Virtual Desktop Now Supports Multiple Monitors, Including Virtual Ones On Windows

Virtual Desktop now supports multiple monitors.

Virtual Desktop is often thought of as an app for streaming PC VR to standalone headsets, now considered its flagship feature, but its other and original purpose is to stream your PC monitors as 2D virtual surfaces.

But while alternatives like Horizon Workrooms and Immersed support streaming multiple monitors at once, as will Microsoft’s own upcoming Quest app, Virtual Desktop only supported one at a time. The latest update changes that for all supported headsets except Quest 1.

Virtual Desktop streaming 3 monitors to a virtual environment on Quest 3.

How many monitors are supported depends on the headset. Meta Quest 3 is the only headset that can support 3 monitors at once. On Quest 2, Quest Pro, Pico 4, Pico Neo 3, Vive Focus 3, and Vive XR Elite only 2 monitors are supported.

Resolution-wise, Quest 3 can stream 1 monitor at 4K or multiple at 1440p, while most other headsets are limited to 1440p for 1 monitor or 1080p for multiple, and Quest 1 can only handle a single 1080p monitor.

The developer Guy Godin tells UploadVR these limitations exist because Virtual Desktop renders monitors “at the highest possible quality, in a sRGB correct way” and uses “the supersampling filtering technique developed by Carmack”. Only the Snapdragon XR2 Gen 2 chipset in Quest 3 has the GPU horsepower to do this for three monitors simultaneously.

Quest 3
Quest 2 & Pro
Pico, Vive

Quest 1

Monitors
3
2
1

Max Resolution
(Single Monitor)

3840×2160
2560×1440
1920×1080

Max Resolution
(Multi Monitors)

2560×1440
per monitor
1920×1080
per monitor
N/A

For all headsets, the streaming bitrate also depends on the number of monitors used. You can stream 1 monitor at 120Mbps, 2 monitors at 60Mbps each, or 3 monitors at 40Mbps each.

On Windows the extra monitors can be entirely virtual, as with Horizon Workrooms and Immersed. That means you could, for example, turn a laptop into a virtual triple monitor setup.

On Mac virtual monitors aren’t “yet” supported, but Godin tells UploadVR you can use third-party solutions like BetterDisplay for this.

Virtual Desktop keyboard passthrough.

As well as adding multiple monitor support, the new update brings the following more minor changes, including keyboard passthrough on Quest:

• Added checkbox in Settings tab to auto-arrange monitors on recenter (enabled by default)
• Added button in Settings tab to arrange monitors manually
• Added keyboard passthrough support on Quest (with the keyboards Meta supports)
• Improved support for Windows on Arm
• Thumbstick can now be used to change size/distance when holding screen with grip
• You can now move the keyboard when holding the grip
• Added portrait mode button in the screen toolbar for secondary screens (Windows only)
• Switched to using relative mouse movements with Bluetooth trackpads/mice
• Fixed microphone delay issues that some folks were experiencing
• Desktop toolbar will no longer appear when clicking below the screen with hand tracking. It will be shown when using the Quest menu left hand gesture instead
• Fixed game compatibility with: The Wizards – Dark Times, The 7th Guest, Roblox, Gravity Sketch, Crossfire: Sierra Squad, Zenith the last city, Resist, Underdog, Walkabout Mini-golf, Breachers, WRC, Ghosts of Tabor, Contractors, Hubris now using VDXR by default
• Fixed index finger bending in VRChat when holding the controller
• Fixed many compatibility issues with VDXR
• Virtual Vive trackers can now be powered off/on via SteamVR Manage Trackers (use “Held in hand” role to power off) without needing to restart SteamVR

If you’re a current Horizon Workrooms or Immersed user and try this update, let us know in the comments below how the quality, latency, and stability compares.

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