How to setup your Meta Quest 3 for gaming emulation

A Nintendo video game that's being played on a VR headset
Credit: Reddit

A Nintendo video game that's being played on a VR headset
Credit: Reddit

Want to know how to emulate classic games on your brand-new Meta Quest 3? You've come to the right place. In this guide, we'll be giving you a run-through of how you can use your Quest headset to emulate classic video games from a range of different platforms. Also, we'll be listing all the emulators we've found that can be used on the Quest.

Emulating game consoles via your VR headset is a great way to return to classic games, experiencing them in a way previously impossible. There's a variety of emulators out there that may work on your Quest headset, and we'll be going through all the ones we know will run well on your Quest.

A gameboy color game being emulated and played on a VR headset
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Credit: VRScout on YouTube

We recently got to see a PlayStation 2 emulator working on the brand new Meta Quest 3, so now's the perfect time to get clued up on how emulators work on the Quest headsets.

How can I emulate games on my Meta Quest?

Since the Quest uses Android as its operating system, sideloading emulators onto your Quest is simple. SideQuest is a free app and website that allows you to load third-party apps, games, and software onto your Meta Quest device.

Using the Sidequest application, you're able to load third-party software onto your Quest device. From SideQuest, you can select and download an available platform emulator app. Once on your device, you'll be able to access the emulator from your Apps List.

Next, you'll have to find game ROMs to run on the emulator. These can be transferred directly from your PC via file transfer after connecting the two devices.

SideQuest menu on a VR headset
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Credit: SideQuest

There's many places to find ROMs online, just make sure you're downloading from a trusted source and the ROM file type is the correct one used by the emulator you've sideloaded; the valid ROM file types are listed on the emulators' SideQuest page.

After loading your emulator, you'll be prompted to select your ROM from the emulator's internal file manager. However, a minority of emulators may require you to download a third-party file manager for this step. Having selected your ROM, you can launch the game and play on your VR headset.

If you want to use a controller to play your emulated games on, you're able to link a Bluetooth games controller, such as an Xbox One controller, to your Quest headset. Some emulators may require you to map the controller's key-binds before you can play.

What platforms can I emulate on the Meta Quest?

Below is a list of all the possible platforms we know about that can be emulated on the Meta Quest using SideQuest. We've also included the names of their respective emulators for you to sideload onto your device.

  • GameCube (Dolphin)
  • Nintendo 64 (RetroArch)
  • Virtual Boy (VirtualBoyGo)
  • 3DS (Citra)

That's everything there is to know about setting up an emulator on your Meta Quest device!

For more VR content, we've got the latest on the obscure restrictions being placed on games coming to the Meta Quest 3. We've also compared the Quest 3 against the Quest Pro to see which one of Meta's headsets is best.

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