The Oculus Quest 2 was recently announced, an upgrade to Facebook´s premier VR headset. Cheaper and with better specs than it´s predecessor, if paired with Oculus Link, not only is it compatible with all the games that the original Quest had access to, but with all the PC VR games as well.
It sounds like quite the deal, but there is something that holds it back in the minds of many potential users. It is the first headset that is fully integrated with Facebook. What does this mean?
Do you need a Facebook profile to play with the Oculus Quest 2?
Yes, you can´t play on an Oculus Quest 2 unless you have a Facebook or Oculus account (and this latter alternative is limited, as we´ll soon explain). When you boot up your Quest 2, the headset will prompt you to login with a Facebook account. If you don´t have one (and don´t want to create one either), then you can´t play with the VR platform.
The one alternative to a Facebook login is only available if you already have an Oculus account before you buy the Quest 2. How do you create such an account? Well, you can´t anymore, as of October 2020. The integration with Facebook has made away with the need for an Oculus profile.
If you do have an Oculus account, then you can use it to forgo the Facebook login. This account, however, has an expiration date. After 2023, Facebook will delete all Oculus accounts and you´ll be forced to use their login instead.
To prevent losing all your info, you can already "merge" your Oculus account with your Facebook profile. When you do this, you will keep all your Oculus information, but use your Facebook credentials to log in.
The good news is that any Facebook profile will work with the new VR headset, including one that you create just to log in to the Oculus Quest 2. If you don´t want to use Zuckerberg's social network or link your main account to your VR platform, all you need to create a new profile is an email and not much else.
A word of warning, however. If you delete your Facebook account or get it permanently banned, then you will lose access to all your Oculus games and content. After deleting your account, you have a 30 day "grace period" where you can reverse the process and reactive it again, but after that, all your game will be lost forever.
If I need to log-in to Facebook to play, can I use the Oculus Quest 2 in offline mode?
For the moment, you can still play offline. You only need to be connected when you boot up the Quest and login for the first time or when you download games. If you already have a game installed on your headset, there is no need to connect to the internet to play.
While you are offline, no data will be sent to Facebook. However, as soon as you reconnect again, the data will be sent as usual without delay. You have no choice in this matter. As long as you are online, Oculus will send your play data.
What data does Facebook record? Will it share it with my friends?
If you are worried about your VR games appearing on your FB timeline, don´t be. Facebook will not show your game data with your public FB profile (unless you want to). Your Oculus and FB friend lists will also be kept separated if you want. Finally, you can adjust your name so that other VR players can´t find you by searching with your IRL name.
That said, Facebook will still record some of your data for private use and to "improve your experience and show you personalized content". This mostly means they will use it to give you more personalized ads on FB (Don´t worry, they won´t "currently" show you ads while you are playing in VR ).
But exactly what data is Facebook recording? Well, in their own words:
"The VR apps you use, so we can recommend new apps you haven’t tried yet."
"Your Facebook friend list, to make it easier to find and interact with your Facebook friends who are also in VR."
"Invites and acceptances for events you create."
"Your photos and related content like captions likes and comments if you share photos from VR to Facebook."
"Information like your name and messaging metadata for chats in VR, so that you have access to your chats across devices."
"Information about your VR activity, like which apps you use, to show you ads for other VR apps you may like."
"Information about your activity on other Facebook products, such as Pages you like and groups you join, to recommend content and things to do in VR."
There is (currently) no way to opt-out of giving Facebook the aforementioned data. If you use an Oculus headset and are connected to the internet, you will tacitly agree to share your info in their terms and services.
Well, I don´t like that, can I keep playing with my old Quest or Rift instead?
You can, but both platforms are being discontinued. After October 2020, you will only be able to buy them on the second-hand market. Not that this means a lot, as Facebook is updating their terms of services to capture data and make their log-in mandatory across all Oculus platforms.
So, while you may not need to log-in with your Facebook profile when you play on the Rift, the platform will still record and send your information back to Oculu´s servers. Also, if you buy a Rift a year from now and want to play with it, you will be forced to use your Facebook login if you don´t already have an Oculus account before October 2020.
And that´s it, if you have more questions about the Oculus Quest 2, let me know in the comments and I´ll see if I can answer. If this article made you doubt getting a Quest 2, check out our comparison between the Quest and the Index to help you decide.
If you already own a Playstation VR, you can try to avoid buying a headset to play PC VR games with a little trick that we can show you here.