How to Set Up and Use Meta (Oculus) Quest 2

Everything you need to know from unboxing to playing your first VR game

What to Know

  • Once everything is unboxed, plug the headset into power so it can fully charge.
  • Download and set up the Meta Quest app on your smartphone and sign in with your Facebook/Meta account.
  • Connect your Quest 2 to Wi-Fi, set up the guardian boundary, and familiarize yourself with the controllers.

This article explains how to set up and use the Meta Quest 2, from fresh out of the box to diving into your first virtual reality (VR) game.

Unboxing and Getting to Know Your Meta (Oculus) Quest 2

The Quest 2 is one of the most user-friendly VR experiences ever made, and it comes with everything you need right in the box. When you first remove the slipcover and open the box, you’ll find the Quest 2 headset cradled in the middle along with a spacer, and the touch controllers on either side.

A Quest and touch controllers in the box.

Jeremy Laukkonen / Lifewire

The Quest 2 headset is both a VR headset and a compact computer all in one, which is why you can use it both with and without a VR-ready PC. It’s worn like a set of oversized goggles, while the controllers are held as one in each hand. The third item that you see immediately upon opening the box is a spacer that you may need to use if you wear glasses. To install it, you need to pop the foam and plastic face pad off the headset, insert it into the headset, then replace the face pad.

Installing the Quest 2 headset spacer.

Jeremy Laukkonen / Lifewire

To get the controllers ready, look for small plastic tabs on each handle, and pull them out. The controllers come with batteries already installed, so pulling the tabs will cause them to power up.

Removing a Quest 2 touch controller battery strip.

Jeremy Laukkonen / Lifewire

Now that you’ve unboxed your Quest 2, you’ll want to get it ready for the setup process. To get the ball rolling, follow these steps:

  1. First, turn on the Quest headset. Press and hold the power button for about two seconds, until you hear a noise from the headset, then release.

    The Oculus Quest 2 power button.

    Jeremy Laukkonen / Lifewire

  2. Squeeze the triggers on your controllers to pair them with the headset.

    Squeezing a Quest 2 touch controller trigger.
  3. Slip the headset on, or hold it firmly to your eyes with one hand.

  4. With a free hand, pick up the corresponding controller.

  5. Looking into the headset, use the controller to set your language and connect to your Wi-Fi network.

    Use the controller to point at options, and squeeze the trigger with your index finger to make selections.

  6. Take the headset off and plug it into a USB power source.

  7. Set the headset in a secure place on a desk or table, and it will automatically perform any necessary updates on its own.

Download and Install the Meta Quest App

While your headset is performing any necessary updates, you can take the opportunity to download and install the Meta Quest app on your phone.  The app is available for both Android and iOS, and it lets you manage your Quest 2 experience when you aren’t in VR. It includes a store where you can buy new Quest games, and it’s also necessary if you want to use parental controls with your Quest.

Here’s how to set up your Meta Quest app:

  1. Download and install the Meta Quest app on your phone.

  2. Tap Continue with Facebook.

    If you already have an Oculus account, you can tap Have an Oculus Account? If you don’t have any of these accounts, tap Sign Up to create an account.

  3. Enter your email and password and tap Log in.

  4. Tap Continue as (Your Name).

    Oculus app with Continue with Facebook, login info, and Continue As highlighted
  5. Tap Continue as New Oculus User.

    If you have an existing Oculus account, tap Have an Oculus Account? Log in to tie it to your Facebook account.

  6. Tap Allow only while using the app.

  7. Tap Continue.

    Oculus app with Continue as New Oculus User, Allow only while using the app, and Continue highlighted.
  8. Choose a username to use with your Quest, and tap Continue.

  9. Tap Continue.

  10. Select your preferred privacy options and tap Continue.

    Oculus app with visibility settings, username, and Continue highlighted
  11. Choose a PIN and tap the check mark.

  12. Enter a credit card to use for future game purchases and tap Save, or tap Skip to do this later.

  13. Tap Quest 2.

    Quest app with PIN input, checkmark, Save, and Quest 2 Headset highlighted
  14. Your app is now set up, so you can move on to setting up your headset.

    When you're done setting up your headset, you can pair your Quest 2 to your phone to access parental controls, streaming, and other options.

How to Set Up Meta (Oculus) Quest 2

With your app set up, your headset should now have enough of a charge to set it up, and it should be done with any necessary updates. If you put it on and see the Quest 2 is still updating, place it securely on a desk or table and come back later.

Here’s how to set up a Quest 2:

  1. Place the Quest 2 headset over your eyes.

    If you wear glasses, hold the headset in front of your glasses and carefully push it toward your face. Your glasses should not contact the lenses of the headset. If it seems like that will be an issue you will need to use the included spacer.

  2. Pull the strap over your head and secure around the back of your head.

  3. To ensure a good fit, undo the front velcro strap and either pull it taught if the strap is too loose or pull down on the back of the band if it’s not big enough for your head, then reconnect the velcro.

    Loosening the Quest 2 velcro strap.

    Jeremy Laukkonen / Lifewire

  4. If the image you see through the headset is blurry, take it off, take hold of the gray plastic that surrounds one of the lenses, and gently push it toward or away from the other lens.

    Adjusting the lenses of a Quest 2 headset.

    Jeremy Laukkonen / Lifewire

    There are three different lens positions, so experiment to see which works best for you.

