Rift Core 2.0 features a built-in desktop tool that's making it easier to perform regular PC tasks while in VR.

Rift Core 2.0 is here, bringing plenty of updates and features that bring us closer to living in VR. One big feature is the Oculus Desktop, a tool that lets you view and manage your PC's standard desktop within VR. While we used to use Bigscreen and Virtual Desktop for the same task, integration into the Dash overlay makes this a breeze to use. Let's take a look at how it all works.

How to launch Oculus Desktop

Oculus Desktop is launched through the Dash, making it accessible no matter what you're doing in VR.

  1. Click the Oculus button on your right-hand Touch controller. This will bring up the Dash overlay.
  2. Point at the Oculus Desktop button.
  3. Pull the trigger on your Touch controller. You can also tap the button with an extended forefinger.

    Launch the Oculus Desktop

You will now see your desktop in all its VR glory. The beam of light coming from your forefinger acts as a cursor, and the trigger on your Touch controller acts as a left click. Holding the trigger and squeezing the grip at the same time acts as a right click.

How to move and resize Oculus Desktop windows

The initial window that opens when you launch Oculus Desktop will show your desktop in its entirety. This window is quite large, but you can move and resize it.

  1. Point at the main window.
  2. Squeeze the grip on your Touch controller.

This will "grab" the window. While grabbed, you can point wherever you want to move the window. Notice that directly in front of you there is a curved grid. Moving windows within this grid will keep the curve, making them easier to see.

The curved grid

While gripping a window, you will also see a set of commands appear above the virtual Touch controller. These commands are related to your joystick.

  • Pressing up will move the window away from you.
  • Pressing down will move the window closer to you.
  • Pressing left makes the window smaller.
  • Pressing right makes the window larger.

Grip commands

How to create additional windows in Oculus Desktop

Creating new windows

The main window when you launch Oculus Desktop doesn't have to be your only window. If you have other apps running on your desktop — for example, Microsoft Edge — you can "tear" it out of the main window to create its own space.

  1. Point at the specific window.
  2. Squeeze the grip on your Touch controller. You will now have selected the specific window, and you can drag it to a new spot in space. The same joystick tools apply for resizing and moving the window closer or further.

This process of creating new windows can be repeated for all your apps, but bear in mind that your GPU might not have the power (or cooling) to keep up.

How to use the keyboard in Oculus Desktop

In our example, we've torn out a new Edge window. We'd now like to visit our favorite VR website. To type a URL, we will need to use the keyboard.

  1. Point at the Keyboard button located in the bottom-right corner of the window.
  2. Pull the trigger on your Touch controller.

    Point at the keyboard button and pull the trigger.

A large keyboard will appear in front of you. You can either point and pull the trigger using your Touch controller, or you can "type" by touching the keys with an extended forefinger.

Using the keyboard

How to pin, minimize, and close windows in Oculus Desktop

If you're particularly fond of a certain window, you can pin it to an experience so that it remains even after you close the Dash. This is useful in many scenarios, like if you'd prefer to always have a web browser open to play music.

  1. Point at the Pin to Experience button in the bottom-right corner of the window.
  2. Pull the trigger on your Touch controller. If you'd like to unpin the window, simply repeat the steps.

    Point at the pin button and pull the trigger.

Conversely, you can also temporarily minimize windows.

  1. Point at the Minimize button in the bottom-right corner of the window.
  2. Pull the trigger on your Touch controller.

    Point at the minimize button and pull the trigger.

When minimized, windows will appear on your Dash. To maximize windows, point and pull the trigger or tap the button with your forefinger.

Done with the windows you've created? They can be closed.

  1. Point at the Close button in the bottom-right corner of the window.
  2. Pull the trigger on your Touch controller.

    Point at the close button and pull the trigger.

What's your opinion?

Have you had a chance to try out Rift Core 2.0? What about the new Oculus Desktop? Let us know what you think in the comments section!