HTC Vive Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

We’ve listed here a selection of the most commonly asked questions for the HTC Vive VR headset. Keep checking back because we’re always updating and adding more questions. Make sure you also check out our in-depth guide, full review and the best prices for the headset.

Side view of the HTC Vive VR headset.
The HTC Vive VR Headset

What is the HTC Vive?

The HTC Vive is a premium virtual reality headset. It connects to a PC or laptop, which powers the VR experience, and uses a variety of sensors to track the user’s position. It’s paired with controllers which are also tracked. It’s one of the few headsets capable of room-scale VR tracking.

When Will the HTC Vive 2 Be Released?

A pro version of the HTC Vive is already available. It offers improved visuals, audio, and comfort compared to the base version. However, there are no details yet on the HTC’s plans for their next generation of premium headsets.

How Does HTC Vive Tracking Work?

The Vive uses what is known as a Lighthouse system. Two external sensors use an infrared beam to measure the space the user is in, as well as the location of the headset and controllers, each of which has their own set of sensors. The PC or laptop that the headset is connected to powers the VR experience.

How Do You Setup/Install the HTC Vive?

The process is outlined on the official website, but essentially you first need to connect and configure the base stations. From here, you can connect the headset to your PC or laptop. Next, you will have to install the Steam platform, before configuring the controllers. You then set up your play space and calibrate your system.

How Do I Use YouTube on the HTC Vive?

There is a YouTube VR app that can be found on the Steam platform. All you need to do is install this, and you can access your content.

How Do I Focus the HTC Vive Lenses?

There is a lens distance knob on the side of the headset. You need to pull this out and twist it until it’s at a comfortable distance before pushing the knob back in. Also, note there is protective plastic on the lenses that needs to be removed before playing.

How Do I Download HTC Vive Games?

Games can be downloaded via the SteamVR platform to your PC. They can also be downloaded via the Viveport app.

How Much Are HTC Vive Games?

There are a wide variety of games available at a number of price points. There are some free apps and demos available, as well as premium games that cost the same price as regular video games.

How Do You Store the HTC Vive?

No storage is provided in the base kit, but there are a number of stands and storage solutions available from third-party providers.

How Do I Mount the HTC Vive Lighthouse?

First-generation Vive headsets came with a wall-mounting kit, but subsequent ones don’t. You can purchase a mounting kit from a variety of third-party sellers.

How Do I Update the HTC Vive Firmware?

The SteamVR app will notify you if your controller or base stations need a firmware update. You will need to connect the hardware via USB, and the updates will automatically apply.

Where Is the HTC Vive Microphone?

The Vive’s microphone is located on the bottom side of the device, in the centre. You can see a small hole, which is where it’s placed.

Where Can I Try the HTC Vive?

A variety of stores, including GameStop and Microsoft stores, have had demo models in-store. Check the Vive website for exact locations.

Where Can I Download HTC Vive Games?

Games can be downloaded through both the SteamVR platform and the Viveport service.

What is the HTC Vive Compatible With?

The HTC Vive VR headset is only compatible with PCs and laptops that have sufficient specs. This includes a recommended NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 480 graphics card, as well as at least an Intel Core i5-4590 or AMD FX 8350. You will also need 4GB of RAM. It is not compatible with PS4, Xbox One, or other consoles.

Does the HTC Vive Work With Macs?

Mac support for VR headsets, including the HTC Vive, was included with the High Sierra macOS release. Support for the HTC Vive Pro will be added in the macOS Mojave update.

Is the HTC Vive Wireless?

The HTC Vive is not currently wireless. However, HTC announced that a wireless adapter would be released later this year.

Is the HTC Vive 4K?

No, the Vive only produces a resolution of 2160×1200, short of the 3840 × 2160 UHD/4K resolution standard.

Is the HTC Vive Standalone?

No, the HTC Vive requires a powerful PC or laptop in order to power it. Currently, you have to have a wired connection to a computer, although a wireless adapter is in the works.

Is the HTC Vive Multiplayer?

Yes, there are a variety of games for the HTC Vive that offer a multiplayer experience. This includes titles such as Hover Junkies, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, and HordeZ. Some games are multiplayer compatible across VR headsets.

Is the HTC Vive Pixelated?

All first-generation headsets such as the HTC Vive suffer from what is known as the ‘screen door’ effect. This is where individual pixels are visible, which can sometimes break immersion. However, the Vive and Vive Pro offer some of the best quality graphics currently available in VR.

Are HTC Vive Games Free?

There is a wide range of games available on the Viveport and SteamVR platform. Some are free, while others cost the same as premium games.

Can the HTC Vive Play Oculus Games? / Can Oculus and Vive Users Play Together?

Yes, many of the games available on the Oculus Rift are also available on the HTC Vive. Some of these also allow for cross-play, but the majority do not.

Can the HTC Vive Work Without Sensors?

No, the Lighthouse sensors determine where the Headset and controllers are in the virtual space. Without them, you cannot use the headset.

Can HTC Vive Run On a Laptop?

Yes, some laptops are capable of running the HTC Vive headset. However, only those with a powerful GPU are capable of this. A GTX 1070 equivalent or greater is required.

What Is HTC Vive Direct Mode?

Direct Mode renders content directly on the HTC Vive display. The alternative, extended mode, uses the headset as an extension of your desktop. Many games won’t run in extended mode.

What Is the HTC Vive’s Resolution?

The Vive has two OLED panels, one for each eye. Each panel has a display resolution of 1080×1200 pixels, for a combined 2160×1200 resolution.

What Is the HTC Vive Business Edition?

The HTC Vive Business edition offers organisations a professional use licence to use the Vive. It also comes with a commercial, deluxe audio strap, 16-foot headset cable extension kit, flexible deployment and a dedicated phone support line.

What Graphics Card Should I Get For the HTC Vive?

According to HTC’s website, you should have at least an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 290 graphics card to run the HTC Vive.

Which PC/GPU Should I Use For the HTC Vive?

HTC recommend having an Intel Core i5-4590/AMD FX 8350 processor or better, as well as an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 480 graphics card or better. You will also need at least 4GB of RAM.

Why Is my HTC Vive Blurry?

There could be a number of reasons for blurriness. The lenses have a protective plastic film on them which needs to be removed before use. Dirt on the lenses can also make things blurry. Finally, you could need to adjust the position on your face. According to HTC, ‘The headset’s bottom edge should rest on your cheekbones, while the standard strap should cup the back of your head.’

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