Do you need a PC for Meta Quest 3?


Girl playing with building blocks using the Meta Quest 3.

For people looking to get into the Virtual Reality space by purchasing a VR headset of their own, the Meta Quest 3 is one of the best options out there. Its seamless user experience is pretty well-known, but those looking to buy their first VR headset might wonder whether the Quest 3 needs a PC to run.

The VR headset market features both standalone headsets, but also those that need a PC to run, such as the HTC Vive or the Valve Index. But which category does Meta's Quest 3 fall into? Let's find out.

But before that, you may also want to check out our guides on how to cast the Quest 3 to a TV and how to connect the Quest 3 to Mac and Macbook.

Do you need a PC to use the Meta Quest 3?

The Meta Quest 3 is a standalone device, so no, you don't need a PC or any other external hardware to power it up. Of course, there are a bunch of accessories that you can buy for the Quest 3 that can add to its user experience, but nothing you need just to boot up the VR headset.

However, you will initially need a smartphone to set up your Quest 3. Once that's done, though, the device's Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 processor will take it from there, and the Quest 3 will natively give players almost all the functionality they would get from a PC or smartphone, such as access to various apps and browsers.

Still, this doesn't mean that you can't connect your Quest 3 to a PC. On the contrary, if you're looking to play games on your VR headset connecting the Quest 3 to a PC will significantly enhance your experience. This is through a little thing called SteamVR.

User holding a virtual gun in a game on the Quest 3.
click to enlarge

What is SteamVR for the Meta Quest 3?

SteamVR is Valve's framework for the Steam Store that offers a bunch of VR and non-VR games that may not be available natively on VR headsets like the Quest 3 due to their hardware limitations. By connecting the Quest 3 to a powerful PC, players can play anything from Minecraft to Baldur's Gate 3

However, one should keep in mind that most users of the Meta Quest 3 do not make use of SteamVR, so you're not missing out on the core VR experience if you don't have a PC to connect your headset to.

That's all you need to know about whether you need a PC for the Meta Quest 3. For more, check out our list of best games on the Quest 3 and how to play Xbox Game Pass games on the Quest 3.

For more articles like this, take a look at our VR and Guides page.