The latest update for Oculus VR headsets, including the Oculus Quest 2, will make it easier than ever to both invite and join your friends for some VR multiplayer madness.
The update, now available to Oculus developers, features two big additions that make getting involved in multiplayer VR gaming much simpler.
The first of these new features is an 'Invite to App' button found in the Quest universal menu. This allows players to quickly invite friends to whichever game they have open currently, much in the same way the Xbox Series X and Steam allow for quick invites to parties and game sessions.
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In a blog post, Oculus says the Invite to App feature has been tested on several popular titles like Beat Saber, Echo VR, Hyperdash and PokerStars VR among many others, so avid VR multiplayer gamers should be able to jump into matches with friends much faster than before in a wide variety of titles.
The second big addition is being prepared for the Oculus app for iOS and Android devices. Here, users will be able to select a game and generate an invite link they can share with their friends.
Analysis: questing with the besties
This Oculus update is sure to make a lot of VR fans happy, especially those who have multiple friends with other Oculus headsets. VR can often be seen as a traditionally solo or isolated experience, so it's great to see Oculus try to counter that misconception.
As VR continues to blossom as a technology, though, and with developers becoming more confident and ambitious in their projects (we need only look at the blockbuster Half-Life: Alyx for proof of that), more quality-of-life features like this will be needed, especially if online multiplayer becomes VR's next big frontier.
It’s easy to be surprised that Oculus hadn’t integrated something as simple as an Invite to App feature until now, considering it’s largely a standard on both consoles and PC. Oculus should take some solace in that it actually beat Nintendo to the punch, though, as the Switch still doesn’t have a dedicated system for inviting friends to game sessions, with those features instead handled on a per-game basis.
Naturally, we’d love to see the Invite to App update roll out to any and all multiplayer titles that release on VR headsets, and not just the ones outlined in Oculus’s blog post. A real push for VR multiplayer could represent a real selling point for social gamers after something a little different, and potentially even more exhilarating than the usual non-VR competitive fare.
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Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.