The Alternative Realities of Our Time

Being able to use today's current virtual reality technology is exciting. And there is no better way to enjoy delving into immersive virtual worlds than to utilize the HTC Vive. Before you can get started playing games or creating fantasy environments, you will need to correctly setup your HTC Vive.

For starters, you are going to need the following:

  • Some patience
  • A space where you will have enough room to engage with motion sensor technology comfortably
  • A working PC with upgraded components, graphics card, and ample RAM
  • A Steam Account

So you decided to opt for the HTC Vive, rather than choose a competitor such as the Oculus Rift or Playstation VR; Congratulations!


Before you can start using your HTC Vive headset and accompanying gear, you will want to get acquainted with a few things so you can enjoy a more seamless setup and operation of your new tech.

It should go without saying that you have a good internet connection and some basic know-how about handling electronic equipment carefully. After investing into the HTC Vive, you most certainly don't want to rush things and end up with faulty or damaged equipment.

You will also want to give yourself at least half an hour or so to complete your HTC Vive setup.

Requirements For Setting Up Your HTC Vive


When getting ready to do your HTC Vive setup, you'll want to look over the various components and make sure you have the right requirements for a successful installation.


Check Out The Specs Of Your PC

Both the HTC Vive and HTC Vive Pro have somewhat similar requirements, so you may not have to deal with a lengthy or expensive system upgrade to run either VR platform.


The computer you will be connecting your HTC Vive to should have at least 4GB of Ram, and run the Windows 7 SP1 OS at a minimum. A computer that runs on Windows 10 should be fine.


Image: Polygon

You will want to make sure that the drivers for your graphics cards are up to date too, and that the processor can handle the equipment. If you already have very powerful components installed in your computer, your HTC Vive setup should be a breeze. Sincere gamers realize the capabilities offered when you invest in more powerful chips, RAM space, and processing speeds.

Choose Your Space For Gaming Wisely


The way the HTC Vive works, it relies on constantly tracking your motion while interacting with the virtual environment. So, it is vital to consider the room in which you set up your gear.


You really won't want to setup your HTC Vive in a room that is smaller than 6'6" by 5', because you will need room to use your gear. It may be best to ensure that there is a distance between the base stations of 16'4" so calculating space requirements is a big deal.


Don't forget to include ceiling height too, so you don't end up hitting it when playing with your new HTC Vive.


How To Setup Your HTC Vive


First, you will want to unpack your base station, power cables, adapters, and mounting kit. You should be working with two bases stations, which should be placed opposite from one another in your designated room.


Connecting Your Base Stations


The base stations don't necessarily need to be mounted onto the wall, but they should be placed above the height of your head, and placed at a downward angle measuring around 30 to 45 degrees. A bookshelf might prove a worry accessory for the job.


Next, you will want to sync up the base stations, after being plugged into an outlet, which should turn the LEDs a solid white color.


Enter The Headset

When setting up your headset for installation, it should include a link box with an appropriate power cord, HDMI cable, and USB cable. If you are installing the HTC Vive Pro, you'll want to connect to the ports located on the back of the link box. The HTC Vive should be plugged to the side of the link box that does not have any orange colored ports.


The HDMI cable or Display Port cable should be plugged into the respective link box and your computer. This step is taken to make sure your HTC Vive utilizes your graphics card's ports. Depending on your setup, the ports needed may vary.

HTC Vive Headset

Image: Vive.com

After plugging in your power cords, connecting to a power outlet, avoid unplugging your devices and computer. To complete your HTC Vive setup, your computer may be in the process of installing any downloaded drivers.

You Are Going To Need Steam

Steam Sign In Screen

Steam is a fantastic platform, and if you don't have it already, you are going to want to download it and install it before committing to setting up an HTC Vive.


Once you have an account with Steam, you will want to go to the Library and select the Steam VR. Go under the properties, choose the Betas tab, and going down the menu, you will want to select the Update for Steam VR Beta and make sure that it updates accordingly.


After Steam VR has updated successfully,  you can launch the Steam VR to check out your newly installed HTC Vive system. If you see that everything is green your system is working properly. If you see the color green flashing, it means the headset is not in communication with the base stations. A gray color lets you know that the headset is off.


Those Motion Sensing Controllers

HTC Vive Controller

Image: Dixplore

You will want to press the bottom button on the front of each controller, which is the designated system button. If the controllers are proper, the icon status should reflect that with a green color. If you see a gray icon, check the Settings under the Steam VR menu, click on Devices, and follow the instructions provided after selecting Pair Controller. This should help clear up any connection problems.

Ready To Play In The VR World


If everything has been installed, and the green lights show you that it's all systems go, you can begin playing games by launching from Steam, or you can use the Dashboard.


You may want to get acclimated with how to play with the HTC Vive by using a tutorial. If you go to the Steam VR menu and select Room Setup, you will be walked through how to enjoy interacting with your gear.


Feel free to adjust the straps on your headset to make sure it doesn't move around too much while playing, which can put a damper on your gameplay experience. If you feel like your eyes are straining to get comfortable, you may need to adjust the IPD, or Interpupillary Distance.

Virtual Reality

Image: Teslarati

Hands down, the HTC Vive offers you a remarkable experience when playing VR games, has a vast amount of titles which continues to grow, and the controls are intuitive.  If you make sure to maintain a higher-end GPU with higher processing speeds, ample RAM, and updated graphics cards, the HTC Vive may blow your mind with the quality of your VR gaming.


If you are avid about your gaming and interested in VR, you may want to use getting the HTC Vive as the excuse you needed to create a custom build computer for gaming only. You get what you pay for when investing in the equipment that your VR gear depends on to run well.


Troubleshooting, Tips & Tricks

Don't neglect to add time to your installation and setup of your HTC Vive if you need to install or download any software. You may be looking at an additional 15 minutes to your projected 30 minute setup time before you can even consider jumping into exploring your new gear.


Get familiar with the components required of your Vive before you begin plugging cables into ports and setting up things.

Be patient. You will need to download the software to setup your HTC Vive from its website, and you will need to download Steam if you don't already have it installed on your computer. Steam is worth the investment because you get to take advantage of frequent sales on games, and tons of games to play in VR and beyond.

If the base sensors are not reading correctly, there may be something interfering with their line of sight. One reason that the bases need to be placed at opposite corners, so they can get a more accurate reading of the space and pick up on your motion correctly.


The base stations will need to be placed or mounted up above your head, so be prepared to mount them to the wall, use a door, tripod, or another method of keeping them in place for gameplay. Don't be shy about getting creative with hacks, and duct tape may prove a worthy accessory.

HTC Vive Playing

Do not underestimate the location of outlets, as the components of your HTC Vive will depend on electricity for power. Keep a power strip or two ready to handle any issues with distance.


Don't forget to make sure your controllers are charged enough before completing setup. Otherwise, you may be looking at additional time before you can jump into gameplay. You will want to ensure you have enough USB sockets for charging and be patient about the pairing and calibration of your system.


When it comes to ports, make sure that the cables are correctly fitted and that you have additional cables as needed for troubleshooting.

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