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Quest 2 Air Link gets huge wireless latency upgrade with AFI

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The Meta Quest 2 can be used wirelessly with a PC, for a seamless PC VR experience using Air Link. Air link allows you to use your PC powering the content on the Quest 2 headset via WiFi, but you’ll need an incredibly strong connection to do so. Using your WiFi network to stream over VR, is incredibly bandwidth-dependent. Any lag or delayed frames are going to cause you to have a pretty janky experience, and can even cause motion sickness if you were to experience it for a prolonged amount of time. WiFi signal degradation is real, and can even be made worse if you’re using WiFi repeaters throughout your home. That’s why they’re seeking to address it with Air Link Framerate Insurance.

Air Link uses its dynamic bitrate to ensure you have a stable connection and are not subject to the aforementioned signal degradation that can make using a Quest 2 wirelessly with your PC a bit of a pain. That’s why Meta has issued an update to Air Link, named Air Link Framerate Insurance, or AFI for short. But, we’re not going to sing the sorrow with old Davey Havok here, or subject you to any straight-edge punk music. Instead, AFI generated a new synthetic frame, based on the motion data between previously drawn frames on the headset. This isn’t an entirely elegant solution, but it definitely beats the alternative and chucking up your dinner all over your headset.

AFI is currently intended to assist with any network latency issues, but it’s not a miracle potion for making wireless PC VR work flawlessly. As ever with any wireless transfer of data, you’re going to have to account for latency, and multiple dropped frames, where this solution might not quite work as well. This isn’t the fault of the Quest 2 hardware itself and is instead the fault of wireless technology. Maybe, maybe one day we’ll get to a point where it has seeming parity with the frames rendered on your gaming PC in another room, but until then if you want a truly lag-free experience, you’re still going to have to hook up a cable for the foreseeable.

Air Link Framerate Insurance, or AFI is not set on by default when you’re using the Quest 2, you’ll need to head into the Oculus Debug Tool (ODT), which can be found in the ‘oculus-diagnostics’ folder on your ‘Support’ folder when exploring the Oculus software directory.

Fret now, this is very easily found, as the default file path will most likely be ‘C:Program FilesOculusSupportoculus-diagnostics’. From there, you can open the Oculus Debug Tool to manually enable Air Link Framerate Insurance by going to the ‘Mobile ASW’ drop-down menu to ‘Enabled – Framerate Insurance’.

Quest 2 AFI

But, this is not the only way to enhance your latency while using a Quest 2 with PC VR wirelessly, since you can use PC ASW (Asynchronous Spacewarp) in tandem with it, which can reduce the workload on your PC. Meta themselves recommends using this combination to ensure that you get the best performance out of using the Quest 2 wirelessly. But there are some caveats. There is currently no support for 120Hz, so you’ll just have to be content with 90Hz for now. To enable 120Hz would require much more bandwidth, and a much more stable WiFi connection, it’s a fairly huge task, so we’re not too surprised that you can’t get 120Hz using this solution quite yet.

Looking for more about Meta’s upcoming Project Cambria, or speculation about the Quest 3 and PS VR 2? We’ve got you covered.

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