Oculus Quest is a new standalone mobile VR headset with 6 degrees of freedom (6DOF) and two 6DOF motion controllers starting at $399. Here is a hands-on review as an owner of several mobile and desktop VR headsets.
Hands-on review (updated May 25, 2019)
Specifications and Key Features
List of launch games (updated May 21, 2019)
– Which games support cross-buy? (added May 20, 2019)
– List of free games and free demos (added May 20, 2019)
Comparison vith Rift S and with other 6DOF mobile VR headsets (updated May 19, 2019)
Compatibility with Gear VR and Oculus Go (added May 8, 2019)
Setup and Tutorial (added May 20, 2019)
– How to sideload Gear VR apps on Oculus Quest (added May 20, 2019)
— List of apps tested for sideloading (added May 30, 2019).
– How to Cast Oculus Quest to TV Wirelessly with Audio
– How to use Oculus Quest to play HTC Vive and Oculus Rift games (updated May 28, 2019).
Price and availability
Accessories (updated May 25, 2019)
Hands-on Review (updated May 25, 2019)
Here is a detailed hands-on review by Tested, followed by my own review:
Here is my review, as an owner of several desktop and mobile VR headsets since 2016, after having used the Oculus Quest for a week:
Comfort and ergonomics: The headset is very well made and it is generally comfortable. The headset uses straps like the original Oculus Rift, which I find more comfortable for long playing sessions compared to the halo of the Playstation VR and Windows Mixed Reality headsets.
The biggest issue for comfort is that it is a bit front heavy. My first impression was that it isn’t as heavy as I heard some reviewers say. It is actually lighter and feels less bulky than the Lenovo Mirage Solo, which was the first standalone 6DOF mobile VR headset for consumers. However, because it is a bit front heavy and feels like it might slip off under vigorous use, I found myself pulling the side strap a bit harder than I expected as a way of compensating for the weight in front. The result was that with prolonged use (let’s say 1 hour straight), I start to feel my cheeks ache.
To maximize comfort you need to ensure that the rear strap cups the base of your head. I found it useful to pull the rear strap down as much as I could and to tilt the headset very slightly upward so that the weight would be distributed more evenly between my forehead and my cheeks. Also see below under accessories for some ways to improve comfort.
Controllers: The controllers are similar to the Touch controllers for the original Rift. The original Rift’s controllers do feel a bit heavier, which makes them feel a bit more upscale, but the build quality of the Quest’s Touch controllers is excellent as well, similar to the controllers for the Oculus Go. They have magnetic battery covers as well, just like the Touch for the Rift, and use one AA battery each (included, although I recommend getting Eneloop rechargeables).
The controllers track very well except when they are very close to my face (around 6 inches from my face) or when I’m reaching for something behind me. They are still being tracked but with less accuracy.
Display: The Quest has a high resolution display with 1600 x 1440 resolution per eye, the same as high-end desktop VR headsets such as the Valve Index and Vive Pro, and higher than the Rift S or Rift. They are indeed very crisp with hardly any screen door effect. They also have a reasonably large sweet spot that was easy for me to find, and have no noticeable distortion.
However, the ridges of the fresnel lens around the perimeter lens can be visible when there is a bright object against a dark background, and there are some god-rays. Another issue is the light leak around the nose area, although while playing, I don’t notice it.
The display has a physically adjustable IPD (interpupillary distance) from 58 to 72mm and has a removable insert for those wearing glasses.
Audio: The Quest has built-in speakers and two headphone jacks. The speakers are similar to those of the Oculus Go, with sound channeled along the rigid part of the headstrap, and they sound like invisible headphones. While they are not audiophile quality, I found them balanced and I believe they will be more than sufficient for most people. The most common complaint I see among users is that they are not loud.
