If you’re fond of playing video games, there might have been some instances when you felt that using controllers isn’t enough for you. In fact, you may have always wanted to get into the head of your favorite video game character and adopt their perspective inside the game itself. After much searching for the perfect gadget which can accomplish that, you’ve come across a VR – or virtual reality – headset and bought it. But after unboxing it, you’re now having trouble figuring out how to make it work despite following everything in the user’s manual included in it. To save you from your sticky situation, here’s a quick guide on how to set-up and use a VR headset:
1.) Figure out which system you’ll be using your VR headset for the most.
Regardless if you’ve bought yourself an Oculus Rift, a HTC Vive, or a PlayStation VR, you’ll want to identify early on where you’ll be using your VR headset most of the time.
If you’re using your VR headset to play computer-based video games, you should make sure that your PC is VR-ready by doing any of the following:
- Replace some old parts of your PC with ones that meet the recommended hardware requirements of your Oculus Rift or HTC Vive headset.
- If you’re hesitant to pull out any part of your PC, you should buy yourself a brand-new VR-ready PC instead. Don’t replace your PC with a Mac though as Apple doesn’t support VR just yet.
On the other hand, if you’re using your VR headset to play console based video games, you should make sure that the console you’re using is a PlayStation 4 and your VR headset is a PlayStation VR.
You can’t use your Oculus Rift or HTC Vive headset with a PlayStation 4 just as you can’t use your PlayStation VR headset with a VR-ready PC.
2.) If your VR headset doesn’t have a tracking camera attached to it, place a few sensors or a tracking camera across fixed locations in the entire space where you’ll be using it.
You may have bought yourself either an Oculus Rift or a PlayStation VR headset whose common feature is outside-in tracking. In the said form of positional tracking, your Oculus Rift or PlayStation VR headset doesn’t have a tracking camera attached to it. Instead, either of the two mentioned VR headsets have infrared markers in place.
Thus, you’ll have to separately purchase either a few sensors if you’ve bought an Oculus Rift headset or a tracking camera – or cameras if you’ve got some extra money to spare – if you’ve bought a PlayStation VR headset. Once done, you’ll have to install your Oculus Rift’s sensors or your PlayStation VR’s tracking camera – or cameras – across your desired locations in the space where you’ll be using your VR headset.
3.) If your VR headset has a tracking camera attached to it, you won’t have to buy separate sensors or tracking cameras.
On the other hand, if you’ve bought yourself an HTC Vive headset, it doesn’t have any markers in place at all – though there’s a tracking camera attached to it. The said VR headset uses inside-out tracking where its tracking camera faces outwards such that it lets your computer see the environment around you. No more need to position separate sensors or tracking cameras on the walls or any stationary object in the space where you’ll be using your VR headset.
4.) Consider buying a good pair of headphones and hand controllers as well.
You’ve got your VR headset all set up and ready to use. However, you can only move around and can’t hear anything or use real-world gestures in your favorite video game. Thus, you’ll also want to purchase a decent pair of headphones so that you can hear the sounds of whatever video game you’re playing. Feel free to add a pair of hand controllers as well so that you can ball your fists both outside of virtual reality and inside it as the character you’re playing if you need to punch some enemies in the same video game.
VR headsets have been rocking the world of gaming technology ever since Japanese video game company Sega had first attempted to release one back in 1993. More than two decades later, VR headsets aren’t just science fiction anymore. Aside from gaming, several other industries also use VR headsets either for training purposes or to give people a more immersive experience. With VR headsets now being made increasingly available to the consumer public, it’s now easier than ever for you to purchase one. In case you did buy yourself a VR headset, the above quick guide on how to set up and use one should make it easier for you to start dipping your toes into virtual reality.
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