Update 11/1 12:50 PM: Added new info about an updated Questcraft release that will, once again, bring Minecraft Java Edition to Quest headsets.
The first time I ever 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 enabled me to play the game in a way that just wasn’t possible before. If you’ve ever played Minecraft, you’ll understand how game-changing it is just 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 up-to-date versions of Minecraft in VR to this day. Sadly, aside from having a VR-capable PC, the only way to play Minecraft on a Quest 2 is via Questcraft (opens in new tab) — that is, at least, until Meta broke the game’s functionality in Quest firmware version 44 in September.
Thankfully, the developer of Questcraft reached out to me to explain that Meta is working with them to get Questcraft up and running again. That’s some seriously excellent news, but it still begs the question: why isn’t there an official Minecraft VR client on the Quest 2?
An official, native Minecraft VR client on the Quest 2 would be absolutely incredible and easily one of the best reasons to pick up the system. So, what’s the deal, Meta? Mojang? Is anyone listening?
One heck of an emotional rollercoaster
Let’s back it up real quick and cover the bizarre 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. Its store listing still exists (opens in 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 of these versions required a gamepad to play the game, effectively meaning you’re playing the game exactly as you would while seated on a couch just with the added bonus of feeling like you’re sitting inside the Minecraft world and can look around.
Later, the PC version added full motion controls that made it feel like a mostly proper VR game. It was still janky as heck 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-capable PC right this minute.
To complicate matters further, Minecraft’s newer RenderDragon engine uses OpenXR (opens in new tab), the defacto industry standard for VR development that platforms like the Quest 2 require developers to use in order to launch games on the platform.
Furthermore, Meta consulting CTO John Carmack Tweeted about the possibility a whopping two years ago (opens in new tab), even going so far as to say 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 worked perfectly on that system but aren’t at all supported on the Quest 2. Again, this means you can still play an outdated version of Minecraft VR natively on the original Quest but no official means exist on the Quest 2 — outdated or not.
Stalling for time
This would normally be the section where I talk about potential hope for the future of Minecraft VR on the Quest 2. But we’ve seen all the right signs for potential development to happen. All the stars have aligned but no magic was conjured after the delicate ritual VR enthusiasts have undergone.
There is no Minecraft VR for the Quest 2. Not anymore, at least.
But why? Minecraft is the most popular game on earth next to Fortnite and we already know the game can run on the Quest 1, let alone the Quest 2. Questcraft was proof enough of that, running the Java version of Minecraft on the Quest 2, of all the crazy versions to use for such a project.
So is Meta stalling for time, essentially holding Minecraft hostage to use as a way to sell more systems when the time is right? Maybe they’re waiting for the launch of the Quest 3 (opens in new tab) before making the announcement?
It wouldn’t be the first game we’ve been waiting for eons to hear something about. After all, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas VR and Assassin’s Creed VR are both still sitting at the end of our upcoming Quest games (opens in new tab) list and it feels like they’ll forever sit there at this point.
I’d love to know the answer.
The 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. Thankfully, you can also use it to play PCVR games like Minecraft, so long as you’ve got a VR-capable PC.