PlayStation VR toubleshooting guide

PlayStation VR is a great system that's introduced many people to VR, but even the best systems experience problems from time to time. From tracking issues to display issues to audio issues, here's how to fix pretty much any problem you experience with your PlayStation VR.

If you've exhausted all troubleshooting options and are still experiencing problems with your PlayStation VR, it's probably time to contact Sony support.

How to update your PlayStation VR

Many problems you experience will arise from using an outdated version of PSVR. Here's how to update it!

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It's a really easy process, thankfully, and here's what you need to do:

  1. Head to the Settings menu.

    PlayStation VR

  2. Scroll down and select Devices.

    PlayStation VR

  3. Scroll down and select PlayStation VR.

    PlayStation VR

  4. Scroll down and select PlayStation VR device software.

    PlayStation VR

  5. The screen you see will now show you the current software version you're on.

    PlayStation VR

  6. To check for a software update select update PlayStation VR device software.

If there's an update available the console will now download and install it ready for your next virtual adventure to begin! You don't need to have the PlayStation VR headset connected to the console in order to update, either. It can be detached from the processor unit and you'll still be able to look for updates.

How to deal with blurry images in PlayStation VR

Blurry images will definitely ruin your VR experience. Here's how to make sure you're seeing clearly!

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Make sure your headset is properly fitted

Fit your PlayStation VR helmet

PlayStation VR utilizes a head-mounted display (HMD) that is quite different than any other VR headset on the market. Due to that, you may be having issues seeing clearly because the headset is not fitted properly. This can be easily fixed just by readjusting the HMD to make sure you have it sitting where it is supposed to sit.

There are a few things to do in order to get the perfect fit with PlayStation VR. In particular, though, you want to make sure there is a snug fit, and that the visor of the HMD is as flush to your face as possible. If you have less-than-stellar vision you may end up adjusting the headset a few times until you have the best vision possible. For the best possible image, that visor needs to be as flush to your face as possible.

Clean your headset

The biggest reason that you may be having image issues is that your headset is dirty. Specifically, dust, detritus, or even fingerprints may be obscuring the lenses on your PlayStation VR HMD. If this is the case you're in luck, because this is a simple fix. All you need to do is clean your PlayStation VR.

You're going to want to pay special attention to the lenses since anything on them will cause serious blurriness up close. If it just looks like there is a smudge on one or both of the lenses, then grab the cleaning cloth that came with your PlayStation VR. Using the cloth, gently wipe at the lenses. This may clear up the problem without cleaning the headset more thoroughly.

Restart your PlayStation VR

PlayStation VR

In some very rare cases, the video coming from PlayStation 4 to your PlayStation VR can become warped or corrupted. This will probably never happen for most people, but if you do encounter a blurred or distorted image and the above fixes don't help, you can reboot PlayStation VR to try correcting a receiver issue. Just tap the power button on the PlayStation VR control cable, wait a few moments, and tap again to restore power. This will reset the connection with your PlayStation 4, which should correct any distortions.

How to fix a shaking image in PlayStation VR

Few things ruin an experience in VR like a display that shakes and moves when you're standing still. Here's how to deal with this problem.

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Be mindful of the boundaries

PlayStation VR relies on a pair of cameras to determine your position in the room. Those cameras use the lights on the front of your headset to measure how far away from the camera you are, and that setup has a reliable distance of six feet. Sony floats a warning when you exceed that 6-foot line so you don't experience any significant problems, but if you're right on that 6-foot line you'll notice occasional instability.

The key to avoiding this is to walk back until you see the floating message, and then take a single step forward. If your seat is located on the 6-foot line, you'll want to slide it forward an inch or two. This also stops you from seeing the floating warning when you lean back or turn around to get something behind you while still in VR.

Adjust Tracking Lights

Whether you were cleaning and accidentally moved the camera or someone ran in front of you while setting up, small tracking issues can be fixed with recalibration inside the PlayStation 4 menu.

  1. Go to Settings in the PlayStation menu.
  2. Select Devices from the Settings menu.
  3. Select PlayStation VR from the Devices menu.
  4. Select Adjust Tracking Lights.
  5. Complete all three adjustment procedures.

Once you've completed recalibration, your headset will be just as accurate as every headset should be after initial setup. Enjoy!

How to fix screen-mirroring issues

Some users have reported an issue where they can't see anything on their TV but can see an image in their head-mounted display (HMD). Here's how to fix this problem.

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Check your HDCP settings

High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) is designed to prevent copying of content while it is transferred via certain connections. For whatever reason, some PSVR games are affected by having HDCP enabled. Here's how to disable it.

  1. Click Settings.
  2. Click System.

    Click Settings. Click System.

