Oculus Link beta lands on Oculus Quest today: How to get going

Back during Oculus Connect 6, Facebook announced that it would be bringing Oculus Link to the Oculus Quest. At the time, the company didn't give us a release date for the future, but today is the big day. Oculus Link has landed on Oculus Quest in beta, giving you a chance to tether your Oculus Quest to your PC to tap into that extra horsepower.

Oculus Link, essentially, allows you to turn your Quest into an Oculus Rift and play games that the Quest may not be able to handle when it's in standalone mode. You'll need a "high-quality USB 3" cable in order to use Oculus Link. Oculus plans to release an optimized cable for Oculus Link at some point before 2020 arrives, but until that cable is here, any USB-C to USB-C or USB-C to USB-A cable using USB-3 Gen 1 or Gen 2 that supports both power and data should do the trick (Oculus, for what it's worth, suggests using Anker cables).

You'll also need a PC with an Intel i5-4590 or AMD Ryzen 5 1500X or greater CPU, 8GB or more of RAM, Windows 10, and one USB 3.0 port. When it comes to graphics cards, things get a little hairy, as there are only a handful of GPUs that are supported by Oculus Link.

None of the AMD cards from the 300, 400, 500, 5000, or Vega series are currently supported by Oculus Link, nor are the NVIDIA GTX 970, 1060, or 1060M. The only GPUs that are supported by this beta are the GTX 1070 series, 1080 series, 16-series, RTX 20-series, and the Titan X. Oculus says that it's working with AMD to make sure that its cards are supported by the time Oculus Link exits beta.

To get going with the Oculus Link beta on Quest, you need to make sure that both your headset and the Oculus app are up to date. Once you've confirmed that, open the Oculus app on your PC, then turn on your Quest and connect it your computer. You'll be prompted to "Allow access to data," which you'll want to deny, and then you'll be asked if you want to "Enable Oculus Link (beta)." Say yes to that and you should be good to go.

Oculus clarifies today that it still thinks the Rift S is the best choice for those who want the "highest fidelity," virtual reality, but Oculus Link should give Quest owners a taste of both worlds. Oculus says its goal is to add support for most PCs that meet the recommended specifications for the Rift and Rift S by the time this beta is done, so we'll see what kind of hardware support it manages to add while the test is live. Stay tuned.