Many people ask if Elder Scrolls Skyrim can be played on Meta (Oculus) Quest 2 VR headset. The short answer is YES but let’s discuss all details below.
The Elder Scrolls franchise began all the way back in 1994. The first entry in the series, Arena, changed how people looked at computer role-playing games.
CRPGs had always presented large worlds. But Elder Scrolls took that idea in a whole new direction and essentially popularized the concept of an open-world fantasy RPG.
Players suddenly had true freedom to create their own storyline within a living digital world.
Every Elder Scrolls release since that point has pushed the concept of true gaming freedom even further.
The Elder Scrolls games have become synonymous with the feeling of true immersion in a world of fantasy and adventure.
Skyrim is the most recent mainline release in the Elder Scrolls franchise. And it’s been continually tweaked and updated over the years to provide a more immersive experience for players.
But this has made many people wonder if it’s possible to meld the game with some of the most cutting edge technologies in order to create an even more immersive experience.
In short, does Skyrim work with VR systems like the Oculus Quest 2?
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Can You Play Skyrim VR on Oculus/Meta Quest 2?
The short answer is that yes, you can use Skyrim with the Oculus Quest 2.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can simply start up the standard Skyrim release and enjoy a full VR experience.
Skyrim essentially comes in different versions. The standard version is what most people think of when talking about Skyrim.
This is essentially a continually upgraded version of the game initially released all the way back in 2011.
It’s received a tremendous amount of upgrades since that time. But it hasn’t received, and probably never will receive, VR support. But a special version of Skyrim, called Skyrim VR, was released in 2017.
Skyrim VR is essentially the same game as the standard version of Skyrim. It benefits from all of the same quality of life upgrades, gameplay tweaks, and updates as the standard version of Skyrim.
The main difference is simply that you can use VR headsets with Skyrim VR. You will find a few other minor differences between the VR and standard versions of Skyrim.
For example, Skyrim VR has a brief tutorial on special controls for VR systems. Skyrim VR also provides some gameplay tweaks to help people who are prone to motion sickness when using VR.
All of this highlights the fact that Skyrim has excellent support for VR. Many games rely on 3rd party support for VR integration.
But Skyrim has had official support for VR since 2017. This gives you a gameplay experience that’s been carefully honed over the years to provide an optimal VR experience.
How Can You Play Skyrim VR on Oculus/Meta Quest 2?
Playing Skyrim VR on the Oculus Quest 2 is fairly easy. However, the Oculus Quest 2 operates a little differently than the average VR system.
As such, it’s important to keep a few points in mind when using it with Skyrim. The first thing to keep in mind is the name.
When Facebook rebranded as Meta it began to roll out the new naming convention for many of its products. But no matter whether the headset is called the Oculus Quest 2 or the Meta Quest 2, you can use it with Skyrim.
The next quirk of the Oculus Quest 2 is how it handles linking to your PC. The original Oculus Quest relied on an internal Android system for its software. But the developers eventually added full support for the PC tethering found in the original Oculus hardware.
This created a unique system for the Oculus Quest. From that point onward, players could choose from both native onboard VR apps and VR-enabled software on their PCs.
You’ll generally find that graphically intensive games run through PC tethering. And saying that Skyrim fits into that category would be an understatement.
Skyrim is generally more graphically intense than PC VR games. And various mods and options let you push that graphical intensity even further.
For all these reasons and more, Skyrim is only playable on an Oculus Quest 2 through a link to your gaming PC.
And it’s unlikely that this will ever change. Hoping for a fully native Oculus Quest 2 version of Skyrim is essentially like hoping Skyrim will be ported to mobile.
But thankfully it’s easier than ever to connect your Oculus Quest 2 to your computer to play Skyrim VR through a speedy link.
The Oculus Quest 2 recently added a new way to connect to PCs. You can now choose between a standard wired connection and a new wireless “Oculus Air Link“.
However, Air Link is still considered an experimental feature. To enable Air Link you’ll need to go into the settings for your Oculus Quest 2. Then look in the Experimental Features section.
From there, you can click Air Link. This will give you some information about system requirements. You can finish the Air Link setup process by simply clicking continue once those requirements come up.
Air Link will proceed to find your PC and help you connect to it. From that point on you can essentially use Air Link to connect to Skyrim VR in the same way you would when using a wired connection.
Skyrim VR should work equally well with either option as long as your wireless setup is fast enough.
Despite the fact that Air Link is considered experimental, it’s generally the best way to play Skyrim VR.
