I’m streaming PCVR to my Quest using Virtual Desktop. I haven’t had any issues until Tuesday this week: after 25 minutes of VR, with no other input into the Shadow, I hear the Windows ‘Device Connected’ chime and my VR game crashes. I then see the USB/External drive icon in my taskbar with an NVIDIA graphics card listed as the external device. If I force the game and Steam VR to quit and get it restarted, 25 minutes later I hear the ‘Device Disconnect’ chime followed by the ‘Device Connect’ chime and again, whatever VR game I’m playing crashes.
I mentioned this in the Virtual Desktop Discord and it does appear other people are experience the issue, and if they pause VR and interact with the streamer client, they don’t get the ‘Device Connected’ chime. I also tested leaving the streamer up NOT playing VR, and as long as I’m interacting with the desktop, I’m not getting the ‘Device Connected’.
Best answer by Gaijin
So on VR. Currently only the Quest does not kick you off if you setup everything correctly.
A) Do I need a gaming PC for this? No, any computer that will run the ShadowPC client is sufficient (technically some mobile devices but it will be a pain and you need to still have access to some computer to load Sidequest.
B) Is there anything you won't cover? Yes. How to get SideQuest working on your device. There are SO many tutorials on that. Please use this: https://sidequestvr.com/#/setup-howto
C) Do I need to use a cable to play while I am playing PCVR? No, this is for playing wirelessly. You don't need the link cable or a knock off. You only need a regular USB cable that is sufficient to set up Sidequest and transfer data on Sidequest for your host machine.
D) Does this work for other wired PCVR headsets? Not that I am aware of right now because the data protocols are built to transmit the data wirelessly not through a high speed data cable using ShadowPC. Remember with a ShadowPC the high speed data cable can’t be connected “locally” on the Shadow, which is in the cloud, so that is probably the issue.
E) This seems like a lot of steps is it really that hard? No, its actually pretty easy but I made this guide for people like me who like each step laid out rather than having to compile a bunch of pieces from different sources. It will probably take you an hour to purchase and download everything and have it all set up, ready to play.
F) I went to ShadowPC’s website and only gives the option to pre-order or says it won’t be for weeks or months till it starts? Yes, there is unprecedented demand right now in some areas as of this writing. Start up time will vary. Don’t use a workaround even if you can, because you probably won’t have an optimal experience. Just wait the designated time. FYI I am currently on the “Boost” level and it works just fine for me as of this writing, even for Half Life Alyx, which I think is the most demanding VR game so far.
G) IMPORTANT: I get stuck at Step 15 and Virtual Desktop crashes Shadow after it connects for only a few seconds, what is going on? If you have Comcast Xfinity this is an issue with Comcast erroneously identifying the Virtual Desktop/Shadow connection as a malicious attempt to use your network. Go to the XFi app, choose “more” then choose “my services” and disable Advanced Security. Probably just turn this off when actually using Shadow/VD so otherwise your network benefits from Advanced Security when you aren’t playing.
1) Make sure you have a dual band 5ghz router; plug just the computer you will use into it via Ethernet cable. Later you can try using a mobile device to run Shadow PC or have your computer on 5ghz Wifi instead of Ethernet but to really know whether “it works” best to start with this setup before taking steps that would potentially degrade your experience some. (I can use the mobile app just fine).
2) Test your internet here on your computer plugged into Ethernet: https://help.shadow.tech/hc/en-gb/articles/360011196119-How-to-Test-Your-Connection-to-Shadow
3) If internet test looks good, sign up for ShadowPC. Get a referral code from someone who already has it to save you some dollars. With the new pricing you may want to consider doing a one month no subscription first to really test it before subscribing for a year, since one month at the time of this writing is only $15, then you can get money off of that from the referral code too making it super affordable, and awesome since no one can REALLY definitively tell you whether YOU will like the experience in advance of you actually trying it.
4) Buy Virtual Desktop via Oculus Store on your Quest headset and install it. Remember if you go through this and don’t like the experience you can refund the app with the same terms as any other Quest store app.
5) Connect your computer and Quest to SideQuest and “install latest” Virtual Desktop via SideQuest onto your headset. This is what allows Virtual Desktop to access SteamVR. Note after you do this you will still only have ONE “Virtual Desktop” app in your Quest library and it will show in your library on the headset just like any other normal app, not “unknown sources.”
6) Once you hear your ShadowPC is activated, download the ShadowPC client for your computer and install it. Connect your computer if possible to your router via an ethernet cable, otherwise connect via 5ghz WiFi (computer and Quest should be the only devices on the 5ghz band, preferably just the Quest)
7) Open the Shadow app once it is installed. Follow Shadow’s starter guide. Go into the gear wheel icon in Shadow's Launcher to set Shadow’s settings. Set the bandwidth to 5mb. Then click the button to start Shadow.
8) Now you should be at your computer looking at your ShadowPC running and it should look pretty much like any other PC. If you are in the US it is possible your computer was loaded with a UK keyboard layout rather than a US one, which can make some characters unexpected when typing. Remember this is functioning like any other general Windows PC now, so you can search for general Windows 10 PC help videos to learn how to switch the keyboard to US on your ShadowPC. Search for and run all available Windows 10 updates on your ShadowPC, including the "Comprehensive 1909" update or whatever is the most recent update when you read this. Again, if you don't know how to do this, you can google for general help videos applicable to Windows 10.
9) Now update your Nvidia Drivers on your ShadowPC. Go to https://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx on your ShadowPC and search for the type of GPU you have based on your plan. For instance, US Boost customers will have a “Quadro P5000” GPU, so you will search for Product Type: Quadro; Product Series: Quadro Series; Product: QuadroP5000; Operating System: Windows 10 64 bit; Windows Driver Type: Standard; Download Type: Optimal Driver for Enterprise (ODE) and then click search. Download the link and then follow the standard install.
