Oculus Quest headsets now account for nearly 44% of all headsets used on Steam, and this clearly hasn’t gone unnoticed by Valve. An update to the latest SteamVR beta aims to make the experience easier for new users.

Despite making its own VR headset, Valve has stayed true to its commitment to make SteamVR a hardware agnostic platform, including for Quest headsets which can be plugged into to a PC to play PC VR games.

Last year the company updated SteamVR to improve the reliability of the software when used with both wired and wireless Quest headsets. Occasionally the headsets could lose connection to the PC which could look to SteamVR like they had suddenly been unplugged. The update aimed to make SteamVR better at smoothing out those connection blips so that players wouldn’t need to restart the software.

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Today the company released SteamVR Beta 1.21.5 which brings more changes to make the software play nicer with Quest headsets, especially for first-time users.

According to the update notes, SteamVR will now check to see if a Quest headset is connected to the user’s computer and remind them that they first need to start Oculus Link inside their headset before they can use SteamVR.

Similarly, if the software can’t find the Oculus service (part of the Oculus PC software and required to use the headset with SteamVR), it will tell users that they need to first install the Oculus PC software.

These are small changes but clearly intended to help new users, especially the latter change which will be beneficial for users who might think they can use their Quest directly with SteamVR without the need to install any additional software.

As with most SteamVR beta updates, these changes will eventually be released to everyone. If you want to check it out today you can do so easily by opting into the SteamVR Beta yourself:

Opt into SteamVR Beta
  • In your Steam games list, right-click on SteamVR > Properties > Select the ‘Betas’ tab
  • In the drop down list, select ‘SteamVR Beta Update’
  • Allow SteamVR to update

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  • Keng Yuan Chang

    Yeah, it took me a while… Cannot imagine how painstaking it would be for less computer literate person, must make it as easy as pick up a phone, make VR strong.

    • Keng Yuan Chang

      It’s a fun worth spreading.

    • Jonathan Winters III

      This.

    • Ace Abattoir

      thats where psvr2 will step in, anything that deals with pc’s will always have a higher learning curve.

      • Sophie Ross

        I’ve even earned $19618 working at my from home via my PC.~wq52~Since I lost my previous job I was a bit agitated and was pleasantly surprised to find an easy online task and that’s the reason I’m able to earn a thousand dollars just at home.~wq52~Everyone is able to take advantage of this simple job and earn more money online by the hyperlink.

        >>>> https://­b­t­c­.­d­o­/googlejob

  • G’Zilla

    Can they like, make an app and put that out on Oculus so that I can skip the computer all together. I dont connect yet.

    • Cless

      Pretty sure Facebook would be 100% against that unless they pay them like 1/3rd of what they make selling on their store lol

    • steamvr runs on a pc… the quest literally can’t run any of the SteamVR catalog without a pc. You can use Virtual Desktop to play SteamVR without the Oculus Client on PC, but if you take away the computer… you can’t play SteamVR at all, so what are you meaning exactly by your statement above?

      • G’Zilla

        I just dont want to use a cord, but would love to play more games. I get the Quest cant run most stream games natively, or larger games, i need to figure out that virtual desktop, just i use Mac and my daughter has the PC in her room…shame, cause i have the super mackbook .

        • Eric Wescott

          AirLink does wireless PCVR.

        • Remco

          You don’t need a cable for steam vr. You can connect to you pc over air link provided you have a compatible wifi setup. I don’t even own a cable and play steam vr games everyday.

          • Mountain Guardian

            Did you initially have to use a cable to setup everything?

    • Mountain Guardian

      Steam VR and Oculus are basically like two different OS’s, it would be like running a Mac game on Windows. It can only be done with an “interface” to decode one OS and recode it into the other OS.

      This is what happens when playing a Steam game on Oculus, the computer decodes and recodes the software to interpret between the two very different coding systems. As both Steam VR and Oculus VR are proprietary it is unlikely that either one will ever change to a common format that would natively work on both systems.

      It takes a fair bit of processing power to interpret between these two and PC’s take up that extra processing step allowing the Oculus to just simply stream as it was intended to do.

  • didn’t you mean “extra software” in that one line?