Headset Tracking and Immersion: The Quest has 6DOF tracking just like most desktop VR headsets but it has no external sensors, and instead uses four cameras and computer vision to track its movement in 3D space, with a refresh rate of up to 72 hertz. The tracking felt excellent and somehow seemed more accurate than the tracking of the Lenovo Mirage Solo. However, on rare occasions, the tracking can get lost if you accidentally block the cameras such as when you’re covering your face in a boxing game. Except for those hiccups, the headset tracking was impressive and created a convincing sense of immersion. At one point during the intro / tutorial, there was a table and for a moment, I forgot that the table wasn’t really there and almost tried to lean on it. Overall, I would say the tracking performance is similar if not a bit better than Windows Mixed Reality.
Controller Tracking: The Quest has two 6DOF Touch controllers that are identical to the controllers for the Rift S desktop VR headset. The controller tracking was also very good except for a couple of issues. First, it could not track the controllers less than 6 inches away from the headset (for example when you are covering your face in a boxing game). When the controllers are less than six inches away they will stop moving until your hands are farther away. The other limitation was that the controllers can’t be tracked when they’re behind you. Some games require you to reach behind you and this may or may not be an issue. For Space Pirate Trainer, it was not an issue and I was able to reach my shield from my backpack without any problems. For the intro tutorial however, when I tried to wind up to throw a cube, the cube wasn’t thrown accurately.
Graphics and Performance: The Quest is a mobile VR headset but some of the games much better than I expected. Creed on Quest for example is a reasonable likeness of the original desktop version. Vader Immortal is probably the best-looking game on the Quest and looks as good as some desktop VR games. On the other hand, Space Pirate Trainer looked pretty much like a mobile VR game, with much simpler textures than its desktop counterpart.
Although the Quest’s graphics are not as good as desktop VR games, the gameplay was fairly similar to their desktop versions. I wouldn’t say identical because it seemed like the Quest was being pushed to its limit and seemed very slightly less responsive than the same games on desktop VR. For Creed in particular, it seemed that the controller tracking was a bit less accurate, and there were a couple of instances when the opponent suddenly reaappeared a bit to the left. However, during actual games, I did not feel that the graphics nor tracking performance detracted from the gameplay. The Quest provides a very good quality VR experience.
Overall impressions and preliminary conclusion: For a mobile VR headset, the Quest is amazing and in my opinion, delivers on its promise of providing a good quality, immersive VR experience. My biggest concern is probably its library of games and apps as of May 2019. It has only a few dozen and the games and apps tend to cost as much as their desktop VR counterparts (around $10 to 30). If I could not get a desktop VR headset, I would be happy with the Quest. The question is, what if you do have options? Given the cost of its games, I think it is fair to consider how well it compares against desktop VR? Is being untethered worth the drop in graphics and performance?
My initial impression was that I would prefer the better tracking, graphics, and performance of a desktop VR headset. However, in practical terms, I used the Quest much more often than my desktop VR headsets due to its convenience. For casual gamers, the Quest’s convenience probably trumps the better performance of a desktop VR headset. For enthusiasts, they might find desktop VR to be better overall. The big hurdle for many enthusiasts is that they don’t have a VR-ready PC. But in fact, getting a VR-ready PC is not as difficult as it may seem. For most people with an average desktop (i5-4590, 8GB or similar, Windows 10), all they have to do is add a graphics card such as a GTX 1050 Ti. I’m also going to be testing the affordable GTX 1650 ($150 on Amazon) . Check out my upcoming review of the GTX 1650 and the Rift S. If you’re planning to get the Quest, I recommend buying from Amazon for $399 (64GB) or $499 (128GB) because of their lenient return policy, in case you decide that you want to get a desktop VR instead.
Specifications and Key Features
|Resolution per eye||1600 x 1440|
|Field of view||Oculus claims "similar to Rift"|
|Refresh rate||72 frames per second|
|IPD Adjustment||physical, 58–72mm|
|Memory||64GB or 128GB|
|Tracking||6DOF, world scale|
|Controllers||two controllers, 6DOF|
|Connectivity||USB Type C|
|Battery||3648mah, approx 2-3 hours|
|Price and availability||$399 (64GB)|
Shipping May 21, 2019
Here are more details about its key features:
Standalone VR headset: The Quest does not need to be connected to a PC or a phone. This means it is ready to be used right away. No need to power up your PC or launch Oculus Home or Steam VR.
