The first time I played Minecraft in VR, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Not only did the unique voxel style of Minecraft finally feel real, but playing in VR allowed me to play the game in a way that wasn’t possible before. If you’ve ever played Minecraft, you’ll understand how innovative it is to be able to look around or behind blocks without having to crouch or walk around them.
Ironically, I actually played it using the original Oculus Quest and a wired connection to my PC, as the Oculus PC app remains the only official way to play current and updated versions of Minecraft in VR to this day. Unfortunately, aside from having a VR compatible PC, the only way to play Minecraft in Quest 2 is via Questcraft (opens in a new tab) – that is, at least, until Meta broke the game’s functionality in version 44 of the Quest firmware in September.
An official native Minecraft VR client in Quest 2 would be absolutely awesome and easily one of the best reasons to pick up the system. So what’s the problem, Meta? Mojang? Is anyone listening?
A great emotional roller coaster
Let’s do a real quick backup and cover the weird history of Minecraft in VR. Way back in 2016, Mojang and (at the time) Facebook released a version of Minecraft VR for the Gear VR. Your store card it still remains (opens in a new tab) but the app hasn’t been updated since Minecraft 1.16, better known as The Nether Update.
At the same time, the PC version of Minecraft also received proper VR support, but only through the official Oculus store. Both versions required a gamepad to play, meaning you’re playing exactly like you would while sitting on a couch with just the added bonus of feeling like you’re sitting inside the world of Minecraft and can look around.
Later the PC version added full motion controls which made it feel like a mainly suitable virtual reality game. It was still crazy from time to time, but the team has kept VR support in the game to this day. Yes, that means you can play The Wild update in VR using a VR compatible PC right now.
To further complicate matters, Minecraft’s new RenderDragon engine uses OpenXR (opens in a new tab)the de facto industry standard for virtual reality development than platforms like Quest 2 require developers to use for the purpose of releasing games on the platform.
Additionally, Meta Consulting CTO John Carmack tweeted about the possibility of a huge two years ago (opens in a new tab)going so far as to say that he had a version running on the original Oculus Quest with full positional tracking and all that good stuff.
And while we’re talking about the original Oculus Quest, this is a reminder that most Gear VR and Oculus Go games ran perfectly on that system, but they’re not compatible with the Quest 2 at all. Again, this means you can still play An outdated version of Minecraft VR natively in the original Quest, but no official media exists in Quest 2, outdated or not.
stalling for time
Normally, this would be the section where I talk about the potential hope for the future of Minecraft VR in Quest 2. But we’ve seen all the right signs for potential development to happen. All the stars aligned, but no magic was conjured after the delicate ritual that VR enthusiasts underwent.
There is no Minecraft VR for Quest 2. Not anymore, at least.
But why? Minecraft is the most popular game on earth next to Fortnite and we already know that the game can run on Quest 1, let alone Quest 2. Questcraft was proof enough of that, running the Java version of Minecraft on Quest 2, of all the crazy versions to use for such a project.
So is Meta wasting time, essentially holding Minecraft hostage to use as a way to sell more systems when the time is right? Maybe they are waiting for the release of the mission 3 (opens in a new tab) before making the announcement?
It wouldn’t be the first game we’ve been waiting eons to hear about. After all, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas VR and Assassin’s Creed VR still sit at the bottom of our upcoming quest games (opens in a new tab) ready and it feels like they always sit there at this point.
I would love to know the answer.
Meta Quest 2 is the best way to get into VR quickly and easily, even if it means there’s no native Minecraft VR client. Fortunately, you can also use it to play PCVR games like Minecraft, as long as you have a VR-capable PC.