With the right setup, the Virtual Desktop on Oculus Quest can allow the Quest 2 and Quest 1 to play PC VR games completely wireless with no noticeable latency or drop in performance. In this step by step guide below, we’ll show you how to setup Virtual Desktop VR in order to wirelessly play VR-PC games in top quality.
We’ll go over:
- How to install Virtual Desktop on Oculus Quest and PC
- How to setup Virtual Desktop VR with the Oculus Quest
- How to use Virtual Desktop to play PC virtual reality games wirelessly
This guide was updated on February 21, 2021 after Virtual Desktop v1.20 dropped the need to install the PC VR streaming patch on SideQuest! Virtual Desktop in the official Quest store now has full PC VR gaming capabilities!
How is it possible for a wireless setup to perform as good as a wired VR headset connection which you have to pay premium dollars for?
Read on to find out!
What is Virtual Desktop For VR?
Virtual Desktop is an application that lets you mirror your nearby PC inside of your VR headset. People do this to watch movies, browse the internet, or play games inside of virtual reality, which is more immersive.
With a little setup time, you can play PC-VR games in your headset with no latency and high quality.
You don’t need a fancy gaming PC with a premium CPU to make basic functions work. Your basic laptop will be able mirror to your VR headset just fine. However, playing high quality VR games will require an appropriate gaming computer.
If this all sounds confusing, don’t worry! We have step by step instructions below for setting up Virtual Desktop on Oculus Quest today.
Requirements for Low Latency Virtual Desktop Gaming on Oculus Quest 2 or 1
In order to make this work, the following pieces of hardware are required:
- Oculus Quest or Oculus Quest 2
- Virtual Desktop on Oculus Quest
- VR-Ready Gaming PC – Or, build your own PC
- Dedicated Dual Band Router with 5GHz capabilities (Quest 1) or Wifi 6 compatible dual band router (Quest 2) (recommended)
- 2 Ethernet Cables (1 connection from your dedicated router to main router and 1 from dedicated router to VR-PC)
What is the Best Dual Band Router for Virtual Desktop on Oculus Quest?
In order to achieve low latency with Virtual Desktop on Oculus Quest, you are going to give it a dedicated wireless access point (AP) to connect to. An AP is a sub-connection of your regular internet used to extend your network and allow more devices on your network.
In our case, we want to give the Oculus Quest a dedicated 5Ghz connection (more on that next) to connect to that doesn’t have any other devices fighting for a connection.
Any wireless router can be used as an access point by placing it in this mode. Just make sure that the router is dual band and supports 5Ghz.
Basic Option – 100 Mbps Ports
The best basic router for Virtual Desktop we’ve found (and Reddit agrees) is the Tenda AC1200 because it is easy to configure and reasonably priced.
- Get lightning quick connections for all your wireless devices by upgrading to Tenda's enhanced 1200 Mbps high speed Wi fi technology ([email protected] 4GHz [email protected])
- Link up to 20 wireless devices like the Google assistant, Alexa and various steaming devices, simultaneously, while maintaining optimum network conditions
- 4 omni directional antennas with beamforming and Mu Mimo technology, deliver high speed internet throughout your home and provide seamless coverage for up to 2000 Sq. ft.Output：DC 9V1A
Better Option – Gigabit Ports
The AC1200 will work perfect, but its only drawback is that it only has 100 Mbps ports, which can be a choke point for Virtual Desktop. For a small upgrade in price, the Tenda AC10U comes with Gigabit ports. This will ensure that you have maximum throughput and minimal latency from your headset while using Virtual Desktop.
- Stream in 4K on multiple devices and get lightning-quick connections by upgrading to Tenda's enhanced 1200 Mbps high speed Wi-fi technology ([email protected] 4GHz [email protected])
- Link up to 30 wireless devices like the Google assistant, Alexa and various steaming devices, simultaneously, while maintaining optimum network conditions
- 4 omni-directional antennas with beamforming and Mu-Mimo technology, deliver high-speed internet throughout your home and provide seamless coverage for up to 2000 Sq. ft
Best Router Option For Oculus Quest 2 – WiFi 6
The Oculus Quest 2 has the additional perk of support WiFi 6. To take advantage of this, you need to buy a router that supports 802.11ax. WiFi 6 is capable of a maximum throughput of 9.6 Gbps across multiple channels, compared to 3.5 Gbps on Wi-Fi 5. Running Virtual Desktop on Oculus Quest 2 is silky smooth using this new standard.
WiFi 6’s higher speed capability is thanks to technology such as orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA); MU-MIMO; beamforming, which enables higher data rates at a given range to increase network capacity; and 1024 quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM), which increases throughput for emerging, bandwidth intensive uses by encoding more data in the same amount of spectrum.
