First 10 things to do with your new Oculus Quest 2

A cat laying next to the Oculus Quest 2
(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

Whether you bought the Meta Quest 2 (aka the Oculus Quest 2) for yourself or received it as a present, you have every reason to be excited. It's a joy to use, and unlike wired VR headsets, it's a device you can basically pick up and play without much fuss or setup.

That being said, the two-years-old Quest 2 has added plenty of useful features since its launch, giving it a surprising amount of depth that can be difficult to discover on your own. Thankfully, we've used the headset from its outset and can give you clear guidance on where to start.

At the same time, you may find that the Quest 2 hardware has some issues with comfort and battery life after spending enough time with it. Rather than let yourself get annoyed with its shortcomings, our Quest 2 beginner's guide will cover all of the pain points so you know what Quest 2 accessories you'll need (or want).

From hidden features to which Quest 2 games to start with, our Quest 2 tips and tricks should help you get on the right virtual path from the start. 

Set up your headset and accounts

One thing we appreciate about the Quest 2 is that its set-up process is incredibly straightforward. Once you unbox it, charge it until the indicator light on the headset's right side switches from orange to green. While you wait, use a ruler to measure your eyes' interpupillary distance (IPD). The Quest 2's lenses have three IPD settings — 58mm, 63mm, and 68mm — and you'll want to slide them to the close-together, middle, or far-apart presets based on your measurement.

Once that's done, download the Meta Quest app on your Android phone or iPhone. You no longer need a Facebook account to use the Quest 2, which means you won't lose access to your games if you delete or lose your account. Instead, you'll create a Meta account while you set up the headset, and can choose to connect Facebook or Instagram if you want to find your friends who also have Quest headsets.

If you live alone or are the only VR fan in your household, you can dive right into gaming. But if your other family members want to hop in on the fun, you'll want to set up multiple Quest 2 accounts. This ensures each user has their own partitioned save files and leaderboard scores for games; and because the Quest 2 supports app sharing, any game bought on the primary account is free to access on the other accounts, so you won't spend any extra money.

Map out your VR environment

A man wearing the Meta Quest 2 and a second person detected via the Space Sense too.

(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

The more you become immersed in virtual reality, the harder it becomes to remain aware of your real-world surroundings. To avoid hurting yourself in VR, you'll need to clear out a safe space in your home free of obstacles. Ideally, you'd want a circle of cleared space with a 9-foot diameter, but many people make do with far less space.

When you first set up your Guardian boundary, if you choose roomscale, it'll ask you to draw a circle around you where it's safe to play. After that, if your head or controller approaches the border, a barrier will appear to warn you. If you open your Settings menu and go to the Guardian section, you can adjust how close you get to the Guardian before it appears.

While the Guardian is a start, it's perilously easy to punch or dodge through the boundary before your brain registers it, especially for fast-paced games. So we suggest setting it up so there's a bit of distance between the boundary and the actual obstacles in your room.

Depending on whether you have a dedicated VR room or if people will be walking through where you play, you may want to set up Space Sense, a useful tool that lights up any object, person, or pet that enters your Guardian space. To activate it, go to Settings > Guardian > Roomscale and toggle the feature on. 

You'll also want to turn on the "Double Tap for Passthrough" setting, which lets you tap the side of your headset at any time so you can see your surroundings using the external cameras, without having to take off your headset. Then you double-tap again to go back to your game. Go to the full Settings menu, select Guardian, and activate this setting.

Choose the right games for beginners

Oculus app library with Quest 2

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Experiencing nausea in VR can be unavoidable for beginners, especially while playing games where your character moves around via a joystick while you stand still. The discrepancy between your eyes seeing movement and your inner ear remaining still can cause simulation sickness that persists well after you take off your headset, especially if you play for too long.

The VR community calls getting used to this phenomenon gaining your "VR legs," and this takes time. So you'll want to start out with the VR games that'll ease you into the format. On that point, we've written up the best Quest 2 games for first-timers, with gameplay that specifically avoids motion sickness while still immersing you in new worlds. 

