Virtual reality is now a bigger platform than ever before and with that, the demand for unique customization choices is growing too. Here at VR Heads, we've previously explained how to apply skins to both the controllers and base stations for the HTC Vive through SteamVR. The third component of a custom SteamVR Dashboard is a background, which can be applied directly through the headset. Follow the steps below to change the SteamVR background for the HTC Vive!
Note: Following the introduction of SteamVR Home, backgrounds may not be accessible for some users. If SteamVR Home is enabled, users should download "SteamVR Home Environments" that offer a wider range of features and support for social experiences.
Navigating to SteamVR backgrounds customization
SteamVR Dashboard backgrounds can be swapped out from within the HTC Vive, using the platform's in-built customization tools. New community-created backgrounds can be downloaded and applied from within the headset, using the customization tools outlined in the guide below.
- Open SteamVR and ensure the HTC Vive has been calibrated correctly.
- Press the Home button to open the SteamVR menu and navigate to the Settings icon in the bottom right of the screen. This opens up the SteamVR settings, to tweak the HTC Vive experience (Make sure not to confuse this with the Steam settings in the top right-hand side of the screen).
- Next, navigate to Customise > Background
Downloading SteamVR backgrounds
A range of user-created backgrounds is available to download for free through the Steam Workshop. The store is frequently updated with more backgrounds and skins, so make sure to check back often!
Follow the steps below to obtain new backgrounds from the Steam Workshop:
- From the background customization menu, open the Steam Workshop by clicking Browse Workshop.
- This will open the Steam Workshop, where a collection of the most popular backgrounds are displayed. These can be filtered using the filtering options on the right-hand side.
- From a Workshop listing, clicking the Subscribe button will initiate the download of the background. By subscribing, this automatically downloads future updates and refinements.
Setting SteamVR backgrounds
Applied backgrounds are only visible when the SteamVR Dashboard is opened. Backgrounds can be easily changed on the fly, without the need to restart SteamVR or any open applications.
- While viewing the background customization menu, thumbnails for installed backgrounds will be displayed on the right-hand side of the screen. If no thumbnails are visible, new backgrounds can be downloaded from the Steam Workshop as shown above.
- To set the background, click on the corresponding thumbnail and changes will display instantly.
Updated June 26, 2017: Following the announcement of SteamVR Home, we've added additional details on how to utilize backgrounds.
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