The Oculus Quest is a great piece of technology: complicated VR games can play without having to be tied to a PC or console, literally, liberating. But it cannot play everything. Oculus chooses and chooses which games he allows on the Quest (usually for performance reasons). However, you can get around that limitation with sideloading ̵
Before we proceed, we must warn you – while sideloading is something the Quest is capable of, you may encounter some problems. More intensive games can have performance issues and may even crash your Quest. Not to mention you have to jump through a few hoops for sideloading to work in the first place.
What Do You Sideload?
At its core, the Oculus Quest is an Android device, although you can no longer tell. That means sideloading on the Quest is much like sideloading on your phone: you need APK files and you need to load them to the device.
To do that, you have to take a few steps. First, put your Quest in developer mode to accept APK files from unofficial sources. Second, install an app called SideQuest on your PC.
SideQuest also doubles as an unofficial showcase for Oculus games and your APK installer. You will find most of the sideloaded games you want to install directly in the SideQuest app. Simply connect your Quest to your computer, locate the game in SideQuest and click "Install".
Even if you find an Oculus game on another site (such as itch.io), SideQuest can install the APK for you. You download the APK, point SideQuest to the file, and tell it to install the game on your Quest.
The process isn't complicated, but if you want a great step-by-step tutorial, check out our sister site's guide, How-To Geek.
VR Homescreen: Virtual Desktop
Virtual Desktop ($ 19.99) is a must-have for any Quest owner. It allows you to stream your PC desktop to your headset (which is especially great for videos), but you can also stream games from it. That means you can use your powerful game rig to run more intensive VR games than the Quest can natively.
But Virtual Desktop is actually supported by the Quest (you can buy it now from the Oculus Store), so why sideload it? Oculus actually blocks SteamVR (Steam's VR platform) for use in Virtual Desktop, meaning you can't stream your SteamVR games through Virtual Desktop. By downloading the Oculus Store version of Virtual Desktop and then installing the Sidequest add-on, you can get around that limitation and play your SteamVR games without any problems (assuming you have a good connection).
Fitness Tracker: YUR
Many VR games can give you good training, but few make it clear how good that training is. That's where YUR comes in, an app that tracks your activities across all VR games and tells you how active you've been. This is done through fairly simple fitness tracking – things like a calorie counter and predictive heart rate. But it should still be useful for those looking to optimize their VR training sessions.
YUR is definitely worth a try, but you should be aware that some users report that it causes performance issues on their missions. This is not a consistent problem among YUR users, but you should be aware of it anyway. YUR also requires you to create an account on its website.
Notified !: Relay
You are deep in a game and completely immersed in what is going on in your headset when your phone beeps suddenly. It may, and probably isn't, anything important, but that notification will gnaw at you until you finally give in, take off your headset, and check your phone. Relay ($ 2.99) aims to fix this problem by connecting your phone to your headset via Bluetooth so that notifications can be easily checked without taking off your headset.
Currently, Relay only works with iOS devices, but Android compatibility is on the
Fast-Paced Platforming: To The Top
"Fast-Paced Platformer" is a genre that may not sound like it would work well in VR, but To The Top ($ 14.99) manages to make it work. You play a human-animal-robot hybrid … thing and run, jump and climb around obstacles. Basically, you've crossed Spiderman with Sonic The Hedgehog, and if that doesn't sound fun, I don't know what it will do. The environments look beautiful and there are over 35 levels to overcome. All fans of fast motion based games should give this a try.
God Simulator: Deisim
God Simulators (games that give you extreme amounts of power to basically do anything you want to the game world) are always a great way to rest, and with Deism ($ 7.99) you can do that in VR. Watch over the inhabitants of your world and you can decide whether you want to bless them with miracles or do nothing (or even actively inhibit them) until they slowly die out. It's up to you, which also means that this game has a fantastic repeat value.
Quick Shot: Hyperdash
Competitive shooters are already quite tense games, but that increases to 11 when you see the bullets flying by in VR. In Hyperdash (free) you play in teams of five with double pistols for each player. There are currently two game modes: Payload (similar to games like Overwatch), and Domination (capture the flag). You can play in crossplay between all VR platforms, which is great for increasing the number of players and playing with friends.
Realistic Shooting: Pavlov VR
Another competitive shooter, this time with some extra realism. Pavlov VR ($ 24.99) is more like what you'd expect from a typical shooter, but that doesn't take away from the fun. You can play both casual and competitive depending on how confident you are, and you can also play offline if you don't want the pressure of playing with other people.
Pavlov VR is currently in Steam Early Access, so you can expect some bugs. However, it will likely also be more expensive once 1.0 releases are released, so this is a good chance to get it cheaper.
Pavlov Shack is also available on Sidequest, but due to running directly from the Quest, it had to be reduced considerably. However, it is free to play, so choose your gif. Crossplay is not supported between the two versions.
Survive the Waves: High Seas
High Seas (free) takes full advantage of the increased emersion VR exchanges. You are the captain of a small boat lost at sea, dealing with mechanical problems and the horrors of the ocean itself. Waves will crash against the hull of your ship, bring your ship up and down in the air, rain will constantly splash on your ship's deck and somehow a fire will break out in the engine room under all that water. That description alone is probably enough to tell you whether or not you like High Seas but if you're not sure it's free – not much to lose when trying it out.  3D Jigsaw: Puzzling Pieces
A Puzzle with a Twist, Puzzling Pieces (Free) to slowly build a 3D world with normal puzzle pieces. Furthermore, there is not much more to say, and anyone who enjoys the slow methodical process of completing a jigsaw puzzle is sure to love this game.
Cozy Mystery: Vanishing Grace
Vanishing Grace (free) lets you play as Joel, the childhood friend of titular Grace who, you guessed it , disappeared. You control a cozy hovercraft, navigate deserted wastelands, maintain your craft and slowly unravel the mystery of what happened. The game is currently only a demo, so the content is subject to change. But even now Vanishing Grace manages to provide a unique story experience worth playing.
Varied Beat: Song Beat: Quit My Tempo!
VR rhythm games have become very popular (especially Beat Saber), but usually focus on only one form of gameplay per title. Song Beat: Quit My Tempo! ($ 8.99) has no need for such restrictions. You can use guns, fists, blades and more to destroy blocks to the beat. Stages can have some extra flash with video screens for the player, and there is also community-made song support – so you'll never run out of stages to play.
Brain Training: ENHANCE
Many VR games focus on putting your body to work, and they're great, but it's just as important to exercise your mind. This is what ENHANCE ($ 7.99) is for. It is not your ordinary puzzle game, but rather test your attention and concentration. The different mini-games contain different parts of your mind, such as "React", which tests your focus and attention by hitting your colored blocks without hitting the wrong colors. There are also games to test your memory, task switching and motor control – and new games are added every month! It may not be the most engaging game to play, but it's a good thing to open up every now and then to get your brain moving.