(Pocket-lint) – We love the Pico 4, it’s definitely one of the best standalone VR headsets you can buy today.
Its main weakness, however, is its relatively small game library compared to headsets like the Meta Quest 2.
If you have a gaming PC, the good news is that you can use a Pico 4 to play almost any VR game imaginable.
Here’s how to make it work.
How to connect the Pico 4 to a computer via USB
In our testing, the most reliable and consistent method of connection was via a USB cable.
We used a 5m USB-C cable from Syntech which is designed for use with the Quest 2. As the USB port is positioned similarly, it works perfectly with the Pico 4 and comes at a great price.
To connect it, simply connect the tip end to a USB 3.0 or higher port on your computer, these usually have a blue plastic inside the port. Then connect the USB-C end to the headset.
We like to use the included velcro cable to add tension to the connection and also route the cable behind us. Place the strap around the Pico 4’s headband, give it some slack so as not to strain the USB-C port, and tighten it.
Next, you’ll need to install Pico’s Streaming Assistant app on your computer, which can be downloaded from the brand’s website here.
Once installed, open the app and select USB connection. Click the settings code in the top right and change your display mode to HD to ensure you get the best quality.
Put on your Pico headset, go to your Library, choose apps and open Streaming Assistant.
Click the connect button next to your computer name on the right side, then you should be ready to play.
How to connect a Pico 4 to a computer wirelessly
If you have a fast enough router, you can stream PC VR games over Wi-Fi and do away with wires altogether. You might want to check out our guide to the best wireless routers if you need an update.
Pico also plans to launch a £50 / €50 USB dongle that will allow a Wi-Fi direct connection to a computer, which could be the most cost-effective method for those with sub-par internet hardware. However, this is not yet available, at the time of writing.
Currently, there are two ways to use Pico 4 wirelessly, and we’ll detail them below. For both methods, you’ll want to have your computer connected to your router via an ethernet cable and the Pico connected on the 5Ghz Wi-Fi band for the best results.
With Virtual Desktop
If you want the best wireless experience with a Pico 4, you’ll want to invest in some software called Virtual Desktop. It is available through the Pizza shop and costs around £15.
The advantage of using Virtual Desktop over Steaming Assistant lies in its customizability, it allows you to choose higher bitrates and render resolutions, which provides higher fidelity results in the headset.
Once you’ve installed Virtual Desktop on your Pico headset, you’ll need to install the Virtual Desktop Streamer app on your computer. You can download that from the Virtual Desktop website.
Open the Streamer app on your computer. You will be prompted to enter your Pico username, or you can add several, but each user will require their own copy of Virtual Desktop.
Then, back in the headset, open Virtual Desktop and you should see your computer’s name in the right menu.
Just click Connect, and you’re good to go.
Inside Virtual Desktop you will have a lot of settings that you can adjust to improve your results, it is impossible to say what will work best with your computer and network hardware, but it is worth experimenting.
With Streaming Assistant
Connecting with Steaming Assistant works in much the same way as it does with a wired connection. It’s less customizable, but perhaps most importantly, it’s free.
First, you want to open Streaming Assistant on your computer, but choose Wi-Fi instead of USB on startup.
You may need to lower some settings to enable smooth Wi-Fi streaming, but that all depends on your home network.
Next, open Streaming Assistant on your Pico 4, find your computer in the list on the right and press connect.
Writing by Luke Baker.