Power down your HTC Vive base stations through the magical power of Bluetooth!

One of the main components behind the HTC Vive's accurate tracking mechanics are the base stations; relative bare boxes which help locate your headset and controllers. Emitting infra-red light across your play space to give the HTC Vive spatial tracking, these are a key part of what makes the headset stand out from the competition.

However, if you're an HTC Vive owner, you may have noticed a faint hum from your base stations. Caused by the spinning motors located inside the stations, it's important that these aren't left running to prevent wear over a long period of time.

For many, the HTC Vive's base stations are simply unplugged from the power outlets while not in use. Although this is the recommended setup from HTC, it soon becomes tiresome if manually power off the devices. Now, with a hidden option within SteamVR, it's possible to remotely switch off your base stations – here's how to get started!

Check your PC has Bluetooth capability

Before starting, you'll need to make sure your PC supports Bluetooth connectivity. Although a majority of laptops and pre-built PCs come with this capability, this often catches out those that built their rig from scratch. This is usually advertised within the specifications of your motherboard and may need some additional research ahead of time.

If like me, your custom-built rig doesn't have Bluetooth support, an external adapter can be purchased for relatively cheap.

Set up SteamVR to turn off your base stations

After checking your PC supports Bluetooth, you're now ready to configure SteamVR.

  1. Open the SteamVR desktop client.
  2. Expand the SteamVR drop-down menu.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. Switch to the General tab if not already selected.
  5. Click Install Bluetooth Driver if you are yet to do so.
  6. Check the box labeled Enable Bluetooth communication. A new section will appear below, affecting base station power options.
  7. Check the box labeled Put Base Station in Standby mode when VR is not in use. This will automatically power down the base stations when SteamVR is closed.
  8. To turn wake your base stations back up, just hit the Wake Up All Base Stations button.

And now, you should be able to control your base stations from afar! Do you plan to use base station control over Bluetooth? Make sure to let us know in the comments!