You can now free the Oculus Quest 2 from Facebook's grip — but there's a catch

a photo of the Oculus Quest 2
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Update: The latest Oculus Quest 2 update now puts multitasking front and center, and allows for the sharing of links between headsets and iOS devices.

The Oculus Quest 2 is a brilliantly versatile bit of hardware that deservedly sits at the top of our list of the best VR headsets you can buy right now. But there's a catch: you have to have a Facebook account to use it.

However, there's now a workaround that can free up the Quest 2 from Facebook's clutches, albeit with a few drawbacks. Facebook haters could try Oculess, a side-loadable tool that promises to sever the link between the social network and Oculus Quest once and for all. 

As spotted by UploadVR, once Oculess is sideloaded, your Facebook account will be unlinked, allowing you to enjoy your VR space on your own terms. 

Of course, this does have its drawbacks, including no further software updates from Facebook, no Oculus Store and the likely loss of access to any software you’ve already bought from it (the developer mentions entitlement errors in Virtual Desktop in the notes). Both Oculus TV and the Oculus browser will also cease to function, but the latter can be replaced with something like Firefox Reality, and there are plenty of other apps and games ready to sideload, too.

That may sound like a few too many drawbacks. As someone who barely uses Facebook myself, I can’t see me jumping through hoops to disentangle my Quest 2, especially as I’ve already bought a decent number of games. 

But for anyone who is tempted to try this, perhaps over concerns about the company’s questionable attitude to privacy, they’re probably better off doing so sooner rather than later. Facebook has a habit of taking on developers who subvert the intended use, as Louis Barclay found when he received both a ban and a cease-and-desist letter for creating a Chrome extension allowing people to unfollow everything on the social network with a single click.

Facebook linked or not, the Oculus Quest 2 is still a a VR headset well worth considering. It has an impressive and growing library of downloadable VR experiences, but is also happy to run PC games like Half Life Alyx via cable, or even over WiFi — and all for $299. Check out our guide on where to buy Oculus Quest 2 for the latest updates. 

Alan Martin

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.