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Learn Sideloading Content on the Meta Quest 2 (2023)
Since this guide covers the process of sideloading content on your Quest 2, it does have certain requirements you must fulfill before we begin the process. However, if you’re someone already aware of those, use the table below to jump to your needed section.
Table of Contents
Is Sideloading on the Meta Quest 2 (2023) Legal?
Before we begin the process of sideloading anything, let’s get the big virtual elephant out of the room. Reading the topic, we know you must be concerned whether you can get banned from using your Quest 2. However, don’t worry as sideloading legal content on your headset is perfectly fine and Facebook allows it accordingly.
How Do I Sideload Content on the Quest 2?
Since the Oculus Quest 2’s architecture basically works like an Android device, anyone can simply Install ADB on their platform and sideload content using commands. However, most users are not familiar with ADB and quite honestly, it’s not worth the hassle in this case.
We will be using third-party software called VRSideLoader. Working in a very easy way, VRSideLoader is software that allows Quest 2 users to sideload all types of content on their devices. The app even has a dedicated storefront where you can try apps and games not available on the Oculus Store. As mentioned above, VRSideLoader is perfectly legal to use and you can sideload content on your Quest 2 without worries. All it requires is a one-time set up which we will be doing accordingly. We will be using the PC one to make sure all users can easily sideload content.
Things You Should Do Before You Begin
We realize you must be itching to get to the actual process. However, the following points are steps you must undertake before we begin.
- Download and Install VRSideLoader on Your PC
Now naturally, we will require the official software for the process itself. So go ahead and download and install VRSideLoader (Free) on your PC. The installation will also take care of the necessary USB drivers thereby saving you a step. Once done, come back and keep reading.
- Register as an Oculus Developer
Since we will be sideloading content on our Quest 2, the device will be in developer mode. However, for that to happen you will first need to register yourself as an Oculus Developer. It’s not as difficult as it sounds though. Simply visit the Oculus Dashboard and enter any name in the organization field and just press Accept. However, do make sure you’re logged into the same Facebook/Oculus account you use your Quest 2 with.
- Enable Developer Mode on the Quest 2
Once you’ve registered yourself as a dev, you need to now enable the actual developer mode on your Quest 2. This can only be done using the Oculus mobile app. If you don’t have it installed, you can easily get the Oculus (Android, iOS, Free) app and pair it easily. Once done, open the Oculus app and follow the steps below:
- Inside the Oculus app, tap on the ‘Devices‘ tab.
- Scroll down and under Headset settings, find and tap ‘Developer Mode‘.
- Simply tap on the toggle to turn the Developer Mode on.
And you’re all done. Let’s move on to the other requirements.
- Make Sure to Have a USB Cable for Connection
To sideload content on our Oculus Quest 2, we will need to hook it up to a PC for the complete process. Therefore, make sure you have a Type C to USB-A cable handy. However, if your PC does have a Type C input slot, you can use the official cable that comes with the Quest 2.
- Keep Your Quest 2 Charged
As we always advise you when it comes to this, make sure you fully charge your Oculus Quest 2 headset to ensure that it doesn’t die during the sideloading. We haven’t tested what happens if it does but we’re sure it can’t be anything good.
How to Allow USB Debugging Between Oculus Quest 2 and VRSideLoader
Enabling USB Debugging on your Quest 2 will allow easy data transfer between the PC and the headset itself. Thankfully, the process to do so is very easy. Simply start up VRSideLoader on your PC and then follow the steps below:
- Startup VRSideLoader on your PC and make sure your Quest 2 is already running.
- Connect the Quest 2 to your PC using the USB Cable.
- As soon as you do, you will see an ‘Allow USB Debugging‘ prompt on your headset.
- Depending on your preference, click on ‘Allow’ or ‘Always Allow’, and you’re done.
If you chose the Always allow option, this was a one-time step and one you won’t need to do again. However, there are times when Quest 2 updates turn off the developer mode again. In case that does happen, simply follow the relevant section above to get it up and running.
How to Sideload Content to Quest 2
Now that all the formalities are done, let’s begin sideloading content onto our Oculus Quest 2. We will be showing you how to sideload content from ClubHouseVR.
Sideload Content from the ClubHouseVR
ClubHouseVR store offers a plethora of content including numerous apps and games. Depending on the developer, the source file for the app in question might be in ClubHouseVR or you might be redirected to another website. We will be using the former to show you just how easy it is. Follow the steps below to sideload an app from ClubHouseVR into your Oculus Quest.
- Open ClubHouseVR.com and click on the Games tab in the middle.
- Click on a game you wish to sideload onto your Quest.
- Click on the download button under the “ Ready to Play? Download it now” section.
- Click on the google captcha verification “I’m not a robot” then click on download.
And that’s it! The APK file will begin downloading.
Sideloading .APK File onto the Oculus Quest 2
Note: Do not sideload cracked .APK versions of games or apps as that will lead to a permanent Facebook and Oculus account ban.
If do have a legitimate .APK file of a game or an app, you’ll be happy to know you can sideload that too. VRSideLoader provides full dock and installation functionality for .APK files. Follow the steps below to begin:
- Connect your Oculus Quest 2 to the PC and open VRSideLoader.
- VRSideLoader will load the android bridge files in order to sideload your apk.
- Now drag and drop the .apk file you downloaded from ClubHouseVR into the “ Drag & drop your .apk here” box inside VRsideLoader.
Within a second, VRSideLoader will begin loading and installing your chosen content. As before, you can check on its progress from the app itself and play it once done.
How to Launch Sideloaded Content on the Quest 2
Since sideloaded content is not provided by Oculus or well, now Meta, you will not find it just sitting beside your regular apps. Accessing sideloaded apps and games requires one extra step. However, it’s nothing difficult. Follow the steps below to do so:
- Put on your headset and bring up the Quest 2’s Universal Menu. If you can’t find it, then press the Oculus button on the right controller to do so.
- Tap and select the App Drawer by clicking on the Apps icon. Here you will see all your official apps.
- Tap the menu on the top right to open up a list. Scroll all the way down and select ‘Unknown Sources‘ to find all your sideloaded content.
- Here you will see all your sideloaded apps. Pick the one you want to play and select it once using your controller’s trigger. It will launch immediately.
And it’s easy as that. You will need to follow the above steps any time you want to launch any sideloaded content on your Quest 2. Also, don’t be worried about the notice you read in that section. Provided you have sideloaded only legitimate apps and games, you should not run into any problems. If by chance you do think you installed something fishy, simply select the ellipsis icon next to the app and tap Uninstall to remove it immediately.
What Content Are You Sideloading onto Your Quest 2?
Well, now that you know how you can sideload content on your Oculus Quest 2, you can go ahead and start installing all the legal apps and games from sources other than the Oculus store. If you’re a newbie who has stumbled here, perhaps try learning how to set up and use the Oculus Quest 2 before you begin sideloading anything. So, which apps are you planning on installing? Let us know in the comments.