Quest Techie: Save Game Management (or Surviving 64GB Quest Storage)

The eternal question when buying an Oculus Quest: Do I go 64GB or 128GB? At the time of writing, this latter is 20% more — an extra $100 you could be spending on games. Obviously a lot of folks go with 64GB — but what happens when it is full? If you uninstall games will your save data be safe? If not, what can I do to protect it?

Introduction

It can be a trying decision to make a call on how much storage you’ll need for a device you have nothing but passing familiarity of. After all, if you knew how big the “average” game or app is — you could extrapolate that logically into “How many games can I install?” But, wait — we all know most devices that claim to have a certain amount of storage (hard drives, mobile devices) never have that much actually FREE when you go to start putting your own content on there.

Since I didn’t check the free space before I started installing everything (and oddly, I couldn’t find that number anywhere on the internet) I can’t tell you how much free space comes out of the box.

What I can tell you is what *I* have installed on my 64GB Oculus Quest (with just under 2GB free). This is a big list, so scroll down if you get bored. I’m pulling these names from their Android package names, so my apologies if they aren’t perfect. Note: These are Quest, Go, GearVR and sideloaded games.

  • Beat Saber (with 120 custom songs)
  • Relix Coaster
  • QuestIPD App
  • Hidden Fortune
  • Nob5
  • Pyramid RollerCoaster
  • BigScreen
  • Pistol Whip
  • High Seas
  • Quake 2 (full version)
  • Darknet
  • FreeFlight
  • Diorama
  • Time Stall
  • The Thrill of the Fight
  • Sea Hero Quest
  • Vader Immortal Eps 1
  • Vader Immortal Eps 2
  • Vader Immortal Eps 3
  • House of Terror
  • X-Plore File Manager
  • CubeRun
  • Fears Nightmare Rollercoaster
  • Blood Eclipse demo
  • Underworld Overlord
  • Sisters
  • Pirates Tower
  • ALVR
  • Bait
  • Retroarch
  • VR Video
  • Drift
  • Battle Pet
  • Crisis VRigade
  • The Under
  • Sky Fighter
  • Land Send
  • BMBF
  • Chorpa
  • Pinball FX2 (several tables)
  • Drop Dead
  • First Contact
  • Fruit Ninja
  • Journey of the Gods Demo
  • Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes
  • Lambda1VR
  • Moss
  • National Geographic Explorer
  • Dead Body Falls
  • Racket NX
  • Richie’s Plank Experience
  • Robo Recall
  • Sidequest
  • Space Pirate Trainer
  • Super Hot
  • Tea for God
  • Pluto TV
  • UltraWings
  • Virtual Desktop
  • Virtualboy Go
  • SkyboxVR
  • YoutubeVR

Not bad, right? That’s a pretty dang good cross section of a metric-buttload (technical term) of VR games and experiences.

Now that you have some idea of storage on the Quest, let’s talk about what is required to backup and save your game data should you want to uninstall a game to make room or (heaven forbid) you have to factory reset your Quest at some point.

It Starts with Sidequest

Hopefully you are already rocking a fully working version of Sidequest to get great free content for your Quest.

If you’re not, you’re going to need to get that going before we show you how to use it to backup your data.

The requirements for Sidequest dictate you get a developer’s account (to allow developer mode), install something on your Quest and use an application on your computer. It isn’t super heavy lifting, but there is a reason this isn’t just a general Quest article and falls under the Quest Techie banner.

Because there are so many great sources (web pages, blogs, videos) that help you get Sidequest set up, we’re not going to cover it here. This is our recommended stop to fulfill this prerequisite.

Once you have that up and working, come back to this article.

Powers and Limitations of Sidequest

Quest is built on the Android operating system. That operating system, while considerably more open than others such as iOS, still has some protection layers that can affect your ability to get to (and hence, back up and restore) your data. In fact, Sidequest will even warn you of this:

Warning: some games do not store data on the SD Card and SideQuest cannot access this data which means for some games, this process is not guaranteed.

Just so we’re clear, Quest doesn’t have an SD Card, but Android considers the memory of the Quest to be one. Just forget you even saw that :D

Which games don’t store data on the “SD Card”? We don’t have a list. You’ll have to take your chances and hope your data is.

It isn’t just data that Sidequest can back up … it can also back up the program itself (in Android-land this is called an APK file). This is very useful for Beat Saber when using customized content and patching as you may need to revert to an older version at some point.

In summary: Sidequest can backup “sd card” data and programs. Some data may not be available for back up if it is hidden in the Android protected storage area.

Backing Up A Single App and Data

You have Sidequest up and running. Your Quest is plugged in. You’re ready to back up a game’s save data so you can safely uninstall it to make room on your Quest.

Click on My Apps in the bottom left.

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Let’s see what we have installed on our Quest.

Find the game you want to back up data for (let’s say, Beat Saber). Click the little gear icon for it.

Suddenly things start making sense.

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The Sidequest back up area for Beat Saber

As you may have suspected, clicking Backup Game Data will do the deed.

While you’re here, you can also scroll down and see the button to Backup APK File as well.

If you look under Current Tasks, you’ll see that the data was backed up.

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The light is green, the trap is clean.

If you repeat the process and look at Beat Saber’s gear information again, you’ll notice something new.

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Your back up data is there

To restore that data, just click the little restore arrows.

Note: You will not be offered a warning and this backup will immediately OVERWRITE your existing data.

You can take multiple back ups as well.

Mass Backups (Getting Ready for a Factory Reset)

Most of the time, a mass backup would be done to prepare for wiping your Quest. If you had to do them one at a time, you would lose your mind (and a better part of a weekend).

Fortunately for all of us, Sidequest has a tool for this. Within Sidequest, click My Apps.

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Sharp eyes probably saw this in the previous screenshot

Once you’re inside, things should be pretty obvious.

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Mass backup tool in Sidequest

Right, so you can use this to mass backup and mass restore.

The limitation to this mass tool is that it doesn’t just backup data; it does it all.

With a single backup, you can choose what you want to save (data and/or app). With the mass tool, you have to essentially backup both.

Fortunately, you can select which apps are part of the backup.

In Closing

Sidequest gives you an immense amount of power and offers tons of tools for your Quest.

Backups are important; not just as part of a purging or factory resetting process. This makes it easy and effective.

Be sure to search Medium for more Quest Techie articles to get more help in making the most of your Quest.

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I write, blog, record and review anything that interests me — including humanity, parenting, gizmos & gadgets, video games and media.

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