6DOF tracking: Mobile VR headsets such as Gear VR and Oculus Go are typically limited to head tracking with 3 degrees of freedom. They can track head rotation but not lateral or vertical head movement. Oculus Quest can track with 6 degrees of freedom, which means that you can not only look in any direction but you can also move any direction. 6DOF tracking can create a much more convincing sense of presence, the illusion of feeling as if you are in another place.
No external sensors: The Quest does not need any external sensors, so there’s nothing to setup. Instead, Quest uses Oculus Insight technology, which uses four cameras that can use computer vision to analyze the environment and track the Quest’s position in 3D space.
Completely wireless: Desktop VR headsets such as Oculus Rift or HTC Vive or Playstation VR require a cable connection to a desktop system. The cable can interfere with gameplay and reduce immersion. Unlike desktop VR headsets, the Quest is completely untethered. Not only will you be able to move freely, but in addition, there is theoretically no limit to the tracking area.
High resolution display: Oculus Quest has a display resolution of 1600 x 1440 per eye, 77% higher resolution compared to the Rift which has resolution of 1080 x 1200 per eye. Pixels on the Quest are much smaller and it can show finer details such as small text.
Oculus Touch 6DOF controllers: Quest uses two Oculus Touch controllers that are each tracked with 6 degrees of freedom. These are the same controllers as for Rift S.
Built-in audio: Quest has speakers built into the headstrap, similar to Oculus Go, which sound like invisible earphones.
Compatibility: As of launch date, Oculus Quest is not officially compatible with the Gear VR / Oculus Go library. However, it is possible to sideload Oculus Go / Gear VR games into the Quest. See below.
Oculus Quest launch titles
Oculus posted a new trailer for the Oculus Quest that revealed some of the launch titles, including the VR boxing game Creed: Rise to Glory. Also see the list of launch title games announced by developers below. Here’s the new trailer:
Which Oculus Quest games support cross-buy?
Some games are cross-buy with the Rift, i.e., buying either version will enable you to download the other version for free. To check if a game is cross-buy, check the listing in the Oculus Quest store to see if the game also shows that it supports Rift. If it does, then it is cross-buy. Below on the left, you can see the listing for Beat Saber. Even though it is available for Rift, it does not show “Supports Rift” because it is not cross-buy. On the right side is Fruit Ninja which does support cross-buy and you can see it says “supports Rift”:
Here is a list of cross-buy games as of May 20, 2019:
Angry Birds VR
Creed: Rise to Glory
Dance Central VR
Dead and Buried 2
Drop Dead: Dual Strike
Eleven: Table Tennis VR
Face Your Fears 2
Fruit Ninja VR
I Expect You to Die
Journey of the Gods
Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR
Space Pirate Trainer
Free games and free demos:
Beat Saber Demo
Creed: Rise to Glory Demo
Epic Roller Coasters
Journey of the Gods Demo
Netflix (subscription required)
Sling TV (subscription required)
Space Pirate Trainer Demo
Sports Scramble Demo
Here are all the confirmed games, including many that have not been announced by Oculus, but have been confirmed as launch titles by their respective developers:
|Angry Birds VR: Isle of Pigs||action|
|Apex Construct||adventure; shooter|
|Cradle of Sins||multiplayer; action|
|Creed: Rise to Glory||sports|
|Dead and Buried 1||multiplayer; shooter|
|Dead and Buried 2||multiplayer; shooter|
|Death Horizon||shooter; horror|
|Drop Dead: Dual Strike Edition||shooter; horror|
|Eleven: Table Tennis VR||sports|
|Exorcist: Legion VR||horror|
|Face Your Fears 2||simulation; horror|
|First Person Tennis||sports|
|Fruit Ninja VR||action|
|Google Tilt Brush||app|
|Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son||adventure|
|Guided Tai Chi||app|
|Honor and Duty: D-Day||shooter|
|I Expect You To Die||puzzle; adventure|
|Journey of the Gods||adventure|
|Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes||multiplayer; party|
|Nature Treks VR||media|
|Ninja Legends / Ninja Ikari||action|
|Oculus First Contact||app|
|Pick-up League Hockey||sports|
|Pixel Ripped 1989||adventure|
|Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR||sports|
|Range Day VR||shooter|
|Real VR Fishing||sports|
|Rhythm of the Universe||adventure|
|Shadow Legend VR||adventure|
|Shadow Point||puzzle; adventure|
|Space Pirate Trainer||shooter|
|Spice & Wolf VR||media|
|Star Force VR||shooter|
|The Brookhaven Experiment||shooter; horror|
|The Cooking Game VR||simulation|
|The Tower 2||adventure|
|The Under Presents||adventure; multiplayer|
|Vacation Simulator (holiday title)||simulation|
|Vader Immortal Ep. 1: A Star Wars VR Series||adventure|
|VR Karts: Sprint||sports|
Oculus Quest gameplay videos
One of the best games that will be available for Oculus Quest is the smash hit Beat Saber:
Apex Control is a bow and arrow shooter / adventure:
Journey of the Gods is an adventure game where you switch between playing as a warrior and as a god.
