One of the unique things that set HTC Vive apart from most other VR and AR headsets in the market right now is the HTC Vive headset’s ability to track your full body movements in a large play area referred to as room scale. Using state of the art tracking technology, the HTC Vive tracks all your movements in an area you designate to its tracking sensors or base stations. However, there are a number of factors that can affect the accuracy and overall quality of HTC Vive tracking and this guide will help you fix the HTC Vive tracking issue so your base stations can work flawlessly while you are using the VR headset.
How To Fix HTC Vive Tracking Issue
HTC Vive tracking issue usually appears in the form of your in-game character drifting or floating around instead of standing still on a surface. In other cases, it is also possible that when you move your hands or turn your head, the HTC Vive base stations don’t track your movement and your character continues to stay still. If the base station LED is solid or blinking purple, the HTC Vive sensors are having trouble communication properly. For all such similar issues where it seems as if the HTC Vive tracker isn’t responding properly, try out the solutions given below.
Check Base Station Mounting
- Both the HTC Vive base stations should be mounted above head height for optimal HTC Vive controller tracking.
- HTC advises that the base stations should be at least 6 feet above the ground level of your play-area to ensure that the HTC Vive headset and Vive controllers are in constant view of the sensors.
- Base stations should also be angled between 30 and 45 degrees and both the stations should be placed within 16 feet of each other without anything else obstructing the line of sight between stations
- In cases that both base stations don’t have a clear line of sight, always use the sync cable included in the HTC Vive package
- Make sure that both the HTC Vive base stations are mounted securely on walls and aren’t loose. Best way to secure them is to use the included mounting kit to prevent any vibrations from disrupting the HTC Vive controller tracking
Configure Base Station Channels
There are three channels to choose from when setting up your HTC Vive headset and the headset, controller and base station interact with each other using these channels. Each base station can be set to one of these three channels depending on how your HTC Vive setup is and what is causing HTC Vive tracking issue. You can change the base station channel via a switch at the back of each base station.
- If you are using wireless optical sync and base stations are in clear line of sight of each other, put one station on Channel B and the other on Channel C.
- For those using the sync cable between stations, put one base station on Channel A and the other on Channel B
If the channels are set up properly and base stations are synced with each other, the base station LEDs should turn a solid green.
New Room Setup
In some cases, simply recalibrating the play-area is a great and quick way to fix HTC Vive tracking issue. In such cases where you are facing HTC Vive headset or controller tracking issues, especially if you moved things around in your room, just perform a New Room Setup and it should fix most issues. Clear your room of any reflective surfaces that might interfere with the infra-red light emitted by the base station. Once that is done, simply start the process to recalibrate your room, properly align the floor and HTC Vive controllers to the base station in order to fix tracking.
HTC Vive Camera
In rare cases, it is possible that the front facing camera of your HTC Vive headset might be causing controller tracking issue and because of that, the camera is disabled by default. If you experience HTC Vive tracking issue as soon as you turn on the front facing camera, it is highly likely that the camera is the culprit in this scenario. This happens due to the high amount of data being sent via the USB cable which can consume a lot of bandwidth because of high-quality camera video. To fix this, lower the camera bandwidth in SteamVR > Settings > Camera or simply disable the camera altogether.
Hopefully, these tips on how to fix HTC Vive tracking issue might be of use to you if your brand new VR headset is giving trouble when gaming. If none of the above solutions works, you should also make sure that all your cable connections are properly secured and not loose, especially the USB cables at the back of your PC. Similarly, enable Frame Time graph by going to SteamVR > Settings > Performance > “Display Frame Timing” and if you see spikes on the graph, it is highly likely that there aren’t actually any HTC Vive issues but your CPU itself is unable to handle the VR load.