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Best Practice to get Valve The Lab Working on Meta Quest 2 reliably

Honored Guest

I love the Longbow game in Valve The Lab! It is old but still so much fun. And I don't get a headache like from Bonelab.

Intro and general confusion:
First of all I consider myself a Poweruser. Second I do know it is possible to get Valve The Lab running (played it in the past on that very same devices even within a week) on my Meta Quest 2. It is just that I always spend 20-30min to get it running and today I even gave up. It is also very confusing because there is pure Steam, Steam VR, Oculus Software and I can choose between Steam VR or Ocolus VR as default environment. If everything is open (which seems to be the desired state) it is not even running in the background instead everything is really "in your face" overlapping and blinking. To me it seems random if it opens OculusVR/SteamVR environment on my Quest 2 and in either case most of the time I cannot open the game and after some tries it tells me stuff like already running or just one application is allowed to run.

If I select "The Lab" it sometimes does nothing, other times I only hear the Sound, next time it tells me I can only have one applciation running and most of the time it only opens on PC and my VR glasses do nothing.
I am stuck in cannot open, hardware error, only music, stuck on loadscreen, does not open in VR at all.

I could open the game on PC and then put on the headset or first connect with Quest Link or I press the reset button on that popup to restart the VR headset or I have to open it in Steam VR or in Ocolus VR. Many choices and most simply fail. Everything could be with or without USB-C cable. connection Many many options.

Trying to understand why this is even a problem or why it is even hard:
Why is this so hard? I mean 3 applications to run a game? And none of them are simply called "Meta Quest Store"? Is this just because Valve is the enemy? I just want to play great games because VR is the present and future. I imagine installing a "Meta Quest Store" which detects VR games installed in Steam and I can simply run them. Configuration is done for me e.g. by preventing Steam VR and Meta Quest Store to run at the same time (or at least warns).

Guessing the root cause:
Just a guess... I think the planned way is to open Quest Link with Headset on, it opens Quest VR where you select to open Steam VR and via Steam VR you select to open Valve The Lab. Overcomplicated but at least logical.
Problem here could be that Meta Quest can only run one application at the same time...

Is there a "Do those 5 steps and you are guaranteed to get Valve The Lab to open" guide?

Kind Regards,
Bowmaster 3000 that reaches around Level 34 if he ever gets to play 🙂


Accepted Solutions

Honored Guest

With the latest updates this seems fixed. Last time I tried I had little problems and today everything worked first try.

View solution in original post



Hi @haniballxl 

I can also share the love for the lab, it's a great game! Was certainly a good time for VR.

Personally I use Virtual desktop to play it. Open the App and you can select it on the Virtual desktop menu and it opens straight up. Avoids the mess of having to go to one app or the other to launch it.

Wireless is so good now and the freedom it gives you with the bow and arrow changes the game!


Quest 2, Quest 3, PCVR, Meta Wayfarer

Honored Guest

With the latest updates this seems fixed. Last time I tried I had little problems and today everything worked first try.