HTC Vive Installation Guide

These are alternate installation instructions for the HTC Vive. In order to get HTC's software like Vive Home, the Vive Overlay, and phone services, visit HTC's site for the official HTC Vive installer. You can also find video setup instructions here.

A couple of things before we get started:

1. Pick a room

Pick a room with some free space to move around.

  • For Room Scale VR you'll need at least 2m x 1.5m (6.5ft x 5ft). The maximum supported distance between base stations is 5m (16ft).
  • 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.

Note: The HTC Vive and SteamVR supports Room Scale, Standing, and Seated VR experiences.

2. Pick a spot for your base stations

Pick two corners of the room opposite of each other that have a good view of your chosen VR area.

  • Your bases don't have to be on the edges of your chosen play area, as long as they can see each other, and aren't more than 5 meters (16.5 feet) apart.
  • Your area doesn't have to be a perfect square.
  • Your bases will each need access to a power outlet.

3. Set up base stations

Base stations should be:

  • Above head height (ideally over 2m or 6.5 ft)
  • Angled down around 30-45°
  • Have an unobstructed view of each other

You can use the included mounts to install your base stations, but tripods, light stands, cargo poles, or high bookcases are also viable set up options.

Using the included hardware

  • Use a drill to secure both of the included mounts to a wall, ceiling, or any other stable surface. When mounting on concrete or drywall, use the included anchors.
  • Spin a base station onto the threaded mount, until it is pointing in the direction of your Play area. Do not screw it all the way in.
  • Once it is pointing at your Play area, spin the wingnut up the thread to secure the base station in place.
  • See the booklet included in the packaging for more detailed instructions.

Alternative mounting options

  • Tripods and light stands (Base stations use a standard ¼” UNC threaded mount)
  • Braced floor to ceiling pole with clamp mounts
  • Placing base stations at the edges of high bookshelves can also work in a pinch, though you may lose some tracking when standing beneath them.
  • Note: For the best experience, your base stations should be above head height, stable, pointed down 30-45 degrees, and have an unobstructed view of each other.

4. Power and adjust base stations

Plug your base stations into an outlet with the provided power cords. Then check the front panel of each base and make sure one is in mode "b" and one is in mode "c":

  • If your bases are not in the proper modes, press the mode button on the back of each base station to change modes.
  • It doesn't matter which base is in which mode
  • Look at the base stations LEDs and make sure they are solid green.

If both base station LEDs don't turn green after 10 seconds, something may be wrong:

  • If the LED is blue, the base station 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, the base station 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 dim green, the base station is in standby mode. Try unplugging and replugging the base station to fix this.
  • 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 bases are still having trouble syncing and the LED is purple, you can try cabled sync:

  • In the box you'll find a very long cable – this is the sync cable.
  • 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 green.

Power cord too short?

  • If the provided power cord is too short to reach an outlet, any 12V power cable extension will work.

5. Install Link Box

Connect your Link Box to your computer using the side of the Link Box without orange ports.

  • Use the HDMI cable to connect the Link Box to your computer's graphics card. Use the USB cable to connect the Link Box to an available port on your PC.
  • Then plug the power cord into the Link Box, and plug it into a power outlet.
  • Once your Link box is connected to your PC, do not unplug it. Drivers will immediately start installing.

  • If you don’t have a free HDMI port, you can use a DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort cord (not included) to connect your Vive to your PC.
  • If you have multiple HDMI ports, consult your PC's user guide to see which port to use.
  • The Vive supports USB 2.0 and greater.
  • Do not mix and match Vive hardware with older development kit hardware. They are not compatible.

6. Install Headset

Connect your Headset to your Link Box using the side of the Link Box with the orange ports.

  • 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 Headset and Link Box should now be connected like the diagram to the left.
  • Once your Headset is connected, do not unplug it - important drivers will immediately start installing.

Your system setup should now look like this:

7. 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.

8. Install Steam and SteamVR

Download and install Steam here. You will need to create an account. Once you've done this, or if you already have Steam, install SteamVR here.

Launch SteamVR

  • You can do this by clicking the VR button that appears in the top right corner of the Steam client.
  • You can also launch SteamVR from the Library under Tools.

The SteamVR Status window will show up. Follow the prompts to finish installing your Vive.

9. Turn on Controllers

Power on your Controllers by pressing the System Button (the button below the trackpad on each controller).

  • 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 select Devices > Pair Controller.
  • Follow the instructions to pair your controllers.

LED Status Lights

  • Green: On and Ready
  • Blinking Red: Low Battery
  • Blinking Blue: Pairing mode
  • Solid Blue: Searching for connection

When plugged into power

  • Orange: Charging
  • Green: Fully charged and powered on
  • White: Fully charged and powered off

10. Room Setup and Tutorial

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 SteamVR, Chaperone, controllers, and the Dashboard.

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.

Enjoy VR!

You are now ready to enjoy VR! You can launch VR applications from Steam, or from the Dashboard inside of VR.

To run SteamVR in the future, open Steam and click on the VR button at the top right corner of the Steam interface.


Adjust Straps

  • Adjust the top and side straps of your Vive so that it fits securely and comfortably.

Adjust Eye Relief

  • Your Vive ships at the most ideal eye relief 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.

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.

Adjust IPD

  • Your IPD (Interpupillary Distance) is the distance between 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.

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