How to fix PlayStation VR problems: calibration, camera, controller, head-tracking and more

By Staff, Thursday, 13 October 2016 12:07 GMT

Got a problem with PS VR? Let’s fix it.

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PlayStation VR is a fairly simple headset to set-up, with clear labelling and a great Quick Start guide. Once it’s set-up in your living room you’ll want to adjust the headset, screen and more for your own comfort and vision.

You’re also likely to come across a number of common issues that will require quick fixing on a fairly regular basis. Most problems can be solved easily, which is why we’ve put together this FAQ to fix PS VR problems such as head-tracking, calibration, recentering the screen and more.

Let’s break down the common problems you’ll encounter.

PS VR tracking problems

It’s easy to spot a problem with tracking – meaning the camera is not properly able to follow your headset or controllers. Look out for the following:

  • The on-screen image/world is moving without any input from you.
  • The on-screen hands or controller is moving around without any player input.
  • You’re getting the Outside of Area message on-screen.

Firstly, double-check your set-up. Make sure all cables are plugged correctly. Now check all the lights on the headset are on. If you are in full VR mode all lights on the front and the back should be on. If only the lights at the back are on you’re in Cinematic mode.

Now check that the PS camera isn’t getting confused by other light sources, or not enough light. Other light sources include reflections in windows and other reflective surfaces such as mirrors, natural sunlight, TV screens, LEDs or lamps, and make sure the player isn’t sitting directly under a big light source. Also check that there is other ambient light and you’re not completely in the dark.

You can check reflections and other light sources by choosing the following options on the menu: Settings –> Devices –> PlayStation Camera –> Adjust PlayStation Camera. You can take the lights and surfaces out of the frame, or move the camera itself to take them out of the frame.

PS VR light calibration problems

You’ll know if you’re having light calibration problems because your games won’t correctly pick up your controllers. This means shooting will feel inaccurate, in-game movement won’t go in a straight line, or you’ll find yourself having to adjust your body position at an angle to the camera. Go through the following step-by-step checks:

  • Make sure the PS Camera is picking up all lights. Go to the PS Home screen and then choose: Settings –> Devices –> Adjust Tracking Lights. Make sure all the lights/controllers are in the indicated areas. This goes for headset, DualShock, Move controllers. Bright lights will show up here as dark blobs, so you can see what needs moving or switching off.
  • Now check that the PS Camera can see all the controllers no matter what your position. Hold down the PS button on the Move controllers and select: PlayStation VR –> Confirm Your Position. Wave your arms around and check the camera can see the controllers no matter where you stretch, up, down, left, right and in front of your position. If it can’t you need to move your position or the camera.
  • Make sure the PS Move controller is paired with the same local user accounts as the VR headset and DualShock.
  • Make sure the lights on your controllers are not dusty or dirty.
  • Finally, if none of the above works, you can reset the controllers. Use the pinhole at the back of the controller and re-pair it with the PS4 and recalibrate with the PS VR.

PS VR camera problems

You shouldn’t really have any problems with the camera if it’s plugged in correctly, but it’s always worth checking the following:

  • Make sure the lenses are clean. Use a soft dry cloth only.
  • The best distance between player and camera is around 2 meters / 6ft. Adjust your position if necessary.
  • Don’t move the camera after set-up. Check it hasn’t drifted from its original position and is on a stable surface.
  • Remember the PS Camera has two lenses so make sure one isn’t obscured.

PS VR picture quality problems

We recommend adjusting the screen for each game you play, and you’ll need to do it if you’re swapping the headset between players. Make sure you do the following for maximum comfort and optimal picture quality, and if you come across any distortion or interference with the screen.

  • If the screen has drifted or isn’t central to your vision, hold down the Options button and it will re-center itself. You’ll find yourself doing this a lot during play.
  • Clean the lenses with the microfibre cloth that came with the VR headset. Keep it dry, never use fluids.
  • If the image goes out of focus during play, or just doesn’t seem clear enough, press the PS button on your DualShock 4: Quick Menu -> Adjust PlayStation VR -> Adjust Headset Position. Now adjust your headset until the image becomes clearer.
  • Plug the headset directly into the VR processor unit. If this fixes the problem then there’s an issue with the VR connection cable. Make sure it’s not tangled or crooked. If the problem persists you may need to replace it.
  • Always check the PS Camera is set up correctly: Settings -> Devices -> PlayStation VR -> Adjust PlayStation Camera.
  • Did you know you can change the VR screen size between small, medium and large? Hold down the PS button and open the quick menu: Adjust PlayStation VR -> Screen Size.
  • If the edges of the screen are blurred, that’s an effect to mimic peripheral vision. It’s a feature not a bug! Move your head to see what was in the edge of your vision more clearly.

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