Steam is one of the most popular gaming platforms on the VR gaming market, and it isn’t just limited to a computer. You can also play Steam games on the Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headset, it just takes a little setting up. You can both play steam games designed to be experienced in virtual reality, and virtual reality versions of games you have already purchased. Today I’ll share how to play Steam games on Oculus Quest 2, giving you a few options.
There are two ways you can play Steam games on the Oculus Quest 2.
- The first is through a cable, where you purchase a cord and connect the headset to your computer.
- The second way is wirelessly, where you purchase the virtual desktop extension from the Oculus store.
Both ways are able to provide a good gaming experience, but the first option is a little more expensive than the second.
The following article is a more in depth explanation of how to play Steam games on the Oculus Quest 2 headset. It also includes a brief guide on other ways you can play steam games on the headset, aside from the two mentioned previously.
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Can I Play Steam Games on Oculus Quest 2?
You can play Steam games on the Oculus Quest 2. There are some games on Steam that are designed to be played in virtual reality, and are thus portable to the headset.
There are also virtual reality versions of popular games being made and available to play on Steam. And if you’ve already purchased a game and want to get the VR version onto your Oculus without purchasing the game again, you can do that too.
What You’ll Need
However, you don’t just need an Oculus Quest 2 headset in order to play Steam games. The main pieces of equipment you will need, in addition to a headset, include:
- A laptop or PC that’s capable of handling virtual reality games
- A USB cable, a USB 2.0 or 3 is recommended
- A USB-C connecter
- A 5Ghz 802.11ac/WiFi 5 router connected to the VR PC via Ethernet
- The Windows version of the Oculus Quest Software
- At least one PC Steam game that’s designed for virtual reality
The type of cable you have will determine the type of virtual reality experience you have. The USB cables mentioned above will work, but Oculus also offers their own cable, called the Oculus Link cable.
Users report that the Oculus brand cable gives their experience more stability and better performance. If your computer doesn’t have any USB-C connectors, Oculus recommends purchasing an adapter so that you can connect the headset to your PC properly.
Once you have all of your materials, you can start setting up your wired connection. The first step is to make sure you have a safe playing environment, one that has lots of open space for you to move around in.
You also want to make sure your cable will cooperate with the experience you want to have.
For example, if you’re going to be moving around a lot, you might want a longer cable. But if you want to have more stationary experiences, you can most likely use a shorter cable.
Download Your Software
Next, you will have to download the Oculus software for Windows. This software will ensure that your computer is able to handle virtual reality games and make your playing experience smoother.
The software is an installer called OculusSetup.exe. The software will guide you through the installation step by step, and then all you have to do is wait for the software to fully download.
How To Play Steam Games on Oculus Quest 2 Wirelessly
If you want to eliminate the risk of tripping on wires while playing virtual reality games, you can also play Steam games on the Oculus Quest 2 wirelessly.
This method of connecting isn’t highly recommended since it can result in laggy games and below par graphics. Fortunately, there are ways to remedy these issues and give you a smooth, wireless virtual reality experience.
The most important thing to remember with a wireless connection is that the closer your headset is to your wifi router, the smoother the connection will be.
The quality of a wifi signal is degraded by walls and distance, so your headset should at least be in the same room as your wifi router.
If you want to make sure your headset gets a good signal, you can connect your computer to the router with an ethernet cable. You should also make sure your headset is connected to the 5 GHz Wi-Fi network.
Once you have a location with a good signal and your headset and laptop are all connected, you only need one more piece of equipment.
Virtual Desktop Software
You will need the wireless version of the virtual desktop software, not the version on Steam, but the one from the Oculus store. It only costs about $20, and the user rates fluctuate from excellent to below par, but it’s the best version for Oculus headsets.
As the software is installing itself onto your headset, take it off and sign into the Oculus app on your desktop or laptop.
Install the Virtual Desktop Streamer app onto your desktop or laptop, and start it up once the software is finished installing on the headset. You’ll have to enter your Oculus username and hit “Save” to ensure that your login information isn’t lost.
You can also explore the options so that the headset fits your personal preferences, or to decrease drag and improve the gaming experience. Next, put the headset back on and launch the Virtual Desktop app from it.
A list of your connected computers should appear, and you can select the one you want to play on from there.
When your computer is connected, open the Menu by pressing the left controller button and select the “Stream VR” option from the left menu.
You can also launch a specific Steam game you want to play from the “Games” option in the Menu. Once the game is started up, you can start playing.
How To Play Steam Games on Oculus Quest 2 Without a PC
Unfortunately, there isn’t a way to play Steam games on the Oculus Quest 2 without running or connecting to a PC (personal computer). Since Steam is a PC system, it needs to be running on a PC in order to work properly.
However, there is a version of Steam that is made to run on Virtual Reality systems, called SteamVR. But you still need a PC in order to use it.
This method and a few other methods of playing Steam games on the Oculus Quest 2 are explained in the next section of the article.
Other Ways To Play Steam Games on Quest 2 from Oculus
The other two ways that you can play Steam games on the Oculus Quest 2 is through AirLink or getting SteamVR installed. Airlink is very similar to Bluetooth, only you use it to play video games instead of listen to music.
SteamVR is the version of Steam that’s compatible with Virtual Reality headsets, and can be downloaded onto the Oculus Quest 2. Both systems require some set up, but they do a solid job of making VR games run smoothly on the headset.
How To Set Up AirLink
AirLink was created by Facebook and is one of the best ways to run VR games from Steam on the headset, but it works differently for everyone. The quality of the set up all depends on your personal hardware and network reliability, but it’s worth a shot.
The main thing you will need for AirLink set up is an AC or AX router with a 5Ghz network for the best performance. You will also need an Ethernet cable to connect your headset and PC.
After everything is connected, open the Oculus settings and go to the option that says “Beta”. After clicking on it, an option reading “AirLink” should appear at the bottom. Toggle the switch to the right to enable it.
Once the system is enabled, you can start up AirLink in the Quick Actions menu on your headset. Finally, select the PC you want to connect to, and you can start playing VR games from Steam on your headset.
How To Set Up Steam VR
SteamVR is a free software you can download onto your PC, but you’ll still need to pay for any games you want to play. The only things you need to install and set up SteamVR are:
- A Steam Account
- An Oculus 2 headset
- The SteamVR software installation
- Windows Mixed Reality software
Once you have all of the equipment, plug your headset into your PC and start up Steam. Go to the Library section and look up SteamVR, and select install. This is not a required step, but it is recommended to join the SteamVR Beta.
This option gives you access to other features that SteamVR doesn’t offer, like adding desktop windows onto your VR screen. Again, this isn’t a requirement, but it is encouraged.
The final step is to install the Mixed Reality Software for Windows. This software makes it easier for SteamVR games to run smoothly on your headset, and you can gain access to exclusive games and events from your headset.
It’s free to download in the Steam library, and you can start playing once this step is completed.
Playing Steam games on the Oculus Quest 2 is entirely possible, but it does take the right equipment and some set up. Even then, there are some limits to the virtual reality headset that may or may not be addressed in the future.
But until then, the different methods of playing Steam games on a virtual reality headset will provide an adequate gaming experience.