Do You Need a TV for PlayStation VR?

How to use your PS VR without a TV

What to Know

  • You can use the PS VR without a TV. Hook up the PS VR as usual, but don't connect an HDMI between the TV and the Processor Unit.
  • As long as the PlayStation Camera is mounted where it can see the play area, you don't need a TV to play VR games.
  • The TV lets other people in the room watch your screen, but it isn't necessary to play.

Whether you're freeing up a TV, want a dedicated space for virtual reality, or are taking your PlayStation VR along on a trip, it is possible to hook up the hardware without an external screen. Instructions in this article apply to PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4 Pro, PlayStation 5, and both CUH-VR1 and CUH-VR2 models of PS VR.

Can I Use PS VR Without a TV?

The short answer is that you can, and you don't need to do anything different to get the peripheral hooked up; you'll just skip a single cable connection. Here's what to do.

  1. Power off and unplug your PlayStation 4 or 5.

  2. Connect the PlayStation Camera to the port on the back of your console.

    If you're using PS VR with a PlayStation 5 console, you will need a free Playstation Camera Adapter from Sony.

  3. Find a suitable place for your PlayStation Camera where it will "see" you while you're playing. Not having a TV to put the camera on top or in front of is the other major difference. Sony recommends it be about four and a half feet from the floor and six feet away from where you're standing or sitting.

    You should avoid putting it on the floor to make sure it can properly register the lights on your VR headset and controllers (and doesn't become a tripping hazard). Instead, you can put it on a desk, table, or chair.

  4. Connect the Processor Unit to your console with an HDMI cable, plugging it into the HDMI PS4 port on the back of the box.

    You can leave the HDMI TV port open; this is the only difference in how you set up PS VR without a TV.

    The HDMI PS4 port on the back of a PS VR Processor Unit
  5. Run a cable between the micro-USB port on the back of the Processor Unit and a USB port on the front of the console.

    The micro-USB port on the PS VR Processor Unit
  6. Connect the power cord into the PS VR's AC adapter, and then connect the cable to the back of the Processor Unit. Plug the power cord into an outlet.

  7. Connect the two cables from the PS VR headset to the front of the Processor Unit. This step is different depending on your PlayStation VR model:

    • CUH-VR1: Slide the right side of the processor unit back to reveal the ports, connect the cables, and then slide the compartment forward again. Connect the other end of the cable to the one coming off of the headset.
    • CUH-VR2: Plug the cables from the headset into the ports on the front of the Processor Unit.

    Be sure to match the symbols on the cables to the ones above the ports: Triangle and Circle for the left, X and Square for the right.

    The ports on the front of the PS VR Processor Unit
  8. Plug your console back in, and then turn it on.

  9. Put on your PS VR headset and press the Power button. To adjust the camera settings, go to Settings Devices PlayStation VR Adjust PS Camera.

What Do I Need for PlayStation VR?

While a TV isn't necessary to use Sony's virtual reality system, you need a few other things.

First, you'll need a PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5 console (with the camera adapter for the PS5) to connect it to. Unlike some standalone VR systems like the Oculus Go, PS VR needs an external system to handle graphics and processing.

If your VR set doesn't come with Move motion controllers, you'll also need a set of those to play some (but not all) compatible games. Some titles only need the standard DualShock 4 or DualSense controllers that came with the consoles, and the camera uses the lights they emit to detect motion.

You don't need optional accessories like the PlayStation Move Sharp Shooter, which is plastic housing for the controllers that make you feel like you're holding a gun. Those can be good for immersion, but they aren't necessary for games to work.

As far as a room goes, you'll need an open area with nothing you might trip over or hit while you're playing. It can be easy to get turned around while you're playing a VR game, so you want to set aside as much space as possible; ideally, you'll have six feet on every side.

Do You Need a Good TV for VR?

Because the TV is ultimately optional for PS VR, the quality doesn't matter. A good, large display will benefit you if you're playing VR games with friends and want them to see what's going on while you play. Otherwise, everything will be on the screen in the headset, which works whether a TV is connected or not.

  • What is Sony PlayStation VR?

    Sony PlayStation VR is the brand's virtual reality gaming system and consists of a headset, headphones, processor, and required cables. PS VR systems work specifically with PS4 and PS5 gaming consoles and supported PlayStation VR games.

  • What technologies does Sony use for PlayStation VR?

    PS VR is a tethered VR system that uses a PlayStation console rather than a VR-capable PC for processing power. PS VR also operates with a separate processing unit to handle tasks like 3D audio and cable management, The system also uses a PlayStation Camera, an accelerometer, and gyroscope sensors to track head and body movement.

Was this page helpful?