HTC Vive Setup Guide

MVN Animate Pro and Analyze Pro can use Position Aiding and Object Tracking with HTC Vive. This article helps you to get started with the hardware and software setup.


Vive Support 

For Vive and Steam related topics, the appropriate support is leading:
- Vive Support 
- Steam Support

Additionally, if you are looking for HTC Vive support for commercial business, see the HTC Enterprise Service Subscription:


After setup, you can follow the appropriate articles here to get started with recording in MVN:
- Position Aiding: HTC Vive
Object Tracking: HTC Vive




  Item Amount
mceclip7.png Link and/or Awinda (optional)

Used for Position Aiding

mceclip0.png SteamVR Base Station 

2-4, depending on room scale (see below). More details: Using more than 2 Base Stations

mceclip7.png Vive Tracker

- 1 per segment for Position Aiding

- 1 per Object for Object Tracking

mceclip6.png Vive Pro Headset (optional)

- Can be attached to the Head segment for Position Aiding

- Can be used as Object for Object Tracking

mceclip2.png Vive Pro Controllers (optional)

- Can be attached to the Hand segment for Position Aiding

- Can be used as Object for Object Tracking

mceclip1.png Tracker strap / mount (optional) 1 per Tracker (used to secure Vive Tracker to segment) 
mceclip3.pngmceclip4.png Base station mounts / clamps (optional) 1 per Base Station (used to secure Base Station to segment) 

*This article describes and recommends the use of Version 2 of the Vive Trackers and Base Stations. However, it is possible to use Version 1 of the hardware as well. 



mceclip6.png MVN Animate Pro / Analyze Pro 2020.2
mceclip5.png Steam with SteamVR 


PC requirements MVN

System requirements and recommendations for the MVN software in combination with HTC Vive

  • Windows 10 (64 bit)
  • Quad core or higher (2.7 GHz or faster)
  • SSD 256 GB or more
  • 8 GB of RAM 
  • Hardware acceleration for DirectX 11, dedicated memory 512 MB or more
  • Gigabit Ethernet, support for jumbo frames (9014 Bytes)
  • USB 2.0 (1 per MVN Awinda system, 1 per license dongle)
  • Dedicated channel for headphone and microphone jack for the use of Timecode 

In case 3 or 4 systems (either MVN Link or MVN Awinda) are used at the same time, the following requirements are recommended: 

  • Windows 10 (64 bit)
  • 6 core or higher (3.2 GHz or faster)
  • SSD 256 GB or more
  • 16-32 GB of RAM 
  • Hardware acceleration for DirectX 11, dedicated memory 2 GB or more
  • Gigabit Ethernet, support for jumbo frames (9014 Bytes)
  • USB 2.0 (1 per MVN Awinda system, 1 per license dongle)
  • Dedicated channel for headphone and microphone jack for the use of Timecode 


PC Requirements Steam VR 


1. Software

1.1 Install Steam

1. Download and install Steam


2. Open Steam

3. Create or log in with an existing  Steam account

1.2 Install SteamVR

1. In Steam, go to the Store tab and search for SteamVR


2. Press Play Game and follow the instructions to Install SteamVR:



NOTE: Do not use beta versions of SteamVR:
To check this, go to the Library in Steam and Right-click on SteamVR > Properties > Betas.


The option "NONE- Opt out of all beta programs" should be selected:



1.3 Check Hardware Status SteamVR

1. Within Steam, click "Run" on the SteamVR application

NOTE: SteamVR will not open if you have an active session in MVN with Position Aiding or Object Tracking. Make sure you disable Position Aiding or Object Tracking or close the active session before you open SteamVR. 



2. In the SteamVR window, the HMD should be visible.

NOTE: The hexagon with the "H" stands for the HMD. The "H" can have a black background mceclip9.png (idle) or colored background mceclip8.png (active) which can change during a session. This has no effect on the Vive Trackers.



2. Set up Hardware 

2.1 Define play area

Multiple Base Stations (V2 only) can be combined to create a play area. 

Play Area Advised Base Stations
2m x 2m (6ft 6in x 6ft 6in) 2
5m x 5m (16ft 4in x 16ft 4in) 3
10m x 10m (32ft 9in x 32ft 9in) 4


Base Station V2
(SteamVR Base Station)

Example play areas


More information: Using more than 2 Base Stations



2.2 Set up Base Stations

Once the play area is defined, the Base Stations can be set up on the correct positions. More information on the Base Stations can be found below: 

Base Station V2
(SteamVR Base Station)

1 Status light
2 Front panel
3 Power port
4 Threaded mounting hole
5 Channel button


1. Place the Base Station in a high enough, fixed position:
- 2m or more above the floor.
- Pointing down under an angle between 30-45 degrees)


Base Station V2
Setup tips Base Station V2


2. Plug-in power cord.

3. Set the right channel for each Base Station, by pressing the button on the back of the Base Station:
- Base Station V2:
             - Default: channel 1: Check this article to set the channel of the Base Station: Configure Base Station Channel. It is also possible to use the button on the back (button only reachable with paperclip). Each button press will increase by 1. Choose a channel that is not yet occupied.        