Dance Central is a VR version of the dance game, with professionally choreographed moves. It will be available for both Oculus Quest and Rift. The video below shows the graphics from the Rift version.
Here’s another Oculus Quest gameplay video with Shadow Point, a room-scale puzzle game featuring Sir Patrick Stewart.
Comparison vs. Oculus Rift S (updated May 19, 2019)
Many of the Quest games are ported from Oculus Rift. However, playing those games with a completely untethered headset can add a new dimension of gameplay. For example, with Beat Saber, it is possible for the player to spin freely. In Superhot, the player will be able to move in almost any direction (while avoiding real-world furniture). In Creed: Rise to Glory, with a large enough area, it is possible for the player to move around the ‘ring’ the same way they would in a normal boxing ring. With the Rift, that is difficult to do because the cable gets in the way.
The tradeoff will be lower image quality compared to the Rift. How much they vary will depend on the game’s art style (i.e. a detailed game such as Robo Recall will look much better on Rift but a stylized game such as Superhot VR will look similar on both Rift and Quest) and how much effort the developer put into porting it to Quest. But I believe the freedom of moving around should more than make up for it, in my opinion, for many games.
Besides image quality, another major advantage of Rift S over Quest is the much larger library of games and experiences. The Quest does have exclusives but there are many more games for the Rift that are not (yet?) available for Quest.
Here is a comparison between Quest and Rift S image quality on Dead and Buried 2, Space Pirate Trainer, and Apex Construct and other games.
Here is a side-by-side comparison by Tyriel Wood:
Oculus Rift vs Oculus Quest vs Oculus Go
How does Oculus Quest compare to Oculus Go and other mobile VR headsets?
First, the Oculus Quest is beyond Oculus Go in several ways. First, Quest is a 6DOF VR headset while Oculus Go is only 3DOF, which means with Oculus Go you can look around with your head but it won’t track your horizontal or vertical movement. 6DoF tracking is the key to creating a strong sense of VR presence (the illusion that you are somewhere else).
Second, Quest has two 6DOF controllers, whereas Go has only one 3DOF controller. With Go, you can only rotate your wrist, and make very basic movements. With Quest, you can do pretty much anything that can be done on a desktop VR headset, such as using a bow and arrow, or shooting with two guns, or boxing.
Third, Quest has a more powerful Snapdragon 835 processor, while the Go uses the Snapdragon 821. However, most Oculus Quest games will look more similar to Oculus Go than Rift.
Here is a side by side comparison of RUSH on Rift vs. Quest (courtesy: Paradise Decay)
Here is a side by side comparison of RUSH on Rift vs. Go (courtesy of Dr. Oculus VR):
Compared to other 6DOF mobile VR headsets
Oculus Quest is not the first 6DOF mobile VR headset. There are also headsets such as the Lenovo Mirage Solo, which uses Google Daydream 2.0, and HTC’s Vive Focus and Vive Focus Plus. Qualcomm is also working on a 6DOF standalone VR headset. The Quest, Mirage Solo, Vive Focus, and Vive Focus Plus all use the same Snapdragon 835 processor, while Qualcomm’s VR headset uses Snapdragon 845 and features eye tracking.
