What Does a Base Station for Valve Index Do?

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By Monica Bates

If you own a Valve Index, you may have heard of the term “base station”. But what exactly is a base station and what does it do?

What is a Base Station?

A base station, also known as a lighthouse, is a device that emits infrared light signals. It is an essential component of the Valve Index virtual reality system as it allows for precise tracking of your headset and controllers.

How Does a Base Station Work?

The base station emits infrared light signals that are picked up by sensors on your headset and controllers. These signals are then used to calculate the position and orientation of your VR devices in real-time. This allows for accurate tracking of your movements in the virtual world.

Two Base Stations are Better Than One

While you can use a single base station with your Valve Index, it is recommended to use two for optimal tracking. When using two base stations, they should be placed diagonally from each other in opposite corners of your play area.

  • Base Station 1: This should be placed above head height and angled down towards the play area.
  • Base Station 2: This should be placed at waist height or below and angled up towards the play area.

Benefits of Using Two Base Stations

Using two base stations provides several benefits such as increased accuracy, wider range, and reduced occlusion. Occlusion occurs when one device blocks another from being seen by the sensors. With two base stations, occlusion is reduced as there are more sensors picking up signals from different angles.

Troubleshooting Common Issues with Base Stations

If you’re experiencing issues with your base stations, here are some common troubleshooting steps:

  • Check Connections: Make sure your base stations are connected to power and properly synced with your VR system.
  • Clean Sensors: Dust and debris on the sensors can affect tracking. Gently clean them with a microfiber cloth.
  • Adjust Placement: If you’re experiencing occlusion or tracking issues, try adjusting the placement of your base stations.


In summary, a base station is a device that emits infrared light signals used for tracking your VR devices. Using two base stations is recommended for optimal tracking and reduced occlusion. If you’re experiencing issues, check connections, clean sensors, and adjust placement.