You might be wondering how to connect Oculus Quest to Apple Mac or MacBook. Well, here is how.
We know that you can connect the Oculus Quest to a PC in order to play Steam games, amongst other things. But given the popularity of Apple devices, surely it would make sense for the Quest 2 to be compatible with that as well? While not perhaps as ubiquitous as PCs, especially for gaming, Macs and MacBooks are nonetheless capable of playing a reasonably wide selection of games.
So, can you actually connect the Quest 2 to Apple devices? That's the question we'll be answering today. If you're an Apple fan desperate for some VR gaming, here is what you need to know.
Can you connect Oculus Quest 2 to an Apple Mac or MacBook?
Yes, you can connect an Oculus Quest 2 to an Apple Mac or MacBook. But not necessarily for gaming and not with the same ease of use that you can connect your Quest to a PC, let's explain.
When you want to play games on your Quest via your PC, ordinarily, you connect via the Oculus app, which you install onto the PC. However, this app is only available for Windows PCs, which means the connection you would normally make is not available on your Mac or MacBook.
You can still connect your Quest to the Mac/MacBook using a standard USB-C cable; it just won't do as much as it would on a PC. Typically, you can use it to transfer files, such as pictures or movies. But playing games is more of a challenge.
While this may be frustrating, it isn't entirely unexpected. After all, rumors are swirling about an upcoming VR headset made by Apple. We know that Apple likes to encourage owners of Apple products to only use other Apple products rather than options from other brands. Therefore, it wouldn't necessarily be in their interests to make compatibility with a Quest headset easy.
That being said, if you are willing to put in the work, there are ways you can make it work. You'll need to run a program called Boot Camp. This will allow you to install Windows on your Mac and switch between it and macOS. At the time of writing, Oculus Link doesn’t support macOS, only Windows, hence why you need to do this.
A further note of warning: at the time of writing, it won't work with Apple Silicon, just Intel versions. Here's how you can connect your Quest 2 to a Mac or MacBook.
How to connect Oculus Quest to Mac
Firstly, if all you want to do is transfer media, then the process is relatively straightforward:
- Install and run Android File Transfer.
- Enable developer mode on your Quest via the Oculus app on your smartphone.
- Connect your Mac with the headset using the USB cable included in the package.
- Power on the headset.
- Select Allow from the Allow Access to Data popup in your headset.
- You can then go to the Oculus folder to access the internal storage on your headset.
This is fine for transferring images or a movie, for example. But if you want to use your Quest 2 for VR, it's going to take a little more effort:
- Start by setting up Boot Camp - go to the Utilities folder in Applications, and open the Boot Camp Assistant.
- Set the partition size between Mac and Windows. You'll need to give Oculus a minimum of 10GB. You'll also need a copy of Windows 10, which you can get from the Microsoft website.
- Navigate back to Boot Camp and choose the Windows ISO file. It will then reboot and open in Windows.
- Go to Oculus.com/setup and download the software.
- Oculus may not recognize the graphics card, so go to the AMD support page to download the latest drivers for Boot Camp. Further guidance is available from Apple.
- Connect the Quest 2 to the Mac using a Link cable.
- If you get a message saying your computer doesn't meet the minimum specification, this may be a red herring. Go to the Devices tab, and adjust the refresh rate and resolution of your Quest.
You can even try pairing your Mac and Quest 2 headset via Oculus AirLink. To try this:
- Open the Oculus app.
- Go to Devices > Add Headset.
- Choose your Quest 2.
- Next, select Air Link (Wireless).
- In your Oculus Quest 2 headset go to Quick Settings and select the gear icon at the top right of the screen.
- Go to Experimental.
- Toggle the Air Link switch to the on position.
- Go back to Quick Settings and select Oculus Air Link.
- Choose your Mac in the box that appears.
- Confirm the pairing code on your Mac.
- Finally, put your headset back on and select Pair.
If you are having some problems with the Quest 2 not connecting successfully with the Mac, here are some tips to follow:
- Reboot the Quest headset and try again
- Instead of the headset, reboot the Mac
- Exit everything and relaunch the 'Android File Transfer'
- Developer mode might be the cause: disable then re-enable it again
- The USB cable might be the issue: switch it around or use another cable
- If you see the 'No Android device is found' on the screen, just enable the developer mode on the headset.
It's worth bearing in mind that the Quest 2 is one of the best VR headsets around, and is really intended to work with high-end GPUs, which don't tend to be installed in Apple devices. They may well manage to run some VR, but high-end games such as Half-Life: Alyx, and other new VR games, may well prove too much to run effectively unless you have an upgraded graphics card in your Mac.
There you have it; it can definitely be done. But considering the results aren't especially good and probably not what you’d envisaged, you have to decide whether or not the effort is worthwhile.
Meta themselves don't have much to say on the subject. In their help section, the closest we can get to answering this question is actually in relation to the Oculus Rift. In answer to the question, "Can I use Oculus Rift S or Rift with a Mac?" the answer is somewhat terse: "The Oculus Rift S and Rift are currently optimized to work with Windows PCs."
Now that you know the situation regarding the relationship between Quest 2 and Macs, why not check out our guide to the best Oculus games for Quest 2?