Are you trying to enjoy some wireless PC VR gaming on your Quest / Quest 2 but simply can not get Air Link working properly?
Whether the software is unable to find your PC, the connection simply won’t launch or you are greeted with a black screen and 3 white dots only to be thrown back to the regular Oculus Home environment afterward.
Since various problems with Air Link seem to be quite widespread, I did some research and testing on my own to compile a list of possible solutions to the different issues.
That being said, here are steps you can take if your Oculus Air Link connection is not working:
- Check for PC compatibility
- Turn everything off and back on again
- Update software & drivers
- Do a clean Oculus software install
- Disable Firewall / Antivirus (temporarily)
- Disable VPN
- Force using dedicated GPU (laptop)
- Test with Virtual Desktop / Oculus Link
- Facory Reset
- Contact Oculus Support
Let does next dive into each of the different solutions in a bit more detail.
1) Check for PC Compatibility
While researching the topic, I saw so many people trying to get Air Link working with an ancient potato PC. This is often very unlikely or straightforward impossible to achieve (minimum requirements are there for a reason).
Go and check the requirements for Oculus Link and make sure your PC stacks up. One of the most common problems for people seems to be that their graphics card just doesn’t have enough computing power for Air Link and VR in general.
Also keep in mind that if your PC specs are on the lower end, you might have a difficult time getting optimal performance, especially for the more demanding games.
2) Turn Everything Off and Back On Again
If you have verified that your PC has enough beef to run VR games, the next step is very simple: just turn everything off and then back on again.
- Disable Air Link in Oculus PC app
- Restart your PC
- Disable Air link In your Headset
- Reset Experimental features
- Restart your headset
- Launch Oculus software
- Enable Air Link
- Enable and launch Air Link from headset
With software, quite often starting from a “blank sheet” helps with a variety of different problems. Follow the steps to see if you now have more luck in getting Air Link working properly.
3) Update Software & Drivers
The general golden rule for Air Link and software, in general, is to make sure that all your software and drivers are up-to-date. This ensures that you have the latest compatibility and bug fixes applied to your system.
That being said, make sure you have:
- Latest Oculus Software installed on your PC
- Headset updated and running on matching software release
- Windows updates applied
- Latest graphics card drivers installed
There is a caveat here, though.
Sometimes the latest set of software/driver releases may actually cause issues instead of solving them. For example, Nvidia 30XX graphics card owners have had to downgrade their drivers to get Air Link working.
If in doubt, I recommend you to keep an eye on the Oculus forum and related Reddit threads. If something is out of the ordinary, people here are sure to notify others and discuss the matter in more detail.
4) Do a Oculus Software Clean Reinstall
Sometimes Oculus software can run into unexpected states and a set of configuration files where regular uninstall – install doesn’t have the desired effect.
For this reason, it is a good idea to manually clean any leftover files and do a clean Oculus software reinstall:
- Remove Oculus software using Windows “Add or remove programs”
- Delete Oculus folders from:
- C:\Program Files
- Restart Your PC
- Download Oculus Setup and retry the installation
After Oculus software installation completes, enable Air Link again and see if you have more luck establishing the connection.
5) Disable Firewall / Antivirus (Temporarily)
I am going to start with the fact that disabling your firewall and/or antivirus is almost never a good idea. That being said, for debugging your Air Link connectivity issues, I am going to ask you to do exactly that (temporarily)
Disable your Firewall as well Antivirus software and check whether you are now able to establish an Air Link connection.
If you were now successful in your attempt, determine which software was causing the connection problem and re-enable both of them. Now take use google and try to find a permanent solution (adding exceptions, etc) for your problem where both Antivirus and Firewall remain enabled on your PC!
Note! Oculus states in their support documentation that port 5669 (TCP) must be open. Make sure your firewall is not blocking it!
If disabling firewall and antivirus had no effect on your Air Link connection then leave them enabled and proceed to the next steps.
6) Disable VPN
If you don’t have any VPN service installed, then move on to the next step.
If you do, then you must know that some Virtual Private Network (VPN) services are known to cause issues when trying to use Oculus Air Link.
For debugging reasons, go ahead and disable your VPN and try establishing an Oculus Air Link connection again.
If the connection now succeeds, you can either keep the VPN disabled when using Oculus Air Link or try to work around the problem within your VPN settings.
7) Force Using Dedicated GPU (Laptop)
If you are a laptop user, your Oculus Air Link issues might be caused by the fact that the system is using the integrated graphics card (GPU) for Oculus processes (instead of the more powerful dedicated GPU).
The Oculus files/processes that we are interested in are following:
- C:\Program Files\Oculus\Support\oculus-runtime\OVRRedir.exe
- C:\Program Files\Oculus\Support\oculus-runtime\OVRServer_x64.exe
- C:\Program Files\Oculus\Support\oculus-runtime\OVRServiceLauncher.exe
- C:\Program Files\Oculus\Support\oculus-client\OculusClient.exe
To force Windows to use the dedicated GPU for these Oculus processes do the following:
- Press Windows Key and search for “Graphics Settings”
- Click “Browse” and add all of the above files.
- For each file added, click on “Options”
- Select “High performance” mode from the settings
- Save and restart your laptop
After restarting, try launching the Oculus Air Link connection again and see if starts successfully.
8) Try Testing With Oculus Link / Virtual Desktop
One sure thing to try out is using regular wired Oculus Link and/or Virtual Desktop instead of Air Link.
For example, you can test Oculus Link with the charging cable that came with your Quest / Quest 2 headset. Make sure to disable “Air Link” prior to establishing the regular Oculus Link connection.
If you are successfully able to establish an Oculus Link connection (and achieve optimal performance), you’ll know that your PC is good enough and the problem is either in your router, network, or Air Link specific configuration.
You could also test wireless PCVR with Virtual Desktop, which is much more polished compared to Air Link at this point. Granted, you will have to spend some dollars to get Virtual Desktop in the first place.
Trying different software implementations will give you additional insight into the Air Link problems you are having. Or you may decide to stick with Virtual Desktop and not spend any more time on problem debugging.
9) Do a Factory Reset
Although I personally do not like the solution, as a last resort option, you could try factory resetting your Quest / Quest 2 headset.
There are two main ways to complete the factory reset on your headset described in the Oculus manual.
Do keep in mind that you will have to reinstall all your games on the headset and you will also love game data, videos, pictures, etc!
10) Contact Oculus Support
The final recommendation I can give is to ask for help from the Oculus Support team.
When creating the support ticket, make sure to:
- Include your PC specifications
- Describe your overall setup
- Include Oculus logs from last 24h
- Give a list of all the things you have done to resolve the issue yourself.
Being very detailed and specific from the beginning will save you from the “standard replies” from the Support team and get to the actual problem (and hopefully solution) more quickly.