Do Valve Index Controllers Require Base Stations?

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By Eric Wilson

If you’re considering purchasing the Valve Index controllers, you may be wondering whether they require base stations. The short answer is yes, they do. But let’s delve deeper into why.

What are Valve Index Controllers

Valve Index Controllers are the latest offering from Valve Corporation, designed to work with the Valve Index VR headset. These controllers are highly advanced and come with a range of features that make them stand out from other VR controllers on the market.

What Are Base Stations

Base stations, also known as lighthouse stations, are devices that emit infrared light signals to track the position of objects in a room. In the case of VR, these base stations track the position of the VR headset and controllers, allowing for precise movement and interaction within virtual environments.

Why Do Valve Index Controllers Require Base Stations

Valve Index Controllers use what is known as “lighthouse tracking,” which requires the use of two base stations placed in opposite corners of a room. These base stations emit infrared signals that are picked up by sensors on the controllers and headset, allowing for precise tracking of their position and movement.

Without base stations in place, the Valve Index Controllers would not be able to function properly or provide accurate tracking within virtual environments. While some other VR controllers on the market may use alternative tracking methods that do not require base stations, such as inside-out tracking, Valve opted for lighthouse tracking to provide users with a more robust and accurate experience.

How Do You Set Up Base Stations for Valve Index Controllers

Setting up base stations for Valve Index Controllers is relatively straightforward. Simply mount each station on a stable surface in opposite corners of your play area, plug them into power outlets, and connect them wirelessly to your PC using Bluetooth.

Once your base stations are set up, you can pair your Valve Index Controllers to your VR headset and start enjoying immersive virtual reality experiences with accurate tracking and movement.


In summary, Valve Index Controllers do require base stations to function properly. These base stations emit infrared signals that allow for precise tracking of the controllers’ position and movement within virtual environments. While setting up base stations may seem like a hassle, the benefits of accurate tracking and interaction within VR make it well worth the effort.