What is sideloading?

Your Oculus Quest VR headset doesn't need to be limited by what's available on the Oculus store.

Sideloading is the process of uploading software to your device locally, as opposed to downloading from that platform's officially curated store – in this case the platform is Android and the store is Oculus. Once enabled, sideloading will allow you to run experimental, custom, & otherwise unreleased applications in the .apk format.

This guide will show you how to sideload apk files using Sidequest – a streamlined app designed specifically for sideloading on the Quest. A less feature-rich sideloading experience is possible using Android Debug Bridge or Android File Transfer.

Warning

Sideloading any content considered abusive under Oculus' Content Guidelines could result in your account being banned or otherwise restricted by Oculus. Oculus defines abusive sideloaded content as:

  • Content that appears to be infringing, copied, or pirated; or
  • Content that contains malicious code; or
  • Mods of applications available on or through our platform that appear to infringe on third party’s intellectual property rights, introduce malicious code, give players an unfair advantage, or are otherwise not approved; or
  • Used software or other tools to extract assets or content (videos, music, etc.); or
    Violated other Oculus Terms of Service, Code of Conduct, or other Oculus policies.

Refer to the full guidelines for more details.

What you'll need

  • Oculus Quest
  • Computer running Windows, macOS, or Linux
  • The Android or iOS device you use to set up and control your Quest
  • USB cable

The USB-C cable included with the Oculus Quest can be used to sideload from your computer. If you're computer lacks a USB-C connection, you'll need a USB-C to USB-A cable or adapter like this one: 

USB A to USB C Adapter

PRODUCT ID: 4175
As technology changes and adapts, so does Adafruit, and speaking of adapting, this adapter has a USB A plug and a USB C socket so your older...
$2.95
IN STOCK
This guide was first published on Jan 14, 2020. It was last updated on Jan 14, 2020. This page (What is sideloading?) was last updated on Mar 28, 2020.