Distribution Options

Oculus provides several distribution options to meet the needs of your app and development process. This page will review the various forms of distribution supported by our platform.

Start by uploading your app binary to the Oculus Dashboard, a section of the Oculus Developer Center. Once uploaded, you can choose from the following three distribution methods, each with differences in the review processes and the abilities granted to you:

  • Oculus Store
  • Oculus Keys
  • Release Channels

Oculus Store

The Oculus Store is where your app is available publicly for download. It is the most straightforward method of distribution, but requires a thorough review of your app by Oculus. To distribute an app in this form, you will need to upload your app to the dashboard and submit it for review by our Store team. They will examine your app to ensure it meets the technical and content criteria outlined in Designing for Distribution. Once your app passes this review, it will appear in the Oculus Store in one of the following sections:

  • Apps: utility applications such as video players and creativity tools.
  • Games: interactive content with rules where the player can either win or lose.
  • Entertainment: narrative-driven experiences that may be minimally or fully interactive, but lack the ruleset and win/lose state of a game.
  • Early Access: content that is interesting, playable, and well on its way to being finished. This category provides a means for developers to charge for their work-in-progress, while giving early users the chance to be a part of the development process.

Any app that passes our review process is also granted the ability to generate Oculus Keys. We’ll outline the submission and review process on the App Distribution page.

Oculus Keys

Oculus Keys are 25-letter-long download codes that you can generate as needed. Once you are granted the ability to generate Oculus Keys, generating and distributing the key allows users to download your app or in-app purchase items by entering the key into the Redeem Code section in the Oculus app. You may distribute the keys however you like, sell them, give them away, or print them out and distributing them offline. Keys can be useful, for instance, for giving out review copies to media.

You can request to distribute an app only through keys and not through the store. This is useful for enterprise-use apps, apps intended for attendees of a certain event, or other apps that require limited availability. You can request for keys-only reviews by going to your app dashboard and entering “Please review for keys only” in the Message For Reviewers text field before submitting.

In some instances, apps that do not meet our technical or quality standards are also designated as “keys only” applications. In these cases, we encourage you to use keys to solicit additional user feedback and further test their VR application before resubmitting for review.

After you have obtained Oculus keys for your app, you can distribute the keys yourself or through other stores and websites such as Amazon’s Digital Software store.

To create Oculus Keys:

  1. Log on to https://dashboard.oculus.com.
  2. Find your app, and in the left navigation, select Manage Builds > Oculus Keys. If the app has reviewed by Oculus and approved for release or key generation, the Oculus Keys page appears, with Create New Oculus Keys at the top of the page.
  3. Provide a Campaign Name to identify this set of keys.
  4. Optionally, to create a key for an in-app purchase (IAP) item, provide the SKU for the IAP. For instructions on how to define and implement IAP for your app, see Commerce (IAP).
  5. Choose the number of keys to generate. Note that for requests over 250 keys, you will need to click the bulk quantities inline link to go to the bulk request page.
    For a bulk request:
    • You must provide your public PGP key so that the Oculus keys can be delivered to you securely.

      • If you already have a PGP key, use it with default settings.
      • If you have access to a Mac or Linux computer, you can use standard command-line tools to generate the public PGP key.
      • If you only have access to a Windows computer, you’ll need a third-party tool to generate your public PGP key.
  6. Click Submit when finished. If you’ve generated 250 keys or fewer, you’ll see your list of keys displayed. Each key is in 5x5 format, for instance: 3YEBU-GCRKT-SHHHH-PYE0T-KVW7S.
  7. Copy and save the key(s) in a safe place as you cannot retrieve them after you exit this page.

Oculus Release Channels

Release Channels are another form of limited distribution and useful while your app is in development.

When you upload your app to the Developer Dashboard, you are given the choice of uploading into several “channels”, with names like STORE, ALPHA, BETA, and RC. With the exception of the STORE channel, you can grant or revoke user-level access to each by adding or removing a test user’s email address (tied to their Oculus ID) to or from specific channels. We’ll review release channels in more detail in the Release Channels section.

Note: STORE is a special channel which should be used only when submitting your app for Store review.

Each Release Channel can have up to 100 users assigned to them. Since distribution through release channels do not require review, it comes in handy when you want to share your app with friends, or run a limited beta test.

When your app is ready for distribution to the general public, you copy it to the Store release channel and submit it to us for consideration.

Off-Platform Distribution (Sideloading)

You can distribute your app outside the Oculus platform by a method known as sideloading. To run sideloaded apps, users must enable Unknown Sources in the Settings menu of the Oculus app. For more information, see Games and Apps From Unknown Sources.

Sideloaded apps are not updated through our platform. They do not appear in anyone’s Oculus Home Library or have access to any other Oculus features or services.

Important

Note that enabling Developer Mode and sideloading is not intended for piracy. For more information, see the Oculus Platform Abuse Policy in the content guidelines.

Note: Off-platform builds must still meet our SDK license requirements. In particular, all reserved functions called out in the SDK license, such as home button functionality and menu operation, must be respected.