Camera Setup

Camera API in SteamVR is not as stable as other APIs, therefore you may encounter different problems when using Vive Hand Tracking SDK.


Camera does not support hot plug-in. Close SteamVR, plug in your headset, wait for all the drivers are installed, and finally start SteamVR.

Update SteamVR and GPU Driver

Before your setup or troubleshooting for SteamVR camera, please make sure:

  • You have updated your SteamVR to latest version in Steam or Viveport.
  • For Vive Cosmos users, update your Vive Console to latest version.
  • You have updated your GPU driver to latest version from NVIDIA/AMD offical website.
    • Some drivers from vendor are too old that does not work with SteamVR camera.


You must close Vive Console and SteamVR before installing GPU drivers.

Resolve Conflicts with Other SDKs

If you are using other SDKs that uses camera feature of SteamVR or Vive Console, please first make sure all SDKs are working on their own.

Please upgrade to latest version of all SDKs if you find they cannot be used together.

Cosmos releated Steps


This is only for Cosmos users. For Vive and Vive Pro users please see the SteamVR sections below.

Before starting hand tracking applictions, it is recommended to check if camera is working correctly.

  1. Please try enable the built-in see-through function and check if it works.
    • Double click Vive button on right controller to enable/disable see-through function.
  2. Please put on your HMD to make sure HMD is in ready state, not standby nor sleep state before start hand tracking.
  3. Sometimes Vive Console will eat up 100% CPU when running too long. Please restart Vive Console in such cases to avoid frame rate slow down.

SteamVR releated Steps


This is only for Vive, Vive Pro and Valve Index users. Skip all sections below if you are using Vive Cosmos.

Enable camera in SteamVR

By default, SteamVR disables camera. To use Vive Hand Tracking SDK, you must enable camera in SteamVR settings. A SteamVR reboot is required after the settings changed.


Wireless adapter can result in unstable camera streaming. Use wired if possible.

Test camera in SteamVR

We recommend to test camera before starting use with Vive Hand Tracking SDK or related applications. To test camera, click test camera FPS button in camera tab.

For a working situation, three green ticks are shown:


For a failing situation, three red crosses are shown:


Troubleshooting camera in SteamVR


Camera stream in newer version of SteamVR is now much more stable than before. You are unlikely to experience camera breaking situations, and rebooting SteamVR would fix most of problems.

Whenever camera fails, you need to do extra steps in SteamVR to bring camera back to work. Due to complexe hardware combinations, there is not single step that fixes all the problems. We provide a list of actions, ordered by simplicity, for fixing the camera. We recommend you to try the actions one by one until the problem is fixed.

  1. Reboot Vive headset from SteamVR -> Devices -> Reboot Vive headset menu.

  2. Switch USB port of your headset.

    1. Close SteamVR.
    2. Plug your headset using another USB port. Recommend to use a USB port on different USB bus. A simple way is to change from front USB port to rear USB port (or vive versa).
    3. We recommend to use USB 2.0 port for Vive and USB 3.0 port for Vive Pro.
    4. Wait until all the drivers of your headset are installed. This may take 5-10 minutes.
    5. Start SteamVR and test camera again.
  3. Reboot your computer.

  4. Reinstall USB drivers for your headset.

    1. Remove all USB drivers related with SteamVR using SteamVR Settings -> Developer -> Remove all SteamVR USB Devices button.

    2. Unplug USB and HDMI/DP ports of your HMD on computer.

    3. Reboot your computer. If you set SteamVR to autorun on computer startup, disable it before reboot.

    4. Plug USB and HDMI/DP ports of your HMD on computer after your computer is completed started.

    5. The new drivers are being installed. Wait until all the drivers are installed. This may take 5-10 minutes.

    6. Start SteamVR and test camera again.