Along with custom songs, the community has figured out a way to enhance or “patch” Beat Saber to include modifications (from now on we’ll call them just “mods”) that greatly enhance the experience.
Historically speaking, Beat Saber mods offer a number of different improvements including:
- UI Improvements / Changes / Customization
- Custom Song Organization
- External “camera” for better spectator enjoyment
- Custom avatars
- Custom sabers, platforms and other aesthetics
- Enhanced Score Tracking with a world-wide scoreboard
- In-Game Custom Song Downloading
- … and so much more
You might even say that Beat Saber’s ultimate success is largely due to the fact that the community has provided endless content and extended the functionality in ways that a small development studio could never do alone.
If you’re drooling over that list above or you’re coming from the PCVR version of modded Beat Saber? Sorry, the modding scene isn’t as robust as the PC scene.
Quest has the following enhancements available:
- Basic Custom Song Support (no in-map color overrides)
- Some Custom Aesthetics
- Minor functional patches (removing Health & Safety Warning, etc)
- The venerable Mapping Extensions
- High score tracking for custom songs (ScoreSaber)
Don’t worry if you don’t know what all these are. We’re going to cover them in depth.
Bottom line? The Quest doesn’t have much — but it is enough to enjoy the basic experience.
Unlike the PC where at least custom songs are built into the program, Quest has zero features out of the box. To get those features “patched” in, we’re going to need a few things. Regardless of which of the four supported features you are interested in, you will need Sidequest to get there.
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. Just follow the guide carefully.
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.
Regardless of whether you’re looking for custom songs, mods or aesthetics changes, you must have BMBF installed. Note: The desktop app is not required.
Use this guide: Installing BMBF
BMBF was formerly known as BeatOn, by the way. Some people still don’t realize that the functionality is still alive, but with a different name.
BMBF is the mod gateway to Beat Saber — and you’ll be using it in one fashion or another moving forward.
To install the mods, you’ll need to be running BMBF. Use this guide: Running BMBF
Once BMBF is running you can access it via a browser on your PC with the address http://<your quest ip>:50000. Your IP address can be seen at the top of the SideQuest window.
When people hear the word “mods” they think of “PC mods”; mods that allow drastic changes and extensions to the functionality of Beat Saber. Quest doesn’t have many of those. What it does have are what I term “aesthetic mods” — those that change non-game altering elements such as saber models, platforms you stand on, menu titles, etc.
Hence aesthetics. Not how the game behaves, but how it looks.
I’m a bit old school in the way that I want to see the game as it was designed by the developers. I don’t have want or desire to make these aesthetic changes to my game. But I know some of you are into it, so let’s talk about that.
Once downloaded, drag the mod into the UPLOADS tab of BMBF.
Note on Compatibility With Mods
You’ll need to activate the mod — and we’ll do that later.
Now for the practical mods; those that effectively change how Beat Saber works and behaves.
Truth is, there aren’t a lot of these.
The PC version of Beat Saber was pretty easy to hook into and extend without directly altering the code (well, too much).
The Quest version is an Android app (essentially) with a lot of limitations and bereft of a “hooking” system to extend it. Aesthetic mods are easier — you’re just replacing existing Unity assets with new ones that fit the template.
Note on Compatibility With Mods
There are some like Be Gone Note Scores (which is really an aesthetic mod that hides the score values when you slice a block) and QParticles (another aesthetic mod that hides the particles generated by the blocks when you slice them) but that’s kind of it.
ScoreSaber (the online score tracking system you probably started off this journey looking for) is one of the most popular. There are no in-game song downloaders. There is no means of better organizing/searching/viewing your custom songs.
The PC version has lots of UI enhancers to make your custom song lists easier to navigate. We don’t have this in the Quest version, but the least we can do is make it so you can scroll through your hundreds of songs easier. Thanks to SongHelper, you can use your thumbstick to scroll instead of trying to click those little scroller arrows. Hey, every little bit helps.
Probably the only thing that really fits this description is Mapping Extensions which allows you to play custom maps that have enhanced features like extra lanes, 360 degree note rotation and precision placement of notes/walls. You probably won’t need this unless you’re playing a small subset of custom songs that require these extensions. Note: You need Mapping Extensions versions commensurate with the BMBF you’re using.
Mapping Extensions cannot be installed via Sidequest either. You’ll need to install that by downloading the zip file from the link above and drag it into your BMBF web application’s Upload tab — just like aesthetic mods.
Mods have to be enabled to work and you may have reason to shut them off if they are causing some sort of undesirable issues.
You can do this by navigating to your BMBF web server and visiting the mods tab. This can be done within the Quest’s browser or on your computer.
Probably a good idea to disable any mods prior to uninstalling them (which you can do through the trash can icon for each mod).
It is unfortunate that we don’t have more practical mods for Quest — but the community never sleeps and I’m sure more will be available in the future.
The amazing team at SideQuest is working on a mod portal that should make a lot of this a lot easier.