Nothing can ruin your VR gaming experience quite like lags.
And it’s a common issue when connecting an Oculus to a PC via Air Link.
Fortunately, there are several effective fixes for this problem.
And I’d be more than happy to walk you through each of them.
Keep reading to discover:
- The most common reasons why an Oculus Air Link is laggy or stuttering.
- 9 proven fixes to prevent lags when connecting your PC to Oculus via Air Link.
- How to use the Oculus Debug Tool to fix your VR headset and PC’s connection.
- And a lot more…
Why is my Oculus Air Link laggy / stuttering?
Your Oculus Air Link is laggy or stuttering due to your connection setup. This issue usually happens when you link your PC to the router wirelessly. Moreover, you may also experience lags if your VR headset is using a 2.4 GHz network band. And outdated drivers may also cause this problem.
Oculus Air Link laggy / stuttering: 9 fixes
#1: Use an ethernet cable to connect your PC to your router
Technically, Air Link can work even if your PC and Oculus are connected to the router wirelessly.
However, this setup isn’t really ideal.
According to Meta’s official website, this forces the Air Link data to go through the same channel twice.
In other words, this setup makes data transmission inefficient between your devices.
And an easy solution is to simply connect your computer to the router via an ethernet cable.
But take note. You can’t just use any ethernet cable.
What works best for Air Link is either a Cat5 or a Cat6 cable. The former has a maximum transfer speed of 100 Mbps. While the latter has 1 Gbps.
And any ethernet cable category below those 2 will still cause lags.
“How much does a Cat5 or Cat6 cable cost?”
Well, that would depend on factors such as its length or manufacturer.
But here are some of the best-reviewed ones that you can buy:
|CENTROPOWER||Cat5e||100 ft (30 m)||$14.99|
|Maxlin Cable||Cat6||50 ft (15 m)||$14.99|
|Ercielook||Cat6||100 ft (30 m)||$19.99|
#2: Connect your Oculus headset to a dedicated 5 GHz band network
In addition to using an ethernet cable for your PC and router…
Meta also recommends that you connect your VR headset to a 5 GHz WiFi network.
Well, this is because the data transfer is much faster in a 5 GHz frequency band compared to 2.4 GHz.
To be more specific, the 2.4 GHz can only support a maximum WiFi speed of about 600 Mbps.
By comparison, the 5 GHz band can support up to 1.3 Gbps. Moreover, since this technology is relatively new, fewer devices are using it. So it’s not as congested as the 2.4 GHz band.
Now, most modern routers are dual-band. This means they can support both the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz bands.
So unless your router is really old, you should be able to connect to WiFi via the 5GHz band.
How to connect your Oculus VR headset to a 5 GHz network
Step #1: Wear your headset and turn it on.
Step #2: Press the Oculus button on your right controller. It’s the 1 with the oval logo.
Step #3: Look for the clock on the left of the Universal Menu. Then click it.
Step #4: Select Quick Settings.
Step #5: Navigate to WiFi. And toggle it on.
Step #6: When the list of available WiFi networks appears, look for your home network. And select the 1 that has a “5” or a “5G” beside its name.
Step #7: Enter your password. It should be the same as your 2.4 GHz network. That is unless you or someone in your household actually created a separate password for the 5 GHz band.
In which case, type that instead.
“What if I can’t find a 5 GHz network?”
If that’s the case, you’ll have to get in touch with your internet service provider. And request a dual-band router.
If you’d like to know more about frequency bands, check out this video:
#3: Ensure that your router is within your playing area
So I just mentioned that the 5 GHz band is much faster than the 2.4 GHz.
However, here’s the main drawback about it:
Its coverage is more limited compared to the 2.4 GHz band. Moreover, it’s also not as good at penetrating walls and other obstructions.
That’s why if you’re going to use a 5 GHz band for your Oculus headset…
You should also be playing in the same room as your router.
Or, at the very least, the router should be within your line of sight. Even if it’s in an adjacent room, you should still be able to physically see it.
Otherwise, your Oculus headset might keep disconnecting to WiFi.
In addition, your router should also be at least 3 ft (1 m) off the ground. This is a simple way to boost its signal.
Further reading: Oculus Quest 2 WiFi Limited Connection
#4: Reestablish your PC and headset’s Air Link connection
Now, even if you’ve already followed the first 3 fixes…
It’s still possible to experience lags with Air Link. And it can be due to the fact that glitches can happen while trying to pair your headset to your PC wirelessly.
So an easy fix you can try is to disable and re-enable Air Link.
How to disable Air Link
Step #1: Put on your Oculus headset.
Step #2: Press the Oculus button on your right Touch controller.
Step #3: Select the clock within the menu and click Quick Settings.
Step #4: Click the Quest Link panel.
Step #5: Look for the toggle beside Quest Link and switch it on.
Step #6: Click the Air Link toggle to turn this feature off. This will disable the wireless connection between your PC and VR headset.
