Get to know your headset

Below you'll find an overview of your headset and a guide for getting the most out of Varjo Base.

What's in the box

Included in the box are your headset and all the essentials listed below.

VR-2 Pro, VR-2, or VR-1 headset XR-1 Developer Edition headset
Link Box
Link Box power supply unit
Connector cables:
1 x USB-C
1 x USB-A
2 x DisplayPort-DisplayPort
2 x DisplayPort-Mini DisplayPort ** not included with the VR-1
3 power cables:
Euro plug
UK plug
US plug
Standard fabric face mask
Large PU face mask
Cleaning cloth




Using the headset

Wearing the headset


Adjusting the headband


Varjo headsets come with an adjustable headband. There are two ways to adjust the headband’s fit: (1) the adjustment wheel on the back of the headband and (2) the head strap on top.

Before wearing the headset, loosen the headband by rotating the wheel counterclockwise and open the head strap. Do not force the headset on without loosening the headband first.

Put the headset on and rotate the adjustment wheel clockwise until the headset fits, then tighten the head strap. You will find the best fit for yourself by trying different ways to tighten the headband. Be careful not to over-tighten.

You can wear eyeglasses or contact lenses with your Varjo headset.


Fitting the face mask


The headset comes with two face masks — one attached and one packaged separately in the box. The attached size and face mask material depends on the headset model.

Headset model VR-1 VR-2 VR-2 Pro XR-1 Developer Edition
Attached Standard (fabric) Large (fabric) Large (polyurethane) Large (polyurethane)
In box Large (fabric) Standard (fabric) Standard (fabric) Standard (fabric)


The large face mask is wider and taller. It accommodates different head shapes and provides more space between eyeglasses and the headset lenses. If the standard face mask feels too tight for you, switch to the large face mask.

Instructions for changing the face mask are found here.


Using the light blocker


Varjo headsets have a light blocker that prevents daylight from affecting the virtual reality experience. Position the light blocker flaps on top of the cushion as shown in the picture.

When changing the face mask or cushion, remember to readjust the light blocker.


Exploring the headset


Using the headset buttons


There are two buttons on the headset: (1) the System button and (2) the Application button.

Use the System button to access the System settings when you are wearing the headset.

Use the Application button for interacting with your VR apps. This button can have different functionalities depending on your app.

The System button has an LED light that indicates the system status. A guide to other LED colors and their meanings is found in the FAQ section.


Starting a VR application

To use a VR application with your headset, open the application on your Windows computer. The application opens directly in your connected headset.

Make sure that your VR apps are compatible with Varjo headsets. Details on how to integrate your existing apps with Varjo headsets can be found on our Developer Portal.


Quitting a VR application

There are two ways to close to your VR applications:

  1. Close the application from your Windows computer.
  2. In the headset, locate and close the shortcut for the running application in System settings.


Using the Bionic Display™

Varjo headsets feature the Bionic Display™ that lets you see virtual reality as clearly as you see the real world.


The highest and most intense resolution is in the center of the display, also called the “focus area.” This is how your eyes work in the real world, too: you can see what’s happening in the periphery, but your focus is on what’s right in front of your eyes.

Turn your head to see the things around you in the highest resolution.


Using Mixed Reality

XR-1 Developer Edition

With XR-1 Developer Edition’s front-facing cameras, you can use applications that create an immersive mixed reality experience combining virtual and real-world elements.

Use the headset in a well-lit environment to get the maximum performance from the headset’s cameras.

For the best possible image quality, calibrate eye tracking when you begin using the headset. The headset will show a higher resolution video in the area where you are looking.


Using the Real world view

XR-1 Developer Edition

With Real world view, you can see the physical space around you without needing to remove the headset. Real world view allows you to switch from your current immersive experience to seeing the real world through the front-facing cameras.

Real world view can be accessed through both the headset and Varjo Base.

On the headset, a long press of the System button will display Real world view in the virtual environment. To launch from Varjo Base, navigate to the Tools menu and select Real world view.

To exit, long-press the System button again or select Real world view from the Tools menu in Varjo Base.


Adjusting the lenses

When you use the headset, the headset adjusts the lenses automatically based on your interpupillary distance (IPD). In Varjo Base, the setting is found under the Headset tab and is on by default. We recommend that you keep the setting on for optimal comfort while viewing.

Please note: Varjo headsets work best for people whose interpupillary distance is between 61 and 73 mm. Those with smaller or larger interpupillary distance may not be able to see the content in the highest possible visual quality, or they may feel discomfort when using the headset.

