Oculus Rift Setup: A Quick and Easy Guide for Beginners

December 26, 2018 • Zachary Amos


So, you just upgraded from smartphone augmented reality apps to the Oculus Rift, and you’re excited to get immersed in the world of virtual reality. But how exactly do you do that? Here’s a quick guide to help you get started on your Oculus Rift setup.

What You Need

The Oculus Rift comes with a headset, two sensors, a remote and two touch motion controls. That’s everything you need to get started, except for a computer.

To handle VR, according to Oculus’ recommendations, your computer should have at least:

·     Graphics Card: NVIDIA GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon RX 480

·     CPU: Intel i5-4590 or AMD Ryzen 5 1500X

·     Memory: 8GB

·     Ports: Three USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port and one HDMI 1.3 video output

If you’re shopping for a computer, look for one labeled Oculus Ready to make things easier on yourself. Once you have all of your supplies, follow the steps below.

1. Install the Oculus Rift Software

The next step is to download and install the Oculus Rift software, which you can find here. The download could take a while as it includes several gigabytes of data.

2. Create Your Oculus Account

Once you have the software running on your computer, you can create a free account. You’ll use this account to browse the Oculus Store where you purchase and download software for your Rift. If you had an earlier iteration of the Rift and already have an account, you can just sign in.

3. Watch the Safety Video

The software will automatically play a short video that goes over basic safety information.

4. Configure the Headset

The software will then start walking you through setting up your Rift. If it doesn’t do so automatically, just click “Devices,” “Configure Rift” and “Full Setup.” The software will then walk you through configuring your headset to work with your PC.

5. Plug in the Headset and Sensors

Next, you’ll plug your two sensors into the USB 3.0 ports. Also, plug the headset cables into another USB port and the HDMI output. Altogether, you should have plugged in four cables. When you have, the software will display a green checkmark and “OK” for each device.

6. Connect the Controllers

Next up are the controllers. The Oculus Rift comes with the Oculus Remote and Oculus Touch motion controllers. You can use an Xbox One gamepad.

A separate screen will appear for each device your pair. To pair the remote, hold down the center button. On the left touch controller, hold down the Y and Menu buttons for two seconds.

For the right touch controller, hold down the B and Oculus buttons for two seconds. The software should detect the controllers and then pair them.

7. Update the Firmware

Once that’s done, the software will update the firmware of all of your devices. Be sure to leave everything plugged in while this happens.

8. Position the Sensors

The sensors are what track the Oculus Rift and touch controllers, so you need to set them up to cover the whole area you’ll be using. Oculus recommends at least 10 feet by 10 feet. Make sure the area is clear of any obstacles.

Place the sensors on either side of your monitor, at least three to six feet apart and at least one foot from each side of your monitor. The glossy black sides of the sensors should be facing you.

Once you’ve positioned them, go to the “Initiate Sensor Tracking” screen. The screen will direct you to go where you’ll be using the Rift and pull the trigger on a Touch controller. If it’s positioned correctly, a green checkmark will appear. If not, the software will direct you on how to adjust the sensors.

9. Draw Your Playing Area

Next, you’ll set the boundaries of the area you cleared to use. If you step out of this boundary while you’re using the Rift, its “Guardian System” will warn you.

To set the boundary, hold the trigger on a Touch controller and walk around the edges of the cleared area. Keep the controller between you and the sensors so that you don’t get in the way of the signal. Once you’ve drawn an area that’s large enough, a green box will appear.

If you only have a small amount of space to use, you can turn off the Guardian System and use software that doesn’t require you to move around much.

10. Adjust the Headset

Then, put on the headset and adjust the straps until it fits comfortably and will stay on. You can then adjust the lens position to improve the sharpness of the picture using the sliding lever in the lower left corner of the headset.

11. Complete the Oculus Rift Setup Tutorial

Once everything is set up, the software will take you through a tutorial that show’s you how to navigate in VR. Then, you can download some games, VR productivity apps and other software and start using your Oculus Rift setup!