The Meta Quest 2 has an impressive library of titles on the official store but more are hidden away. App Lab is Meta’s uncurated section for smaller indie games or those still in development. It provides creators with a different method of app distribution, far less stringent when it comes to a final, finessed product. As such, the quality can vary greatly and finding them is a lot more difficult. So if you want to play App Lab games here’s how to go about it.
If you’ve begun delving into what Meta Quest 2 can actually do, you might have heard about sideloading. This is the ability to install unofficial content on your device from places like SideQuest. The website – and the sideloading community – has been going for years, full of experimental content for you to try and buy.
However, App Lab isn’t sideloading per se – and the initial complicated procedure that involves – more Meta’s own take on it. The process is far simpler, and working in conjunction with SideQuest, makes finding new titles easy.
The App Lab way
Unlike the main Quest Store where you can see the latest releases or what’s hot at the moment, App Lab doesn’t have indexed games. So to find them there are several methods you can employ.
Direct URLs – like this one – are the simplest way to access an App Lab title. A developer can share a link online, via their social media channels, Discord, Reddit or through a blog for example. But that does mean following the right channels, which can be difficult with so many VR creators out there.
SideQuest is the best place to start your search. The UI is friendly with an App Lab button at the top of the home page. Once you click on a game a pink button on the right-hand side will say “Download App (Oculus)”. Hit that and you’ll be taken through to the website listing, with a popup window saying “Available through App Lab”.
Click the OK button and you can then buy the title. Make sure you’re logged in before doing so. It will now be in your library, from where you can install it, either by putting on your headset or finding it in the Quest mobile app.
App Lab games are easy to notice in your library as the title image will have a big blue sticker saying “App Lab”.
App Lab DB works in a similar fashion to SideQuest, just without all extra sideloaded content.
Lastly. If you know the exact name of the game – and we do mean exact – and search for it in the Quest Store, you’ll get a list of similar games from the official catalogue.
Scroll past all of these and you’ll find a little grey button saying “View App”. Press that and you’ll open up the App Lab listing to download.
And there you go, that’s how to play App Lab games on Quest 2.
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