  3. Click Enable HDCP.
  4. Click Yes. The checkmark should disappear from the box and HDCP will be disabled.

    Click Enable HDCP. Click Yes.

Check your HDMI cables

Many PlayStation VR users have reported in about faulty or poor-quality HDMI cables shipping with the unit. If you're having screen-mirroring issues, unplug each HDMI cable one at a time and replace it with one that didn't come with your PSVR. If an image shows up on your TV, you'll know it was an HDMI cable.

Swap out the HDMI cables one at a time.

Again, other users claim the problem is with the PlayStation 4's HDMI port. If you've swapped out HDMI cables and still aren't getting a picture, try jiggling the HDMI cable that connects to the back of your PS4. If you see flickering images on your TV, it's a good sign the hardware in your PS4 is causing the problem.

Try jiggling the HDMI cable going into the back of the PS4.

Remove the extension cable

To further eliminate the possibility of a faulty cable, try removing the extension cable between the PSVR's external processing unit and the HMD.

Remove the extension cable and plug the HMD directly into the processing unit.

Plug the HMD directly into the processing unit and see if you get a picture on your TV. If you do, you know the extension cable is the problem. Time to order a replacement!

How to fix poor head and controller tracking

One of the best parts of VR is being able to use your head and hands to interact with the virtual environment. One of the worst parts of VR is when your movement isn't tracked properly. Here's how to fix it!

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How to fix poor head tracking

The thing to remember if you're having issues with jerky head tracking is that the problem most likely isn't your head-mounted display (HMD). Rather, the problem is sourced with your camera. That's because the PlayStation camera reads the LED light sources in the room you are playing in. If it's picking up extra light, or there are seriously reflective surfaces, it can seriously throw the tracking off.

To fix this, start by making sure your PlayStation camera is seated on a dull or matte surface. You don't want it to pick up any reflective surfaces, or anything that is particularly shiny. Those are the types of surfaces that will throw everything off. You also want to ensure that the camera isn't picking up any other bright lights or LEDs. Common electronic items that can throw off your PlayStation camera include computer monitors or a second television in the room. Also, be sure that there aren't any bright lights shining directly onto your PlayStation VR HMD.

You can also help out your PlayStation camera by playing in a dark room. For once, playing video games in a dark room won't mess with your eyes, because you'll be in your VR helmet seeing something entirely different. Playing in a dark room will also ensure that your camera is picking up the best possible image of the LED in your helmet, which should aid in tracking.

How to fix poor controller tracking

The same rules for dealing with jerky head tracking also apply when dealing with PlayStation Move controllers not tracking correctly. For the most part, there are fewer issues with the PlayStation camera not properly picking up the LED signatures on your DualShock 4 controller or Move controllers.

However, there are a few specific things that can occur with your controllers that you won't run into with your VR helmet. Make sure whatever controller you are using has been properly charged. Low power means you may lose power to your controller without realizing it, which equals a poor VR experience. If you wind up needing to charge your DualShock 4 controller while playing, you may need to tweak the position of the charging cord a little bit. That's because it is possible for the charge cord to block the glowing LED at the top of your controller. If that light is obscured it becomes harder for the PlayStation camera to track.

How to fix a USB error

Everything appears ready to go, but you're getting a USB error that's preventing you from playing. Here's how to fix it.

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Check your USB cables

PlayStation VR cords

As you may have guessed, this error comes from something going wrong with the USB cables on your PlayStation VR. Considering that there are several new cables that need to be plugged in, it's fairly easy to get a cable confused and end up with this error. There aren't any error codes or anything else to look up. Instead, when you put on your PlayStation VR HMD, a message that reads USB Error will be the only thing on your screen. It is easy to fix in just a few short minutes.

  • Something isn't plugged all the way in. It's possible that one of the USB cables for PlayStation VR has come unseated. You'll need to check both the cords on the front of the PlayStation VR control box, as well as the USB that is plugged into the front of your PlayStation 4 console. If any of these have come loose, it can cause the USB error.

  • There is a cord plugged in incorrectly. The second reason that the USB error will pop up when you turn on your headset is because a cord is either plugged into the wrong spot or isn't plugged in at all. Be sure to check and make sure that everything connects properly. This can take a few minutes because of the number of cables, but you should be able to suss it out pretty quickly.

How to fix 3D audio not working

Virtual reality without 3D audio just isn't the same. You'll miss out on what's happening around you and, depending on the game, you might end up dead. Here's how to fix 3D audio when it's not working.

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Use the earbuds that came with PlayStation VR

PlayStation VR actually comes with a pair of earbuds for you to use. While you certainly can use a different pair of headphones for your VR adventures, there are a few things to remember. First off, wireless headphones will not work with PlayStation VR. Instead, you'll need a pair of stereo earbuds or headphones.

