What is App Lab for Quest? How to gain access to almost 300 games and apps not in Quest Store
Whether you are a new Oculus Quest or Oculus Quest 2 owner or you have had yours since launch, it is undeniable that having access to incredible games without having to go to a store is very convenient! Even though the Quest Store has an incredible library of games and experiences waiting for you to discover them, if you are the kind of person that spends a lot of time in their virtual reality realm, this particular store can start to feel like it’s lacking in content, making you wish there was more to experience!
Luckily, there is a new contender on the market that offers over 300 virtual reality games and experiences that will surely satiate your hunger for new adventures and that is called the App Lab For Quest but, what exactly is it?
What Is The App Lab For Quest?
In order to understand what the App lab for the Oculus Quest and Oculus Quest 2 is, we have to start from the very beginning, by diving into what it’s actually about. Even though it might sound like a third-party app for the more casual user, this could not be further from the truth!
When Occulus announced the rollout of its v25 software update for both the Oculus Quest and the Oculus Quest 2, they also announced something that not a lot of people were expecting, that being the App Lab. Make no mistake, even though this application comes from Occulus themselves, it is completely separate from the main market store (that being the Oculus Store) and, there is a pretty good reason as to why that is! The App Lab is an application that was designed with the main intent of developers being able to get their content onto the device without having to deal with the technicalities of the main store, in short, it means that it will be easier for developers to put their games and applications in the App Lab than in the main store. In other words, the App Lab is nothing but a different, newer and easier way for developers to distribute their games onto the Oculus Quest and Oculus Quest 2 headsets, however, how do you navigate it?
How To Benefit From The App Lab
Even though the concept of the App Lab sounds quite amazing, that does not mean that it is a completely streamlined experience for the user (after all, its focus is to make the distribution process easier for developers). In order for the average user to actually enjoy the VR games and applications that are now found in the App Lab, they must find the games first through other means because, as mentioned before, even though the App Lab is a first-party Occulus application, it is still completely separate from the main Quest Store.
Luckily, there are a few different (and easy) ways to find and explore said games and applications but, they will require the user to either do their own research or stumble across said games and applications. With that said, what are some of the best ways to discover the games and applications that are in the vast library that is the App Lab?
Occulus has enabled developers that decide to share their fantastically imaginative creations into the App Lab to create direct links that the users can then access to see the product page, its screenshots, trailers and, of course, to make the final purchase. Even though this is a very streamlined and easy way to access the game or application, there is a big con to it and that is that you must find this URL first, in order to access it. Naturally, the games and apps found in the App Lab will not be featured in the Quest Store’s newly added or featured tabs, which means that you will actively have to search for said links!
Luckily, there are plenty of lists out on the internet right now of some of the best games that you should try on the App Lab, which will certainly make it a lot easier to see what there is to explore!
This is undoubtedly the most user-friendly way to discover the games that are present in the App Lab right now. Occulus has announced that they have been working closely with SideQuest in order to offer a way to find the games and applications of App Lab in one place, without having to scout the internet for a link! Developers can now directly share their links (and market their games) on SideQuest, therefore, making it the “Quest Store” of the App Lab, per se. Even though this is a fantastic way to find more than 300 new games and applications, it is also important to note that SideQuest works with a PC, therefore, you need one in order to get the most of it!
The last way to find games in the App Lab is by doing a good ol’ manual search. Now, this method is definitely for those users that have a particular game or application in mind and that they know this piece of content is in the App Lab. We say this because, in order to actually find the game using the search bar, you must know the exact name of the game and you must type it exactly as it is (otherwise it will not drop down once you use the search bar).
Sure, this might not be feasible for those users that are just looking to browse the library of games and applications found in the App Lab however, for those that already know exactly what they want, it is a more streamlined and direct way to acquire said game or application.
Should You Be Using App Lab?
The App Lab is a great way to expand your library of VR games and applications on your Oculus Quest or Oculus Quest 2 due to how much easier it is to distribute games on the platform instead of the main Quest Store, it is inevitable that more and more indie developers will get their game there, instead of the main store. With that said, even though the App Lab might not be the easiest to find and browse service, it is still a great way to find over 300 games and applications so, you should definitely keep an eye on it! Enhance your App Lab experience with VR prescription lenses from VR WAVE.