Get your HTC Vive base stations talking again!

If you're an HTC Vive user, it's more than likely that you've spent a fair amount of time mounting its base stations. Whether through the included mounting kit or with additional accessories - keeping the base stations tied down is an important part of the setup process. But what happens if your base stations refuse to communicate?

Here's how to fix common sync issues with the HTC Vive.

Check for firmware updates

Before continuing with our other troubleshooting tips, it always helps to check for any pending firmware updates. By doing so, this eliminates the chance of a software-based issue which has been since fixed in an update. While these issues aren't hugely common, this has the potential to save a significant amount of time.

Here's how to change for a firmware update for your base stations.

  1. Open the drop-down menu on the SteamVR desktop application.
  2. Select Devices > Update Firmware.
  3. If an update is available for your base stations, you'll be asked to connect them via a micro-USB cable.

Make sure your base stations are correctly installed

One of the more complex aspects of the HTC Vive is its setup process, which has proven to be much more tedious than most of its competition. This most comes down the to headset's tracking setup, which requires the two mounted base stations to function.

According to HTC, the following guidelines should be followed to provide the best tracking:

  • Both base stations should be positioned above head height (ideally above 6.5 feet).
  • The two stations should be no further than 16 feet apart.
  • Base stations should be angled between 30 degrees and 45 degrees downward.

Check the channels of your base stations

The HTC Vive base stations operate on various channels, which the hardware uses to determine the sync method. Each base station's channel can be changed by using a button on the back of the device.

  • If using wireless optical sync between the two stations, one should be on channel B and the other on channel C.
  • If using the sync cable between the two stations, one should be set to channel A, and the other to channel B.

Ensure your base stations are securely mounted to the wall

Each of the HTC Vive's stations contains a spinning motor which is used to emit infra-red light. The vibrations caused as a result of this can leave the station in an unstable state if not securely mounted. If these vibrations are affecting syncing and tracking, this should be indicated by a blue LED on the front of the base station.

The best way to securely mount base stations is by using the mounting kit including alongside the HTC Vive. To ensure that these base stations don't drift over time, make sure to tighten the clamping ring and wingnut used to secure the base station's position.

If screwing your HTC Vive's base station into the wall is a little too permanent, a number of other options are available.

Try a cabled sync

By switching your base stations over to a wired sync, this eliminates another complexity in the HTC Vive's tracking technology. The required cable can be found inside the box alongside your HTC Vive and comes in at a handy 15-meter length.

Here's how to set up your HTC Vive base stations with a sync cable.

  1. Connect the two base stations to one another using the sync cable.
  2. Set one of the HTC Vive's base stations to channel A and the other to channel B. Channels can be changed by using the button located on the rear of the stations.

Still struggling?

If you're still experiencing issues, make sure to let us know! We'll be here to help in the comments section!