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HTC Vive PRE Installation Guide

Pick a room

  • Pick a room with some free space. For Room Scale VR, you will need at least 2m x 1.5m (or 6.5 ft. x 5ft.). The maximum distance supported between base stations is 5m (or 16 ft).
  • Make sure you have some room overhead, as some experiences may have you reaching above your head.
  • Your VR area should be clear of furniture and pets – look for two corners of the room (or high bookshelves) opposite each other that have a good view of this VR area. This is where you will set up your base stations.

Room Setup Examples:

Note: In addition to Room Scale VR, SteamVR and the HTC Vive also support Seated and Standing VR experiences.

Install Base Stations

  1. Unpack your Base Stations. Make sure you have:
    • 2 Base Stations
    • 2 Power cables and adapters
    • 2 Mounting kits
    • 1 Sync cable (you probably won't need to use this)

  2. Determine where you want to set up your base stations.
    • Make sure you can see both Base Stations from everywhere in your play area. Ideally they are placed at opposite corners of your space, near the edges of your play area.
    • The area doesn't have to be a perfect square.
    • For room scale VR you will need a minimum of 2 meters by 1.5 meters of free space (6.5ft x 5ft).
    • The maximum distance between base stations is 5m or 16 ft.

  3. Set up each base station securely
    • Bases should be above head height (ideally over 2m or 6.5 feet), and angled down 30-45 degrees.
    • The base stations should have an unobstructed view of each other, to enable optical sync.
    • Make sure the base stations are stable and secure, as vibrations will affect tracking.
      • The base station can be placed with the provided mounting hardware, or any other 1/4 -20 UNC threaded mount (standard for speakers and tripods).
      • A braced floor to ceiling pole with clamp mounts is a good alternative mounting solution.
      • You can also try placing the base stations on high bookshelves. Make sure they are stable, secure, and have a good view of each other.

  4. Plug your base stations into an outlet with the provided power cords.
    • If the provided power cord is too short to reach an outlet, any 12V power cable extension will work.
  5. Put each base station into the correct mode for syncing
    • Press the mode button on the back of one base station, so that the readout on the front is “b”.
    • Press the mode button of the other base station until the readout on the front is “c”.
    • It doesn't matter which base station is in which mode, as long as one is “b” and one is “c”.

  6. Look at base station LEDs and make sure they are solid white.
  7. If both base station LEDs don't turn white after 10-15 seconds, something may be wrong:
    • If the LED is blue, it is still spinning up and waiting to stabilize. If it never changes from blue, check to make sure the base is mounted securely. Vibrations can cause it to be stuck in this state.
    • If the LED is off, it doesn't have power – make sure that the power cord is plugged in and your outlet isn't connected to a light switch.
    • If the LED is solid or blinking purple, the base stations are having trouble seeing each other. Make sure nothing is in the way.

If your room makes it impossible for the bases to see each other (and the LED is purple), there is another way to sync.

  • In the box you'll find a very long cable – this is the sync cable (this was the optional cable referenced earlier). Connect the base stations with the sync cable.
  • Push the mode buttons on the back of the base stations so that one base station is “A” and one base station shows “b”.
  • The base station lights should now turn solid white.

Install Headset

  1. Unbox your Headset. Make sure you have all of the following:
    • Headset with attached 3-in-1 tether
    • Link Box
    • USB cable
    • Short USB cable (optional for Headset accessory)
    • HDMI cable
    • Link box power cord

  2. Get Situated
    • If you bought a new PC for VR, make sure you've booted it with a monitor attached at least once before installing the Vive.
    • Make sure you have the latest drivers from NVIDIA or AMD.
    • If you have a first generation development kit, do not use your old Link Box with the Vive Pre - it is not compatible.

  3. Connect the Link Box to your Computer
    Once you have connected your Link box to your PC, DO NOT unplug it. Important drivers will immediately start installing, and interrupting this can lead to a faulty hardware installation.
    • You will be connecting the side of the Link Box without the orange ports.
    • First, use the included HDMI cable to connect the Link Box to your PC. Make sure to plug it into your computer's graphics card.
    • Second, use the included (longer) USB cable to connect the Link Box to an available USB port on your PC. (Vive supports USB 2.0 or greater)
    • Finally, plug the power cord into the Link Box, and plug it into a power outlet.
    • You may notice an additional DisplayPort port on the Link Box. If you prefer, you can use a DisplayPort cord (not included) instead of HDMI to connect your Link Box to your computer.
    • The extra short USB cord is optional, and can be used for additional Headset accessories.

