HTC Vive setup guide
The HTC Vive takes up a lot of space − so much, you might have to move your sofaHTC

The HTC Vive is one of the most impressive pieces of technology we have ever used. It takes virtual reality and turns it up a notch by letting you walk around inside the virtual environment as if you are not just playing the game, but actually a part of it.

The problem is, setting up Vive is a lengthy process and there are certain space requirements to get the system working. Trying to play Vive in your tiny spare bedroom simply isn't going to work.

Thankfully, after setting up and playing Vive for ourselves, we've come up with this handy guide for checking you have enough space, then installing Vive in the best way possible − and we've employed a few makeshift hacks along the way.


A sad truth

The sad truth is that few people (especially in London, where IBTimes UK is based) have a free space large enough to accommodate Vive. To this end, HTC quite literally suggests you move your sofa and other furniture out of the way to make room. This is far from ideal and, although Vive can work in a space littered with tables, chairs and pets, you are guaranteed to stub your toe the moment you put the headset on.

HTC Vive lighthouse
We taped our lighthouse to a GoPro suction cup. Not pretty, but it did the jobIBTimes UK

Once you have cleared your room of furniture, pets and the massive box Vive comes in, you simply walk around it with a controller in one hand to tell Vive where the boundaries of your play area are. If Vive makes a hash of this (it will, repeatedly), you can enter Advanced Mode and pull the controller's trigger when stood in each corner. This worked better for us.

Amusingly, Vive will ask you to "locate the floor". This is done by putting both controllers on the floor and clicking next. Simple.

HTC Vive lighthouse setup
Ideally, the lighthouses need to be fixed to your walls 6ft up. Better go buy a drill...HTC

We made our play area as large as possible, but soon found Vive to glitch when we got close to the edges. This is probably because of how badly our lighthouses were positioned, but shrinking the area slightly fixed this. In truth, you only need a small area to play in (enough to make two steps in each direction from the centre), as otherwise you'll keep tripping up over the cables.

Standing room only

If your room simply isn't big enough for Vive, don't worry. You can still play in the system's 'Standing Only' mode. The lighthouses still need to be mounted 6ft high and at opposite ends of your space, but there's no need to map out a play area, as in this mode there's no walking around involved − just lots of turning, leaning and in-game teleporting instead. You could even sit down, but this takes away almost all of what makes Vive so special.

HTC Vive: What you need to know about the SteamVR virtual reality marvelIBTimes UK