Back in September, Facebook announced that it would soon be launching Oculus Link, a new cable-software combo enabling owners of its self-contained, tether-free Oculus Quest headset to enjoy the benefits of PC VR, and the expansive Rift software library. Oculus Link has now entered beta and, to accompany its arrival, Facebook has detailed exactly what interested parties will need to take advantage of the feature.
Assuming you’ve already got an Oculus Quest (which is somewhat critical for everything else to function), the first thing you’ll need to ensure is that your PC meets the minimum specifications for the Oculus Link beta – which, it’s worth noting, are a little different to those of the Rift.
You’ll need Windows 10, at least 8GB of RAM, an Intel Core i5-4590/AMD Ryzen 5 1500X processor or higher, and one available USB 3.0 port. The real sticking point, however, will likely be your graphics card, with the Oculus Link beta only supporting a very limited number.
Your options are basically an Nvidia Titan X, GTX 1060/1070/1080, or anything in the GTX 16 or RTX 20 series. No AMD graphics cards are useable at present, but Facebook says it’s working to support “as many of their cards as possible by the time the beta period ends”.
The last hurdle you’ll face is ensuring you’ve a compatible USB 3 cable to hand, in order to connect your Oculus Quest to your PC. Facebook’s recommendation is a “high quality” USB C to C or USB A to C cable, with the company’s only specific suggestion being an Anker cable, which it says it’s tested internally with “good results”.
The alternative is to wait for Facebook’s official fibre-optic Oculus Link Headset Cable, which is due some time in the “coming months”. It’s a five meter, USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C jobby with a bandwidth of 5Gbps; full specs, should you be interested, can be found via Oculus’ blog.
And with all that out the way, the only thing remaining is to ensure you have the latest version of the Oculus software on your PC, and that your Quest’s operating system is up to date. You’ll probably also want to download or purchase a couple of games – either from the Oculus Store or Steam – otherwise you’ve just gone through a bit of a faff for naught.
I had intended to wrap this whole thing up with early word from Eurogamer’s resident VR aficionado, Ian Higton, on how Oculus Link fares so far (I’ve got a Rift, otherwise I’d take things for a spin myself). Regrettably, Ian is still waiting on a cable delivery from his local friendly online store, but I’ll update this story tomorrow, if he has anything pertinent to share.