For a safer room-scale experience, the HTC Vive's Chaperone is your friend!

No matter how expansive virtual worlds become, real-world space is always something we have to consider with VR. The HTC Vive's room-scale feature is a great example of this, offering full-body VR experiences – provided your play space meets the minimum spatial requirements. To reduce the chance embedding a controller in your wall, the HTC Vive comes with a play-space tracking system. Known as the Chaperone, this outlines the edges of your place space in VR, giving a rough idea of your real-world position.

Using SteamVR, this Chaperone can be customized to your liking. Although changing its appearance isn't recommended for those new to VR, it's a great way for advanced players to witness a more immersive experience.

Change the Chaperone color

Whether for accessibility reasons or simply improving immersion, the coloring of the Chaperone can be tweaked through SteamVR.

  1. Open SteamVR.
  2. Press the Home button to open the SteamVR menu and navigate to the Settings icon in the bottom right of the screen. Make sure not to confuse this with the Steam settings in the top right-hand side of the screen.
  3. Next, navigate to Customise > Chaperone.
  4. Adjust the Bounds Color slider on the right-hand side of the screen. This will adjust the Chaperone color to your liking.
  5. Adjusting the Bounds opacity slider will tweak the transparency of the Chaperone. Although this will make for a more immersive experience, make sure the Chaperone is still clearly visible.

Change the Chaperone styling

The styling of the Chaperone can also be changed, with a range of configurations available to use. Here's how to switch between the various configurations of Chaperone styling!

  1. Open SteamVR.
  2. Press the Home button to open the SteamVR menu and navigate to the Settings icon in the bottom right of the screen. Make sure not to confuse this with the Steam settings in the top right-hand side of the screen.
  3. Navigate to Customise > Chaperone.
  4. On the left-hand side of the menu that appears, five Chaperone styling options will be listed. Choose your preferred styling from the available choices.
  5. Fill the checkbox labeled Activate floor Chaperone to permanently have a Chaperone on the floor at all times.

Here's an in-depth breakdown of each of the available presets and how this affects the styling of the Chaperone. Each of these configurations has its own advantages and disadvantages, depending on the intended use.

  • Beginner: This is the default configuration for the HTC Vive's Chaperone and recommended for those just getting started with room-scale VR.
  • Intermediate: This configuration doesn't hugely differ from the default Chaperone, with the only change being a larger, less obstructing grid that appears.
  • Squares: The Squares preset abandons the traditional grid format, using an array of small squares instead. These still outline your play space but are less prominent for more advanced users.
  • Advanced: As the name suggests, Advanced is only recommended for those comfortable with the HTC Vive. Only outlining the floor and corners or your play space, players using this setup run a higher risk of leaving the play space. This also isn't recommended for fast-paced action games, where there's less of an opportunity to reorient yourself in the room.
  • Developer: This preset removes all wall Chaperones, with only a single line on the floor indicating your play space. Although this is the least obstructive choice, this offers little indication of oncoming walls and furniture.

Activate your HTC Vive camera alongside the Chaperone

The HTC Vive's camera can also be set to automatically turn on when the player begins to approach the edge of the play space. This can be used alongside the Chaperone system for a better idea of your real-world surroundings.

  1. Open SteamVR.
  2. Press the Home button to open the SteamVR menu and navigate to the Settings icon in the bottom right of the screen. Make sure not to confuse this with the Steam settings in the top right-hand side of the screen.
  3. Navigate to Customise > Camera.
  4. Fill the checkbox labeled Use Camera for Chaperone Bounds.

Do you have any additional tips for improving your HTC Vive room-scale experience? Make sure to let us know in the comments!