Quest Finally Getting Multiuser Accounts and App Sharing in February
Starting from next month, Oculus Quest users will be able to set up multi-user accounts and share apps between the accounts on the same device. In a blogpost published last week, Facebook explained the rules of these new features.
In the post, Facebook revealed these two as the most requested features by Oculus Quest users. These features -multi-user accounts and app sharing- also go hand-in-hand. From February, multiple users will be able to log into an Oculus Quest headset and the primary account of the headset will also be able to share both their apps and purchases with the secondary accounts created on the same headset. This feature will enable multiple accounts using the same headset to progress through a VR experience or game and to save their achievements and files.
The primary and secondary accounts will both need a Facebook login. App sharing will only be applicable locally to the secondary accounts on a Quest headset and will not apply across multiple or different headsets. A primary account will be able to share its content with a secondary account that is logged in on the same Quest headset. If a secondary account owner logs into their own headset as the primary account, they won’t get access to the content of the other primary user on that headset unless they buy it themselves.
A primary account will be able to share all its content with the secondary accounts that are on the same headset but the reverse is not possible. That is, the primary account is unable to access the content that is on the secondary account that the primary account doesn’t already own. If they want that content, they have to purchase it. A secondary account can do its own purchases on a shared Quest headset but these purchases aren’t shareable with the other accounts, both primary and secondary, that are logged onto the same headset.
Facebook has, however, stated that multi-device sharing is also on the horizon and that the later on, it will expand the sharing options to enable primary account holders to share their purchases across three devices. In the blogpost, Facebook also noted that a primary user can only be changed via a factory reset of the device.
Based on these new features and rules, it looks like families with multiple Quest headsets could in the future simply do with a single person’s account logged in as the primary account for all the Quest devices with the other members of the household subsequently being able to log into their Quest headsets as secondary accounts.
If content is then purchased only on the primary account, the other users in the household will be able to gain equal access to the same content without any difficulties.
From February 13th, all the apps submitted to the Oculus Store will need to support app sharing. On the other hand, the existing apps on the store will be automatically opted into app sharing from February 13th. However, there is a provision where the existing apps have at least February 12th to opt out of app sharing for “for contractual and other reasons”.
The rollout of the new features will at first be experimental for Quest 2 users and later on for all Quest owners, allowing for a primary account to add a maximum of three secondary accounts from next month.
For more on these new features, check out the Oculus Developer blog.
Breaking Down the New Rules and Features
What is a Primary Account Holder on Quest?
Facebook differentiates between a primary user account on Quest and the secondary user accounts. Someone using the primary user account can now create up to three secondary user accounts on the same device and then share the apps purchased on the primary user account with the secondary user accounts created on the device. The users of the secondary user accounts will receive free app access as well as the possibility of personalized game progress. They will also be able to save achievements and points. The users of the secondary of user accounts have to each log into the device using their own Facebook accounts.
On App Sharing
Only those users with the primary user accounts can share apps. The secondary user accounts, while able to receive free access to apps from primary user accounts, cannot share apps purchased through their accounts with either the primary user account or the other secondary user accounts on the same device. The secondary user accounts can purchase apps via their accounts but they cannot share it with the other user accounts on the same device. As a result, to circumvent these restrictions and enable app sharing, only the user with the primary user account should always purchase apps.
The New Rules of Multiplayer Use
The primary user account in the headset is set when setting up the virtual reality headset and can only be changed or reset by resetting the Quest headset to factory settings. Only users of the primary user accounts can create secondary accounts. Users of secondary accounts cannot create additional user accounts.
The secondary user accounts will only be able to access the shared apps on the same device in which the apps shared. That is, there is no cross-device sharing at this time. If a secondary user account owns or buys their own Quest (2) headset, they will have to purchase the apps themselves.
Oculus users that have activated app sharing can be logged in to multiple devices simultaneously but they will not be able to use the same app on more than one device at the same time with their own user account.
There are various multiplayer titles that currently support this functionality where families or friends having two or more Oculus headsets can play games such as Eleven Table Tennis together if they purchase the game for an account and use this account across all the Oculus headsets. However, under the new regulations, this will no longer be possible.
App Sharing Will Be Compulsory from February 13th
The app sharing functionality will be automatically activated for all apps in the Quest Store from February 13th. However, developers who don’t wish to enable app sharing “for contractual or other reasons” have until February 12th to turn off app sharing for their apps. All the Quest and Rift apps will have to support app sharing in their respective stores from February 13th.
Facebook Will Expand User Rights
Facebook also stated that it is planning to expand user rights in its Oculus ecosystem. In the future, users will be able share apps on up to three devices. This could help users circumvent the above restrictions on app sharing across multiple devices enabling users to continue playing an app they purchased on multiple devices at the same time by setting up the secondary user accounts and through app sharing.
Facebook is hoping that these two new features/functions will help drive growth in the VR user base, lead to greater app reach and result in more VR use while also helping curb pirated copies.