on your phone.

Below is some extra information for you to check out about the Oculus Link cable. Underneath that, we have some troubleshooting tips and help.

Oculus Link Cable

oculus link cable

The original requirements for the Oculus Link cable was a USB 3.0 one that met the following requirements:

  • Length: 5-Meter Headset Cable
  • Type: Full featured USB active optical cable. USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C.
  • Signal Requirements: USB 3.2 Gen 1 Signaling 5 Gbps USB 2
  • Infrared Signal Loss Tolerances: <500mV VBUS @ 3000mA; <250mV GND @ 3000mA
  • Power Supply: 3A
  • Bandwidth: 5 Gbps
  • Support for SuperSpeed USB ports

Oculus still sells the official Link cable on Amazon and on their official website.

If your Oculus PC software is up to date, it now allows Oculus Link to work with USB 2.0 cables. This includes the charging cable that comes with the Quest. That means that you don’t have to buy any additional hardware to make this work – other than the gaming PC!

USB 2.0 vs 3.0

The obvious question is whether you have any performance drop when you use a USB 2.0 cable for Oculus Link instead of 3.0. Data transfer in a USB cable is dependent on two main factors:

Speed

USB 2.0 supports a maximum transfer speed of 480mbps, while USB 3.0 supports 5gbps. While this sounds like a large difference, Oculus Quest only requires a recommended 150mbps of data transfer.

So for the speed at which data transmits to and from the gaming PC to the VR headsets, either standard is fine.

Duplex

USB 2.0 cables are half duplex. This means that data can only ever transmit in one direction at a time. This means from the host (gaming PC) to the slave (Oculus Quest) or vice versa. Each side must wait until they’ve received data before they are able to send data in return.

These sounds complicated, but it happens millions of times per second.USB 3.0 cables are full duplex. This means that your gaming PC and Oculus Quest can transmit data to each other at the exact same time.

Oculus Link 3.0 cables use full duplex communications. This means that data is sent from your headset controller to the PC while your PCVR video is fed to the headset at the exact same time. Since 2.0 cables can’t do this, you can expect some additional latency while playing. 

Oculus Link 3.0 cables use full duplex communications. This means that data is sent from your headset controller to the PC while your PCVR video is fed to the headset at the exact same time. Since 2.0 cables can’t do this, you can expect some additional latency while playing. 

Oculus Link Alternative

The main alternative to Oculus Link is Virtual Desktop. VD for the Oculus Quest has an extra mod available via SideQuest that lets you play PCVR games wirelessly on your Quest.

To get setup, you simply have to install Virtual Desktop, the VD mod from SideQuest, and configure a wireless network connection from your computer to your Quest. If you set things up right, you can play wirelessly with little or no latency. Even the Oculus touch controllers work seamlessly with VD too.

We have a full setup guide for Virtual Desktop on the Oculus Quest which goes through everything!

Oculus Link Not Working: FAQs 

If you are having trouble trying to setup Oculus Link, we’ve compiled some questions and answers to some of the most popular questions on the internet.

Why does my Quest connect to my PC and then quickly crash?

Most often, this is because of incompatible specs on your gaming PC. To check this:

  1. Go to your PC or laptop’s spec page and look up the GPU, CPU, Memory, operating system, and USB ports.
  2. Compare these specs against the minimum requirements we started above. 
  3. Check your GPU against Oculus’ official table. If your GPU is not currently supported, you may be able to setup Oculus Link with your device, but is more likely to have performance issues with Oculus Link.

My computer won’t recognize Oculus Link when it’s connected.

Make sure that your operating system is up to date on your PC and Quest. Then, restart your computer and see if that fixes things.

I can’t see where to select the Oculus Quest in the Oculus PC software.

If you can’t see the option to add the Quest, log out of the PC software and log back in. Also, make sure you have the latest version installed.

I can’t see the “Enable Link” option on the Oculus Quest.

If you can’t see the “Enable Link” option under Settings on your Oculus Quest, turn the headset off completely and restart.

Can you setup Oculus Link with a Mac?

The Oculus PC software is only available for Windows. This means that you can’t get Oculus Link working with Mac natively.

However, some users have reported using Bootcamp to install a virtual version of Windows on their Mac. Then, you can install the Oculus software in Bootcamp and run Oculus Link if your Mac specs are good enough.

Were you able to setup Oculus Link with your Oculus Quest? If you have any questions, let us know below!

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