In addition, it offers a few other nice features including wider channels, longer range, and less interference.
- New-generation WiFi 6 - Enjoy ultrafast speeds up to 5700 Mbps with the latest WiFi 6 (802.11ax) and 160MHz channels
- Mobile Game Mode - Minimize lag and latency for mobile gaming with just a tap on the ASUS Router app
- True 2 Gbps wired and wireless speeds - Aggregated 2 Gbps WAN connections, wired 2.5 Gbps port and WiFi 6
Why a 5GHz Connection?
Dual band routers have a 2.4GHz and a 5GHz connection. 2.4GHz is most commonly used for wireless connections because it has a larger ranger and can be reached anywhere in your house (usually). All of the phones, smart TVs, laptops, and smart home devices connect on the 2.4GHz network and fight with each other for traffic.
5GHz wireless connections don’t travel as far, but provide much faster speeds. For most people, the Oculus Quest will be the only device fighting for traffic on the 5GHz network.
Simply put, 5GHz is required for a low latency connection with Virtual Desktop on Oculus Quest.
If you don’t have a dedicated router, there are other options to get Virtual Desktop on Oculus Quest setup and working great. Check out our FAQ at the bottom of this guide for more information.
How to Setup Virtual Desktop on Oculus Quest 2 (Low Latency and Fast Performance)
Using the steps below, you can setup Virtual Desktop on your Oculus Quest and play any PC-VR games on a connected gaming PC.
Total Time: 20 minutes
Buy Virtual Desktop in the Oculus Store
Use the Oculus app on your phone or on your headset to download Virtual Desktop from the Oculus Store.
Downloader Streamer App on PC
On your VR-PC, you have to download and install the Streamer app that works with Virtual Desktop. Go to the official Virtual Desktop website and click on Download Streamer App.
Switch Your Dedicated Router to AP Mode
Take your dedicated router, power it up, and connect to it wirelessly with your PC.
Go through the general setup progress to pick a name and password and get it setup on your network. Make sure that you turn on Access Point mode. This can be different for each router, but will most likely be a toggle button in the settings.
Connect Your Access Point to Your Network and PC
Connect an ethernet cable from your main house router to the WAN port on the dedicated AP router. Connect a second ethernet cable from your PC to the dedicated AP.
Lastly, connect your Oculus Quest to your new 5 GHz access point Wifi connection.
Download and Play VR-PC Games in Virtual Desktop on Oculus Quest!
Lastly, download the Oculus store onto your PC. This will let you download and play VR desktop games on your PC! When you launch Virtual Desktop on Oculus Quest, you’ll be able to play these games in your headset with low latency and high quality!
And with that, you’ve setup Virtual Desktop on Oculus Quest. You can now play VR desktop games wirelessly on the Quest using Virtual Desktop.
What Should You Do Next?
Below, we have FAQ, features, and best settings for Virtual Desktop on Oculus Quest. These sections will help you optimize things and understand more about how Virtual Desktop works. After that, you are going to want to download some SteamVR games and try them out on VD!
Before you just go directly to Steam and buy games, check out our VR deals page, which contains discounts on the top virtual reality games. You can get steep discounts on games and save money on titles like Skyrim VR, No Man’s Sky, Borderlands 2 VR, The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners, and more.
What SteamVR Games Work in Virtual Desktop?
Now that you have things installed, you probably want to know which SteamVR games work good in Virtual Desktop on the Oculus Quest 2 or 1. Luckily, there is a community-created list for this!
Click below to access the compatibility list which shows you:
- Game title
- Working status
- Notes about playing the game in Virtual Desktop on the Oculus Quest
- How to launch the game
- What headset the game was tested on
We’ve set the link to open up in a new tab so that you can come back and setup the best settings for Virtual Desktop on Oculus Quest after that.
Best Settings For Virtual Desktop on Oculus Quest
Before implementing the settings below in VD, make sure that your computer hardware is strong enough for the game you are trying to run. Steam will list the minimum PC requirements for any game and make sure that you exceed those minimums.
Here are recommended Virtual Desktop on Oculus Quest tips:
- If you are using a dedicated router, go into the settings and disable the 2.4GHz option completely.
- If you router supports a, ac, and n wireless standards, trying setting your router to AC mode only.
- In Virtual Desktop under the Settings Tab, set the following settings:
- Video Frame Rate = Medium (Quest 1 only). The Oculus Quest can only support 72Hz, so a high frame rate is not necessary.
- Video Bitrate Limit = Medium
- Set the Virtual Desktop Bitrate Settings to 90 mbps (test out what works best for you)
- Enable Boost Clock Rates option
- Keep your dedicated router in the same room as your computer and VR headset.
