Wednesday, April 24, 2024
VR&AR

Meta Quest 3 tips and tricks


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Key Takeaways

  • Optimising your playspace and lighting can greatly enhance your Meta Quest 3 experience for better mixed-reality pass-through and tracking accuracy.
  • Consider turning on hand tracking for more flexibility in MR, even if you don’t plan on using it often.
  • Consider upgrading your comfort with a more comfortable head strap and improving audio quality with purpose-built earbuds for ultimate immersion.


The Meta Quest 3 is a brilliant VR headset, but there are a few simple things you can do to make it even better. With this guide, we’ll tell you how you can make your Quest 3 experience as good as possible.

So, get your headset charged up and make sure it’s updated, then we’ll dive in and see how you can make the most of it.


Optimise your playspace

This is a basic one if you’re a VR aficionado, but if you’re new to VR, thinking about your playspace is an important first step. VR is more fun when you have some room to move around, so I’d recommend finding the biggest open space in your house, shoving some furniture out of the way if you have to and then setting up your guardian system.

One of the key new features of the Meta Quest 3 is its mixed reality pass-through ability. But, it’s no secret that the pass-through cameras struggle in low light conditions. For the best MR experience, I’d recommend choosing a well-lit space, ideally with lots of natural light. If that’s not possible, turn on as many lights as possible to get a clearer image from the cameras. This will also help with tracking accuracy.

Turn on hand tracking

Hand tracking has also been greatly improved on the Quest 3, but depending on how you set it up, it’s likely not enabled by default. I’d recommend turning it on, even if you’re not planning to use it very often, as the headset can now track your hands and controllers simultaneously. It’s great when you need to make a quick change and don’t have your controllers at the ready.

To turn it on, press the button with the Meta logo on your right-hand controller to bring up the menu. Then, select the Settings icon and go to Movement Tracking in the resulting menu. After that, you’ll see an option for Hand and body tracking, click the toggle next to that to enable it.

Quest 3 hand tracking

Once enabled, the headset will show you some instructions detailing how to use hand tracking. You can point at an object just like you would with a controller and pinch your thumb and forefinger together to select something. You can also swipe and tap your way through menus as if you were using a tablet, it’s super handy.

Maximise your battery life

For all the things the Quest 3 upgrades, one area that hasn’t seen such an improvement is the battery life. If you want to get the longest playtime from the headset, you’ll need to limit your pass-through camera usage. By default, Quest 3 starts in mixed-reality mode, but if you know you’ll be spending lots of time in the menus then you should double-tap the side of the headset to switch to a VR environment. Alternatively, you can click on the clock next to your profile picture in the menu bar and there’s an option to toggle the pass-through cameras on and off in that menu.

If you have a decent USB power bank, you can stick that in your pocket and run a cable to the headset for extended playtime, too. If you’re willing to spend a bit of cash, there are also numerous accessories designed to extend the battery life of the headset, some of which we’ll cover later in this article.

Share the experience

VR and MR are great activities at a party, not least because people look absolutely ridiculous while they’re doing it. However, it’s a lot more fun when you can see what the player sees, so it’s worth learning how to cast the Quest 3 to a TV.

It took me a moment to figure out where this setting is, but it’s super easy once you figure it out. All you need is the Meta Quest app on your phone and a TV that supports casting or has a Chromecast connected.

Cast Quest 3

With the headset and TV turned on, open the Meta Quest app on your phone and tap the Cast icon at the top of the home feed. By default, it will want to cast to your phone, so tap on the down arrow and then choose Other Devices. It will take a moment to scan your network, but then you should see a list of compatible displays, tap the one you want, and off you go.

Alternatively, you can open the camera app in the Quest 3 headset, and there’s a cast menu found in there, too.

Upgrade your comfort

The Quest 3’s included head strap is decent enough to get started, but after a while, you’ll probably want to invest in something a little more comfortable and convenient to remove. The obvious choice is Meta’s own Elite Strap, which retails for $70, but a more interesting option is the Elite Strap with Battery, which has an integrated power bank at the rear that both serves to balance the headset weight across your head and also keeps it charged for an extra two hours of playtime. It’s quite a costly upgrade at $130, though.

Meta Quest 3 with Orzero head strap (2)

There are also numerous third-party options available that do the same thing. I took a gamble on a head strap from a brand I had never heard of, Orzero, and it has been excellent so far. It’s a massive upgrade in terms of comfort and it packs an even larger battery than the official option from Meta. There’s even integrated RGB lighting to make your headset look even more futuristic. The biggest difference, though, this the price, it’s only $60 on Amazon. Bargain.

Meta Quest 3 with Orzero head strap (3)

Orzero Quest 3 Head Strap 8000 mAh

Upgrade your audio

It’s a similar story when it comes to the Quest 3’s audio quality. The built-in speakers are great, and certainly a marked improvement over the Quest 2 speakers, but for ultimate immersion, you’ll want to use some decent headphones. Unfortunately, it’s not just a case of pairing your AirPods, as even though that will work, there will be noticeable latency that ruins your immersion.

Instead, you have two options. You can either use a set of wired headphones, or you can use a purpose-built set of gaming earbuds that utilise a USB-C dongle for a low latency wireless link. There’s plenty to choose from, but if you want a wireless solution, I’d recommend looking at the SoundCore VR P10 earbuds, which were developed in collaboration with Meta.

Final VR2000 (1)

I’ve been using Final Audio’s new VR2000 wired earbuds, personally. These earbuds are optimised for positional accuracy and spatial audio, and they’re the most convincing that I’ve heard. When using these earbuds, game elements really sound like they’re in the room around you, it’s incredibly immersive. They’re affordable, too, retailing for just $70. The downside is that you’ll have to figure out what to do with all the cabling, but it’s nothing a velcro cable tidy can’t fix.

Final VR2000 (2)

Connect to a gaming PC

If you have a gaming PC, you can also connect up your Quest 3 and use it to play PC VR titles, just as you could with the Quest 2. It works in the exact same way as it did on the last-gen headset, and we have a very in-depth guide on how to get connected, which can be found here.

In a nutshell, though, you’ll need the Meta Quest software on your PC, and then you can either connect using a USB-C Link cable (or a suitably fast alternative) or wirelessly over your home network. If you go the wireless route, you’ll need a 5Ghz router as a minimum, but you’ll have the best results with Wi-Fi 6 and above.

Meta Quest Link cable

Meta

Watch content on your Quest 3

While most of us primarily use the Quest 3 as a way to play games, it’s also a pretty great way to watch movies, TV shows and online content. It’s a great option if you find yourself without access to a quality TV screen, as you can project a massive virtual screen anywhere in MR, or you can enter your own private movie theatre in VR. It also works great with 3D movies, if you can find any of those.

Bigscreen Beta Screenshot

Bigscreen

There are numerous ways to go about this, Prime Video, Netflix and YouTube all have their own apps that can be installed through the Quest Store, for example. One of our favourites is the Bigscreen Beta app, which has lots of great virtual environments and the ability to view your PC screen, YouTube, local video files and live TV in VR. There are also social elements to the app, so you can watch things in VR with your friends no matter where they’re located.



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