Boot your Oculus headset directly into SteamVR with this free tool

The Oculus Quest two celebrates its top position
(Image credit: Oculus)

In good news for Oculus Quest 2 users, a clever open-source tool called OculusKiller has been released that allows players to bypass the Oculus Dash and load straight into Steam VR. For users who mostly play Steam games in VR, it removes that one little level of frustration on launch.

According to Upload VR, OculusKiller replaces the Oculus dash executable, and instead loads in Steam VR as soon as you turn on the headset. This nifty solution was developed by ItsKaitlyn03 and is available to download on GitHub. You can find more details about this straight-to-Steam workaround there.

What's especially nice about this little fix is it's not too difficult to implement. It only requires one file to be downloaded and placed in the Oculus directory while another one gets renamed. From there it  should all work pretty seamlessly.

OculusKiller's creator, software engineer ItsKaitlyn03, explains that not only does this make it easier to load into Steam VR from launch, turning your Quest into something a bit closer to a native SteamVR headset, but it also helps with performance. 

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(Image credit: Valve)

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By shutting down the Oculus Dash completely, at least 200 MB of memory and GPU performance has been saved thanks to the idle processes no longer running. This makes it potentially a solution for people looking to get a bit more out of their Steam games, even if you aren't too fussed about the initial load-in time and hassle.

Though it's also noted that this will definitely break Oculus-native games. ItsKaitlyn03 says they may still load, but due to the Oculus Dash being shut down you won't be able to exit them. They recommend using Revive to play Oculus games if you're planning to use OculusKiller as well.

Of course, as this is unofficial software you can't expect support. ItsKaitlyn03 has advised there may be bugs, and asks people submit them where possible. 

There's already a few listed, like OculusKiller not working with the very creepy Phasmophobia (which took out our best co-op award back in 2020). Hopefully it will be further refined in time, but OculusKiller already seems like a great solution to get some of your performance and time back when playing VR. 

Hope Corrigan
Hardware Writer

Hope’s been writing about games for about a decade, starting out way back when on the Australian Nintendo fan site Vooks.net. Since then, she’s talked far too much about games and tech for publications such as Techlife, Byteside, IGN, and GameSpot. Of course there’s also here at PC Gamer, where she gets to indulge her inner hardware nerd with news and reviews. You can usually find Hope fawning over some art, tech, or likely a wonderful combination of them both and where relevant she’ll share them with you here. When she’s not writing about the amazing creations of others, she’s working on what she hopes will one day be her own. You can find her fictional chill out ambient far future sci-fi radio show/album/listening experience podcast right here.

No, she’s not kidding.