Meta App Lab

How to Install App Lab Games on the Quest 2

In 2021, Meta (formerly known as Facebook) introduced a novel feature known as App Lab, creating a new avenue for Oculus Quest and Meta Quest 2 users to access a broader spectrum of VR content beyond the offerings of the official Meta Store. This feature facilitates the installation of non-Meta Store games and apps, essentially expanding the VR landscape for users. This guide outlines a straightforward process to access and install content on your Quest 2 headset.

A Brief Overview

App Lab serves as an alternative platform for developers and users to distribute and access experimental VR content without the need for official Meta Store approval. While the Meta Store continues to be the primary hub for vetted and polished VR content, App Lab provides a space for more experimental or work-in-progress projects.

Although the content on App Lab undergoes a less stringent review process compared to the Meta Store, it still adheres to a basic level of quality control. App Lab hosts both free and paid apps, offering a relatively easy installation process for users.

Discovering App Lab Content

Direct Links:
One common way to discover content is through direct links shared by developers or other users online.

Browsing via SideQuest:
For those interested in exploring a range of App Lab content, SideQuest is a valuable resource. Navigate to sidequestvr.com and use the App Lab filter to browse available content. Clicking on an app or game will redirect you to the official App Lab URL/listing for that particular content.

Adding Content to Your Library

Once you find an app or game you wish to explore, click the blue button on the browser or in the Oculus app to add it to your library. This action readies the content for installation, similar to the process in the Meta Store.

Installing App Lab Content

Via the Oculus App:
Locate the App Lab content in your library within the Oculus app. Click the ‘Install on Headset’ or ‘Play Later’ button, and select your Quest 2 for the installation. Ensure your headset is charged and in idle sleep mode, allowing for background installation in preparation for your next VR session.

Directly on the Headset:
Alternatively, put on your Quest 2, navigate to the app library, and locate your App Lab content under the ‘All’ category. Initiate the installation process, similar to any other app installation.

Further Exploration with SideQuest in VR

For an immersive browsing experience, SideQuest launched a VR app as of mid-2022, enabling users to browse and install App Lab content entirely within VR, eliminating the need for a computer or phone. However, a one-time setup on your computer is required to install SideQuest on your Quest headset. Thereafter, you can browse, download, and install content directly on your Quest.

For detailed instructions on this setup, refer to our guide on sideloading. Follow the steps outlined in the ‘First Time Setup’ section, followed by the steps in ‘Easy Installer – SideQuest for VR on Quest’ section.

Conclusion

With this guide, you are now equipped to explore, download, and install App Lab content on your Oculus Quest and Meta Quest 2. This feature enriches your VR experience by providing access to a diverse array of content outside the Meta Store. Should you encounter any challenges or have further inquiries, feel free to leave a comment below, and we will be glad to assist. Happy exploring in the expanded realms of VR!

With the Quest 3 releasing soon, check out our article HERE to help you decide if it’s worth the upgrade.