  5. If you removed the headset, put it back on and pick up the touch controllers.

  6. Follow the on-screen prompts to sign in to your Facebook or Oculus account, and your Quest 2 will be ready to use.

How to Set Up Your Guardian Boundary

Since the Quest 2 is a standalone VR headset, you can use it in a couple of different ways. You can use it while sitting down stationary, in which case it will track your head movement but not your body movement. You can also set up a guardian boundary, or a safe play area, in which case you will be able to walk around in VR, crouch, sit down, stand up, and otherwise move around the virtual space by moving around in the real world.

If you don’t have a boundary set up, or you move your Quest 2 to a new area, you’ll be prompted to create a new boundary before you play a game.

Here’s how to set up your Quest 2 guardian boundary:

  1. Find an area in your house with adequate space to play your games.

    The space should be free of obstructions and anything on the floor that you could trip over.

  2. Put on your Quest 2 and pick up the controllers.

  3. Look down and confirm that the virtual grid is at floor level, and select Confirm if it is.

    If the grid appears to be floating, select Reset, squat down, and touch the floor with your controller.

  4. Using your right controller, pull the trigger and draw a safe area on your floor.

    The safe area you select shouldn’t have any obstructions or tripping hazards in it.

  5. When you’re happy with the safe area, select Confirm.

  6. As long as you remain in this area, your headset will display the virtual world of the Quest 2 interface or whatever game you’re playing.

    Move too close to the edge of your play space, and a grid will appear as a warning. If you continue moving beyond the grid, the virtual world will be replaced by a grayscale view of your room so you don't accidentally run into or trip over anything.

Using the Quest 2 Touch Controllers

The Quest 2 comes with two Oculus Touch controllers capable of tracking your movements using the same technology the headset uses.

These controllers function a lot like a regular console or pc gamepad, and they include two analog sticks, four face buttons, two triggers, two grip buttons, a menu button, and an Oculus button.

In addition to these buttons, the controllers also track the position of your hands, which allows you to pick up and manipulate objects in some games. In the Oculus Quest 2 interface, you use the controllers to point at menu objects and select them by pushing a button or trigger.

Quest 2 touch controllers.

Jeremy Laukkonen / Lifewire

Here’s what the buttons on the Touch controllers do:

  • Thumbsticks: Used to navigate virtual environments. Depending on the game, you may be able to move around or adjust your camera with these sticks, although most games allow you to shift the view of the camera by moving your head.
  • Triggers: These buttons rest naturally under your index fingers. They can select menu items in the Quest 2 interface, and perform various operations in games. When supported, you can point a virtual finger by lifting your index finger off the trigger.
  • Grip buttons: These buttons are on the grips and triggered by your middle finger. Games typically use these buttons to let you grab onto objects with your virtual hand, or fold and extend your non-index fingers.
    Note: Some games let you make a fist by touching both the grip and trigger buttons, and open your hand by moving your fingers off these buttons.
  • ABXY: These buttons perform various functions on different games. In the Quest 2 interface, A and X select things while B and Y take you back to the previous menu.
  • Menu button: This button typically opens menus.
  • Oculus button: Pressing this button opens the toolbar or universal menu. Holding the button recenters your view in VR.

You’re Ready to Play in VR

Your Quest 2 is now ready to go, you have the Meta Quest app on your phone, and you have an understanding of how the controls work. That means you’re ready to jump into your first game. You might want to start by trying out some free games, like Horizon Worlds or VR Chat, to get the feel of how VR works, or jump into a modern classic like Beat Saber.

For safety, consider starting off with games that are marked as Comfortable in the Quest 2 store, and take regular breaks. If you start to feel a sense of discomfort, take the headset off, sit down, and wait until you feel better.

Here's how to start playing your first VR game. Make sure your headset and controllers are charged.

  1. Press the Oculus button on your right controller to bring up the toolbar.

    The Oculus button highlighted on a touch controller in VR.
  2. Select the store icon (shopping bag).

    The store icon (shopping bag) highlighted in Quest VR.
  3. Locate a free game or one you want to buy, and select it.

    Rec Room highlighted in the Quest store.
  4. Either select Get for a free game, or the price button for a premium game, and download it.

    Get highlighted in the Quest 2 store.
  5. Wait for the game to download and install, then select Start.

    Start highlighted in a Quest 2 game listing.

    In the future, you can access all your games from the library.

  6. You're in the game.

    Rec Room in Quest 2 VR.

These instructions showed you how to get started playing a game on your Quest 2, but you can also connect to a VR-ready PC to play games through SteamVR when you're ready for a whole new VR experience.

  • How do I buy games for the Oculus Quest 2?

    To buy new games on your Meta (Oculus) Quest 2, access the Quest 2 storefront by pressing the Oculus button on your right Oculus touch controller and selecting the store icon from the Toolbar. If you've added a payment method, you can purchase games directly from the Quest 2 store without leaving VR.

  • How do I cast Oculus Quest 2 to a TV?

    To cast from your Meta (Oculus) Quest or Quest 2 headset to a TV, power on your TV, put on your headset, and turn it on. Select Share > Cast. Choose your device and click Next. You will see a notification that casting has started.

  • How do I factory reset an Oculus Quest 2?

    To factory reset the Meta (Oculus) Quest 2, press and hold the power and volume down buttons on the headset. Use the volume button to highlight Factory reset; press the power button to select it. Use the volume button to highlight Yes, erase and factory reset, and then press the power button to initiate the reset.

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