How To Use Hand Tracking With the Oculus Quest 2
Oculus Quest 2, now known as Meta Quest 2, is a popular VR headset that allows users to explore different play spaces. Its system is user-friendly, and you can access numerous menu items through the responsive Quest controllers. However, there are certain instances when you might not be able to use the controllers. Fortunately, you can bypass this issue by using your hands.
If you’re wondering how to use hand tracking in Oculus Quest 2, look no further. This article will walk you through the process and cover several games where hand tracking may come in handy.
Read on to learn more.
How to Use Hand Tracking
The Quest headset supports hand tracking, a feature that lets you use your hands to access different menu features. The system detects your hands and fingers through the cameras on the Quest headset. It uses this information as input to determine which action to perform.
Keep in mind that this feature isn’t a direct replacement for the controllers and some users may struggle to master accessing the menu without them. It’s best to use hand tracking in situations where you’re in a hurry. For example, if you’ve packed the controllers in a bag, you don’t have to take them out to check your progress in a game. Instead, you can quickly do so with your hands. When you feel comfortable using the feature, you can take on immersive games that have implemented hand tracking.
Before you can try out the feature, you need to enable it through your Quest Settings. Here’s what you have to do:
- Tap the “Oculus” button on the right controller to bring up the menu.
- Click on the clock-shaped icon in the left part of the menu to view the Quick Settings panel.
- Select “Settings” to head to the options menu.
- Press “Device” and choose the “Hands and Controllers” option.
When you set down the controllers, the system will take that as a sign to enable hand tracking. After you pick them up again, you can continue using them without issue.
Once you’ve activated the feature, using hand tracking is relatively straightforward and intuitive.
First, set down the controllers, raise your arms, and wave your hands in front of the headset. You might receive a notification informing you Quest has switched from the controllers to hand tracking. The headset will then display your hands in VR.
Let’s look at some useful gestures that take the hassle out of hand tracking:
- Selecting an Item
To interact with an item, point your hand toward it. You can select items by bringing your index finger and thumb together. This gesture performs the same action as pressing the trigger on a controller.
- Scrolling on Menus
Point your hand at an area on the page that isn’t a button. Hold your thumb and index finger close together. Make sure to keep them in that position as you move your hand up or down. It’s possible to move your hand vertically or horizontally and explore menu options in both directions. When you’re done scrolling, relax your hand and release the fingers.
- Showing the Main Menu
Hold your palm towards your face around eye level and pinch your index finger and thumb together. The Oculus icon should appear. Release your fingers when you see the main menu.
- Accessing Menus with Shortcuts
Menus with shortcuts are invaluable gaming tools, allowing users to mute their microphones, record videos, summon voice assistants, and more. Bring your index finger and thumb together to open a menu and move them over the item you wish to select. When your fingers are above the item, release them.
Oculus Quest 2 Games That Use Hand Tracking
We’ve compiled a list of the best Oculus Quest 2 games that support this feature to help you hone your hand-tracking skills.
Unplugged has become one of the most popular VR music games. It relies on the hands-tracking technology to create an immersive experience where you can live out your rock star dreams. Unplugged is a controller-free game, making it one of the rare VR experiences that relies solely on hand tracking.
You can hold the neck of the guitar using one hand and use the other as your strumming hand.
The recent hand-tracking update has smoothed out previous gesture detection issues, so you can rock out, and the game will recognize every strum. Thanks to the upgrades, the game has remapped the songs to challenge users to improve their performance.
The game’s soundtrack is also unmatched and includes tracks from The Clash, Weezer, Ozzy Osbourne, Muse, and more.
Don’t let Cubism’s simple premise fool you. At first glance, this game doesn’t seem too challenging. While you won’t have trouble understanding its puzzles, completing them requires critical thinking, focus, and determination.
Cubism has implemented the hand tracking feature, and users can pick up and rearrange 3D building blocks to complete interesting puzzles. While there are more complex games on the market, Cubism’s minimalistic design ensures there are no issues with the hand tracking technology.
Hand Physics Lab
Hand Physics Lab is another fan favorite where you can choose whether to use touch controllers or hand tracking. The game takes you through over 80 puzzles and tasks, leading you to playgrounds where you can unleash your creativity through drawing, playing, and building. For example, some of your Hand Physics Lab experiences might include meeting your clone, using telekinesis, or petting virtual animals.
Keep in mind that the hand tracking quality in the game depends on the player’s lighting conditions. Go over the in-game guidelines to learn how to create a well-lit space for improved hand tracking.
PianoVision is among the best educational games on Oculus Quest 2. Its VR-based music software lines up the virtual keyboard over your physical MIDI-enabled one. PianoVision teaches you songs using passthrough and a combination of hand tracking and real-time responses.
Although the main premise is easy to understand, PianoVision gives us a taste of how VR software works as an educational tool. We’ll likely see many new releases that employ this concept during the next few years as hand tracking technology advances.
Waltz of the Wizard
If you’re looking for a magical experience packed with humor, talking skulls, interdimensional creatures, and mystical powers, Waltz of the Wizard is a perfect choice.
The game uses cutting-edge features like hand tracking to create believable characters, a lifelike virtual landscape, and interactive enchanted objects. Moreover, you can use your hands to unlock hidden powers and cast spells to advance to more challenging levels.
The Curious Tale of the Stolen Pets
At the core of this well-designed game is a story of two siblings who drifted apart during childhood. Their grandfather recounts the tale, and the game transports us into their imagination, where players collect coins, berries, and animals by completing tasks.
When it was released in 2019, the game became perhaps the most accessible VR experience, boasting built-in height adjustment and catering to players of all ages. It was also the first commercial title to implement hand tracking, giving the in-game experience a realistic edge. When you navigate the interface using your hands, you can catch snowballs, open treasure boxes, and twirl small worlds.
Bring Your VR Fantasy to Life With Hand Tracking
Hand tracking is a relatively new feature, and there’s a lot of room for improvement. Still, it’s an excellent way to quickly access your favorite digital spaces without reaching for the controllers.
Although not all Oculus Quest 2 titles support hand tracking, many games have recently implemented the feature, allowing players to explore virtual worlds in a new way and making the gameplay more interactive.
Have you used hand tracking with your VR headset before? If so, for which game? Let us know in the comments section below.
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