Next, try out some of the best hand-tracking games. These games let you set down your Touch controllers and "touch" objects for yourself, with the headset's cameras detecting your hand positioning so you can interact with your environment. Most of these games are more sedentary puzzle games that work well for beginners, but convey the medium's inherent magic.

Once you've eased yourself into VR, you may want to dive into Quest 2 rhythm and exercise games as your next step — even if you're not planning on using VR for regular workouts. Beat Saber and other experiences will transition you from seated to active VR and fill your virtual surroundings with flashing lights. But your in-game movements correspond to your real-world squats and punching, so you won't experience nausea from artificial movement; plus, they're easy to lose time in, so you'll gain lots of VR endurance without even realizing it.

At this point, you should hopefully feel ready to dive into the rest of the best Quest 2 games. Many of them have full motion, which can take some getting used to; but they often also have a teleport feature that lets you move through the world without getting simulator sickness. Check the "More Info" section of its Quest Store listing to see its comfort level, and ease into the "Moderate" or "Intense" experiences.

Grab some popcorn and stream content in-headset

Oculus Vudu Header

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

Most people buy VR headsets for gaming, but you'll find a ton of options for streaming content in-headset as well. Some of the best Quest 2 media apps include Netflix, YouTube, Prime Video, and even Vudu for renting the latest movies. You're still watching 2D content, but enjoying it in a virtual movie theater that adds to the ambiance — with a virtual screen that's much larger than what you have at home.

If you own physical movie files (we won't ask how), you can also watch those on your Quest 2 in a virtual theater if you want. Download the Skybox VR app on your computer and on the Quest, and you can view and stream your local movie files directly on your headset, without having to download files onto your Quest storage. 

Navigate more easily with voice commands

Playing games on a Meta Quest 2

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Enabling voice commands takes just a couple of minutes but will make your time using the Quest 2 much more seamless. From the home menu, go to Quick Settings > Voice Commands > Start Setup. 

You'll be asked whether you want to use a "Hey Facebook" wake word to call an always-listening voice assistant, which is mainly useful if you plan to summon it while playing hand-tracking games without a controller. Otherwise, you can decline this and manually call the assistant by double-tapping the Oculus button.

You'll also be asked if you want to enable Meta to save your voice recordings to learn from them; again, you can decline this. Then it'll ask you to choose your voice assistant's pitch and tone, at which point you'll be all set

With this, you can open a specific game, check your friends list to see who's available, shut down the console, or start casting or recording footage without searching through menus. Meta Support (opens in new tab) provides a handy list of recognized voice commands to help you get started.

Make VR a social activity

Multiple me's wearing Quest 2 headsets

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

VR isolates you by design, but there are several ways to stay connected with loved ones or friends — whether they're physically in the room with you or hundreds of miles away.

In-person, you can cast the Quest 2 to your TV so others can see what you're doing. This ensures the people waiting for their turn to play Beat Saber can cheer you on and won't get bored watching you flail around without context; or, if you're introducing your kid to VR, it'll allow you to watch what they do and give them tips as they play. Simply open the Quick Menu, select Sharing > Cast, and choose the device you want to cast to.

Connecting with friends virtually should be a snap as well, assuming your social media friends have their own Quest 2 headsets. On the Meta Quest app, select Menu > People to find recommended friends to Follow based on your current friends list or who you've played with. Depending on what Meta account privacy settings you chose, you may want to "share your profile" to make yourself visible to others, too.

Once you've built up your friends list, you can create a party chat so you can talk with them while you play a game together. Simply open the universal menu (using the "O" button) and select the People icon. You'll see an option to Create Party, or you can look at your friends list, where any joinable parties will be visible. Whichever game you choose will limit your party size, likely down to 4 (or 8 in some cases). But some social VR games like Rec Room or VRChat could allow larger groups if you prefer.

Lastly, if you want to share your VR accomplishments in other ways, then you can capture and share screenshots or videos. You can start a video or take a photo from the universal menu; or, as a shortcut, you can hold down the Oculus button then pull the right trigger to take a quick screenshot in-game. Then, you can open your Oculus app and enable automatic sharing of your photos and video files from your headset to the app.

