By Brandon Kerman, January 5, 2021
The Oculus Quest 2 is Oculus' second iteration of its first all-in-one VR gaming system: the Oculus Quest. With more advanced processing power, redesigned touch controllers, and a higher resolution display, the Quest 2 is a more-improved version of the original standalone VR headset.
Because the Quest 2 does not need to connect to a PC to power it, it runs on its own rechargeable power supply.
According to RoadToVR's Quest 2 teardown, the device has a 3,640mAh (14.0 Wh) lithium-ion pack battery - which is the same capacity as the original Quest. Also similar to the first Quest, the Quest 2 will run roughly 2-3 hours on a single charge (a little less for games, and a little more if you are just watching media).
Like the original Quest, the Quest 2 also has an internal battery that is rechargeable using an external USB-C port and the provided USB-C power adapter. 2-3 hours may seem like not enough time for serious gamers, but it is impressive for a headset that handles all of the processing power itself. Luckily, there are some tips to extend the battery life of the Oculus Quest.
(Keep in mind, the battery of the Oculus Quest 2 could run the risk of overheating when in use for longer than 2-3 hours.)
*Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
Use the Oculus Quest 2 Elite Strap with Battery
Perhaps one of the greatest improvements towards battery life that Oculus has made for the Quest 2 is the Oculus Quest 2 Elite Strap with Battery and Carrying Case. Specifically designed by Oculus for the Quest 2, this accessory will extend the battery life of your headset by almost double.
The Quest 2 is smaller, lighter, and more comfortable than its predecessor. However, the stock strap it is included with can be a bit uncomfortable since it places a lot of pressure on the front of the head. The Quest 2 Elite Strap improved the fit, but users still reported discomfort for the same reason.
Oddly enough, the Oculus Quest 2 Elite Strap with Battery and Carrying Case (yes, it has a long name) enhances comfort even more because the battery (located in the back) acts as a counterweight to offset the pressure. The Elite Strap with Battery can extend the overall battery life of the Quest 2 to about 5-6 hours, which is almost double the time without it. Also, it includes an Oculus carrying case similar to the original Quest travel case.
At $129 USD, it is the most expensive accessory Oculus offers, but if you are looking for a great way to extend the battery life of a single session without interruption, this accessory justifies its heavy cost.
The strap gives you a few more hours of VR playtime with improved comfort and the carrying case is a sleek and solid build that will allow you to safely store and transport your Quest 2.
Be advised, the Quest 2 and the Elite Strap with Battery both utilize “Optimized Battery Charging." Optimized Battery Charging takes multiple factors into account in order to provide the best overall charging and usage experience. This means that the battery may not charge to 100% at all times while in use.
If you are interested in getting just a case, see our article for the best travel cases for the Oculus Quest.
Leave the Quest 2 Plugged In While Using
The battery for the Quest 2 is designed for heavy usage and can be used while it is charging, so you won’t run into the conflict of having to sacrifice usage for charge time.
Your best bet would be to plug in a long and sturdy USB-C charging cable during use with enough slack so you can move your head freely without feeling restricted to a charging source.
Luckily, the Quest 2 comes with a long, 6 meter-long cable, presumably so that you can keep playing when it’s charging. That means it will be tethered to something, but at least you have the option to charge and play.
Oculus recommends that you use the provided charger since it has been tested to work optimally with the headset, but you will still be able to charge your headset's battery with other USB-C cables.
Because the standard cable that comes with the device may not quite suffice, these USB-C charging cables should do the trick due to their thickness, durability, length, and affordability:
Anker 10ft USB 3.0 and CableCreation 16ft USB 3.0 active extender combo
Oculus Link allows the Quest and Quest 2 to become PC-caliber VR headsets by allowing them to tether to a VR ready PC. Oculus sells its own Oculus Link cable that is designed to be long, light, and thin. However, it comes at a steep $79 USD cost.
As an Oculus Link-compatible alternative, there is something cheaper and just as effective - this cable and active USB extender which reaches a total of 26 feet:
The reliability of this braided cable can withstand the kind of wear and tear that is expected from use with the Quest 2.
- Anker Powerline+ (Amazon)
Belkin USB-IF Certified Cable
Certified by the USB Implementers Forum, this cable is manufactured with precision to protect your Quest 2's components in order to meet all your charging needs.
- Belkin USB-IF Certified Cable (Amazon)
Cable Matters USB-C Cable
This budget cable provides an affordable but reliable option to charge your Quest 2. This cable comes in a value pack of 3.
