How (and why) to Sideload Games on Quest with SideQuest - Road to VR
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How (and why) to Sideload Games on Quest with SideQuest – Road to VR

There are a lot of great apps on the quest store, but did you know you can download useful games, experiences, and tools from an entirely different library? With Sidequest, you can broaden your horizons with unofficial mods, tools, and indie gems of all kinds, both paid and free. Find out how (and why) with this handy dandy guide.

sidequest has an amazing library of content, including great multiplayer games, mods for games you already have in quest like beat saber, and tools that let you do things the metagame doesn’t always allow.

Reading: How to connect quest to sidequest

That’s what “local loading” is for: allowing you to install any application you want and modify it unattended. That level of functional uniqueness has changed a bit with the entry of the App Lab, though Sidequest is still the fastest way to get new apps. we’ve heard reports of developers waiting up to six weeks for their apps to be approved for the app lab.

what you will need:

  • quest or quest 2
  • a computer or modern android device – computers include: windows 8 or higher pc, linux pc, macos
  • usb type c cable to transfer apps from computer/android device to quest
  • a few minutes to jump through some hoops

1: install sidequest on your computer or android device

computer: You’ll find all the latest builds on the sidequest website, including those for windows 8 and newer, linux, and macos. Once installed, you can technically launch it and browse through all the apps, although you’ll need to do a few minor tasks first before Sidequest will properly recognize your headphones, so don’t plug it in just yet. There is now also a new vr sideloading feature that allows you to download sidequest games directly when you are inside vr.

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android: Download the sidequest android app on the google play store. don’t connect the cable yet.

2: put on your developer hat

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get under the hood of quest as a developer. You only need to jump through one hoop here to be officially recognized as such.

Simply head over to your developer organization dashboard, sign in to your oculus account, and create what meta considers an “organization.” add a random name in there (if you’re really not a developer) and agree to the terms of service. you may also need to verify your account with a credit card or phone number if it’s not already verified.

Image courtesy Meta

Computer: 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 three. 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. turn on your quest if it isn’t already, open the oculus app on your phone, go to the “menu” section at the bottom right, go to “settings”.

Image captured by Road to VR

Make sure your headset is marked as ‘Connected’ within the app, head into ‘Developer Mode’, then simply toggle it on. Reboot your Quest now.

4: connect quest to your device via usb & allow usb debugging

you are in the final stretch! connect your newly rebooted mission to your computer/android device using usb type c cable.

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android – This can be tricky for users of older android devices as micro usb to usb type c is quite rare. we suggest using a modern android device equipped with a type c port.

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now physically put on the headset and you should see a window (in virtual reality) that says “allow usb debugging?” at that point, just click the “always allow from this computer” checkbox.

the team behind sidequest points out that it is also important to disable the unlock pattern. you can do this by going back to the oculus mobile app and reviewing settings > mission > more settings > unlock pattern. it’s right next to the developer mode option you enabled earlier.

5: download all

and there you have it! now you can open the sidequest app and explore a whole new universe of virtual reality games, prototypes, demos, tools and more. keep your search connected (shown as a green dot in the top left corner of the app), and you’ll be able to install and uninstall locally uploaded apps to your heart’s content. this applies to both computer and android devices.

Image captured by Road to VR

Although, there’s one more trick for Android users. You can also wirelessly sideload apps via Wi-Fi.

To do this, it must be configured to transfer over a wired connection. go into the sidequest app and enter your local ip address. You can reveal your local IP address by clicking the Wi-Fi icon while in the quest home environment, selecting the network you are currently connected to, and scrolling down to reveal the string of numbers. these often start with ‘192’. now you can wirelessly upload apps from your phone to your quest!

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oh, and if you’re still having trouble, check out this handy video guide from the good folks at sidequest:

Update (June 27, 2022): Updated to include a new side-loading mode on the earbuds.

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