Set up your apps and notifications

Oculus Quest 2 Phone Notifications

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

VR will immerse you in fascinating worlds so effectively that you won't notice hours pass or hear your phone buzzing with real-world concerns. Rather than remove your headset to check notifications every so often, you can set up phone notifications on the Quest 2. Once they're set up, you can decide which apps you will or won't allow to display notifications in-headset, as well as whether or not you see notifications in games or only in Oculus Home once you're done playing.

Unfortunately, you'll have to remove your headset to respond to these alerts. But the Quest 2 does support a few 2D apps and the Oculus Browser, so you can access apps and sites without leaving your virtual space. 

Upgrade your Quest 2 strap and face cover

A picture of the Kiwi Elite Strap on the Quest 2 from a side angle

(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

To make the Quest 2 affordable, Oculus/Meta cut several design corners compared to previous headsets. Because of that, you'll find plenty of areas for improvement where you can make the headset much more comfortable. Among these, your top two priorities should be fixing the strap and face cover; swapping them out will transform your VR comfort level.

We'd recommend starting with the strap, which doesn't provide enough comfort and support and tends to let the headset slide forward unless you strap it too tight. You can buy the official Elite Strap for an upgrade, but many of these Elite Strap alternatives offered better designs and comfort for lower prices in our tests.

Many of these strap replacements also serve a double purpose as a battery pack. Sorry for the bad news, new Quest 2 owner, but the headset only lasts a couple of hours from a full charge, so it could easily run low just as you're getting into the groove. But many strap replacements have built-in batteries that double its lifespan and balance out the front-heavy design so it sits more evenly on your head.

As for the face cover, Oculus issued a voluntary recall of its headsets due to the stock foam cover causing skin irritation. Now, all new Quest 2 units ship with a cheap silicone cover to throw over the foam, but you can absolutely do better. Our favorite Quest 2 face covers don't just improve your skin comfort; they also do a better job of blocking light seepage around your nose and venting air to prevent foggy lenses, which can be a huge problem with the default interface.

Overall, we'd suggest looking at KIWI design as a starting point, since they make a wide range of straps, covers, and other accessories that greatly improve the Quest 2 experience. 

Buy a case to avoid sun damage

Quest 2 Carrying case

(Image credit: Android Central)

When you first open your Quest 2, you'll see a temporary cover over the lenses with text that warns you not to let direct sunlight touch the lenses; just a few seconds of it can irreparably damage them. You'll want to store your headset in a safe place where it can't be damaged, plus find a place to keep your controllers and accessories stored with it.

Among the best Quest 2 cases, the official Oculus model will fulfill your needs, while other third-party models offer harder, travel-ready exteriors or more room for accessories. Just be careful if you bought or plan to buy an upgraded strap, as some cases only fit the Quest 2 with the default strap.

It's time to Link your PC

A Meta Quest 2 headset with controllers on top of a gaming PC

(Image credit: Android Central)

Connect your Quest 2 to your PC or laptop, and you'll have access to PC VR games from Steam or Rift directly on your headset. Almost half of SteamVR players use a Quest 2 to play games, so you'll be in good company. But before you start buying PC VR games or cables, check Meta's Quest Link compatibility (opens in new tab) page to make sure your PC can handle the high graphical demand.

With that out of the way, you'll next need to figure out how to connect your headset to your PC. The official method is using the Oculus Link cable, but that's fairly expensive. We made a guide for the best Oculus Link cable alternatives that'll help you decide if you want to use a wired or wireless connection.

If you don't want to spend any money, then you'll want to use Air Link, the wireless gaming tool built into the Quest UI. Whichever method you choose, we have a guide on how to play SteamVR on Oculus Quest that'll guide you through the steps.

With that, you'll have access to a wider range of games, both inside the Oculus Store and out. If you want some tips on what to start with, try the best SteamVR games to play with Oculus Link, where we've rounded up our favorite recommendations!

We hope that our Meta Quest 2 tips and tricks guide will give you a good start with your virtual reality journey! If you want to know more about the world of Quest, check out our round-up of all the latest Meta Quest 3 rumors or our review of the next-gen Meta Quest Pro!

Michael L Hicks
Senior Editor, VR/AR and fitness

Michael spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He's a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.