By Brandon Kerman, June 6th, 2019
The Oculus Quest is Oculus' first all-in-one VR gaming system. The headset offers a premium virtual reality experience, comparable to that of PC-tethered VR devices, without needing to be tethered to a PC.
Because the Quest does not need to connect to a PC to power it, it runs on its own rechargeable power supply. Oculus claims the Quest will run for roughly 2-3 hours on a single charge (a little less for games, and a little more if you are just watching videos), and my testing showed that this claim is fairly accurate. I found that the battery life of the Quest is a slight improvement over the Oculus Go.
Like the Oculus Go, the Quest also has an internal battery that is rechargeable, but this time through an external USB-C port. 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 could run the risk of overheating when in use for longer than 2-3 hours.)
How to Improve Oculus Quest Battery Life
Leaving the Quest Plugged In While Using
The battery for the Quest 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 comes with a long, 6 meter-long cable, presumably so that you can keep playing when it’s charging. That means it’s suddenly tethered again, but at least you have the option to charge and play.
Because the standard cable that comes with the device may not quite suffice, these 10-foot-long USB-C charging cables from Amazon should do the trick due to their thickness and durability:
Turning Off the Quest Correctly
To avoid the battery dying while the Oculus Quest is in standby mode, the device should be fully powered off. To fully power off the Quest when it is not in use, 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 light next to the power button should turn off when the device is powered off.
How Can I Tell If My Oculus Quest Is Off Instead of in Standby/Sleep?
When the Oculus Quest 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 standby mode, the lenses will light up, the Quest will make a noise (indicating that you just turned it on), and the LED light next to the power button will turn on. The light will either be white 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
When it comes to accidentally turning on the Quest, 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 standby mode. This was more of an issue with the Oculus Go, since the Go’s headstrap is made of an elastic material that would often lay on top of and activate the proximity sensor when the device is put down, draining the battery even further.
Luckily, the Quest's headstrap is made of a more rigid, rubbery material that stays out the way of the sensor when the headset is put down. Just make sure that nothing else will 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 battery.
Closing Games/Apps Before Putting it in Standby Mode
If your Oculus Quest 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 Go in standby mode now.
Can I Improve the Quest'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 -> All Settings -> Power -> Auto Sleep dropdown menu:
However, if you want to improve battery the Quest'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 > Power > Auto Wake-Up and switch this mode to off.
- Once this setting is turned off, the button will turn from blue to grey.
You will also find the option for Auto-Sleep right below Auto Wake-Up. Next to it, you'll see options to change the amount of time your headset will stay on before it goes to sleep after inactivity.
- Set your Oculus Quest to go to sleep after 15 seconds of inactivity by clicking on the drop-down menu using your controllers.
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 > Wi-Fi and move the button from right to left, to the off position.
Luckily, since it is possible to use the Quest while it is charging, it is possible to connect an external battery to the Quest via the USB-C port and cable while in use. These are the best options for external batteries you can get for your Oculus Quest:
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.
Check out this article to see how to create your own Quest battery pack to maximize battery as well as comfort with one of the portable batteries listed above.
Is Quick-Charging Oculus Quest with USB-C possible?
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.
These 10-foot-long USB-C Standard charging cables from Amazon should do the trick:
Downloading 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, but don’t worry; if you are able to download these videos directly to your PC somehow, 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.
Rechargeable Batteries for Oculus Quest 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.
If you use an Xbox One controller for your Quest, which takes 2 AA batteries to run, this charger works for it as well. 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 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.
If you're looking for our Oculus Go battery tricks, check out our older article here.
Got any other battery-improving tips you want to share? Think we missed any? Tweet us @baserealityco !