- Cable Matters USB-C Cable (Amazon)
UGREEN USB-C to USB-C Cable
If you are just looking for another cable similar to the one included with your Quest 2 (minus the plug), this one serves as a perfectly good USB-C to USB-C replacement.
- UGREEN USB-C to USB-C Cable (Amazon)
Use an External Battery
If you are leaving the Quest 2 plugged in while using it, you're probably going to need an external battery to go along with it. Putting one of these external batteries in your pocket or using a waist clip is the best way to minimize restriction and maximize usage time.
These are the best options for external batteries you can get for your Oculus Quest 2 due to their charging capabilities and portability:
Aukey 10000mAh Power Bank With Power Delivery
This external battery features a 10,000mAh battery, a USB-C port with PD, a USB-A port with Quick Charge 3.0, and a traditional 5V USB-A port. Impressively for such a large-capacity battery, recharging it takes just four hours via USB-C with an 18W charging adapter.
Aukey 8000mAh Sprint Wireless Charging Power Bank
This external battery is an inexpensive way to quickly charge your Quest 2. This svelte power bank supports wireless charging via the Qi standard and has a USB-C port with PD 2.0, along with a USB-A port with PD 3.0. There's even a 5W USB-A port with adaptive charging for low-energy devices such as Bluetooth headphones and wearables.
Native Union Jump+ Wireless PowerbankIn addition to sporting a 12,000mAh battery, this external battery supports wireless charging up to 5W with Qi-compatible devices. It also has a Quick Charge 3.0 USB-A port and a USB-C port that supports PD 3.0.
RavPower USB-C Portable Charger 20100 Power Bank with QC 3.0
This external battery holds a massive 20,1000mAh in a relatively small case, so it can easily recharge your Quest 2 several times and even give your laptop a decent power boost. It features a USB-A port with Quick Charge 3.0, a traditional 2.4V USB-A port, and a 3A USB-C port for laptops.
Turn Off the Quest 2 Correctly
To avoid the battery dying while the Oculus Quest 2 is in standby mode, the device should be fully powered off when not in use. To fully power off the Quest, press and hold the power button while wearing the headset for 1 second until the power menu appears, then choose the Power off option.
Alternatively, you can just hold down the power button on the front of the headset for 5 seconds to do a hard shutdown. The white LED indicator light next to the power button should turn off and the power-down chime should play when the device is powered off.
How Can I Tell If My Quest 2 is Off, Instead of in Sleep Mode?
When the Oculus Quest 2 is off, the LED light next to the power button will remain off as well. It won’t be activated by the proximity sensor either. There are two ways to tell whether the device is off rather than in standby mode. The first way is to put your finger in front of the proximity sensor.
If the device is in sleep mode, it will automatically "wake up" when it senses that the headset has been placed on someone's head. When this happens, the lenses will light up, the Quest 2 will play a power-up chime, and the LED light next to the power button will turn on. The light will either be white if sufficiently charged or orange-red if the battery is low.
The second method of checking would be to click the power button to achieve the same result as putting your finger in front of the proximity sensor. If you click the power button and nothing happens, this means that your device is either fully powered off or dead. To turn on the Quest, simply hold down the power button for 5 seconds or until the LED turns on.
Avoid Accidentally Turning On the Quest 2
When it comes to accidentally turning on the Quest 2, the proximity sensor is the main culprit. Because the device is designed to automatically turn on when you put it on your head, there are instances where the device turns on by accident when it is supposed to be in sleep mode. When the headset is in sleep mode, power will still drain from the device, although much more slowly than when it’s in use.
Similar to the headstrap of the Oculus Go, the headstrap of the Quest 2 is made of an elastic material that has the potential to lay on top of and activate the proximity sensor when the device is put down, draining the battery even further. This was something that was fixed with the original Quest, which was made of a more rigid, rubbery material that stays out of the way of the sensor when the headset is put down.
However, Oculus' design choice was to go back to the elastic headstrap for Quest 2.
Make sure that the headstrap does not get in the way of the sensor when the headset is not in use, and you will have one less thing causing unnecessary drainage of the battery.
This can also be avoided by turning off Auto Wake-Up. See further on how to do so.
Closing Games/Apps Before Putting it in Sleep Mode
If your Oculus Quest 2 is running a program such as a game that uses a good amount of processing power to run, it will eat up your battery more quickly than if you were doing something less extensive such as watching a video. Make sure that if you are running a game that you suspect is utilizing a lot of processing power, to quit it before putting the device in standby mode.
