Oculus Headset and Facebook Account Sharing
Such a buzz about this topic. Every day I see posts along the lines of:
“I’m buying a headset for my (son, husband, twins) and I want to know if I should buy just one? Can we all share it? Do we have to buy the games more than once? Can we all use the same Facebook Account???”
Well, I’m here with all of your answers to that.
In spite of early fears (and an erroneous statement from Oculus Support in the early release days – see image to right), it has been confirmed that you ARE allowed to use multiple headsets with one Facebook account. You are even allowed to let different people use those headsets… with some limitations.
Now, let’s look at the Pros and Cons of that!
Saving Money – If you share headsets with the same FB account, you could save a lot of money on games! There are many games which you can even use as multi-player on different headsets, on the same account, at the same time. That being said, there are also quite a few which will only allow one person to use the game at a time. Someone was kind enough to create a spreadsheet tracking their experience with trying this out. You can find it here: Oculus Cross-Play Subredit Wiki
UnderAged Users – As pretty much everyone knows by now, you have to be at least 13 years of age to legally have a FB account, according to the FB Terms of Service. While this is understandable, it creates a challenge if you have younger household members who will be using the headset. Letting younger kids use a headset that is linked to your FB account will get around that restriction.
Sharing Content – Other than not having to pay for apps twice, you can watch movies together, share pictures and various other aspects of having a shared account.
Transparency – If you’re all using the same account, it may be easier to keep track of communications from outside sources with various household members.
Limited Multi-Player – As mentioned above, there are many games which will NOT allow you to use the game at the same time on the same account. One of the most notable of these is… Beat Saber. It’s a lot of fun to challenge your family members to a real time Beat Saber duel, and sadly this is impossible with a shared account.
Facebook Account Lockout – If anyone who is using their headset under your account gets into trouble… you could permanently lose access to your Facebook account (as well as all of the digital content you purchased). In addition, it “bricks” your device because you have to be able to log into your account to remove the device from your account. That’s pretty scary! However, you can rest assured that in MOST situations, the worst you might get is to end up in “Facebook Jail” and temporarily lose the ability to post on Facebook. This does NOT affect your ability to use your Oculus headset! There ARE known cases of people getting “banned” (or “locked out”) from their Facebook account, seemingly randomly. We have no way to know if there is actually a good reason, but it has been reported by quite a number of users. The MOST COMMON ways to actually get your Facebook account BANNED is to create a “fake” or duplicate Facebook account, use a fake name and/or lie about your age when you set up the account. So far, there is often NO RECOURSE for these issues, so just don’t take that chance.
Lack of Privacy – The flip side of being able to more easily keep track of the activities of other users, is that YOU have no privacy. Although your Facebook timeline, messages and such are NOT clearly on display when you generally use the Oculus headset, it is easily possible to simply go into the Oculus browser in the headset, which is logged into your Facebook account by default. There, one can access all of your Facebook activities. In addition, under the main menu Social section, anyone can see whatever chat conversations you’ve had with the friends you have added to your Oculus account. Anyone who uses a headset connected to your account, can ALSO add “friends” to your account, and have conversations with them, both in text and verbally (using the “Party” function).
So, there you have it. The good, the bad, the ugly. Hopefully, this will help you make a decision about how you plan to handle the multiple players (and younger than 13 players) in your household. We’ve also had word from Oculus, that they plan to implement a way for users to more easily switch accounts on a single headset. It isn’t yet clear whether they only mean switching between registered Facebook accounts, or whether they plan to allow people to set up user profiles in each headset, to make sharing single headsets between family members easier. Let’s hope it’s the latter!
Thanks for reading and remember, ALWAYS USE YOUR GRIP STRAPS!!