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How to: Stream VR to the Oculus Quest. Virtual Desktop (sideloaded) + Shadow (remote gaming pc) + SteamVR

Playing SteamVR game Dreadhalls on the Oculus Quest

Getting started with streaming VR content from a remote cloud-based gaming PC to your Oculus Quest sounds complicated. With a few guides dotted around, I had to patch together how to get it working.

Getting started with streaming VR content from a remote cloud-based gaming PC to your Oculus Quest sounds complicated. With a few guides dotted around, I had to patch together how to get it working.

So here’s what I did:

  1. Buy yourself an official copy of Virtual Desktop from the quest store, but don’t install.
  2. Follow https://sidequestvr.com/#/setup-howtoguide (this is for side-loading Virtual Desktop with the VR code built in… thanks Oculus /s). You don’t needthe SideQuest app launcher installed on the Quest. TLDR:
    1. Set yourself up as a developer: https://dashboard.oculus.com/
    2. Install drivers (if needed)
    3. Enable dev mode via the app and reboot your Quest
    4. Plug your quest into your PC/Mac/Linux machine and “allow debugging”
    5. Run SideQuest on your machine
    6. Find the Virtual Desktop APK* under apps and install
  3. Get a Shadow using my shameless referral code https://shop.shadow.tech/gben/invite/JACDK9GB. Install Steam and Steam VR and log into Steam.
  4. Go to https://www.vrdesktop.net and install the client on your new Shadow using your Quest username. Note: enable “Cloud Computing” in the dialog box for the Virtual Desktop.
  5. Grab your quest, run Virtual Desktop app. Shadow should show in the list.
  6. Run Steam VR from Steam, it should detect* a headset. Set up standing room space*
  7. Play something!

*Buy the official Virtual Desktop app first

*So during this process, the only time I got stuck was where Steam said: “No headset detected”. Somehow the Virtual Desktop app version was the Store version, meaning no VR (you’ll be missing the “Go to Desktop” “Go to VR” buttons on the left options). I deleted the APK and re-installed it.

*Room space doesn’t work as you’re not “in a room”. But with standing, you can move about anyway, and your Oculus guardian will kick in if you go too far.

Messing with APKs, developer controls and side-loading might sound a bit intimidating, but it’s all perfectly viable. Sideloading is a common developer practice for testing apps. My only caution would be other apps on the SideQuest store: do some research before installing anything as these APKs are all open repos and might do harm if not treated with care.

Notes on WiFi connections, speed and bandwidth:

  • Check your router supports 5ghz band
  • Your router might have 2.4ghz band and 5ghz band using the same SSID. Ideally, rename your 5ghz band to a unique name and connect your Oculus Quest exclusively to it.
  • Of course, faster connections help, but I achieved the above on ~51mbps down and ~20mbps up fibre broadband.

Enjoy!