There are plenty of great games on the Oculus Store for Quest, but did you know you can download games, experiences, and useful tools from an entirely different library? With SideQuest, you can expand your horizons with unofficial mods, tools, and indie gems of all sorts, both paid and free. Find out how (and why) with this handy dandy guide.
SideQuest has an awesome library of content, including cool multiplayer games like Blast World, mods for games you already own on Quest such as Beat Saber, and tools that can let you do things Oculus could never dream of allowing you to do.
That’s what ‘sideloading’ is for: letting you install any app you want, even if it hasn’t (or can’t) pass Oculus’ admittedly choosy app selection process. It also opens up Quest so developers of all skill levels can get people playing their games.
What you’ll need:
- an Oculus Quest
- Windows 8 or above PC, Linux PC, or macOS device
- USB to USB Type C cable to transfer apps to Quest
- A few minutes to jump through some minor hoops
1: Install SideQuest on Your PC/Mac
You’ll find all of the latest builds on SideQuest’s website, including those for Windows 8 and up PCs, Linux, and macOS. Once installed, you can technically launch it and peruse all of the apps, although you’ll need to do a few minor chores first before SideQuest will properly recognize your headset, so don’t plug it in just yet.
2: Put on Your Dev Hat
Oculus lets you get under the hood of Quest as a developer. You only need to jump through a single hoop here to get you officially recognized as such.
Just head over to dashboard.oculus.com, login to your Oculus account, and create what Oculus considers an “organization.” Toss a random name in there (if you truly aren’t a developer) and agree to the terms of service.
Attention: If you’re a Windows user, you’ll also need some extra driver software before going any further. Both mac and Linux users can skip to step four.
If you’re a Windows user, download these Oculus Go drivers, which also work for Quest. Simply extract the zip folder by right clicking the android_winusb.inf file and clicking ‘Install’.
3: Enable Developer Mode and Reboot
As a Quest user, you should already have the Oculus app installed on your mobile device. Open the app, go to the ‘Settings’ tab on the bottom right hand side, tap to expand the options under your Quest and select ‘More Settings’.
Among the various toggles you’ll find ‘Developer Mode’, which you simply have to toggle on. Reboot your Quest now.
4: Connect Quest to Computer via USB & Allow USB Debugging
You’re at the home stretch! Plug your freshly rebooted Quest into your computer using a UBS Type C to standard USB cable. If your computer has a Type C port, you may be able to use the charging cable supplied in the box (USB-C to USB-C).
Now physically put on your headset, and you should see a window (in VR) that says ‘Allow USB debugging?’ at which point you simply click the check box ‘Always allow from this computer’.
The team behind SideQuest points out that it’s important to Disable Unlock Pattern too. You can do this by going back to the Oculus mobile app and going through Settings > Quest > More Settings > Unlock Pattern. It’s right near the Developer Mode option you toggled before.
5: Enjoy SideQuest!
And there you have it! Now you can open the SideQuest app on your computer and browse a whole new universe of VR games, prototypes, demos, tools and more. Keep your Quest connected (shown as a green dot in upper left corner of the app), and you’ll be able to install and uninstall sideloaded apps to your heart’s content.
Once you’ve made your selection, safely remove the Quest from its sync with your computer and head into ‘Unknown Sources’ to find all of the new apps you’ve just tossed on your Quest. Enjoy!
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What’s your favorite sideloaded apps on SideQuest? Let us know in the comments below!