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October 1st, 2023

Can the Meta Quest 3 Play Steam Games?

Yes, the Meta Quest 3 can play Steam games, but you’ll need to connect the headset to a VR-Ready PC via “Quest Link” (cable) or “Air Link” (WiFi). Connecting to a PC allows you to have access to a large catalogue of games on the Steam Store that aren’t available on the Quest Store.

How to Play Steam VR Games on the Meta Quest 3

In order to play Steam games on your Meta Quest 3, you’ll need to download an app called “SteamVR” which can be downloaded for free from the Steam Store.

Make sure to enable developer mode on your Quest 3! This must be done through your Meta Quest mobile app.

Next, use one of the following methods to connect your PC to your Quest 3:

Method 1: Air Link (Wireless/Free)

Air Link allows you to play SteamVR games on your Quest 3 through WiFi, as long as you have a powerful (5Ghz) router that’s in close proximity to your headset (ideally in the same room).

Ensure that both your Oculus Quest 3 and the Oculus PC software are updated to the latest version. Air Link requires both devices to be on v28 or later.

  1. First enable Air Link on PC by opening the Oculus PC software. Go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Beta’.
  2. Toggle the ‘Air Link’ switch to enable it.
  3. Next, enable Air Link on the Quest 3 headset by putting on your headset: Go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Experimental Features’.
  4. Scroll down and enable ‘Air Link’. Once enabled, you’ll see an ‘Air Link’ option in the ‘Quick Actions’ section.
  5. Finally, connect to your PC by selecting Air Link from quick actions section. Select your PC from the list and you’ll be Oculus Rift home environment where you can play PC VR games wirelessly.

You can also tweak Air Link settings to ensure a smoother experience. Here’s a guide on how to get the best Air Link settings.

Method 2: Virtual Desktop (Wireless/Paid)

Virtual Desktop is a paid option to Air Link, but some people report it gives them better performance.

  1. Purchase the Virtual Desktop app on your Quest 3 via the Oculus store and install it.
  2. Install the Virtual Desktop Streamer application on your PC from the Virtual Desktop website.
  3. Enable developer mode by installing the Oculus app on your smartphone.
  4. Pair and connect your Oculus Quest  3to the smartphone via the Oculus app.
  5. Go to ‘Settings’ in the app, select your Quest 3, and tap on ‘More Settings’.
  6. Tap on ‘Developer Mode’ and turn it on.

Since Oculus doesn’t officially allow streaming of PC VR content through Virtual Desktop, you need to apply a patch.

  • Install SideQuest on your PC (a platform that allows for sideloading on the Quest).
  • Connect your Quest 3 to your PC (you can use the charging cable).
  • In SideQuest, search for Virtual Desktop, and install the patch.
  • Open the Streamer application on your PC and input your Oculus username.
  • Ensure your PC and Quest 3 are on the same Wi-Fi network.
  • Put on your Quest 3 and open the Virtual Desktop app.
  • Connect to your PC in the Virtual Desktop interface.

Once connected, you can launch both Oculus and SteamVR games directly from the Virtual Desktop interface in VR. Make sure SteamVR is installed on your PC for Steam games.

Method 3: Quest Link (Wired/Free)

Quest Link allows you to connect your headset to your PC through a USB-C cable. This enables low latency gaming and doesn’t require a router in the same room as your headset.

  1. Purchase (if you haven’t already) an Oculus Link compatible cable. This can be the official Oculus Link cable or a third-party USB 3.0 (or higher) Type-C cable.
  2. Download the Meta Quest app on your PC
  3. Connect your Meta Quest 3 to your PC using the cable.
  4. Enable Oculus Link from the prompt in your headset. If you don’t see the prompt, ensure you’re in “Developer Mode” (see below).

How to Play Steam Games on the Meta Quest 3 Without a PC

It’s possible to play Steam games on the Meta Quest 3 through cloud gaming services, which essentially “stream” the content to your headset from their powerful servers. However, it’s far from perfect, and you’ll need faster internet speeds (50+ Mbps) and 5 GHz WiFi 6 connect.

If you’re interested in trying it out, Plutosphere offers a WIP early access solution. There have also been reports of Meta releasing their own cloud gaming platform.

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