The Quest differs in three ways: first the Quest has two 6DOF motion controllers. Lenovo Mirage Solo and Vive Focus have a single 3DOF motion controller (similar to Google Daydream 1.0, Samsung Gear VR, or Oculus Go). Vive Focus Plus does have two 6DOF motion controllers. Qualcomm’s VR headset’s controllers have not yet been revealed.
The other significant difference between the headsets is the software library. Among the 6DOF VR headests, Oculus is expected to have the largest libary of apps because Oculus has made it easy to port apps from Rift to Oculus Quest. Oculus is also screening games more carefully with the Quest, ensuring a higher quality standard than the games and apps for the other headsets. With Facebook’s backing, Oculus has also been able to invest hundreds of millions for VR software development.
The third difference is that Oculus Quest has a resolution of 1600 x 1440 per eye, the same as the HTC Vive Pro, Valve Index, and Samsung Odyssey, the second highest resolution among consumer VR headsets at the moment.
Compatibility with Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Go
Although Oculus Quest hardware is capable of running Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Go games, Oculus has not enabled compatibility for now. There may be several reasons for this. First, Gear VR and Oculus Go games are designed for 3DOF with a 3DOF controller. If they allowed Gear VR and Oculus Go games to be played on Oculus Quest, people could be confused about why their 6DOF headset appears to be limited to 3DOF.
Second, Oculus wanted to curate Oculus Quest games and hold them to a higher standard in order to ensure a very high quality VR experience. Gear VR and Oculus Go games are not screened as thoroughly, and there are a wider variety of games – some good and some that are poor. Oculus is reportedly charging developers higher fees to publish on Oculus Quest compared to Oculus Go.
It is however, possible to sideload Oculus Go / Gear VR games to Oculus Quest. See below.
Oculus Quest Setup Tutorial
How to Sideload Gear VR / Oculus Go apps on Oculus Quest
There are two ways to sideload apps from the Gear VR or Oculus Go into the Quest. The first way is through ADB (Android Debug Bridge). The second way is through an app called SideQuest. Both methods are discussed below, starting with SideQuest, which is a little simpler.
1. SideQuest (for PC or Mac)
If you don’t like using a command line, an option for sideloading apps is through the app SideQuest, which has a GUI. It works for both PC and Mac. Simply download the latest release of SideQuest and follow the instructions. If you wish, here is a tutorial by Ramarcus:
2. ADB Android Debug Bridge.
Here’s a tutorial by Mike from Virtual Reality Oasis for Oculus Go, but the sideload process is the same for Quest.
Here is an overview:
1. Enable developer mode.
– Login to your Oculus account in a browser, then on the left side, click on Manage, then click on Create New Organization.
– On the Oculus app on your phone, go to Settings, select your Quest headset, then under More Settings, toggle Developer mode.
2. Install ADB.
– Download and extract adb. If you prefer a version additional batch commands that are useful for casting, see below.
– Connect your headset to your PC via USB
– open a command prompt by typing CMD in the Windows search bar. Go to the directory where adb is installed and type “adb devices.” It will find your headset but say it is Unauthorized.
– Wear the headset and click on the authorization.
– Go back to the command prompt and type adb devices again. This time, the headset will be authorized.
3. Install / sideload APKs
– download an APK and put it in the same folder as the ADB folder
– for ease of installation, rename the apk file and give it a shorter name.
– launch a command prompt, go to the adb folder and enter the command: adb install filename.apk (where the name filename.apk is the location and name of the file such as c:\users\mic\adb\apk\insta360vr.apk).
The new app will appear in your Library under the tab for Unknown Sources. If you don’t see the tab Unknown Sources, reboot your Quest.
Where can you get APKs? The easiest way is to get the app as you normally would, e.g. from Oculus Store, then install an APK extractor (I used APK Extractor Pro by Magdalm), which will give you the apk file for the app you installed.
