How to Set Up HTC Vive Full Body Tracking

Get your whole body in the game

What to Know

  • Buy and set up one or more wireless Vive Trackers.
  • Pair the Vive trackers with your SteamVR install as additional controllers.
  • Not all games support full-body VR tracking, and others will require additional setup to work.

This guide will explain how to set up full-body tracking in HTC Vive games using Vive Tracker accessories.

How Do I Get Full Body Tracking in My HTC Vive?

The best way to get full-body tracking—or as close as you can get with an HTC Vive—is with the official Vive tracker wireless accessories. These can be attached to various body parts, controllers, or external devices for improved functionality with your HTV Vive.

In games that support Vive Tracker inputs, you can attach Vive Trackers to your wrists, ankles, and waist and track almost your entire body.

  1. Buy between one and five Vive trackers.

  2. Start SteamVR on your PC, and in the options menu, navigate to Devices > Pair Controller.

    Devices and Pair Controller on SteamVR
  3. When prompted, select I want to pair a different kind of controller. Then select HTC Vive Tracker. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the pairing process.

    Repeat as necessary for however many Vive Trackers you want to use.

    I want to pair a different kind of controller on SteamVR
  4. Attach the Vive Tracker to whatever body part you want to track in-game. Alternatively, you can use it to track custom controllers like sports bats and rackets, guns, or attached to a pet's collar so you can make sure you don't step on them while playing.

    It can also be attached to an external camera to make mixed reality videos.

  5. Play your favorite games to enjoy your full body in VR.

    Only a handful of SteamVR games support full-body tracking. Make sure the game you want to play supports it before buying Vive Trackers.

Does HTC Vive Have Full Body Tracking?

The HTC Vive doesn't have full-body tracking with its default kit: only head and hand tracking. However, with Vive Trackers, you can expand the tracking capabilities to the entire body.

There are also third-party accessories that can enable expanded body tracking for the HTC Vive. However, their support is even more limited than Vive Trackers, so be wary before buying into niche hardware options.

How Can I Improve My HTC Vive Tracking?

HTC Vive Lighthouse sensors still offer the best tracking of any VR headset, but they are external sensors, which means occlusion can be a problem. Ensure your sensors are mounted up high and preferably in opposite corners of your play space to give them a complete view of your play area.

It's a good idea to remove anything which could impede their line of sight, too.

While playing, do your best not to get too close to the sensors, especially underneath them, or to turn into a tight corner where the sensors may not be able to see the headset or controllers.

  • How many lighthouses are needed for full body tracking on HTC Vive?

    Technically, you only need two sensors for full-body tracking, but adding more sensors will improve accuracy. You can have up to four sensors in a room.

  • How expensive is HTC Vive full body tracking?

    Expect to spend upward of $600 on an HTC Vive unit with full-body tracking. You can spend even more on extra accessories to improve the experience.

  • How high do the HTC Vive tracking stations have to be?

    Ideally, the base stations should be above the player's head, so two meters (about 6.5 feet) should suffice. Mount them at a 30-45 degree angle facing each other no farther than 5 meters (16.5 in) apart.

  • Can I use HTC Vive without sensors?

    No. You can't use an HTC Vive without sensors, but you can get by with just one. However, you will be limited to forward-facing, seated VR experiences.

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