Can You Use the Old Base Stations With Valve Index?

Photo of author

By Valerie Becker

If you’re thinking about upgrading to the Valve Index VR headset, you might be wondering if your old base stations are compatible. The answer is yes, but with some important caveats.

What Are Base Stations?

Before we dive into compatibility, let’s quickly review what base stations are and how they work. Base stations are small devices that emit infrared light to track the position and movement of your VR headset and controllers. They use a technology called “lighthouse tracking” that bounces signals off of sensors on your devices to determine their exact location in space.

Compatibility With Valve Index

The Valve Index is designed to work with both the old 1.0 and new 2.0 versions of base stations. However, there are some differences in terms of functionality and setup.

1.0 Base Stations

If you already own 1.0 base stations from a previous VR headset (such as the HTC Vive), you can use them with the Valve Index without any issues. However, keep in mind that these older base stations have limitations in terms of tracking volume and range.

  • The maximum recommended play area for 1.0 base stations is 4.5m x 4.5m (15ft x 15ft).
  • You’ll need at least two base stations to enable full room-scale tracking.
  • If you’re using more than two base stations, you’ll need to configure them manually using a sync cable.

2.0 Base Stations

The newer 2.0 base stations offer improved tracking volume and range compared to the 1.0 version, making them ideal for larger play areas or multi-room setups.

  • The maximum recommended play area for 2.0 base stations is 10m x 10m (33ft x 33ft).
  • You can use up to four 2.0 base stations for full room-scale tracking.
  • 2.0 base stations are backward-compatible with the original Vive headset, but you’ll need to upgrade your controllers to the newer version.

Setting Up Base Stations

Regardless of which version of base stations you’re using, setting them up can be a bit tricky. Here are some tips to ensure a smooth setup process:

  • Mount the base stations securely on tripods or wall mounts, and make sure they’re angled downward at a slight angle for optimal tracking.
  • Make sure the base stations have an unobstructed view of your play area – any furniture, plants, or other objects in the way can interfere with tracking.
  • Run the room setup tool in SteamVR to calibrate your base station positions and create a virtual boundary around your play area.


In summary, you can definitely use your old base stations with the Valve Index – but keep in mind that there may be limitations depending on which version you have. If you’re looking for maximum tracking volume and range, it’s worth considering upgrading to the newer 2.0 base stations. And no matter which version you choose, make sure to set them up correctly for optimal tracking performance.