The truth of the matter, though, is that the earbuds that came with your new VR system are quite capable of delivering fantastic audio. There is also an extra perk of using the headphones that came in the box. That's because one earbud is on a far shorter cord than the other one. This makes it easy to find the correct earbud for each ear after you've already put on your PlayStation VR head-mounted display.

Double check to ensure that the correct earbud is in the correct ear

PlayStation VR uses 3D sound to deliver a superior experience. This means if you turn your head, stand up, move around, the sounds around you will change as well. For this reason, it's quite important to make sure that you have the correct earbud in the correct ear. If you don't, then you may well get disoriented when you hear something to your left, and the noise is actually coming from your right.

Make sure everything is properly plugged in

PlayStation VR inline remote

If you aren't getting any audio at all when you put in the earbuds, then what you'll want to do is make sure that everything is properly plugged in. This means double-checking to make sure that the headphones are plugged in properly. If they've come unseated or unplugged, then you aren't going to get any sound.

Restart your system

If you've already tried everything else, but you're still having issues, there is one final thing that you can do. You may need to go ahead and restart your PlayStation 4 console. Sometimes your system just needs a quick reboot in order to get everything working correctly. This should only take a few minutes and may solve your problem.

Fixing Scratches in your lenses

The most fragile part of any VR headset is the place where you put your eyeballs. These lenses, regardless of type, are either glass or plastic and not particularly easy or cheap to replace. If your headset has been in the hands of many friends, family members, or even kids, chances are you've got a few scratches on your device.

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Meguiars ScratchX Solution

Check out the video, and then see the extra steps I've added for optimal care.

  1. After you have ensured your device is clean and dry, coat your lenses with Meguiars ScratchX.

  2. Use your next Q-Tip to gently massage the glass in small circles, focusing on the areas you know are scuffed or scratched.

  3. Test the area by swiping away some of the toothpaste with your Q-Tip, if you feel satisfied with the results, move to the next step.

  4. Scratches gone, or you're just ready to clean up? Take your microfiber cloth and wipe away the residue from the Meguiars ScratchX, this will make a bit of a mess. If your Meguiars has gotten lodged in the cracks use a clean Q-Tip or an air compressor to help you clean those crannies.

  5. Repeat the steps above in regards to cleaning. Then check out your protection options and go back to enjoying your headset!

How to deal with nausea

Don't be embarrassed if you experience nausea while in VR — it happens to the best of us. Nausea doesn't mean VR isn't for you. Here are a few ways to deal with it and get back to gaming.

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Sit down

Cale playing with PlayStation VR

Some games are meant to be played standing up, but many games on PlayStation VR can be played sitting down. If you find yourself particularly sensitive, then sitting down while you play can seriously help. It really depends on the specific game as to how it will affect you.

If you tend to sway in place when your brain gets confused, then playing while sitting down is definitely your safer option. Thankfully many of the PlayStation VR games that are available support having you play while sitting down. Certain games like Batman: Arkham VR can feel weird if you're sitting down while playing, but it can make a serious impact in becoming dizzy or feeling sick.

Don't play through the pain

If you start to feel off or dizzy, then it may be time to take a short break from VR. This rule also applies if you have a cold, an ear infection, or an eye infection. That's because the inner ear is linked to motion sickness in VR, so if things are already out of whack, playing with PlayStation VR may only exacerbate the problem.

Motion sickness has also been shown to crop up more if you are playing while too tired. What this translates to is listening to what your body is telling you. If you're exhausted or sick, you're more liable to make it worse by playing around in VR. Instead, take breaks when you need them so that you can make the most out of your time in VR.

If the experience is laggy or jumpy, turn it off

Motion sickness in VR has been shown to be much worse, and much more common if you are dealing with a less than stellar picture. Choppy or jumpy images, lag, and frame-rate drops all contribute to feeling dizzy or nauseous. If you start to have this issue on PlayStation VR, then your best bet is to turn it off and restart the game or app. If that doesn't help out, you may need to close the application for awhile or give your console a break for a few minutes.

How to deal with Aim controller drift

Playstation Aim controller

Controller drift is the problem where what the PlayStation VR sees as the location of your controllers, and where they actually are. This is why you may see your controller start to float across your game even though you are standing quite still. This is a pretty common problem across VR systems, and PlayStation's Aim controller is no exception to that. While it can be hard to tell when your controller has started to drift there is an easy way to check.

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How do I fix controller drift?

If you start to notice that your controller is drifting, there are a few different things that you can do to deal with the issue. Thankfully, a few of these options won't even require you to turn off your headset to troubleshoot this issue.

