How to use Oculus Air Link for Wireless VR

Oculus Air Link wireless VR is poised to make the Oculus Quest 2 even better by giving it access to a wider range of PC virtual reality games and additional PC processing power, all without the need for a wire tether – no more tripping over the cable. It's a truly wireless Oculus link solution with no third-party apps required.

Getting up to speed with Air Link is quick and relatively painless. You'll just need fast Wi-Fi for a Quest 2 wireless Air Link setup, and you must remain within line of sight of your router at all times. If you want to try giving your Quest 2 some wireless PC power, here's how to use Oculus Air Link.

Oculus Air Link: What you need 

Along with your Oculus Quest 2 headset, you'll also need a capable gaming PC to connect to. While high-powered graphics cards are in short supply, any mid-range GPU from the past couple of years will be leaps and bounds more capable than the onboard graphics chip inside the Quest 2.

Another important aspect is your Wi-Fi connection. Unlike the HTC Vive Wireless, Oculus Air Link doesn't have a bespoke wireless transmitter and receiver but instead uses your local Wi-Fi network to handle the wireless streaming of video to your Quest 2 headset. That's a lot of data and lag is the last thing you need in VR, so Oculus recommends you use Wi-Fi 5 or 6 (802.11 ac or ax) and use the 5GHz band. It's also a good idea to make sure that you aren't competing with other routers on the same channel, so consider using a network analyzer and adjusting your 5GHz channel to one that's free of interference.

To minimize latency and the potential for interference, it's also a good idea to connect your gaming PC to your router via high-speed wired Ethernet cable. Preferably a Cat 6 or Cat 6a cable with shielding.

Cable Matters Cat6A Snagless Shielded (SSTP/SFTP) Ethernet Patch Cable

Another stipulation that Oculus is quite particular about in its setup instructions is security. It wants to make sure that all routers using the Oculus Air Link wireless VR feature do so over a connection protected by, at a minimum, WPA2 security. Although that's a noble demand, all routers that support Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 will support WPA2, and many of them the newer WPA3 standard.

How to Setup Oculus Quest 2 Air Link

  • On your PC, download the latest version of the Oculus Rift Software PC app (at least v28), and install it.
  • Open the app and select Settings.
  • Select the Beta tab, and select the button next to Air Link to enable it.
  • On your headset, press the oval Oculus button on the right Touch controller to open the universal menu, and select the Settings cog icon. Then select Wi-Fi.
  • Select your 5GHz Wi-Fi network and input the password. Then select Connect.
  • Open the Settings menu again and select Experimental Features.
  • Select the button next to Air Link, confirm you meet the necessary requirements, and select Continue.
  • Find your PC in the list of Available PCs and select Pair.

Once the pairing process is complete, you'll be able to select Launch which will begin your Oculus Air Link wireless VR connection.

If you don’t see the Air Link feature in Experimental Features yet, don’t worry. Oculus appears to be deploying this new feature gradually. Try checking for Oculus updates at a later time.

How to Turn Off Oculus Quest 2 Air Link

When you're done testing out this Oculus Link wireless alternative, it's easy to turn off so you can go back to using the Quest Link cable, or play Quest 2 wireless games without any PC connection.

  • On the Quest 2 headset press the oval Oculus button to open the universal menu.
  • Select the Settings cog icon to open the Settings menu.
  • Select Experimental Features.
  • Select the button next to Air Link to turn off wireless PCVR connection.

Remember, it's still in Beta

As exciting as wireless, PC-connected virtual reality is, Air Link is very much still experimental and may not perform as well as it should – and it might not even be due to your hardware. It's still very early days.

If you find Air Link isn't as good as you hoped, your wireless networking equipment isn't up to the task, or you just want the guarantee of a high-quality PC VR experience with your Quest 2, the best bet is to use a wired connection. You don't need to pay the high price for an Oculus Link cable though. A good quality USB-C cable like those made by Cable Matters will do just fine.

Cable Matters Active USB-A to USB-C Cable

 

Cable Matters Active USB-C Cable

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