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PSA: Here's the cost/setup for Index controllers on non-Index HMD's!

DISCLAIMER: You DO NOT have to have Index controllers for Half Life: Alyx. They are fun and novel but not required for VR. So long as you have any PCVR and any PCVR controllers (touch, WMR, Vive Wands, PiMax controllers if they're out yet, etc) you're good to play. That out of the way...

IF YOU HAVE A VIVE ALREADY OR ARE ALREADY SET UP WITH LIGHTHOUSE TRACKING ON PIMAX:

Just buy the controllers @$280

ELSE:

Current Cost is roughly $560 to upgrade. You can do this with ANY PCVR HMDs. This includes Rift CV1 and S, Quest when connected to your PC either via link or Virtual Desktop, and all of the WMR sets. To play Oculus titles with Index controllers you will need to install Revive, even if you have a Rift or Quest!

You need:

  • 2 Lighthouses (around $100 each for used 1.0, $150 each for 2.0 from Steam)
  • Index Controllers ($280)
  • 2 Steam Controller Dongles. These are the hardest to come by and are currently WAY over-priced at $43 each on Amazon.

There is currently a year+ old video out there showing how to set everything up. It is no longer valid and will result in just pain and annoyance. Please follow the steps below!

Quick How-To:

  • Set up base stations. Basically: diagonal from each other, looking at each other, placed roughly head-level or higher and looking slightly downward.
  • Install openVR space calibrator
  • Install openVR advanced settings
  • Plug in your dongles to USB 2.0 ports, preferably on front USB if you have them and flash them to SteamVR tracking firmware
  • Unplug a dongle
  • Start SteamVR as you normally would with whatever HMD you use hooked up.
  • In the little window (outside of VR, that shows your current status), click on the hamburger menu and go 'devices->pair controller' and follow the directions. Then turn off that controller, unplug the dongle, plug in the other dongle (to a different port!), and do the same thing. Plug in both dongles and turn on both controllers.
  • Back in VR and with your native controller, open the steam overlay menu and at the bottom you'll see 'openVR space calibrator'. Click on that.
  • On the left of the screen you'll see your HMD and its controllers, and on the right you'll see the lighthouses and index controllers. Put one native controller and one index controller in one hand, highlight a controller on each side of the screen and click 'identify'. Switch out which controllers you have highlighted until the ones in your hand vibrate.
  • Click 'calibrate'. Swing both of the controllers in your one hand around and eventually the index controller will 'snap' into place.
  • Exit steamVR, turn off your native controllers, start steamVR.
  • It may have you go through chaperone setup. After this, go back into space calibrator and 'paste chaperone bounds'
  • Now go into OpenVR advanced settings and set up the chaperone as you wish. You'll need to mess with things until it's to your liking (I set mine to vibrate when I get within a certain distance of the edge)
  • Save these settings to a profile and you're all set! From now on, when you start steamVR you may be in a weird space, but as soon as you start that profile everything will pop back to where it needs to be.

Okay! I think I got everything down! Please let me know if I've missed any steps: this is from memory rather than a fresh setup!

Source: Reddit.com