The headset adjusts the lenses briefly every time you put the headset on. You may hear a short buzzing sound during the adjustment.

Tip: Sometimes the automatic adjustment can fail if the headset is not well-positioned and can’t detect your eyes. Also, frequent blinking may cause the adjustment to fail. To get an optimal reading of your eyes, press the System button and start the Headset positioning guide. In Varjo Base, navigate to the Headset tab and Headset positioning guide. The headset will readjust the lenses while the positioning instructions are displayed.

You can switch off the setting in Varjo Base if the automatic adjustment does not work for you. Even though the headset has been designed to work with most eyeglasses and contact lenses, the automatic adjustment may not work due to special eyeglasses or other medical conditions that impair your vision.


Positioning the headset for optimal viewing

The Bionic Display™ is a precision tool; seeing contents in the highest possible visual quality requires that the headset is precisely positioned over your eyes. Optimal positioning may be different for every individual as it depends on the shape of the face and eyes of the user. Also, eyeglasses may affect optimal positioning.

Whenever you plan on working in a virtual environment with rich visual details, it is recommended to check that the headset is optimally positioned, using the instructions screen for the headset positioning.

Tip: If the headset is not optimally positioned, you may see straight lines appearing discontinuous or curved as they travel from the display edges towards the center of the display. You may also notice blue or red halo colors on the edges of light-colored objects.

To quickly launch the headset positioning guide in Varjo Base, navigate to the Tools menu and open Headset positioning. Alternatively, this can be managed via the Headset tab and Headset positioning guide.


The graphics show four lines extending from the center of the display towards the edges. If you observe them closely, you will notice that each line consists of three thinner lines.

Carefully observe the thin lines in the four areas highlighted with blue circles. These are the intersections where the high-resolution focus area meets the lower-resolution peripheral area. When the headset is well-aligned, the lines will appear continuous in all these four areas. If you observe the lines broken, blurred, or bent, try moving the headset on your face to fix the alignment. The picture below illustrates an example of bad and good positioning.


While the headset positioning guide is displayed, the device will also adjust the lenses to match your interpupillary distance.

After you have found the optimal position for the headset, make sure to adjust the headband so that the headset feels stable and stays in its place.

You can set the headset positioning guide to appear automatically every time when you put the headset on. This will help to check the positioning easily when you start using the headset. Go to the Headset tab in Varjo Base and enable Automatic headset positioning.


Using the eye tracking

Varjo headsets can track your eye movements. This feature can be used by apps for interacting with the contents and the virtual environment.

If your application uses eye tracking, you will see the calibration screen in the headset. Follow the guidance on the screen to calibrate the device to recognize your eye movements. The calibration is done by following a moving dot with your eyes. This sequence typically takes less than 30 seconds.

For the eye tracking to work accurately, the headset needs to be placed firmly and aligned straight so that the cameras can see your eye movements. Always use the headband with eye tracking apps to make sure the headset stays stable during use. The headset may show you additional instructions on how to position the headset optimally before the calibration.

Note that if you remove the headset, you will need to calibrate the eye tracking again for the next session. To launch the calibration again at any time, press the System button and select Eye tracking.

If you are hosting a session and wish to quickly calibrate eye tracking from Varjo Base, navigate to the Tools menu and select Calibrate eye tracking. You can also start calibration from the Headset tab.

Eye tracking has been designed to work with most eyeglasses and contact lenses. However, the technology is not guaranteed to work with all medical devices or eye conditions.


Using the System settings

You can access the System settings at any point while wearing the headset.


Press the System button to view the System settings. Turn your head to focus on the items. Use the Application button for selecting items. You can also point and select with a controller.

Press the System button again to exit the settings.


Powering the headset on and off

The headset is powered by the Link Box power supply. Please be aware that when the Link Box is plugged into the wall socket, the headset remains powered on even if you turn off your computer.

When you stop using the headset, it will become idle, turn off the displays, and the LED light will blink white. When movement is detected, the headset is automatically activated, and the LED will turn green.



Care and maintenance


General care of your Varjo headset

Please be aware that your Varjo headset is a high-precision optical instrument. Handle your headset with care. Do not drop or throw the headset as it could damage the optical elements.

Lenses and optics play a key part in creating a crystal-clear virtual reality experience. Be careful not to scratch the lenses when you use, store, or move your headset.


When using the headset with eyeglasses, ensure that the eyeglasses do not touch or scratch the headset lenses.

