Setting up the HTC Vive


This article will cover the setup for the Vive headsets used with the EML VR stationsto ensure the play area is set, calibrated, and ready for use for VR experiences as well as projects.


You will need

  • A computer with Steam, a Steam account, with SteamVR installed.
  • The two base stations plugged in and powered on.
  • (Room Setup) An open space with the base stations mounted diagonally at the corners
  • A link box plugged into the computer.
  • An HTC Vive headset and the controllers.


  1. Using the cables on the headset, plug them into the link box. You may notice the orange rims on both the ends of the headset's cables as well as that of the link box ports. Match them up, ensure they are secured and sit well.
  2. Make sure the two base stations are plugged in, powered on and are able to recognize one another. They should be set up diagonally to each other, at the corners of the VR space. You should see them in modes "b" and "c" respectively and top LED colored green.
  3. Turn on the controllers by pressing the middle button below the large circular touch dial. The LED will briefly light up blue, then green once they have identified the nearby Vive headset they are linked to.
  4. On your computer, launch SteamVR while logged into Steam and clicking the VR icon on the top right, or alternatively only launch "VR Monitor" off the desktop or Windows start menu. Either way, you will see a small rectangular window appear on the bottom of your screen.

    Option 1: Launching the VR Monitor from Steam. This tends to be done when the the headset will be used with a game/experience launched through the Steam platform.
    Option 2: Launching the VR Monitor directly from the desktop or Start Menu. This is a quicker way to access the same window. This is usually done when the headset will be used for a Unity/Unreal project or for an experience not launched through Steam.
    VR Monitor Window:
  5.  There, you will see icons representing your devices such as your headset/head mounted display (HMD), controllers, and the base stations. Ensure all are blue, signifying that they are online and recognized.
  6. If one or both of your controllers is not linked and its icon is not blue in the monitor: Click the three stripes at the top left and navigate to Devices > Pair ControllerThen, as directed by the on-screen instructions, simultaneously press then hold the Menu button and System button on the controller(s) until the controller's LED indicator is blinking blue.
    • If you would like to also link a Vive tracking puck, please refer to the Pairing a Vive Tracker section of this article.
  7. Click the the tiny three stripes/hamburger icon on the top left of the small VR monitor window. You will see a context menu open up with several options. Click "Room Setup", the first option at the top.
  8. Afterwards, the Room Setup window will open. Select "Room-Scale" to set up a walkable space. From here, follow the on-screen directions until you are asked to create the boundaries. 
  9. Once asked to mark the boundaries for your VR space, toggle "Advanced Mode", allowing you to set points at the corners/vertices of the space, rather than manually drawing the border. Make sure the controller is at the corners of your desired space. In the EML, the VR spaces are marked off in blue masking tape. Direct the controllers over their corners to set those boundaries up as marked.

Click "Next", confirm that your space is bigger than the minimum required dimensions (the chosen space is marked green on the Room Setup view), and with that, Room Setup is complete! The Vive headset and space are ready for use. Put on the headset, confirm the floor and chaperone (the VR boundaries) are where they are supposed to be, and enjoy!

Pairing a Vive Tracker

This is an additional section going over adding a Vive Tracker to your current VR setup. Here are the following steps to get it paired up:

  1. Plug in the Watchman Dongle to the computer using the Vive charging cable.
  2. Make sure both controllers are on, and linked.
  3. In the VR Monitor, go to Devices > Pair Controller, then select I want to pair something else and select HTC Vive Tracker.
  4. From here, as the instructions say, press and hold the tracker to turn it on. Then do it again until the blue LED indicator begins to blink.
  5. Once the indicator turns green and a blue tracker icon appears in the VR Monitor, you should be all set to use the Vive Tracker.

Further Resources

  1. Vive Support: Connecting the headset to your computer
  2. Vive Support: Installing the Base Stations
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