A couple of days ago Oculus announced the rollout of its v25 software update for Oculus Quest/Quest 2, with its main feature being App Lab. Separate from the main Oculus Store, App Lab is a way for developers to get their content onto the device without the technical hurdles of the main store. The Oculus update is being rolled out so you may have to wait a little while to get it, even so, you can still access the App Lab content without it and here’s how.
As App Lab isn’t part of the main Oculus Store you can’t simply find these titles under ‘Latest Releases’. That being said, it’s not too difficult to locate and download them, as they can be found either directly on Oculus.com or via SideQuest, the latter being the far easier option if you can’t find a direct link.
Should developers choose to go the App Lab route they can then publish a link to their particular app or videogame for Oculus Quest owners to download – either free or paid depending on the content. The link will then take you through to the Oculus Quest portion of Oculus’ website and as long as you’re signed in to your Facebook account, you’ll be able to add it to your library. Then just pop your headset on to install as normal.
Here are the links Oculus previously published so you can get started:
- Ancient Dungeon Beta by ErThu
- Baby Hands by Chicken Waffle
- Crisis VRigade and Crisis VRigade 2 by Sumalab
- Deisim by Myron Software
- Descent Alps – Demo by Sutur
- Gym Class by IRL Studios Inc
- MarineVerse Cup by MarineVerse
- Puzzling Places – Beta by realities.io Inc
- Spark AR Player by Facebook
- Smash Drums Demo by PotamWorks
- Zoe by apelab
If you’re new to Oculus Quest during 2019 the SideQuest platform launched to allow owners to sideload titles via a PC which didn’t meet the technical standards of the Oculus Store. This led to a community of creators and players helping to build a passionate indie ecosystem.
With the launch of App Lab, Sidequest has integrated the feature with an easy to find App Lab category on its home page. Click on a videogame and when you’re on its page there will be an ‘Oculus App’ button on the far right-hand side. Hit that and you’ll be taken through to the Oculus website as detailed above.
So there’s nothing to it, taking out the hassle of trying to sideload a piece of content.
Lastly, there’s the good old manual search. Now you can do this when you’ve got the Oculus Quest on by going through the Oculus Browser. You’ll need to head to Oculus’ website and type in the exact name of the title you’re looking for.
And we do mean exact. It won’t appear in the drop-down selection as you’re typing like normal Oculus Store content. Once written and you’ve hit enter it’ll appear as a little App Lab listing like the one shown below.
And those are the ways you can access App Lab content. As mentioned you don’t need the v25 update to do any of this, VRFocus’ Oculus Quest 2 is currently running v23.