2.3 Set up Tracker

More information on the Vive Tracker can be found here: Vive Tracker 

(1) Vive Tracker
(2) Dongle
(3) Cradle
(4) Micro-USB cable


2.3.1 Update Tracker Firmware

1. Connect the Vive Tracker with micro-USB cable (4) to a USB port in your PC.
2. Wait until the LED indicator on the Tracker turns orange.
3. In the SteamVR window go to the options by clicking mceclip5.png > Devices > Update Devicemceclip7.png

4. If an update is available (indicated by mceclip10.png), Click on "Update available" and follow the steps. 


5. If you are done, the Tracker should be up to date. 


6. Unplug the Tracker from the micro-USB cable.


2.3.2 Pair Tracker

1. Plug dongle (2) into the cradle (3)

2. Connect cradle (3) with micro-USB cable (4) to a USB port in your PC (after a short while, Windows should detect the new USB device)
NOTE: using the dongle directly in your PC might interfere too much (it should be >45cm away from any PC)

3. Turn on Vive tracker (1) by holding the Vive logo-button in the middle, until the LED indicator on the Tracker turns blue. Press and hold the Vive Logo-button in the middle again until the blue LED indicator is blinking. Otherwise, the tracker cannot start pairing.

4. Wait until the tracker and the dongle are paired (the LED indicator on the tracker should turn green once properly paired)


NOTE: if the Tracker is not pairing automatically, check the following steps:

- Right-click on the Tracker in the SteamVR window, and select "Pair tracker"


- Select The HTC Vive Tracker in the Controller Paring window and follow the steps.


After this, the Tracker Icon mceclip19.png should appear in the SteamVR window



2.3.3 Check TrackerID

1. To check which TrackerID belongs to which Vive Hardware, right-click on the Tracker icon in SteamVR and go to Manage Vive Trackers. 


By turning the hardware on and off you can identify which Vive hardware has which TrackerID. Labeling the Vive hardware with this TrackerID can be for identifying them later on. 



2.3.4 Check Play Area

1. Move the Vive hardware around in the Play Area. The Base Station icon(s) mceclip18.png appear in the SteamVR window. 


NOTE: If you're not using a HMD, you first have to set SteamVR to accept the use without HMD. This can be set in MVN (see step 4 of Chapter 3, Set up MVN). After you've enabled Use SteamVR without HMD, continue from here.


NOTE: if Base Station Icon is greyed out mceclip13.png, it is not visible to the Vive Hardware. Move the Tracker around to make it visible. If that does not help, check if the Channels of the different Base Stations are different by hoovering with the mouse over the Base Station Icon. 


To change the channel of a Base Sation, see step 3 of chapter 2.1.


2.2.4 Perform Room Setup

 When SteamVR is started, the Room Setup will automatically prompt. Select the Standing Only Room Setup. 


NOTE: If the Room Setup does not prompt automatically, it can be opened manually in the SteamVR window by clicking  mceclip5.png > Room Setup. 


1. In the Establish tracking window, click Nextmceclip18.png


2. In the Calibrate your space window, click Calibrate Center.
3. Wait for the calibration to finish and click Next



4. In the Locate the floor window, Set the distance to 0 cm (0 in.) and click Calibrate floor. 
5. Wait for the calibration to finish and click Next


6. Room setup is complete, click Next to continue. 



Adjust Vive Center

if you have an HMD you can put that on the floor during the Room setup to adjust the Vive Floor Height and the Vive Origin. If it doesn't show the updated position in MVN, try updating the Seated Position. In SteamVR, go to mceclip5.png > Reset Seated Position.  


NOTE: If you're MVN is an older version than 2020.2, and you do not have an HMD, you have to reset the floor manually by changing the chaperon file: HTC Vive Adjust Floor Height Without HMD 


3. Set up MVN

3.1  Set up SteamVR in MVN

1. If SteamVR is open, close SteamVR
2. Open MVN
3. Go to Options > SteamVR



 This will open the SteamVR Options with the current settings. 


4. it is advised to check the following options:
- Make SteamVR UI less obtrusive
- Prevent Tracker Shutdown
- Lock Lighthousedb.json while recording.
NOTE: If this is your first time setting up using a HTC Vive system, the lighthousedb.json file might not exist yet. If this is the case, first leave this option unchecked and start a session with Vive Hardware (for example Object Tracking). After this, the lighthousedb.json file should be created and you can check this option. 


The following options depend on the use of a Headset:

- Use SteamVR without HMD (if you are using a Headset, you can leave it unchecked)
- Use Origin from SteamVR (only when the full room setup has been performed in SteamVR, which requires an HMD, otherwise leave unchecked)


 5. Press Save and close the SteamVR Options window.


NOTE: If in MVN the Vive Tracker is not visible or moving (Object Tracking) and/or the positional data is not updating in the graph (Position Aiding), check if the room setup is performed correctly. 


If SteamVR shows the following message, perform the Room Setup (again).


If that does not solve the issue, try updating the Seated Position. In SteamVR, go to mceclip5.png > Reset Seated Position. 



4. Start MVN Session

 1. Now that all Base Stations and Trackers/HMD/Controllers have been found,  you are ready with setup and can proceed to:
Position Aiding: HTC Vive
Object Tracking: HTC Vive


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