Step #7: Press the Oculus button again to exit the menu.
Now, wait for about a minute or 2. And then reestablish your computer and headset’s wireless connection.
How to reconnect your Oculus to your PC via Air Link
Step #1: Launch the Universal Menu again by clicking your right controller’s Oculus button.
Step #2: Open Quick Settings. Just press the clock on your screen to do so.
Step #3: Click System then select Quest Link.
Step #4: When a new panel opens up, click the toggle button beside Quest Link to turn it back on.
Step #5: Click the Launch Quest Link icon.
Step #6: Look for Use Air Link and toggle it on.
Step #7: A list of nearby devices would appear. Select your PC and click Pair.
Step #8: A code will appear on both your VR headset and your Oculus PC app. Ensure that they match. Then exit the menu by clicking your right controller’s Oculus button.
You might be interested: Oculus Quest 2 Not Connecting to PC
#5: Restart your PC and Oculus headset
If your Air Link connection is still laggy after reestablishing it…
Then perhaps a power cycle or a complete restart might just do the trick.
With your PC, the fastest way to do it is to press Ctrl + Alt + Delete on your keyboard. And then click Restart.
For your Oculus headset, look for the Power and Volume Down buttons. The former is on the right side of the device. And the latter is on the top right.
Just press and hold those 2 buttons together for about 10 seconds. And release them as soon as the Oculus logo appears on the display.
Afterward, refer to the guide on the previous fix on how to reconnect your PC and headset via Air Link.
#6: Adjust the graphics settings in the Oculus PC app
Now, even if your graphics card is compatible with Oculus…
You may still experience lags if you’re playing GPU-intensive VR games. These are titles that require a lot of processing power for the graphics to render smoothly.
A solution to this is to adjust these 2 particular graphics performance settings:
- Refresh rate.
- Render resolution.
Refresh rate is the number of times your display can show new images per second.
And render resolution simply refers to the size of the screen.
The key is to lower the settings for both.
How to adjust your Oculus headset’s graphics settings
Step #1: Launch the Meta Oculus app on your PC.
Step #2: Select Devices on the left-side panel.
Step #3: Scroll down to Quest 2 and Touch then click it.
Step #4: Select Graphics Preferences.
Step #5: For the Refresh Rate, set it at 72 Hz. And choose 0.7 for the Render Resolution.
#7: Set the Encode Bitrate to 0
Some of you may not be aware of this. But when you install the Oculus app on your PC, it also comes with a debugging tool.
It’s something you can use to fix various issues with your VR headset.
And for a laggy Air Link, there’s 1 particular setting that you need to adjust in the debugging tool:
The Encode Bitrate.
Basically, it’s among the settings responsible for the image quality of your VR games.
And many Oculus users have discovered that changing its value to 0 offered an instant fix to lags.
So you should try to do that as well.
How to adjust the Encode Bitrate via the Oculus Debug Tool
Step #1: On your Windows device, open File Explorer. You may just click the folder icon on the taskbar at the bottom of your screen.
Step #2: On the address bar, type in or copy and paste the following:
C:\Program files\Oculus\Support\Oculus-diagnostics\Oculus Debug Tool\
Step #3: Look for Encode Bitrate. And change its value to 0.
Step #4: Hit Enter on your keyboard.
Step #5: At the top left of the window, select File.
Step #6: Choose the Restart as administrator option.
Step #7: Check the value of the Encode Bitrate again. And see to it that it’s still 0. Otherwise, repeat steps 3 to 6.
#8: Update your PC’s graphics card driver
Another potential cause of lags is outdated graphics drivers on your computer.
Periodically, manufacturers like NVIDIA and AMD would release driver updates. This is to add features or fix nagging bugs.
That’s why it’s important that you keep your PC drivers up to date. Follow these steps on how to do so:
Step #1: Ensure that your computer has a stable internet connection.
Step #2: Right-click the Start icon and select Device Manager.
Step #3: Look for Display Adapters. And click the arrow on its left.
Step #4: You’ll see the list of graphics cards installed on your PC. Right-click each 1 and select Update driver.
#9: Update your Oculus headset’s software
While we’re on the subject of updating…
You should also do that with your Oculus.
As with your PC drivers…
Updating your VR headset can also help resolve bugs that may be causing lags or stutters.
Here’s how to install updates for your Oculus device:
Step #1: Put on your headset.
Step #2: Press the Oculus button on the right controller.
Step #3: Click the gear icon to open the Settings menu.
Step #4: Scroll down and select About.
Step #5: Look for a button that says Download or Install Update. If you find it, go ahead and click it.
But if the button isn’t there, it means your Oculus is already up to date.
BONUS: Contact Meta for technical support
By now, any of the previous fixes should’ve already resolved the lag or stutter problem of your Oculus headset.
However, if the issue persists…
It’s best to get in touch with a Meta representative for technical support.
Just visit their Help Center. And click Submit a support ticket. An agent should contact you within 1 to 2 business days.