- Your internet speed has NOTHING to do with the quality of gameplay using Virtual Desktop.
If you have other Virtual Desktop on Oculus Quest tips, make sure you comment down at the bottom of this guide.
Virtual Desktop VR Features
The Virtual Desktop developer is great at adding new features and updates. The latest version is v1.20 from February 25th. Here is a list of new things that have been added to Virtual Desktop on Oculus Quest:
- Removed need for patch to stream PCVR games
- Added multi-account support in the Streamer app
- Screenshots taken on your Quest are now automatically transferred to your desktop
- Added Voice Over for notifications
- Added Wi-Fi speed information, runtime used by game and GPU name to the Performance Overlay
- Sliced encoding and Microphone passthrough are now enabled by default
Previous new features include:
- New environment, ‘Modern Apartment’, available in 3 different ambiences
- Latency improvements of about 10ms.
- A new “Performance Overlay” option has been added to the Streaming Tab. When enabled, it shows you the framerate, total motion-to-photon latency and a breakdown of the latency for various pieces of the pipeline.
- Added support for the Oculus Quest 2
- Added screen brightness slider in Settings tab
- Added new Streaming tab with separate VR framerate, bitrate, and gamma slider
- Improved controller prediction
- Fixed warping effect with AMD GPUs at Low and High VR Graphics Quality
- Fixed game compatibility with The Walking Dead: Onslaught, Population ONE, Stormland, The Climb, and Apex Construct.
Below are some of our other favorite features in Virtual Desktop on Oculus Quest.
Oculus Quest 2 Support
As of version 1.16.2, full support for the Oculus Quest 2 has been added. This includes support for the new maximum 150 Mbps bitrate and also 90 Hz refresh rate.
In the Virtual Desktop settings, you can customize a number of things including:
- Screen brightness
- Graphics quality
Hand Tracking Support
Hand tracking is an awesome feature that allows you to play in virtual reality without needing controllers in your hands. The cameras on the Oculus Quest can pick up your hand movement and controls instead.
Virtual Desktop support hands tracking so that you can play games and control your computer with just your hands.
90 Hz Refresh Rate Support
The new Oculus Quest 2 supports gameplay at a 90 Hz refresh rate, much higher than the 72 Hz on the original Quest. Virtual Desktop is currently beta testing a new update that brings 90 Hz support to the app. It should be released around the same time that the Quest.2 is released.
Bluetooth Mice, Keyboard, and Controller Support
You can connect a Bluetooth mouse, keyboard, or controller to your Oculus Quest and control it in Virtual Desktop. This allows you to use your computer in virtual reality without needing to be connected to it.
Even better, you can use your bluetooth controller and play non-VR games from your computer in your headset smoothly and in full screen.
Other Virtual Desktop features include:
- Support for the Universal menu. You can bring up the Oculus menu and tweak settings while remaining in the app.
- Improved VR streaming compatibility with laptops, multi-GPU and external GPU configurations
- Fixed game compatibility issues with Premium Bowling, Smashbox Arena, and Vox Machinae
- Support to connect to multiple computers at one time
- Microphone passthrough
- Side-to-side and over-under 3D support
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about Virtual Desktop on Oculus Quest:
I have slow internet! Can I still use Virtual Desktop to play VR games wirelessly?
Yes! Your internet speed has no effect on the performance of the Virtual Desktop app. The most important part is to have a stable connection. This is why you must connect your VR-PC to your main router (through the AP) via an ethernet cable. And why you need to connect your Oculus Quest to a dedicated 5GHz access point.
Is it possible to play completely wirelessly, no access point?
Use the utility WLAN-Optimizer program on your PC to disable auto config and background scan easily. This will improve latency back to your home router.
Also, ping your router’s IP via command line and try out different 5GHz channels in the router settings to find the best channel with the lowest latency. In Windows, this command is “ping 192.168.xxx.xxx -t”.
Can I use my existing router and not buy a dedicated one for Virtual Desktop?
Yes, if your existing router is dual band then you have a few options. You can make it so that only your Oculus Quest is allowed to connect to the 5GHz band on your router and everything else will connect to 2.4GHz by default.
Or if you have a tri-band router, you can use one of your 5GHz wireless bands on the Quest specifically. Both of these options are configurable in your router settings which you can access by going to “http://home” in your browser or the router’s IP address.
Do you have any other questions about setting up Virtual Desktop on Oculus Quest? This setup will allow you to play high quality VR-PC games on your Oculus Quest and makes the Quest limitless in terms of playability.
Comment below and let us know what you think and if you have any other questions!