Oculus Quest VR headsets are being held to ransom by Facebook – and your VR games are at risk

Oculus Quest 2
(Image credit: Oculus)

You read that right. The latest twist in Facebook's U-turn over the integration of Facebook accounts with Oculus VR headsets is quite a doozy – and it has some bad consequences for those in the midst of buying their first VR headset. 

And yes, that includes a risk of losing your VR games and Oculus platform access if you ever deactivate or delete your Facebook account.

This news was first broken by CEO of Yur – a dev studio for fitness-minded games – who tweeted that deactivating your Facebook account would disable your Oculus profile too, and deleting it would "also delete your Oculus information" such as "app purchases and your achievements". So if you ever decide the Facebook ecosystem isn't for you, or you want a break, your Oculus headset is immediately bricked. (This has been confirmed by UploadVR too.)

This has understandably rubbed some users up the wrong way – and makes a very strong case for not connecting your Oculus VR headset to your Facebook for as long as you can help it. Unfortunately, new VR users these days have to connect a Facebook account, so anyone with the new Oculus Quest 2 will have their hands tied – and anyone still sporting an older model without Facebook integration will require it by 2023.

This all stems from a promise made by former Oculus CEO Palmer Luckey, back in 2014 when Facebook first acquired the promising VR startup. At the time, he said "I guarantee that you won’t need to log into your Facebook account every time you wanna use the Oculus Rift."

That guarantee no longer stands, however. Luckey is no longer at the company, and Facebook's continued integration of its various VR and AR ventures is coming to a head.

Locking users out of their VR hardware because they want to temporarily pause their social media usage is petty as it is. But the prospect of losing all your VR games and progress, all because Facebook wants to keep you in its ecosystem, is an even harder pill to swallow.

The quest for good VR

The news comes amid the launch of the Oculus Quest 2 headset, an iteration on the hugely popular Quest that released in mid-2019. The new model has beefed-up RAM and chip specs, a 50% increase in resolution, a 90Hz panel, and lighter hardware for a better experience across the board. The controllers have twice the battery life over those that shipped with the Quest, too.

In our review, we called it "one of the top options around for beginners and seasoned VR veterans alike".

It's a shame, then, that Facebook's oversight of Oculus' operations is restricting access to the platform – flying in the face of VR's image as a new medium full of possibilities.

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.