Can I Use Valve Index With One Base?

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By Eric Wilson

Are you considering purchasing the Valve Index VR headset but wondering if it’s possible to use it with just one base station? The short answer is yes, you can use the Valve Index with one base station. However, there are some limitations and considerations to keep in mind.

Understanding Base Stations

Valve Index uses base stations to track the position and movement of the headset and controllers. These base stations emit infrared light that is picked up by sensors on the headset and controllers, allowing for accurate tracking in 3D space.

Why Use Two Base Stations?

Using two base stations provides better tracking accuracy and reduces occlusion. Occlusion occurs when an object blocks the path of infrared light, causing a momentary loss of tracking. With two base stations, this is less likely to happen as they can track from different angles and provide more coverage.

Using One Base Station

While using two base stations is recommended for optimal performance, it is possible to use the Valve Index with just one base station. However, there are some limitations to keep in mind.

  • Reduced Tracking Accuracy: Using one base station may result in reduced tracking accuracy compared to using two.
  • Occlusion: With only one base station, occlusion may occur more frequently as there is less coverage area.
  • Limited Play Area: With only one base station, your play area will be limited as you cannot turn your back to the base station without losing tracking.
  • No Room-Scale VR: Room-scale VR requires two or more base stations for accurate tracking in a larger play area. With only one base station, you will be limited to standing or sitting experiences.

How to Set Up One Base Station

If you decide to use one base station with your Valve Index, you can set it up in the same way as two base stations. Simply connect the base station to a power source and connect it to your PC via the included sync cable. Then, use the SteamVR software to set up room-scale VR with only one base station.


In summary, while it is possible to use the Valve Index with just one base station, it is not recommended for optimal performance and tracking accuracy. If you want to experience room-scale VR and have a larger play area, it is recommended to use two or more base stations.

However, if you have limited space or are on a budget, using one base station may be a viable option. Regardless of how many base stations you use, make sure to properly set up and calibrate your equipment for the best possible experience.