    • benz145

      Yes I did, fixed, thank you!

  • Kevin Frushour

    4D toys proports to be a VR program, but it won’t work with Oculus. Hope this fixes it.

  • Anonymous

    I really think FB should do the same, making SteamVR users able to play Oculus exclusive PC games without ReVive.
    FB’s VR revenue mostly comes from app sales and there is not a lot of Oculus exclusive PC games to begin with. The main market of consumer VR has also already shifted to standalone and indeed Quest versions outsell PC versions. It wouldn’t be much of a hit in revenue for FB to open up access to the PC games they have and they can improve their brand image too.

    • brandon9271

      You’d think they’d do it because that would double their number of customers overnight. Given the choice to buy a game from Oculus or Steam I almost ALWAY buy it on Steam. I don’t want to deal with FB’s BS

      • Jistuce

        They’ve indicated a desire to go the other direction. They did try to kill ReVive a while back.They backed off that change when the ReVive crew demonstrated an ability to work around their kill in a way that, by necessity, defeated their copy-protection mechanisms.

        They don’t want outsiders in their playground, but they want rampant piracy even less.

        • brandon9271

          My only guess for why they would shut out all other hardware has to do with data mining.

    • Geogaddi

      Maybe they’re saving Asgard’s Wrath and Lone Echo for a future Quest iteration that is powerful enough to run them standalone.

    • Lucidfeuer

      They’ll never do that, Steam plays ball because they dropped it on VR and it shows on Steam VR usage tracking. Facebook on the other hand is pro-proprietary everything, they steal, reverse engineer and make sub-par copies of every other softwares rather than licence or purchase it, in fact they’re being investigated by the FTC for that practice as of now.

      • Mountain Guardian

        More than 90% of Steam VR use is on Rift and Quest machines. Steam VR can’t afford to lose that customer base.

        • Lucidfeuer

          My point yes.

    • Mountain Guardian

      I went through the entire list of Oculus apps and I could find nothing I was interested in ever using. You might check out what Oculus actually has available before making that wish. The only VR programs I have been able to find that I have any interest in are on Steam VR.

  • S Ander

    When i updated to windows 11 i knew it would take month or two for my Quest 2 getting support for it but now i am thinking will i have to wait for project cambria release to get to play the pcvr games.

    There are no information about upcoming update 36 that it would add support for windows 11 and it could be released this or next month so the wait is long.

    Virtual Desktop at least works ok but for me air link has been much better experience when it last worked when i was on windows 10.

    Good that Steam is at least providing good software support for competitors headsets.

    • XRC

      Roll back to windows 10?

      • S Ander

        I thought about it last year when i got the windows 11 update but now it is not option anymore.

        Just have to wait for update 36 or 37 or 38 which would add support for win 11 :D

    • Dmacell

      Ive had win 11 since october and it works fine on my quest 2 as well as my g-2. If I had issues i would def roll back though. Did you turn off game mode btw?

      • S Ander

        Yes i have tested game mode on and off no difference.

        Only thing what is partial fix is to toggle oculus debug tool console visibility(video about it can be found on youtube “how to fix Oculus Link on win 11” but sometimes it works and sometimes not and it will be same as before(awful lag on win 11 with Oculus Link).

  • The actual versión of Steam VR works well so with this update is going to work even better ^^

  • Jason Flippetyfloop Fray

    So this update does nothing more but remind you to start the Oculus app and have Oculus link/Airlink turned on? Optimization with Oculus on SteamVR is laughable, go download “OpenComposite” on GitHub and run SteamVR games without steam on Oculus and you’ll see a huge difference in performance.

  • Richard R Garabedian

    I have a low mic problem while using steam vr…I have a quest and i have no idea why its doing this and nothing fixes it…i hope the update addresses this.

  • Mountain Guardian

    Looks like I am stepping into VR about the right time. I had no idea that it had developed this much already. One of my sons picked up a new Quest 2 last week and I started studying what was out there and available.

    I am still certain whether I want to get into it, but I went ahead and picked up a used Quest for $150 and I will try that out a bit and see if I like it. If so I might go ahead and invest in a setup as it seems to be really catching on at this point.