Is the Valve Index Tethered?

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By Valerie Becker

Are you considering purchasing the Valve Index VR headset but wondering if it’s tethered? Well, the short answer is yes, it is tethered. But let’s dive deeper into what that means and how it affects your VR experience.

What is a Tethered VR Headset?

A tethered VR headset means that the device needs to be connected to a PC or gaming console through a cable. This cable sends data and power to the headset, allowing it to function and display images on its screens.

Why is the Valve Index Tethered?

The Valve Index is a high-end VR headset that offers some of the best visuals and experiences on the market. However, this comes at a cost – the need for a powerful computer to run it smoothly.

The Valve Index has two 1440×1600 resolution screens with a 120Hz refresh rate, which requires significant processing power. To achieve this level of performance, a wired connection between the headset and PC is needed.

How Does Being Tethered Affect Your VR Experience?

While being tethered may seem like a drawback, there are actually some benefits to this setup. Firstly, having a direct connection between your headset and PC means less latency or delay in tracking movements and displaying images. This results in smoother gameplay and reduced motion sickness.

Secondly, being tethered allows for better graphics since all image processing is done by your computer rather than your headset’s hardware. This means you can enjoy more detailed environments and textures.

However, being tethered does limit your mobility since you’re physically connected to your PC or console. You’ll need to stay within range of your cable length while playing.


In summary, yes – the Valve Index is tethered due to its high-end specifications requiring a wired connection for optimal performance. While this may seem like a downside, it actually results in better graphics and reduced latency.

However, the trade-off is limited mobility while playing. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if the Valve Index’s tethered setup is worth it for your VR experience.