10) Now go to the Oculus website and download the Rift S desktop software on your ShadowPC. Link here: https://www.oculus.com/rift/setup/?locale=en_US Stop at / skip the step in the process where it says to connect your headset. You won’t be connecting your headset because you don’t actually have a Rift S or Link cable. Nothing will fail because you haven’t connected a headset.
11) Restart your ShadowPC after the oculus software is installed. Once your ShadowPC has rebooted, go to Steam’s website on your ShadowPC, set up an account and download the Steam PC software onto your ShadowPC. After that is complete, search on Steam store for free “Steam VR” software and download that to your ShadowPC. Restart your shadowPC after installing the SteamVR software.
12) Now time to get some free games onto your ShadowPC so you will be able to test the various functionalities on Virtual Desktop so you can figure out if you are going to keep this setup. You can search for whatever you want but here are a few recommendations to download for testing: a) Steam: the Lab, Google Earth b) Oculus: Echo Arena, any game you have free on cross buy from buying on Quest c) Injecting: HyperDash Rift S alpha build from the HyperDash discord. (We will go over injecting later)
13) Now go to Virtual Desktop’s website and download the windows streaming client on your ShadowPC. https://www.vrdesktop.net/ If there is an option choose the 64 bit version because Shadow is a 64 bit windows PC. You will need your oculus user name at some point in this process and to enter into Virtual Desktop which you can get from clicking on your profile in the Oculus App.
14) Once the virtual desktop streaming client is installed on your ShadowPC, run it if it isn’t running already. You will see an orange looking computer screen in the tool tray if it is running. Right click on that icon to open the “Settings Menu.” Follow the advice on the Virtual Desktop settings recommended for any other PC but make sure you click the box to allow remote connections. Start out for now with unchecking the box in settings for “Automatically set bit rate.” You probably also want to be sure to check the option that it will run whenever windows starts, as it will allow you to easily connect the quest whenever your Shadow is running.
15) Now put on your Quest headset. Open the Virtual Desktop app from your library. VD should load indicating it is connecting to your computer. As a quality control check/sanity check, the lower left corner of the virtual desktop interface should indicate on the version something about “sideloaded” version. Once it says connected, you may see a black screen in front of you. If so, click on it with the trigger of one of your controllers and your ShadowPC desktop should appear.
16) To run your games in the Oculus Store or SteamVR, you should start first and foremost with the Virtual Desktop “Games” tab in the headset. To get to that, double click the left controller menu button which will bring up the VD interface. On the left hand side you will see various tabs. First go to “settings” and for your first testing purposes, set Video Frame Rate and Bit Rate options to “medium.” Also turn off “sliced encoding.” Now go to the “Games” tab in the same column of tabs. There your games for Oculus Store and SteamVR should appear. Click there to start a game. If the game doesn’t start properly and it is SteamVR, close the game in the Games tab menu by hovering over it and clicking the X. Then instead click the button at the bottom left of the screen for “Start SteamVR,” and run the game from within SteamVR home. If the game is in the Oculus store or this option for a SteamVR game doesn’t work, check in with the Virtual Desktop Discord under “Shadow Streaming” channel and/or check the Virtual Desktop VR Compatibility List, https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1gRbhMw-8PDl1m2ujs_uWaxMeFxjWjihKtRjFGpd-nFY/edit#gid=2101885392 to see if there is a known issue.
17) If you have a game you didn’t get from Oculus Store or Steam, you can try “injecting the game.” This only works when you are already connected to Virtual Desktop with your shadow PC. The virtual desktop icon in the tool tray should show green now, not yellow. Click “Enter Desktop” in the virtual desktop menu in the headset, then go to the tool tray of your ShadowPC, right click using the a or b button on the right Touch controller and click on “Inject” with the trigger. Then navigate to your file system where you have the game file and load it. It should run. If not, it is possible the game is presently incompatible. I have verified the HyperDash Alpha runs just fine injected which is why I recommend that one to try. Of course, some day HyperDash will become a paid game so you may have to try something else or wait till you’re in that situation.
18) if you don’t feel like you are having an “optimal” experience in game, but everything loads, now is the time to mess with VD settings. You can adjust “sliced encoding” “bit rate” and “frame rate” in the settings menu on the headset Virtual Desktop menu to see if it changes your experience. In the streamer app, you can try choosing one of the video encoders manually, like H.264, instead of having the streamer automatically set the encoding. You can also make sure that Shadow really has the bandwidth setting to 5 mb and didn’t change back to an “automatic” setting in the Shadow Launcher. If all else fails, ask on the Virtual Desktop discord or Shadow Discords. It is possible your issue is others using your wifi, or a ton of people using their ShadowPC at different times; try another time of day before giving up. Also, mesh routers or powerline adapters seem to give some folks issues. It could also be certain router settings from blocking you from connecting.
Overall, my advice is this: Don’t go in expecting everything to work absolutely perfectly, all the time, for hours on end every day forever. It won’t. You’re literally streaming PC quality Virtual Reality content that typically requires a really powerful local PC and a wired headset connection over a high bandwidth cable using a fake computer in the cloud to your consumer-priced Quest headset instead. This is super futuristic stuff. You’re relying on a ton of different components to interact that weren’t, largely, built with eachother in mind: Steam, Oculus software, games themselves, Quest, Virtual Desktop, ShadowPC. But it’s really amazing, and can work really well most of the time, if you have the right mindset.
Now go forth and enjoy PCVR wirelessly for cheap!