Virtual Desktop : How to play your Oculus and pico VR games wirelessly?

virtual desktop

Playing your virtual games on the PC with your Oculus Quest headset or Pico 4 without having to use a USB cable is now possible with Virtual Desktop. Basically, playing these VR games on PC without the Oculus Link cable was impossible.

But things changed ! you can now play Steam VR, Oculus RIFT games without a wired connection on a PC, using the famous Virtual Desktop software or the Air Link feature!

Virtual Desktop features

Virtual Desktop is a highly optimised native application developed for high quality, low latency streaming and virtual-world experience. It works with all major virtual reality headsets (Quest and Pico).

The Virtual Desktop allows you to display your computer screen in virtual reality, to retranscribe reality for a wider field of vision to all your software. Thus, you will be able to watch films, see your photos in 360°, use the browser in virtual reality. 

It introduces you to reality, or a reality system that allows you to play classic 2D PC games, virtual games, gaming, or any application available through the Steam VR application. Although you can play multiple games with Virtual Desktop (with controllers), some games are not compatible (non-compatible) with this software. Among them, we note Boneworks, Contrators, HyperDash. 

To connect the headset or (virtual reality glasses) to the computer, Virtual Desktop must be purchased from the Oculus or Pico Store.

Virtual desktop in oculus store

A few months ago, the company Oculus VR removed the Virtual Desktop software feature that allowed virtual PC games to be played without a wired connection. Oculus cited quality reasons.

To use the software despite Oculus’ decision, a patch had to be installed via the SideQuest application shop. But since the last update of Oculus Quest, the functionality has been reactivated. So no more need to install the patch available on SideQuest!

It is also now possible to access PC VR games wirelessly using the Air Link feature on Quest, the Pico 4 also has a similar feature. You can turn to Virtual Desktop if the functionality is not good enough.

Mice, keyboards, remote control, headset and Bluetooth joysticks are supported and you can switch monitors. The developers plan to add a “Videos” tab that will allow you to download or stream 180/360 videos directly from your computer.

Compatible headsets with wireless connection are Oculus Quest / Quest 2 / Go / Samsung Gear VR, HTC Vive o Valve, Pico 4, virtual reality devices. 

What’s new after the last update

  • Added multi-account support in the Streamer application;
  • Automatically save your screenshots to your desktop;
  • Voiceover for notifications;
  • Information about your Wi-Fi network speed, game runtime and GPU name;
  • Slicing and microphone pass-through are now enabled by default;
  • Ability to play games that are not in your Oculus or Steam library by right-clicking on the Streamer icon, selecting “Inject Game…” and locating the executable; 
  • Injecting games via a batch file (.bat).

What are the system requirements?

  • Windows 10 (64 bits) or macOS Mojave (10.14)
  • Intel Core i5-2500k or equivalent
  • Computer wired to a 5 GHz AC or AX Wi-Fi router
  • PC VR Ready (GTX 970) for PCVR game streaming

How to install Virtual Desktop?

The Virtual Desktop software is accessible to everyone without any special knowledge and is very easy to install. To get started, you need to purchase the software on your VR device from the Oculus Store (Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift) or on Steam (Rift, HTC Vive o Valve), or on Pico Store for Pico 4 VR Headset. After purchase, it installs into your VR headset. You then need to download Virtual Desktop on PC or MAC (beta version).

How to use Virtual Desktop?

First, make sure your PC and headset are on the same Wifi network, preferably 5G, as the most important thing here is the stability of the connection. Start the software on your computer then put on your VR device (Quest, Rift, HTC Vive o Valve, Pico) and launch the Virtual Desktop application.

The connection is made automatically as you are on the same network. Go to the Virtual Desktop menu where you will see two buttons in the left menu dedicated to launching games.

So you can launch your games from the “Games” tab. They then appear with clickable thumbnails on your virtual desktop just like in the Oculus Library.

You can also launch them directly in the Steam VR application to view the virtual environment you know in wired mode. To take advantage of this option, you must have purchased or downloaded the games beforehand on SteamVR.

From then on, you can enjoy your virtual games without having to use a cable.

For VR games, via Steam VR, you can of course use your VR controllers as if you were wired. You also have the possibility to use game controllers like the Xbox One and also use virtual reality controllers as a mouse pointer.

Some alternatives to Virtual Desktop

If you are looking for other software that can allow you to use your games wirelessly in your virtual and augmented reality headset (Oculus Quest, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive or Valve, Pico 4, etc) such as the Virtual Desktop, this list may help you: 

  • The first on the list is ALVR (Air Light VR). It is only available on SideQuest. It is an open source remote virtual display for Gear VR and Oculus Go. With this software, you can play SteamVR games in your standalone headset.
  • BigScreen can also do the trick. Play games, watch movies and spend time together in virtual reality with your friends.
  • Immersed VR is a free application to get your Mac / PC / Linux screens in VR (including additional virtual screens without additional hardware) in breathtaking virtual worlds!

However, of all these programs, Virtual Desktop is considered the best because :

  • it allows you to use the microphone of the Oculus Quest;
  • it uses Quest’s Guardian system to focus on SteamVR, so there’s no need to run the configuration.
  • It gives you access to your own computer at any time.
  • It allows you to start playing from anywhere on your WiFi network without needing to physically access your PC if it is turned on and connected to WiFi.

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