Valve launches Steam Link on Meta Quest. The VR app allows direct PC VR streaming of SteamVR games like Half-Life: Alyx.
Steam Link allows you to stream Steam games from your PC to smartphones, tablets, and TVs. The application is now also available for Meta Quest 2, 3 and Pro, which means it has been released with Meta’s blessing.
With Steam Link for Meta Quest, you can wirelessly stream SteamVR games from your PC to your VR headset over your home Wi-Fi, or enjoy classic games on a virtual big screen.
This is nothing new: the paid VR app Virtual Desktop and Meta’s free Air Link solution have been doing the same thing for years. One advantage of Steam Link is that you don’t have to install Meta’s outdated PC app or a streamer app (in the case of Virtual Desktop) on your PC. Steam and SteamVR are all you need. This makes connecting between Meta Quest and SteamVR more direct and easier than ever before.
Steam Link for Meta Quest: This is the hardware you need
In terms of hardware, you need a gaming PC (GTX 970 or better) and a 5 GHz Wi-Fi router connected directly to it via cable. Your PC and Meta Quest must connect to the same Wi-Fi network. With Steam Link for Meta Quest, all you have to do is pair your VR headset with your PC using a code. Now you can access your Steam and SteamVR libraries in virtual reality.
Recommended, but not required, is a broadband Internet connection with Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E and a computer with at least 16 GB of RAM and NVIDIA GPU, RTX2070 or better.
Pros and cons of current PC VR streaming applications
Steam Link for Meta Quest is Valve’s first official VR app to be released for Meta’s VR platform and is now the fourth PC VR streaming solution alongside Virtual Desktop, Air Link and the open source solution ALVR.
One disadvantage of Steam Link is that you can only play SteamVR games. For titles such as Lone Echo 1 & 2, Asgard’s Wrath and Stormland, which are only available for Meta’s PC VR platform, you will have to use Air Link or Virtual Desktop.
The latter is the most feature-rich PC VR streaming app. However, it costs $20, while Air Link and Steam Link are free. Virtual Desktop is optimized for doing working on a PC, can play and stream immersive videos, supports passthrough, and is constantly being updated and expanded with new features like Synchronous Spacewarp and Super Resolution. An update was recently released that allows users to bypass the performance-hungry SteamVR interface, freeing up more performance for VR games.
If you want to get into PC VR streaming and are dissatisfied with Steam Link and Air Link, it might be worth trying Virtual Desktop.
Buy Quest 3, Accessories & Prescription Lenses