Oculus Quest 2 full body tracking is not a feature that automatically comes with the headset. While the Quest 2 is the most popular VR headset on the market, it only has head-mounted sensors. And partly, this will be down to keeping costs down, as adding additional sensors will cost.
But if you really want to enable full body tracking on a Quest 2, is it even possible? Well, maybe. But it will cost you money, time and effort, and we can't guarantee how well it's going to work. With all that being said, if you still want to explore this, here's what you can do.
How To Get Full Body Tracking With Oculus Quest 2
As we've already suggested, this isn't going to be easy. You can't simply buy an adaptor and plug it in. There have been reports that body tracking is being investigated as part of the Unity Integration system. But it's possible that this is a feature for an upcoming Quest headset, rather than the Quest 2.
This means that before you even think about getting started, there are a few additional items you're going to need:
- External trackers, and straps to put them on with.
- Base stations, in order to detect the trackers.
- You will also need a PC that can adequately handle VR games. This method won't work with standalone Quest games. It will, however, work with SteamVR. So if you don't have a PC, or don't use it for VR gaming, then you aren't going to be able to go much further.
- You'll also need to install OpenVR Space Calibrator
Now you have all your equipment, you'll want to get it all installed. Start with your base station setup. If you have more than one base station (which some people advise as this means they can track different trackers) make sure you set them on different channels. Some base stations will do this automatically.
In terms of where to locate them, it's advisable to have them elevated. Ideally, you'll want to wall mount them, to minimise the risk of your movements throwing off the tracking. Place them in the corners of your room, above head height, and tilted down. Make sure there is a clear line of sight between each of them.
You'll probably need three trackers: one for your torso, and one for each foot. Turn them on one at a time, and give them clearly identifiable names - left foot, right foot, and torso, for example. Or, John, Paul, and Ringo.
Plug the corresponding dongles into your PC - depending on how many USB ports your computer has, you may need to invest in a USB hub.
In SteamVR, click on the greyed-out tracker and press Pair Tracker. Select "I want to pair a different type of controller" and choose your tracker. Once your tracker is paired, it should show as a solid blue on SteamVR.
Once you've completed the pairing process for all three trackers, you'll need to calibrate your trackers.
Connect your Quest 2 with your PC. While you can do this with AirLink, Virtual Desktop will be easier. Virtual Desktop includes something called stage tracking. This basically means you won't need to recalibrate everything every time you turn on your headset.
Launch SteamVR via Virtual desktop. Leave one of your extra trackers on, and switch the rest off.
Once you are on the Steam homepage, click on the menu button to open the OpenVR Space Calibrator.
Select the tracker that's on, and go through the process of calibration. Place the tracker on your arm while holding the right controller. Once calibration is complete, turn on the other trackers, and they should be automatically calibrated.
An Imperfect Solution
You are pretty much ready to go now. But as we said earlier, it isn't a smooth process. For a start, it's very expensive. If you are buying trackers such as those for an HTC Vive, they could end up costing you hundreds. Then add the cost of the base stations, which will be a couple of hundred bucks more.
Overall, by the time you've bought your additional equipment plus your Quest 2 headset, you are potentially getting close to the cost of an HTC Vive. But you won't be getting anything like the same experience. Calibration and tracking will be less precise, for example.
There's also the prospect of a potential Quest 3 or Quest Pro to consider. It's possible that one or both of these could include full body tracking. There are even rumours the PSVR 2 might have this feature. So it might be worth saving your pennies, in case a better-integrated option becomes available in the near future.
It is, of course, entirely up to you to decide whether the time, cost and effort are worth it to enjoy full body tracking on the Quest 2. Or whether it's worth waiting to see if an alternative might be a better choice.
Will Meta Quest 3 Have Full Body Tracking?
With rumours continuing to swirl about the possibility of a Quest 3 or a Quest Pro, it's reasonable to wonder whether full body tracking may make an appearance on the next generation of VR headsets from Meta.
But a Q&A with John Bosworth (CTO of Meta) (via roadtovr) appears to pour cold water on this as a possibility.
Most significantly, he stated that:
Body tracking is super tricky. Because from the camera that’s on your face it can’t see your legs very well. And as we want to make the [headset] smaller form-factor, it gets even worse—[the cameras] can’t even see past your cheek sometimes to your upper body. Now we can get away pretty well with the upper body because we can see your arms, elbows, hands, and we kind of have a sense of what the musculoskeletal structure must be doing behind it, but feet are tough.
So [using outside-in tracking as opposed to inside-out] is probably necessary for some of the [full-body tracking] use-cases people have in mind. So that’s one of the things that we’re looking at.
This would suggest that full-body tracking on a future Quest model might be unlikely, especially if they are continuing to use inside-out tracking. But never say never.