Can You Valve Index With One Base Station?

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By Monica Bates

If you’re thinking about getting a Valve Index VR headset, you might be wondering whether you need one or two base stations to make it work. The answer is: technically, you can use the Valve Index with only one base station, but it’s not recommended.

Firstly, let’s clarify what a base station is. A base station is a device that emits infrared laser beams that are picked up by sensors on the VR headset and controllers. These sensors use the information from the lasers to track your movements in real-time and translate them into virtual actions in the game.

Now, if you only have one base station, it means that the headset and controllers will only be tracked from one angle. This can cause several issues such as:

1. Limited tracking range: With only one base station, your tracking range will be limited to the field of view of that single device. This means that if you turn away from the base station or move too far away from it, your movements may not be accurately tracked.

2. Blind spots: Since there is only one base station, there will be areas where the sensors on your headset and controllers cannot “see” the lasers emitted by the device. These areas are called blind spots and can cause your movements to appear glitchy or inaccurate.

3. Occlusion: Occlusion occurs when objects block or interfere with the laser beams emitted by the base station. With only one base station, it’s more likely for occlusion to occur since there’s no second device emitting lasers from another angle.

So while technically possible to use Valve Index with just one base station, doing so will significantly decrease tracking accuracy and immersion.

When should I use two base stations?

To get optimal tracking performance with Valve Index VR headset, you should use two base stations mounted diagonally opposite each other in your play area. This setup is called “Room-Scale” and allows for full 360-degree tracking with minimal blind spots and occlusion.

With two base stations, the tracking range is increased, and the sensors on your headset and controllers have multiple angles to pick up the laser beams. This results in smoother and more accurate tracking, which translates to a more immersive VR experience.


While it might be tempting to save some money by using only one base station with your Valve Index VR headset, it’s not recommended. Doing so will significantly decrease tracking accuracy and immersion, leading to a less enjoyable experience overall.

To get the most out of your Valve Index headset, it’s best to invest in a second base station and set them up in a Room-Scale configuration. This will provide optimal tracking performance and allow you to fully immerse yourself in virtual worlds.