Facebook shut down the Oculus Go’s built in social platform back in late October. But there are multiple third party alternatives to try.
Oculus Rooms was the Go’s flagship app, allowing people to easily hang out in a virtual apartment by simply being in the same Party.
Facebook shut down Rooms back in October after just 17 months. Worse, there is no replacement announced for Oculus Go, as Facebook Horizon (what the Rooms team is now working on) is not listing support for the budget standalone headset.
If you picked up an Oculus Go on Black Friday or previously used Rooms, here are three alternatives to Rooms. Note that for all three you need to create a separate account, they do not use the Oculus networking system.
vTime was one of the first social VR apps focused on small group conversations. It initially launched back in 2015 for the Samsung Gear VR, but now supports Rift, SteamVR, Windows MR, Daydream, and Oculus Go too.
vTime is arguably the closest direct equivalent to Oculus Rooms because of its relative simplicity and its focus on simply hanging out.
The app’s avatar system has a useful feature that we haven’t seen anywhere else; it allows you to create an avatar based on your existing Oculus Avatar. This means that after you create an account you can be up and running in seconds. However, the account creation itself can be time consuming.
Bigscreen’s joining experience takes a bit of effort — the host needs to create a room and then send a “room ID” (via Oculus Chat or another IM system) to others who want to join. Bigscreen plans to improve this system in 2020. You’ll also need to create a new avatar from scratch.
AltSpaceVR, owned by Microsoft, is the closest thing to VRChat available on Go — a kind of proto-metaverse. The main focus of AltSpace is events with large groups of strangers.
If you enjoyed Ready Player One, this is the closest thing you’ll find on your Oculus Go.
AltSpace also supports small scale private sessions. Unlike vTime and Bigscreen, AltSpace offers games and activities such as Cards Against Humanity, Disc Golf, and a Maze. This means if you’re looking for something to do with friends instead of something to watch, this may be the platform to go for.