Oculus has taken a particular approach to the Quest’s app store. Understandably, Oculus wants consistent and enjoyable user experiences. Their approach, very much in the vein of Apple, is to heavily curate their library. Some would argue, however, that this approach can leave out some unique and different experiences. Ultimately, users may love these experiences, but they don’t fit into the mold Oculus is creating.
Enter Sidequest, the Quest’s “other app store.”
Sidequest is an open, free software that provides developers a platform on which to post their games and apps. Developers can choose to do this for many reasons. It can be a platform in which to alpha or beta test their game or application, it can add additional features to games and apps that are not present in the oculus quest versions natively, and it can even be used for full games that Oculus has denied in the app store.
Sidequest is surprisingly easy to get running, even if you are not technically inclined. There are a few simple tutorials on youtube, but here’s my favorite, created by Virtual Reality Oasis:
Basically, you need to install the latest version of Sidequest, turn on developer mode in your Quest, plug in your headset to your PC or Mac, and you are off to the races. It really couldn’t be much more straightforward.
Sidequest is continually getting new updates and new games and applications for you to enjoy. As I write, there are 22 games and 12 apps available for you to sideload. This number is going to continue to grow, and we will see more and more value from this amazing free application.
Aside from the VR Games and Apps sections, there is much more hidden inside of Sidequest. A library of android 2d games, an NSFW section, and a few other hidden settings. But for me, the most enjoyable part of Sidequest is BeatOn. BeatOn is a beautiful application that brings an entire library of thousands of user-created songs and mods to Beat Saber. Yes, Beat Saber is nothing new, and neither is the modding community, but what this allows us to do is take full advantage of all of this content on the Quest, and very easily I might add. You simply browse the songs and mods you want, click the download icon, and sync to your headset. I’ve found so much enjoyment out of playing Disney songs, Michael Jackson, and 21 Pilots on my Quest. (“You’re Welcome” from Moana is a personal favorite)
Though there is a slight learning curve, and it took me a couple tries to figure it out, Sidequest is incredibly easy to use and very consistent. I’ve never experienced a crash and never had any corrupted files or trouble with my Quest playing sideloaded games.
Sidequest has SO many options and is only getting better with each update. My last words; what are you waiting for?