HTC Vive Tracking, Base Station and Controller Troubleshooting Guide
The HTC Vive is, in our opinion, one of the most fully-featured virtual reality headsets of 2016, offering wing-scale tracking and custom controllers that allow the user to.
The HTC Vive is, in our opinion, one of the most fully-featured VR headsets of 2016, offering room-scale tracking and tailored controllers that allow the user to interact directly with the environment around them (you can read our review from HTC Vive Here) It sits alongside the Oculus Rift as high-end options for VR users, while the PlayStation VR headsets will hit the console market later this year. However, while the HTC Vive may be an incredible headset, it is not without its problems. Here, we explain how to fix the various problems you may encounter when setting up and using HTC Vive. Read next: Complete Virtual Reality Guide
HTC Vive Troubleshooting Guide: Tracking Issues
Tracking issues are the bane of HTC Vive owners’ lives and it’s something that even we at PC Advisor experienced during our time with VR headsets. Don’t get us wrong – when HTC Vive tracking works, it works perfectly, mimicking our every move instantly,
however, when it goes wrong it can completely ruin the VR experience (not to mention it makes us feel a bit nauseous), so finding the problem is always a priority.
It’s not just the HTC Vive headphones either – we’ve experienced controller tracking loss a couple of times and it was definitely weird to see our controllers floating away from us. But we are straying. The problem is, with the HTC Vive, it could be a number of things, so it’s best to work your way through the solutions below until you find one that works for you.
Turn off the camera: Depending on the USB port you use to connect HTC Vive to the PC, the built-in camera can cause tracking problems. There are two ways to fix this: you can adjust the refresh rate of the camera (from 60Hz to 30Hz) or disable the camera completely. This is done by opening SteamVR> Settings> Camera and adjusting the refresh rate slider, or unchecking the camera option to disable it entirely. We recommend trying the first one first, as the camera is a great feature of the HTC Vive that allows you to observe your physical surroundings without leaving the virtual world.
Cover reflective surfaces: We’ve also found that reflective surfaces, including mirrors and even some televisions, can cause tracking issues. This is because of how the HTC Vive works: the base stations project invisible light into your gaming area that is captured by the headphones through more than 70 sensors and translated into motion on the go. Mirrors and other reflective surfaces can bounce invisible light around the room in a way that is not supposed to, which can confuse the headphones and cause loss of tracking. We recommend covering any reflective surfaces in your room and seeing if that helps – at least it did for us!
Clean Base Stations: We know this might sound a bit basic, but you’ll be surprised how many threads we’ve seen online where the issue was fixed after cleaning dirty fingers/stains from the front of the base stations. There is no harm in trying, huh?
USB Port Issues: There have been claims online (mainly via Reddit) that some HTC Vive tracking issues could be caused by your PC’s USB ports. It is recommended that people with tracking issues use a USB 2.0 port instead of a USB 3.0 port, as there are 3.0 driver compatibility issues depending on the manufacturer of the USB ports.
However, even HTC / Valve has acknowledged that USB ports can be the cause of headphone tracking issues and even suggests that affected users purchase a new USB PCI-Express card to use with VR. On the SteamVR troubleshooting page, the following tips are offered:
“If you’ve tried all of the above and are still having problems, your USB chipset may be to blame. Our tests have shown that the Inateck 2-Port USB3.0 PCI-Express Card (Serial: KTU3FR-2O2I) works reliably with the HTC Vive and can overcome these kinds of USB problems ”.
The PCI-E card in question can be found on Amazon for just £ 17.99 in the UK and while it’s a lengthy process, this may be the only option for some users. We had this exact problem with the first PC we used with Vive on PC Advisor and it was only when we changed it to a different PC (after about six hours of troubleshooting) that the problem was resolved.
Other Fixes: There are a few other things you can try to fix your tracking, but these are a bit extreme and we recommend trying everything else first. If not, you can uninstall and reinstall SteamVR to see if it’s software-related, try setting the HTC Vive in a different area to make sure it’s not environment-related, and even try using a different PC to make sure it’s not. his team. If the Vive works perfectly during any of these tests, you will at least know what could be causing the tracking problems.
Read Next: Best HTC Vive Games of 2016
HTC Vive Troubleshooting Guide: Base Station Problems
It’s not just tracking issues plaguing HTC Vive owners – base stations can be a bit temperamental, too. Whether you are losing sync or unable to detect base stations, it is a frustrating experience and one to be taken slowly as moving base stations while in use can permanently damage them (worst case scenario, anyway). Therefore, if you have problems with the base stations, try the following solutions:
Make sure they can be seen: The biggest mistake people make is placing Base Stations at an angle where they cannot be seen, usually pointing too far forward. Adjust your base stations to make sure they are definitely aligned with each other and on channels B and C, allowing them to sync and be picked up by the HTC Vive headsets.
Use a wired connection: If you are still getting errors on SteamVR that the base stations have lost optical sync, or you keep seeing purple light on the base stations, you may need to go back to a wired connection. The required cable was included with the headset, so unless you’ve moved it, it should be in the HTC Vive box. Just plug it into both ends and change the channels to Channel A and B.
Change base stations: If, after following the instructions above, you still encounter problems with your base stations (syncing, tracking, discovery, etc.), you can change your base stations. This will indicate if it is a positioning problem or if it is a faulty base station as if it were environmental, then the same problem will occur no matter which base station is used.
HTC Vive Troubleshooting Guide: Driver Issues
Now controller issues are much less common than the base station and tracking issues, but hey, it still happens. If you have problems with the driver trace, try following the same instructions as listed in the “trace problems” section. However, if you’re having trouble getting your Vive controllers connecting to headphones, you’ve come to the right place. If the light on your controllers is solid blue instead of green, you haven’t connected properly, but don’t worry as going to SteamVR> Devices> Peer Controller should fix the problem.
However, there are cases where that has not fixed the connection problem, and the next step is to reset the drivers. It’s a bit more complicated than the previous solution, but it should fix most of your controller connection problems:
Hold down the trigger, menu, trackpad, and grip buttons on your controller – essentially everything except the system button. While holding down the buttons, connect your controller to your PC with a micro-USB cable. Wait five seconds and release the buttons: ignore the “New storage device” notification on your PC and unplug the cable to restart the controller. Your controller should now turn back on and function normally, pairing with the HTC Vive earbuds without any issues.