How to use HTC Vive without Sensors


Is it possible to use Vive with no base stations?

What to Know

  • An HTC Vive can’t be used without Lighthouse stations. However, you can make do with one.
  • You can have forward-facing and seated experiences with one sensor.
  • Two sensors are required for all 360-degree, standing, and room-scale VR experiences.

This guide will show you how to set up the HTC Vive using just one sensor, if you don’t have enough space or time for two, and explain why you can’t use the HTC Vive without any sensors.

Can VR be used without base stations?

There are many types of virtual reality headsets. Some headsets can be connected directly to a computer, while others can be used as standalone devices. Some headsets, especially the first generation, have external trackers. Moderner, more standalone headsets use “inside-out” tracking. This means that the headset’s cameras provide the tracking.

The HP Reverb G2 headset and the Oculus Quest 2 are two examples of headsets that have inside-out tracking.

The HTC Vive VR headset is the first-generation and requires external sensors in order to function.

Is HTC Vive possible without sensors?

No. No. The headset does not have base stations so it cannot accurately check your position in virtual world. It will also show grey screens if the trackers are lost.

If you are short on space or time, you can set up the Vive using just one Lighthouse sensor. While some forward-facing experiences and games will work well with this, it will limit your ability to turn the Vive at 180 degrees. Also, you may have difficulty tracking controllers in certain positions.

You can set up one Lighthouse sensor by following the HTC Vive setup instructions. However, you only need to power up one sensor. In the setup wizard, you will also need to choose Setup for Standing Only.

Are You Using the HTC Vive Sensors?

Yes, absolutely. Yes. One sensor will work for certain games and experiences. However, if the Vive headset is not equipped with any sensors, it will display a grey screen.

While two sensors are the best for tracking, you can only use one sensor to create a 180-degree VR experience.

Can Vive be used without controllers?

Some VR experiences don’t require input. You’ll need to open them outside VR and on your monitor. Some games require head/gaze control and should work without controllers.

For most experiences and games that require input, however, you’ll need the Vive motion controller or an Xbox controller.


How do you set up HTC Vive?

To Set up the HTC Vive and create a play area. Next, mount the Lighthouse tracking sensor in opposite corners, with approximately 6.5 feet between them. Next, download Steam and log into your Steam account to install SteamVR. Follow the prompts to connect your headset to the linkbox, then plug it into your computer.

Where can I test an HTC Vive?

Go to the Vive store locator website to find a location to test the HTC Vive. A Google Map will display the locations of the stores that have the Vive installed for demonstration.

What amount of space is required for an HTC Vive device?

Vive recommends that you have a play area large enough to allow movement over a diagonal of up to 16ft and 4in (five meters). A minimum space of 6’6″ x 5′ is required for a room-sized setup. There is no minimum space required for standing or seated experiences.


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