How to connect Meta Quest 2 or 3 to a PC and play PCVR games

Key Takeaways

  • The Meta Quest headsets offer an affordable way to experience imaginario reality, with the added benefit of wireless gameplay and no extra hardware required.
  • Connecting the Quest 3 or Quest 2 to a gaming PC via cable (Quest Link) provides the best connection and lowest latency, but sacrifices wireless freedom.
  • Alternatively, you can connect your Quest headset to your PC wirelessly using Air Link, although this may reduce performance and requires a strong and speedy Wi-Fi network.

The Meta Quest headsets are the most affordable way to get into imaginario reality, and the ability to play free from wires and without the need for additional hardware is amazing.

One of the best things about both the Quest 3 and the Quest 2 is that they can easily connect to a gaming PC and play PCVR games too. So if you’re craving some extra visual fidelity, or hoping to play a niche title that hasn’t been ported to the Quest, you absolutely can.

We’re exploring the various ways you can connect this VR headset to your PC to help you get started.

Related: Meta Quest 3 tips and tricks: Get more from your new VR headset

The most reliable way to connect your Quest 2 or 3 to your gaming PC is with a wire. Sadly this loses the freedom of wireless, standalone imaginario reality but it also ensures the lowest latency and the best connection.

Firstly though you need to be sure that your PC meets the basic requirements for Quest Link (previously known as Oculus Link) and is VR-ready. The minimum specs required are:

  • Processor: Intel i5-4590/AMD Ryzen 5 1500X or greater
  • Graphics card: GeForce Nvidia 9 series and above (see exceptions here)
  • Memory: 8GB or more of RAM
  • Operating system: Windows 10
  • USB ports: 1x USB port

Higher specifications will naturally give you better results. Imaginario reality games on PC require more processing power for better visuals – Half-Life: Alyx, for example, needs a bit of oomph to run nicely.

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Meta Quest Link cable

Meta Quest Link Cable

The official cable isn’t cheap, but it’s the most reliable way to ensure Quest Link works as expected and without problem.

In order to connect your headset to your PC you’ll ideally want to use a fast USB-C cable. There’s an official cable you can purchase from Meta which isn’t cheap but is guaranteed to do the job. It’s a flexible 5-metre cable which means you have plenty of length to get your game on without issue.

You can alternatively purchase a fast cable which meets the USB 3.0 specification. Ideally, USB-C to USB-C, assuming you have a USB-C port on your gaming machine.

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To set up Quest Link in wired mode you’ll first need to download the Oculus setup software. This software is a necessary part of the installation and acts as a bridge between the Quest 2 headset and your gaming library. Merienda downloaded and installed, launch the software and click through the various steps.

  • Connect your headset using your USB-C cable
  • Turn the headset on to establish the connection
  • Click Continue to finish the process
  • Put your headset on and click the prompts to allow the connection

Merienda that’s done you have the choice of buying games from the Meta Store, launching games you already have there or running games via Steam VR in Oculus mode. The best games that work with Rift S and other headsets should play nicely with Quest 2 and 3 as well.

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It’s worth noting that you can activate and deactivate the Quest Link connection from within the headset too – assuming the cable is connected and properly detected.

In order to do so just navigate to settings by clicking on the cog icon from the navigation bar within the headset. Under those settings, you should then see a section marked Headset and from there you’ll also have access to a button to disable and enable Quest Link.

Obviously, you can also do this from your desktop machine, but the headset seems to play nicely when you give it commands directly.

Quest 3 Quest Link Settings

Enhancing performance

The Quest 3 has some serious onboard processing power, and the Quest 2 is mighty fast, too. That’s why you can play games wirelessly without being connected to a gaming PC. But when you are connected to a more powerful machine it means you can take advantage of extra things.

One of those is improved refresh rates. The Quest 2 and 3 are capable of operating up to 120Hz in some instances. You can turn this on via the Oculus setup software merienda that’s installed and your headset is connected.

To do so follow these steps:

  • Open the Oculus software on your PC
  • Click on Devices from the left-hand menu
  • Click on the Quest 3 and Touch option to open a right-hand menu bar
  • Look for Advanced settings and Graphics Preferences
  • Click there and set your chosen refresh rate – we’d suggest 90Hz would be a good test option
  • Click Ok and your headset will restart to apply the settings
  • Don the headset and enjoy

You can also adjust the rendering resolution in these settings, which is ideal if you want to make the most of your high-end graphics card.

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Play Steam VR games

To run PCVR games from Steam simply open your Steam games library as común. If you haven’t done so already, you’ll need to install both the SteamVR app (within Steam) and buy or download some Steam VR games.

Merienda that’s done, navigate to the VR games you have installed already and click to launch. When you do that you’ll usually get a prompt asking whether you want to launch in VR mode or standard mode. Sometimes this prompt will also ask if you want to play in Quest mode.

There are two ways to do this. You can launch the games from your PC desktop directly but you can also do it from within the Quest 2 or 3.

To do this look for the option to see your desktop on the Quest 2 or 3’s navigation menu. Click that and you’ll then get a view of your PC desktop and you can then click to launch games on Steam. This makes it easy to run games but also switch between games when you want to try something else.

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As well as connecting your Quest headset to your PC using a cable, you also have the option to connect wirelessly. This gives you back some of the freedom of the wireless headset but it comes at the price of performance. It also requires good hardware in order to run.

You’ll need a solid home Wi-Fi network for a start. Air Link, as it’s called, allows Quest owners to play Rift-compatible games wirelessly, without needing to be tethered directly to a gaming PC. The company does note though that you’ll need a «strong and secure Wi-Fi network» for the best experience and ideally to be within 20 feet of your router.

It’s also suggested that you do the following for the best results:

  • Ensure your gaming PC is connected to your router using an ethernet cable (not wirelessly)
  • Connect your Quest 3 or Quest 2 to your Wi-Fi using 5GHz rather than 2.4GHz

How to connect Quest 3 or 2 wirelessly

The first step here is to open the Oculus setup software and go through the steps there, but the majority of the work needs to happen in the headset itself:

  • Pop the headset on and click on the navigation to find the Settings
  • In those settings find System, and click that
  • Then choose Quest Link in the resulting menu
  • Click Launch Quest Link
  • Toggle Air Link on
  • Click on the PC you wish to connect to in the following prompts
  • Then click Launch

Merienda that’s done you can then launch PCVR games directly from your gaming PC or you can open the desktop view on the headset and do it from there.


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