How To Record Passthrough On Your Quest 2
Mixed reality (MR) is huge right now thanks to headsets like the Meta Quest Pro, the HTC Vive XR Elite and many more competitors on the way. We’ve also seen a rise in mixed reality games from both independent and established game studios.What Is Mixed Reality and Passthrough?
Mixed reality combines both the real world (through the use of your headset’s cameras) with virtual elements, bringing games or apps seemingly into your “real space”. Passthrough is the name of the feature that allows you to see your real world surroundings through the cameras on your headset.Can I Record Passthrough Straight From The Headset?
You may have seen developer or content creators recording footage of passthrough games and apps, but how? Unfortunately you can’t do this natively on the Quest 2 as Meta blocks you from doing so for privacy reasons. If you do try to record passthrough, using Meta's built in recorder, you just get an empty black screen where you room would be. Interestingly enough, this is not an issue for Meta Quest Pro users.However, if you are a Quest 2 owner and want to be able to share your passthrough/mixed reality experiences, this guide is for you! We’ll also list some recommended games you can try at the end of the tutorial.
Scrcpy via SideQuest
The current best and most well known way of recording Quest 2 passthrough is by using scrcpy which is conveniently built into the popular app SideQuest. It's worth noting however that there is unfortunately no way to record gameplay audio with this method.
In order to use SideQuest (and it’s features, including scrcpy) you’ll need to enable developer mode on your Quest but don't worry, you don't actually have to be a real developer to do this. Feel free to skip ahead to the 'using scrcpy' step if you've already used SideQuest before.
Enable Developer Mode on your Quest 2
First, go to dashboard.oculus.com and create an 'organization'. Pick a name, then accept the developer agreement. You may to verify your account using either a credit card or a phone number for 2 factor, but most accounts will already be verified and you may be able to skip this part.
If you are on Windows you will need to download some additional ADB drivers which you can find here. Although they say Oculus Go, but they also work for the Quest. Then install the drivers by extracting the zip folder, right click the android_winusb.inf file and click install.
Turn on your headset and open the Oculus app on your phone. Go to Menu>Devices> then select 'headset settings' down at the bottom. Select 'developer mode' and make sure the toggle is turned on.
Reboot your headset and connect it to your PC via a USB-C or link cable. You should see a pop up in headset to allow USB debugging, select 'always allow from this computer' then 'ok'. If you don't see this pop up you may have to disable your unlock pattern in the Oculus app by going to Settings > Quest >More Settings >Unlock Pattern.
With developer mode enabled, head over to SideQuest, create an account and grab the advanced installer from this link here. There are more operating system options should you need them if you click "show more".
Connect SideQuest to Your Quest
Connect your Quest 2 to your PC via a link cable or similar and turn on your Quest. Make sure that the circle shows up as green on the top left of the Sidequest app.
On the top menu bar you'll find a WiFi symbol option, which you can use to be tether-less while recording your video. However, make sure you have a very good WiFi connection if you decide to go this route, otherwise your video quality might be low.
With your Quest connected to SideQuest, on the top right of the menu bar you'll see an icon that looks like a TV with a play button on it. After clicking on that you will see settings you can change such as the bit rate, crop and max FPS. If you're using a Quest 2, make sure you select 'Quest 2 crop' before you start the stream.
When you're ready, click 'start stream' and a new window will pop up showing your headset view.
There are a couple of different ways to activate passthrough mode on your Quest 2.
First is through the quick settings button (click the time on your quest menu) then click the passthrough button, shown in the screenshot below.
The second way is by enabling double tap for passthrough. This can be done by going to settings>guardian>general, then turn on the toggle. You may have to restart your headset for this to take effect. From here you simply have to rapidly tap either the left or ride of your headset twice to switch between your virtual environment and passthrough.
Finally you can simply open your mixed reality game, some start by default in mixed reality, others have buttons or menu options you need to navigate to to activate it. This varies from game to game.
Now that you have the scrcpy window open, you need a way of capturing it to record it. For this you can use OBS Studio or Streamlabs. Near the bottom of your recording software under 'sources' you will see a plus sign, click that to add a new source. Select 'game capture' (rename it whatever you want), then under 'mode' select 'capture specific window' and select scrcpy.exe. You should now see the scrcpy window in your scene. You might have to move the window around and resize to fit the canvas.
From here, you can click the 'start recording' or 'start streaming' button, and you're all set!
Now that you know how to record, here are a handful of mixed reality supported games to try. There are many more out there currently being developed!
Keep in mind some games will require a couple of extra guardian steps to assure they work properly with the game such as outlining any walls and furniture. Not to fear however, these particular games guide you through the process with as simple as possible in game prompts.
I Expect You To Die: Home Sweet Home
Some of you may already be familiar with the I Expect You to Die VR series - the team at Schell Games decided to make an experimental mixed reality experience under the same IP! I Expect You To Die: Home Sweet Home is an exciting virtual reality experience that puts you into the shoes of an elite secret agent. You will use your wits to solve puzzles, and disarm traps, all from the comfort of your own room! Along the way, you will experience the thrill of completing your mission and the satisfaction of outsmarting your adversaries. With its immersive 3D graphics and intuitive controls, I Expect You To Die: Home Sweet Home will keep you on the edge of your seat!
I Expect You To Die: Home Sweet Home is available for free on the Quest store here.
Blaston is an exciting VR shooter game that puts you in an intense virtual arena with AI or other players. The game offers multiple weapons, like laser blasters and plasma rifles, to use in a fight to be the last one standing. You can customize your character with skins and accessories, and pit yourself against friends or strangers in intense online battles. Blaston is an adrenaline-filled, fast-paced shooter that is sure to keep you on your toes. One of it's most recent updates also made it free to play for all!
Blaston is available for free on the Quest store here.
Demeo is an innovative VR game that allows up to four players to explore and interact with a generated world. One of its more recent updates allow players to see the board in passthrough mode! Players can team up to battle monsters, complete puzzles, and uncover new secrets. Each player can customize their character and choose from a variety of weapons and tools. The game also offers unique multiplayer experiences like team-based challenges and cooperative play. With its immersive visuals and intuitive controls, Demeo is a captivating game that is sure to provide hours of entertainment.
Demeo is available for $39.99 on the Meta Quest store here.
Dungeon Maker allows you to make a dungeon out of your own home, including various traps, and items, a proceduraly generated plot and treasure and more! Trap types include a variety of slashing, crushing and other deadly traps, and a lava floor. Find Quest items around your home (such as waypoints and keys that open doors). Dungeon Maker also features a save/load system to save your dungeon map creations.
Dungeon Maker is available for free on Meta Quest's app lab here.
Hauntify Mixed Reality
Hauntify Mixed Reality is not for the faint of heart. For those of you into horror - or who enjoy the hair raising feeling that you are being stalked in your own home - give Hauntify a try. This game features a custom play space builder (to utilize your whole house if you wish) and has support for single or multiple story homes. Some ghosts can be summoned in player defined spawn areas and other ghosts will appear in completely random locations around your house. As you collect more relics, increasingly dangerous spirits will be summoned.
Hauntify Mixed Reality is available for $4.99 on Meta Quest's app lab here.
Mixed reality is a wonderful example of how quickly gaming technologies are changing. Hopefully this guide helps you in being able to share your experiences, as well as discover some new ones!