  4. Connect your Headset to the Link Box

    (Orange to Orange)

    • The end of your Headset's attached 3-in-1 tether has three orange tipped cords (USB, HDMI, and Power). Plug all three of these into the side of the Link Box with orange ports.
    • Your devices should now be set up like this:
  1. Get your Headset situated
    • Remove the lens film, proximity sensor film (next to lenses), and camera film – see appendix for lens care.
    • There's an audio cable port coming out of the back of the headset. Plug in the included earbuds (or your favorite headphones) here. The Vive PRE headset has a built-in mic, so don't worry about speaking into the earbud's mic.
    • When not using your headset, store it with the lenses pointed away from any source of direct sunlight. Failure to do so may cause damage to the headset display.

Install Steam and SteamVR

  1. You can download and install Steam here. You will need to create an account.
  2. Once Steam is installed, or if you already have Steam, you can install SteamVR here.
    • The installer window may pop up behind this browser.
    • Alternatively, you can install SteamVR from Steam > Library > Tools.
  3. Once SteamVR is installed, set it to SteamVR Beta.
    • To do this, right click on SteamVR in the Library (under Tools) and click Properties.
    • Select the Betas tab.
    • Click the drop down and select beta - SteamVR Beta Update. Wait for it to update.
  4. Launch SteamVR.
    • You can launch SteamVR by clicking the VR button that appears in the top right corner of the Steam client.
    • If the VR button doesn't appear, launch SteamVR from the Library under Tools. Then look at the Double check your headset section below.
  5. The SteamVR Status window will show up. (You may also see a Room Setup screen pop up)
  6. Let's look at the SteamVR Status window.
    • This app will report the state of your VR system. Green is good, flashing green means you aren't tracking (ie, the device can't see the base stations), red is bad, and grey means off or not connected.
    • There will be some helpful alerts that will tell you what to do next.

Double check your headset

If you are getting a Headset Not Detected error on SteamVR, or your Headset LED is red and the displays are dark, do the following:

  1. Quit SteamVR
  2. Unplug the Power and USB cord from the PC side of the Link Box (not the orange side).
  3. Wait a few seconds, then plug the Power and USB cord back into the Link Box. You may see more drivers install. Wait for this process to finish.
  4. Launch SteamVR.
  5. You may need to repeat the steps above more than once. If it doesn't work, you can also try plugging into different USB ports on your PC.
  6. If this problem continues to persist, visit the Troubleshooting site and follow the instructions there.

Connect your Controllers

  1. Unbox your controllers. Make sure you have all of the following:
    • Two controllers
    • Two controller power cords (USB cord + power adapter)

  2. Power on your Controllers with the System Button (pictured below).
    • Don't worry right now about plugging them in - they should come out of the box somewhat charged.
    • Your controllers will automatically pair to your Headset when turned on for the first time.
    • If your controllers are on but the icons in SteamVR Status are grey, your controllers may not have paired correctly. Click on SteamVR menu and Click Settings. Click Devices, then click on “Pair Controller” and follow the instructions to pair your controller.

Room Setup and SteamVR Tutorial

  1. Follow the instructions for Room Setup to set up your room. At the end of Room Setup it will launch into a tutorial to teach you about how to use SteamVR.
  2. If Room Setup didn't automatically launch, click the SteamVR menu and select Run Room Setup.
  3. The SteamVR tutorial will teach you about Chaperone, how to use your controllers, and how to bring up the Dashboard.
  4. You can run Room Setup and the tutorial at any time by clicking on the SteamVR menu and selecting Run Room Setup or Run Tutorial.
  5. You are now ready to enjoy VR! You can launch VR applications from Steam, or from the Dashboard inside of VR.
  6. To run SteamVR in the future, open Steam and click on the VR button at the top right corner of the Steam interface.

Adjust your Headset

  1. Adjust the top and side straps of your Vive so that it fits securely and comfortably.
  2. Adjust eye relief: your Vive ships at the most ideal setting for most people (including people who wear glasses), so only adjust this if your eyelashes or glasses are touching the Vive lenses.
    • Find the grey rubbery rings on each side of the headset. They are part of the attachment point of the headset straps.
    • Pull them both out - they should click out about an eighth of an inch.
    • Rotate these back to make the lenses closer to the eye. Adjust this as close to your face as is comfortable – closer means better field of view.
    • Make sure you rotate both sides equally to keep the lenses from being tilted.
  3. Adjust the IPD of your Vive (do this once you are set up and in VR)
    • Your IPD (Interpupillary Distance) is the distance between the the centers of both of your pupils.
    • The IPD adjustment knob can be found on the bottom right corner of the headset. This changes the distance between lenses.
    • When in VR, you can turn this knob to see and adjust the IPD value.
    • A quick search will turn up a number of online tools to calculate your IPD. Once you know what it is, use the IPD knob to adjust it.


  • For Headsets
    • Headset lens care:
      • If the lenses become dirty, use a clean damp microfiber cloth. Gently wipe the surface of the lens top to bottom or left to right.
      • Never scrub the lens with anything.
      • Never use wood based products (Tissues, paper towels, toilet paper) to attempt to clean the lenses.
  • For More Help

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