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While virtual reality devices aren’t up there with PC and console gaming, they are certainly on the rise, especially the Oculus Quest (or, as it’s now known, the Meta Quest since Facebook purchased Oculus and changed their brand to Meta).
Despite the internet connectivity required on so many devices today, the Oculus Quest 2 doesn’t require an active internet connection to play. As long as you have the games you want to play downloaded onto the device, you can play offline.
Consoles and many PC games are rapidly switching to mostly online gameplay, though it’s not completely that way yet. You will need the internet (at least to a degree) to download the games but, once done, you can play those games offline.
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Setting Up the Oculus for Offline Play
Not needing an internet connection to play certain games is not the same as not needing internet at all. You will need it to set up your Oculus for the first time, browse for digital games, and download them to your virtual reality console.
Though you may be excited to get your new Oculus device on your face and start playing as soon as you open the box, you should do a few things first.
- Plug in and charge the Oculus Quest 2
- Once the LED indicator turns green, it’s fully charged
- While you’re waiting, download the Meta Quest app on your smartphone
- Try on the headset and make the necessary adjustments for a quality fit
- Insert the glass spacer if you wear glasses and need it
- Power up the headset
- Open up the Meta Quest app on your smartphone
- Press the Oculus Icon on the Touch or Touch Pro Controller
- In your vision, you should see a clock on the left side of the Home Menu
- Select the clock
- Select “Quick Settings”
- Select “WiFi”
- Toggle the WiFi option on
- When your WiFi network pops up, select it
- Enter your password for your WiFi network
- Select “Connect” after you input your password
Once your Oculus establishes a connection with your WiFi, you’re free to completely prep the device for both online and offline use down the road. Though the Oculus comes with a handful of games preloaded, these are mostly just fun little tutorial games to acclimatize you to playing virtual reality games.
You can always delete them to expand your available memory for downloading games.
Keep in mind, the initial setup stage listed above will also ensure the Oculus is up to date with the latest firmware. Once it connects to WiFi, any updates out there will progress automatically.
Downloading Games for Offline Play
To download games to your headset, you only need to open the Quest app on your smartphone.
The entire game library for the device is here and you can select and download games at your leisure, so long as you don’t exceed the device’s memory capabilities.
While most games for the Oculus include the option to play offline or are completely offline altogether, not all of them will be. Before you start a new download, check over the details of the game to ensure it’s an offline game.
If the game will play offline, it will usually have a statement or something like, “Internet Connection Required” or “Internet Connection Not Required.”
Some of the games are fairly sizeable and will take some time to download. You won’t be able to access the game until it’s completely downloaded so you’ll have to make time for that. If you pull your Oculus offline before the download is complete, the game won’t be available to play.
Once your game is downloaded, the Oculus is just like anything else and will hold that game indefinitely and you can enjoy it anytime and anywhere.
Does the Oculus Quest Support Offline Movies as Well?
The Oculus Quest is perfectly capable of playing movies and your favorite shows offline as well. Just like with the games, all you need to do is download them while online so you can enjoy them later, whenever and wherever you want.
However, while downloading movies is simple, you need the right software, namely the Bigscreen app. You will also need a PC, rather than just your smartphone and Oculus App. While you can stream movies through the Oculus, downloading them for offline viewing is a bit different
- Download the Bigscreen app on your Oculus device
- Plug your Oculus device into your PC via the charging cable
- Put the headset on and “Allow Data Access”
- On the PC, download movies to whatever folder you usually use or create one
- Transfer those files to the Movies folder for your Oculus
- Remove the Oculus from the PC once you’re finished
- You should now have access to the downloaded movies when you open Bigscreen on your Oculus
- Once you open Bigscreen, select the “Watch” section
- Select “Video player”
- Select “Local Video Files”
- Watch your downloaded content
Regarding streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Max, etc, the Oculus doesn’t have its own, native setup for downloading movies and shows. You have to stream that content as if you were streaming on your TV at home.
There are probably numerous third-party applications out there that you can side-load onto your Oculus for downloading directly from Netflix, Hulu, etc.
But, due to the nature and inherent risks in third-party, non-Oculus applications, you’ll have to take those risks on your own.
Setting the Oculus Quest up for offline movie-watching is a little more convoluted than just downloading games, but it can be done with the appropriate apps, such as Bigscreen.
All Things Considered
You can definitely download and play games offline with your Oculus device. However, you do have to have an internet connection to get the games onto your device first. The same rules apply to downloading movies, with the exception of also needing the Bigscreen app.
Overall, setting up the Oculus for offline gameplay and movie-watching is fairly straightforward. It also makes your virtual reality experience far more enjoyable, thanks to the additional layer of portability and versatility.
Discover if it’s possible to enjoy Oculus without an internet connection and explore the potential limitations and alternatives for offline virtual reality experiences
(January 9, 2022). How to Watch Movies in Virtual Reality? Retrieved from: https://www.wired.com/story/how-to-stream-movies-in-vr/#:~:text=It’s%20possible%20to%20load%20movies,within%20the%20This%20PC%20tab. Raven, L. (October 14, 2022). Can You Play Oculus Quest 2 Offline Without WiFi Retrieved from: