The Oculus Link feature lets the Meta Quest function as a PC VR headset. You can play Steam VR and Oculus Rift S games on your Quest headset. In this guide, we will show you how to setup Oculus Link with the Oculus Quest 2 step by step.
We’ll also go over the advantages of connecting your Oculus Quest to your PC
We review all those details and other Oculus Link tips and tricks below.
If you have trouble setting up Oculus Link, comment at the bottom of this guide, and we can help you.
If you want to use Oculus Link without a wired connection, Meta also has Oculus Air Link, a wireless Virtual Desktop alternative. Click here to read that tutorial guide after this one (it will open in a new tab).
- Oculus Link Requirements
- What is Oculus Link?
- How To Setup Oculus Link With The Meta Quest 2
- Oculus Link Tips
- Oculus Link Alternative
- Oculus Link Not Working: FAQs
- Why does my Quest connect to my PC and then quickly crash?
- My computer won't recognize Oculus Link when it's connected.
- I can’t see where to select the Oculus Quest in the Oculus PC software.
- I can’t see the "Enable Link" option on the Oculus Quest.
- My Height is Incorrect When Using Oculus Link
- Can you setup Oculus Link with a Mac?
Oculus Link Requirements
A VR-ready PC
Not all PCs are compatible with the Oculus Link, even if they are “VR Ready” PCs. 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 to 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 can run Oculus Link and any PC VR games you want!
Oculus Link Cable
The original requirement 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
Meta sells an official Oculus Quest Link cable on its website so that there is no confusion.
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 you don’t have to buy any additional hardware to make this work – other than the gaming PC!
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 1 for charging.
The Oculus Quest 2 only has a 1-meter charging cable, so it cannot be used for Link play.
You can buy the official and third-party Oculus Link cable directly from Amazon below.
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 also play Steam VR games on your Oculus Quest, which can be set up after you have Link ready to go. Once everything is set up, you can 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.
Your Oculus Quest firmware must be on version 11.0 or higher to support and setup Oculus Link. Since the firmware version is up to version 50 or higher, this shouldn’t be a problem for most players. If you don’t like to update your firmware, you’ll want to ensure before you follow the Oculus Link setup below.
You can set up Oculus Link with your Meta Quest if you meet the minimum requirements! Quest 2 owners will be good to go right out of the box.
Let’s show you how to set things up.
Under our setup guide, learn more about the Oculus Link cable and check out common troubleshooting questions and answers.
Version #28 of the Oculus PC software has introduced a number of improvements to Oculus Link:
- Color quality and picture sharpness has been improved
- Cable test bandwidth has greatly increases
- GPU usage increased in some games, leading to a 100% GPU situation and micro-stutter.
- Oculus Debug Tool’s default bitrate changed to dynamic instead of fixed 150 mbps
Update to the latest version today for the improvement to your cable bitrate.
What is 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 VR gaming PC. Tests show that Quest 1 is almost 5 times less powerful than a typical gaming PC, and Quest 2 is 50% less powerful.
Setting up Oculus Link allows you 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 Meta Quest 2
In this guide, we’ll show you how to setup Oculus Link with the Meta 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
The first step is to download and install the Oculus desktop software from Oculus. Visit the Meta official website at https://www.meta.com/ca/quest/setup/, and click on the Download Software button. After downloading the Oculus Link software, install the software on your PC like any other program.
Go to the Devices Page
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
Select your Quest VR headset from the list of headsets displayed on your PC and continue.
Connect Your Meta Quest to Your PC and Enable Link
After selecting Quest, the next thing is to connect your Quest to your PC. First, turn on your Meta 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
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 Meta 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 large, don’t set this to your main system disk if possible.
And that’s it! You’ve setup Oculus Link with the Meta 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 the Oculus app.
Below is some extra information for you to check out about the Oculus Link cable. Underneath that, we have some troubleshooting tips and help.
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 a 3.0. Data transfer in a USB cable is dependent on two main factors:
USB 2.0 supports a maximum transfer speed of 480mbps, while USB 3.0 supports 5gbps. While this sounds like a large difference, Meta 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.
USB 2.0 cables are half duplex. Data can only ever transmit in one direction at a time. This means from the host (gaming PC) to the slave (Meta Quest) or vice versa. Each side must wait until they’ve received data before sending data in return.
This sounds complicated, but it happens millions of times per second.
USB 3.0 cables are full duplex. This means that your gaming PC and Meta Quest can transmit data to each other simultaneously.
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 simultaneously. Since 2.0 cables can’t do this, you can expect 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 simultaneously. Since 2.0 cables can’t do this, you can expect some additional latency while playing.
Oculus Link Tips
Optimize Oculus Link with these tips and tricks to let you play games with less latency and buffer.
Use USB 3.0
We just went through all the reasons that USB 3.0 is better. Another tip for using it is that USB 3.0 will enable 80 Hz and 90 Hz refresh rates. On USB 2.0, you will be forced to a maximum of 72 Hz.
You also need to ensure that you are plugging into a USB 3.0 port on your computer, or else your cable will be for nothing.
Use a new Nvidia RTX Graphic Card
Your video signal through the Oculus Link cable is compressed by your graphics card in your PC. Nvidia RTX cards (30-series in 2020 and 40-series in 2022) have better video encoding features than AMD or older Nvidia cards. To make your framerate smoother, check out our new Nvidia RTX GPU guide here and pick one up today.
Let us know if you have any other ways to set up Oculus Link the best.
Oculus Link Alternative
The main alternative to Oculus Link is Virtual Desktop. VD for the Oculus Quest has an extra mod 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 setting up 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:
- Go to your PC or laptop’s spec page and look up the GPU, CPU, Memory, operating system, and USB ports.
- Compare these specs against the minimum requirements we stated above.
- 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.
Ensure 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.
My Height is Incorrect When Using Oculus Link
Some users report that their height is calibrated incorrectly while using Oculus Link. To fix this issue, you need to unplug your Link cable and plug it back in.
Doing this will pass the room size information between the headset and the Oculus Home software again.
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!