There are many things to like about the Oculus Quest 2 – the higher resolution, improved refresh rates, mandatory Facebook synchronization – so that they can harvest the data from your very soul. Okay, not that last part. Another thing that’s great about the Quest and Quest 2 is the fact that you can play a whole bunch of free and paid games from beyond the Oculus Store.
SideQuest, for example, is a desktop app which lets you sideload various games onto your Quest 2. And there are tons to choose from! Here are the very best SideQuest games you can sideload onto your Quest.
1. Doom 3 VR (Doom3Quest)
The latest in the barrage of old-school online shooters getting the VR makeover is Doom 3, the controversial but groundbreaking 2004 entry in the series that took things in a more moody, horror-oriented direction.
Again, you’ll need to own the original Doom 3 (NOT Doom 3: BFG Edition) and move some files over to your headset, but once you’ve done that, you can dive into this labyrinth of moody lighting, dark metallic corridors and imps jumping out at you from inexplicably hidden compartments.
It’s amazing how well this FPS classic holds up today.
2. Pavlov: Shack
A simplified and streamlined version of the excellent Pavlov VR game for PC, Pavlov: Shack condenses the legendary Counter-Strike formula into an excellent VR game. There are many neat little mechanics, like holding assault rifles with two hands to stabilize the reticule, manually grabbing ammo from your vest, and pulling pins out of grenades before lobbing them.
It’s a great terrorists-vs.-counter-terrorists simulator, with all the bombs, balaclavas and Berettas you could ask for.
3. Ancient Dungeon
It’s a strange oversight within VR that there are very few roguelike or roguelite games. The genre’s a perfect fit, based as it is around permadeath, which means runs on the game tend to be fairly short but satisfying. And Ancient Dungeon understands that.
As per roguelites, dungeons and item pickups are randomly generated, so each time you jump into the game, it’s going to be a wholly different and unique experience. There’s loot aplenty, nice visual variety, and a voxel-based art style that’s functional rather than flashy, that ensures that the game runs smoothly.
4. Half-Life 1 VR (LambdaVR)
You can keep all your fancy first-person shooters designed for VR – being able to inhabit the familiar spaces of classic shooters like Half-life is one of the greatest VR experiences you can have. And it comes in the form of LambdaVR.
You need to own the original Half-life on PC and transfer certain core files from that over to your headset, but once you’ve done that, you get to fully throw yourself into the world of Black Mesa. Weapons like the crowbar are completely dynamic, and you can get texture packs to really make those graphics pop.
5. Doom VR (QuestZDoom)
Another golden oldie whose VR conversion really puts into perspective how timeless the classics are. QuestZDoom is actually a launcher for a VR version of ZDoom, the legendary source port that’s home to wonderful projects like Brutal Doom (which you can also play through this).
It’s amazing how good Doom feels in VR, and basic quality-of-life things like snap-looking make it feel playable for hours. Again, you’ll need core files for whichever Doom game you want to play. (You can also play Hexen and Heretic, but there are less mods to make those look the part.)
6. Virtual Desktop VR Patch
Virtual Desktop is pretty much an essential app for Quest owners, letting you stream your PC desktop to your headset without having to connect it via a cable. You’ll need a very strong 5GHz Internet connection, but if you have one, then you’re in for a pretty seamless wireless desktop experience.
And an essential part of Virtual Desktop is VR patch, which lets you play PC VR games wirelessly on your Quest. We’re talking fully-fledged SteamVR games like Half-Life: Alyx being streamed wirelessly from your PC to your headset! It works very well, too, supporting high resolutions and 90Hz refresh rate. Again, you’ll really need a good Internet connection to get the most out of this patch.