Leaving it in standby mode while the app continues to run is likely to drain your battery. To do this, simply click the Oculus button while running an app, and an option to Quit or Resume will prompt.
Make sure to select the Quit option. This will take you back to whichever main menu you accessed the app from initially. It is safe to put the Quest 2 in standby mode now.
Can I Improve the Quest 2's Battery Life by Adjusting its Settings?
It takes approximately 15 seconds for the device to go back into standby mode once contact with the proximity sensor has been ceased (removing it from your head, taking your finger off the sensor, etc.). This time interval can be found/adjusted adjusted in Settings -> Device -> Power -> Auto Sleep dropdown menu:
However, if you want to improve battery the Quest 2's battery life, it is recommended to keep this setting at 15 seconds since it is the lowest time interval that can be selected. Otherwise, if the time interval was changed to a greater value, the device would remain active for longer when it is put down, draining the battery even further when not in use.
Also, turn off Auto Wake-Up. Having this setting on will keep your headset awake and on low power mode, even when not in use. Turning this off will save some power.
- To do this, go into Settings -> Device -> Power -> Auto Wake-Up and switch this mode to off.
- Once this setting is turned off, the button will turn from blue to grey.
Turn off your headsets Wi-Fi once a game has finished downloading to your headset or if you don't plan on using any apps that require Wi-Fi such as Netflix, YouTube, RecRoom, VRChat, or Oculus Browser.
- Go to Settings -> Quick Actions -> Wi-Fi and turn the switch from the on position to the off position
While you are turning off your Wi-Fi, you can also switch your headset to Do Not Disturb just below the Wi-Fi setting in Settings -> Quick Actions. Doing this will turn off those pesky notifications while you're in VR, which can use up your battery.
Download Videos in Advance Instead of Streaming
If you are mostly using your VR headset for watching videos, you can save a little bit of battery life by saving the videos or movies directly to the headset rather than streaming them upon viewing. Netflix and Youtube do not support direct downloading through their websites/apps for the Quest 2, but don’t worry; if you are able to download these videos directly to your PC or Mac, you will be able to upload them to your Quest. This does save processing power, even if it is just a little bit.
Assuming that resolution/quality is the same for both formats with the same screen brightness on the same device, watching anything locally will use up less battery.
Just think about it, your wifi modem isn't running at full power, you're not using extra application processes in streaming the content from the cloud, and CPU throttling is generally more aggressive as fewer resources are being consumed.
Once you start playing locally it's no longer using the network, and only reading from memory.
Luckily, uploading videos to the Quest isn’t hard at all. The device comes with a USB-C port for charging purposes. However, you can also use the same port and USB-C cable that the Quest ships with to connect the headset to your computer’s USB port and transfer data.
Is Quick-Charging Quest 2 with USB-C possible?
As previously mentioned, the Quest 2 has a 3,640mAh (14.0 Wh) lithium-ion pack battery. Feedback from Oculus Support states that all normal USB-C Chargers are supported for Oculus Quest and they advise to not use any quick chargers because the built-in battery is not developed for any quick charging solutions.
Oculus recommends just using the standard USB-C cable that comes with the device to charge it normally, but also mentioned that any USB-C cable can be used to do so as well.
As long as your power source can supply a stable 5 volts 2.4 amps rate you can charge AND play your Quest at the same time. Meaning you don't need a "quick charger battery" to charge it and play. Most standard external battery packs and various wall plugs will work for it. The battery may charge slower though when using 2.4 amps versus something closer to 3 amps.
Rechargeable Batteries for Oculus Quest 2 Touch Controllers
If you really want to avoid an encounter with dead batteries all around, you can load your Oculus Quest Touch Controllers with rechargeable batteries. Each controller takes a single AA battery to run, and this rechargeable battery charger is small and convenient enough to take with on-the-go, or in a case that you store your Quest in.
The charger can charge up to 4 batteries at a time. Granted, you have to buy the batteries separately, but they are worth the investment in the long run.
Because 2-3 hours of use in a single charge may be short to some, these tips will help users of the Oculus Quest 2 extend this time period for even longer. Be careful though, although the battery is durable, you may run the risk of overheating it and the device when extending its battery life beyond what is intended.
Got any other battery-improving tips you want to share? Think we missed any? Tweet us @baserealityco!