The first thing you should do if you start to notice this, is to double check your playspace. Remember that PlayStation VR works best in a room where it can easily see the lights on your headset and controller. This means ensuring that your room doesn't have any bright lights, or reflective surfaces to confuse it while you are playing. By taking a few minutes to set up your space before gaming, you can help to avoid problems down the line.

The second thing to check is what the battery level of your Aim controller looks like. If you've been playing for quite a while, or you failed to charge your controller before starting to play, then your issue may just be a low battery. You can check on this pretty easily, and if your battery is low then it may be time to just go ahead and plug it in to charge for a little while before you attempt to play.

If your Aim controller drift issues don't seem to crop up until you've been playing for a while then there is a fix. If you shake, or firmly tap the controller it should correct. This is particularly easy in Farpoint since an aspect of gameplay will have you move the controller up against your shoulder to swap weapons. While none of these fixes is an all out fix, they will deal with the problem when it does crop up, and ensure you can get back to gaming.

How to deal with menu stutter on PlayStation VR

On occasion while perusing the PlayStation VR menu, things can get jumpy or stutter on the screen in front of you. While this is a frustrating problem, it can be fixed.

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Pause your downloads

  1. Go to Notifications
  2. Select Download
  3. Hit X on the game that is downloading or updating

Have you run into problems?

Every console is going to run into problems from time to time, and PlayStation VR is no exception to that rule. These are just the issues we've run into, but we want to hear from you! Is there a common issue we didn't address here? Have you had issues you can't find a fix for? Let us know in the comments below!

How to deal with Holiday lights and your PSVR camera

Christmas lights might be confusing your Move Controllers and we're gonna help you figure out how to make that stop

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Check What the Camera Sees

  1. Select "Settings" from your PlayStation menu.
  2. Select "Devices."
  3. Select "Adjust Tracking Lights." From there you wanna make sure all your lights and controllers are in the designated areas they are supposed to be. If you see a dark blob on the screen, that's a light that is too bright. Now that you know where the main problem is, you can adjust accordingly to fix it.

If your options are limited you may need to move the tree entirely or, at the very least shut off the lights.

Using Solid LED Lights

If you don't mind spending a few extra bucks, of you haven't bought your Christmas decorations yet, you're in luck. Turns out, if you use Christmas lights that have only one color to them, your Eye Camera won't have a difficult time finding where your Move Controllers are. White LED Lights worked the best, as we found solid colors like purple and blue still caused a little interference.

You still don't want these lights in your direct area, but if they're a good 3 feet away from the edge of your playspace, you'll be fine to keep those gorgeous lights up.

How to keep HDR support with PlayStation VR

You might be one of the lucky folks who managed to snag a PlayStation VR when they were released back in October. That means that you might have also realized that while you have access to an HDR television, PlayStation VR doesn't support it right now. That's because the processing unit that runs your shiny new VR system works as an HDMI splitter.

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Manual options

PlayStation VR cords

While having access to HDR isn't a deal breaker for many people right now, as more people pick up HDR enabled televisions, it's going to be a question that crops up more as we move forward. Your first option is just to unplug the HDMI from the processing unit and plug it back into the back of your PlayStation 4 system.

Now this basically puts you back to square one. It means that every time you want to switch between playing a game in VR, and playing a normal game, you'll have to unplug or plug back in specific cords. It's not an ideal solution, but if you are looking for the easiest and cheapest choice, this is definitely it. That does mean you may end up running into a USB error down the line, but it doesn't involve any extra pieces of equipment. For casual users, or those that aren't overly concerned with being able to play in HDR, this is certainly your best bet.

Invest in a splitter box

PlayStation VR ports

There is a second option though. You can make the choice to go ahead and invest in a splitter box. This will allow you to eliminate the process of having to unplug cords everytime you decide to switch up what type of game you want to play. It gives you a significant amount of freedom that most people prefer, rather than having to tweak their console each time they play.

While this is the more convenient option in the long run, it does require extra steps at the onset. You'll need both an HDR splitter and a basic knowledge of how it works. By using the splitter you can bypass the cut off from the processor unit. This means that you'll be able to access HDR when you are playing normal games and not have to worry about constantly dealing with cable management.

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How to prevent lens fog with any VR headset

Clear up your sight with these quick tips to reduce lens fog in virtual reality.

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  1. Store your VR headset in a warm location

  2. Warm up your VR headset before play

  3. Use anti-fog solutions

Various anti-fog solutions are on the market for use with VR headsets, which promise to reduce the fog build up through sprays or wipes. By reducing surface tension, water droplets are spread, reducing the chance of fog building up over time. While some achieve excellent results with these solutions, their effectiveness can vary between different scenarios and brands. We recommend using a solution designed with glasses in mind, rather than solutions used for wet environments.

Updated January, 2018: We've added more troubleshooting solutions to our guide!

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