Unlike a number of its competitors in the virtual reality space, the HTC Vive offers a unique experience that takes advantage of a large play area. This feature, known as room-scale, heavily relies on the tracking abilites of the headset.
Perhaps the most vital part of the HTC Vive's tracking are its base stations – towering devices that help with monitoring the headset's every move. Base stations play a key role in the headset's tracking abilities and must be correctly configured to do so. Other factors, such as the base station's surrounding conditions have also been known to affect tracking inputs.
Are you experiencing issues with your HTC Vive's tracking? Here are some fixes to the most common issues!
Check your base stations are correctly mounted
Both of the HTC Vive's base stations should be mounted above head height. HTC recommends mounting base stations above 6 feet, so ensure the headset and controllers are in constant view of the stations. Base stations should ideally be angled between 30 degrees and 45 degrees downward for the best coverage.
HTC also recommends mounting base stations within 16 feet of one another, without any objects obstructing the line of sight between them. In situations where the stations can't see each other, the included sync cable can be used for base stations to manually communicate.
Ensure your base stations are mounted securely
Make sure that both your base stations are securely mounted to a fixed point for the most accurate tracking results. Inside each base station lies a spinning motor for emitting infra-red light, which can cause unwanted movement and a lack of stability.
The most secure way to mount your base stations is by using the HTC Vive's included mounting kit. These mounts can be used to attach the base stations to the wall while reducing the risk of vibrations and fall damage. For those who prefer to not drill through their wall, a range of other solutions are also available!
Configure the channels of your base stations
While tracking information is transmitted to your PC through the headset, the HTC Vive's base stations require a simple setup process to ensure they communicate with one another. Each base station can be set to one of three channels, which must be changed depending on your setup. The channel used by each base station can be changed via a switch on the back of the devices:
- 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.
Perform a new room setup
If you're experiencing issues with space calibration and tracking, recalibrating your play area is often the quickest way to correct any issues. If components such as base stations have moved since the last room setup, the calibration of your player boundaries will also have been affected. Performing a second room setup will also eliminate any issues with floor de-calibration, where a game's floor appears above or below its actual height.
Make sure to also clear your room of any reflective surfaces that may affect the distribution of infra-red light. While a majority of surfaces no longer affect the HTC Vive's tracking, some issues have still been known to occur.
Tweak the HTC Vive's camera
After being identified as the cause of some tracking issues, the decision was made to disable the HTC Vive's camera by default. This is due to the additional USB bandwidth required to transfer high-quality video and as a result, this can affect the transmission of tracking data.
While the issues aren't massively widespread, enabling the camera has proven to have some jarring effects on the HTC Vive's tracking abilities in certain scenarios. If you're a frequent user of the headset's camera and encounter issues, tracking can be improved by lowering the camera's quality. This will free up additional bandwidth for headset tracking.
Still experiencing issues?
If the above fixes haven't helped, make sure to reach out to us in the comments section below! We'll be happy to help in any way we can!