How do you uninstall APKs? While the Quest is connected via USB, go to the adb folder and type adb uninstall filename where filename is the name that shows up below the title in the list of Unknown Sources, such as “com.arashivision.Insta360VR”
Which apps work for sideloading? Here is a list of apps I’ve tested for sideloading. For these, I tested the apk from Gear VR unless otherwise indicated. An asterisk* means it is not an official Gear VR or Oculus Go app:
|Game or app||Result|
|The Night Cafe||stuck loading|
|Minecraft||ok, needs BT controller|
|Herobound Spirit Champion||ok, needs BT controller|
|Ocean Rift||ok 6dof, needs BT controller|
|Witchblood||ok 6dof, needs BT controller|
|Land's End||ok 6dof|
|Pick Up Hockey*||ok 6dof|
|Pavlov VR||ok 6dof|
|Archer E. Bowman||ok 3dof|
|Smashing the Battle||ok 3dof needs BT controller|
|Jurassic Park Blue||license failed|
|Dead and Buried||crash|
|GrooVR||"oculus sign in required"|
How to cast Oculus Quest to TV wirelessly with audio (updated June 5, 2019)
Here is a wireless casting tutorial for Oculus Go that also works for Quest, and this method does not require an HDMI recorder or HDMI copy protection stripper. One limitation to this method is that it will capture a rounded, somewhat fisheye view, unlike the native sharing feature built into the Quest which records a normal rectilinear view.
Here is an overview:
1. Turn on Developer mode (see instructions above – under sideloading)
2. Download and extract Tyco Tech’s package for scrcpy and extract it to the root of your C: drive. The package includes batch commands to make it easier to use.
3. Connect the Quest with a USB cable to your PC.
4. Look in your headset and authorize your PC to connect to your headset.
5. Begin casting by launching the batch file “Connect wireless adb,” then disconnect the Quest from your PC. You will see a new window that casts the view from your Quest.
– To end the casting, click on “kill adb.”
6. To add audio, connect a 3.5mm cable from the Quest to your PC input. For wireless audio, you can use a Bluetooth connector.
How to use Quest for desktop VR games (e.g. HTC Vive, Oculus Rift)
It is possible to use Quest to play games for HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, and in fact, the Quest can be used wirelessly for untethered VR. Please note that you’ll need a VR-ready PC.
Here is how to install ALVR.
1. Install SteamVR if you haven’t already.
– Install Steam
– Look for the SteamVR app and install it.
2. Download and install ALVR desktop app on your PC. In the latest release, look for assets, and look for ALVR setup xxxx . exe.
3. Install the ALVR mobile app on your Quest. In the latest release, look for assets and look for the apk file. To install, use the same instructions above as for sideloading apps.
4. Begin using ALVR:
– Make sure your Quest and your desktop are on the same wireless network. I strongly recommend a 5Ghz wi-fi network.
– Launch ALVR on your Quest (it is in the Library, under the Unknown Sources tab).
– Launch ALVR on your desktop.
– In the About tab, click on Install Driver.
– In the Sound tab, uncheck Stream sound
– In the Video tab, switch the codec to H264, use a bitrate of 20 to 30mbps, and change the resolution to 150%.
– On your desktop ALVR, click on the Start Server to begin streaming. This will automatically launch SteamVR. After a moment, you should see Steam VR on your Quest.
Alternative: RiftCat Vridge
Besides ALVR, you can also use RiftCat Vridge, which can also stream desktop VR to your Quest. The result is a usable VR experience, but the Vridge’s tracking performance is a far cry from the native performance of the Rift or Quest. On the suggestion of my friend Frederic Sidler, I connected my PC using an ethernet cable instead of wireless. To my surprise, it improved the performance significantly. Here are my other settings so far:
– Resolution: 1920 x 1080
– Advanced settings: on
– Framerate: Native 72fps
– Bitrate: 33mpbs
– Render scale: 100%
– streaming options: media foundation
– streaming mode: prioritize keyframes
– tracking source: phone sensors only
– tracking prediction: 52ms
Price and availability
To improve comfort and extend battery life, I’ve added a battery pack, which clips to the rear headstrap with this holster. It does work, and I don’t need to pull the straps so much, which relieves the pressure on my cheeks during prolonged use.