Oculus VR Headsets Will Soon Require a Facebook Login

Oculus from Facebook
(Image credit: Facebook)

Following in the footsteps of Apple and Google locking down their respective app stores, Oculus is finally taking the fear we all had when Facebook bought it and making it a reality. This October, the company will start ending support for Oculus accounts and replacing them with Facebook accounts. 

In a post on its website today, Oculus announced that starting this October, new Oculus users will have to log into their Oculus HMDs with a Facebook account. 

Those with an existing Oculus accounts have two years to merge it with a Facebook account. Beginning in 2023, Oculus will completely end support for Oculus accounts. At that point, if you don’t merge your account with a Facebook account, Oculus can’t promise full functionality for your device.

“We will take steps to allow you to keep using the content you have purchased,” the company said of users who don’t merge accounts, “though we expect some games and apps may no longer work.” 

Oculus explained that this might be because of features that will be shifted to requiring a Facebook account or because of developers choosing to no longer support an app or game.

The company claims that the change is due to the ease-of-use presented by a single log-in, as well as upcoming Social VR features, like Facebook Horizon. Still, it’s unclear why support for Oculus accounts needs to end to make these features accessible for Facebook users. 

Oculus noted that you can still maintain a separate VR profile even after merging accounts. You just need to ensure that your Facebook profile is set to only be visible to yourself after merging it with your Oculus account. Then, your Oculus friends won’t be able to find you by your Facebook name.

These privacy features are supposed works both ways, too. After you merge your accounts, you'll be able to use special settings to control how much of your VR activity shows up on your Facebook timeline, Oculus said.

If you’re like me, then your Facebook account sits mostly abandoned except for the occasional moment when someone needs to plan an event. If you’re like my editor, then you don’t even have a Facebook account. Whether this change stems from Facebook trying to use Oculus to revitalize its platform, or Oculus failing to stand on its own without the platform, we do not know. Regardless, it does point to a new and unfortunate deterrent to some of the best VR headsets on the market.

Michelle Ehrhardt

Michelle Ehrhardt is an editor at Tom's Hardware. She's been following tech since her family got a Gateway running Windows 95, and is now on her third custom-built system. Her work has been published in publications like Paste, The Atlantic, and Kill Screen, just to name a few. She also holds a master's degree in game design from NYU.

  • Math Geek
    good enough reason to look for a different VR set-up if you use one.
  • olin9
    I already have the first Oculus for over 2 years. But pre ordered 2 HP reverb 2.

    I do not have facebook and never will. Number of Oculus ordered will go down. for 200 more you can get the new HP
  • bigdragon
    Forcing me to register a Facebook account will not actually cause me to use Facebook.
  • AtrociKitty
    I'm still using a CV1, which I expect to upgrade eventually. This change ensures my next headset won't come from Oculus.
  • CerianK
    With the Rift S controller haptic transducer failing in one, and the replacement snapping apart due to assembly stress, combined with driver stability issues affecting PC when idle, my college age son already lost interest in it (and mentioned he, like me, is annoyed by Facebook due to all the politically charged content... from our friends and relatives).

    So, in theory, none of this is a real issue for the Oculus. But in practice, it is probably not a good idea to tweak people right now with any unnecessary changes.
  • hotaru251
    and Oculus is dead to me now.

    Sell the oculus
    buy a vive.
  • Awev
    I have been interested in VR for a while, and am sitting on the fence until the next generation - let them iron out all of the bugs, and get things right. And waiting for the price to come down.

    I am on Facepalm only once in a while, not daily, and I like to keep things separate. So many places offer to let me log in with Google, Facebook, or another social media web site account - I just create a new account if they let me, or skip the site if they don't. I understand Oculus was purchased by Facepalm a couple years ago, I was hoping (foolishly I see) that it would remain a separate entity. Why would I want to sign in with Facebook to play a game that I have already purchased? I don't even link my Steam account to other gaming sites, and I prefer games I can play off-line, especially since I am in an area that has between bad and rotten internet service (10 Mb up, 800 Kb down, on a very good day and all of the planets are properly aligned).

    I like the Oculus devices for the most part, yet did not care for the fact that Quest required a smart phone to set up, and you could only use Oculus' store to purchase games/software. The HTC Vive/Vive Pro seems to be good, top of the line, VR sets. I am not interested in Argumented Reality (AV or some would consider Mixed Reality ), I want the full experience, so that leaves the new HP device out for me. Guess I'll still consider the Vive or Valve Index. Looking into the PiMax VR headsets - 4K and 8K sound exciting.

    To many options out there to get stuck on the Facepalm Stop (it is coming isn't it, now that the Go is gone, and FB is taking over Oculus completely).
  • Endymio
    From an antitrust perspective, this is the sort of forcibly tying that is going to get Facebook into serious trouble.
  • Ha ha ha. Oculus trash. Never
  • Shadowclash10
    I don't have a VR headset yet - not enough incentive, price, etc. But I wouldn't like this one bit if I was an Oculus owner. I mean, I don't even HAVE a Facebook account (nor Snapchat, Instagram, etc.). Forums yes, social media not really. And even if I was a Facebook person, I still wouldn't like being forced to do this.

    Sadly, AFAIK, Oculus is the only one who makes affordable HMDs that aren't Windows Mixed Reality. I'd love to see a Valve Index Lite with wireless, and a Index 2 with wireless. That might entice me :).