Master virtual reality with these tips and tricks for the HTC Vive

Jessica Lee Star/Digital Trends

Virtual reality has finally made the leap from the pages of science fiction to homes across the world, as the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and other headsets have all hit the market. The Vive in particular provides an incredible, immersive experience — but as one might expect from such a radical new device, there is a learning curve.

Once you’ve spent the $800 necessary to acquire a Vive you’ll want to get the most out of your new toy, so here are some tips and tricks to help you master the Vive and traverse virtual landscapes with ease.

Keep the headset clean

Anyone who has had friends over to play video games has probably picked up a controller afterwards only to recoil in disgust at a layer of grease on the device. Hands are a great transmitter of oils and germs (thank goodness most people tend to wash them at least semi-frequently). The Vive comes into frequent contact with another part of the body that’s dirtier than most people think: the human face.

If you plan to let other people use your headset, it’s a good idea to keep the thing clean. One way to keep the Vive clean is to keep it from getting dirty in the first place. A company called VR Cover makes covers for the HTC Vive; they’re designed to keep dirt and skin off the headset much like a pillowcase protects a pillow. The covers come in a variety of materials, including cloth and leather, and are machine-washable.

vr cover example

If buying a cover for the Vive seems excessive to you, a little manual cleaning should suffice. To start, remove the face cushion: Grab its two ends and peel them until the cushion comes off. To clean the cushion, HTC suggests using a cloth — such as the one included with the Vive — dampened with water. If you are really worried about disinfecting the face cushion, gently wiping it down with baby wipes should work as well.

Either way, let the cushion dry out in the air. The lenses are just as easy to clean, although they are also fragile, so it’s important to be gentle. Use a damp cloth and wipe in a circular motion moving from the center of each lens outward.

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