Air Link gives you the ability to move around freely without needing to worry about a USB cord linking your headset to your computer. And this is even more important if you play to use mods that provide extra gesture-based functionality.
Skyrim VR generally benefits significantly from environments where you can move around freely.
Do I Have To Buy Skyrim Again for VR?
The good news about VR support in Skyrim is that it’s polished and fully supported by Bethesda.
The bad news is that Skyrim VR isn’t just the name of a free update to the main game. Skyrim VR and Skyrim are essentially the same game in terms of in-game content.
But you do have to buy Skyrim VR as a separate game even if you already own the standard Skyrim release. In fact, Skyrim VR isn’t even sold at a budget or DLC level cost.
Skyrim VR is priced at a fairly comparable point to the standard desktop Skyrim. This can be a little disappointing at first. But keep in mind that this is one of the very few AAA, open-world, games with full VR support.
The cost might be higher than expected. But you’re also getting to play a type of VR game that’s still years away from becoming mainstream. In short, Bethesda’s found a way to provide a type of VR experience that’s still cost-prohibitive to develop independently from a standard desktop release. The additional cost is unfortunate but understandable.
Can Skyrim VR Be Modded?
Anyone familiar with Skyrim will be just as curious about mods as they are about whether Skyrim has VR support at all.
Mods in most games are just a nice addition. Gamers are typically happy to find out that a game they’re playing can be modded. But it’s hardly enough to make or break their willingness to play in the first place.
Elder Scrolls games have been an exception to that rule for a long time now. Mods have been an essential part of the Elder Scrolls experience ever since the franchise first made its leap onto Windows from DOS.
And for most PC gamers, the idea of playing Skyrim is synonymous with the idea of using mods. Mods can fix bugs, add new functionality, enhance graphics, and add quite literally hundreds of additional hours into your gaming experience.
Over a decades worth of mods have essentially doubled or even tripled the content in Skyrim.
Thankfully, Skyrim VR has full modding support. You’ll be able to use the vast majority of your favorite Skyrim mods with Skyrim VR.
And you can even use familiar tools like Vortex to install and manage mods. But that’s really only the tip of the iceberg.
Skyrim VR doesn’t just support mods, it supports mods for the VR subsystem. This means that you can benefit from a large team of independent coders who’ve tweaked and enhanced Skyrim VR’s already strong virtual reality system.
There are far too many mods for Skyrim VR to give them all the attention they deserve. But some VR mods are important enough that every Skyrim VR player should consider them when setting up their Oculus Quest 2. The first is a familiar name to anyone who’s used mods in Skyrim – SkyUI.
SkyUI provides a much-needed overhaul to the user interface in the standard Skyrim release. And SkyUI-VR does something similar with Skyrim VR.
SkyUI-VR makes Skyrim even easier to use with VR interfaces. And this can be further enhanced with HIGGS.
The HIGGS mod adds better hand collision and detection to Skyrim VR. This is best used alongside SkyUI-VR to fully improve every interactive element of the game. You’ll be able to more naturally control both in-game actions and the user interface with these mods.
Skyrim VR’s interface can be further enhanced for specific usage scenarios. For example, imagine how immersive it’d be to cast magic spells with hand gestures.
The Mage VR mod will make that dream a reality. The Simple Realistic Archery mod provides a similar enhancement to the archery system. One of the best things about these and similar mods is that you can choose whether to use them or not.
Many people prefer some level of abstraction in their VR gaming. However, other people like to go the opposite route and tie as much as possible to VR controls. Mods give you the power to take the gameplay in either direction.
There are also some more advanced mods. Dyndolod and Dragonborn Speaks Naturally are the most popular examples of advanced mods.
Dyndolod provides a more immersive and detailed view of the larger world around you. And Dragonborn Speaks Naturally uses voice recognition to let you actually speak to NPCs using your own voice rather than just selecting text options.
All of this highlights one of the most important aspects of using Skyrim with the Oculus Quest 2. You’re not just playing Skyrim through a remote display. You’re playing a version of Skyrim that’s been specially enhanced to take full advantage of your Oculus Quest/Meta 2.
This enhancement includes both official support and mods. Every part of Skyrim VR is tailored to provide you with a truly unique gameplay experience that builds upon, but is still distinct from, the standard Skyrim experience.
Skyrim isn’t just available on the Oculus/Meta Quest 2. It’s been ported in a way that truly makes it worth buying as a standalone release.