Always lift the headset by holding the headset body or the headband. Do not lift the headset by holding the face mask, cables or the head strap.

Be careful not to scratch the lenses or the front plate while changing the face mask, cushion, or headband.

Protect the headset during transportation.



The headset is intended to be used indoors only. Keep the headset in a clean and dust-free place. Do not use in humid environments.

When the headset is powered on and not being used, place it on a flat surface with the vents on the top of the headset facing up. Make sure not to cover the vents on the top and bottom of the headset.
Do not leave the headset in direct sunlight or strong ultraviolet light. Exposure to direct sunlight can damage the optics and the displays.

Do not place the headset near heat sources, hot areas, or extreme temperatures. Do not expose the headset to open flames or smoke.

Do not use the headset near water or liquid.

Do not use the headset after a dramatic change in temperature. When you move the headset between environments with very different temperature and/or humidity ranges, condensation may form on or within the headset. Allow enough time for the moisture to evaporate before using the product.


Cleaning your Varjo headset


Cleaning the headset

Unplug the headset from its power source before cleaning.

Clean the headset body with non-abrasive anti-bacterial wipes.

Do not use soap, harsh chemicals, cleaning solvents, liquid cleansers, or aerosols. Do not use any liquids to clean the headset.


Cleaning the lenses

Clean the headset lenses gently with a dry optical lens micro-fiber cloth.

Do not clean the lenses with any liquid or chemical cleansers.


Cleaning the face mask cushion

Fabric face mask: Dampen a clean, soft cloth with water (up to +40C / 104F) and gently wipe the area you want to clean. Air dry at room temperature. Don’t tumble dry, iron, or expose the cushion to direct sunlight. Do not scrub, wring, or bleach the cushion.

PU face mask: clean with non-abrasive antibacterial wipes.


Changing the face mask


To provide the best fit and comfort, the headset comes with two changeable face masks (standard and large).

  1. Place the headset on a flat surface with the front plate facing down. Be careful not to scratch the front plate.
  2. Loosen the adjustment wheel so that there is enough space between the headset and the headband.
  3. Pull out the two holders around the nose pad that attach the face mask to the headset, while firmly holding the headset in place.
  4. To remove the face mask, gently lift either edge of the face mask until it releases.
  5. Place the new face mask on the headset. The magnets snap it into the correct position.
  6. Push the two holders around the nose pad in place.


Changing the cushion


The cushion is attached to the face mask with hook-and-loop strips and can be easily changed.

1. Remove the face mask as described in Changing the face mask.
2. Gently pull the cushion from either of the corners and lift it off.
3. Attach a new cushion by starting from either of the corners and push it firmly into place.
4. Ensure that there are no wrinkles in the cushion and that it covers the whole face mask.
5. Place the face mask on the headset.


Removing the headband


It is possible to remove the headband during transportation or storage of the headset.

1. Place the headset on a flat surface. Be careful not to scratch the front plate.
2. Tighten the headband by turning the adjustment wheel.
3. Open the head strap and pull it free from the front.
4. Remove the cables from the two holders located on the left side of the headset and back of the headband.
5. Using a coin, turn the locking mechanisms on both sides of the headband counterclockwise to unlock the headband from the headset.
6. Gently pull the headband apart to remove it.


Removing the counterweight

XR-1 Developer Edition and VR-2 Pro


XR-1 Developer Edition and VR-2 Pro  are fitted with a removable counterweight under the rear cushion of the headband. The counterweight helps to distribute the weight around your head; however, you may wish to remove it in order to lighten the headset.

To remove the counterweight:

  1. Place the headset on a flat, level surface. Please note: the counterweight is not secured in the headband and will dislodge if tilted.
  2. Loosen the head strap to better access the rear cushion of the headband.
  3. Remove the rear cushion by gently pulling it away from the headband.
  4. Carefully remove the counterweight.
  5. Reattach the rear cushion and adjust the head strap.


Replacing the XR camera cable

XR-1 Developer Edition

If you need to replace the XR camera cable, please contact Varjo. Do not substitute with another type of cable.




Using Varjo Base

Varjo Base is the software that allows you to completely control and customize your headset, deliver the best possible presentation experience for your viewers, and record your observations. From Varjo Base, you can always immediately see what the headset viewer is observing, quickly access important system and presentation tools, and analyze your project with real-time data.

Hosting a session

The viewer’s experience is displayed predominantly in Varjo Base as the Headset view.

Below Headset view, there are several tools for taking notes and making observations:

Screenshot Captures a screenshot of the headset view. The image file is saved in the Pictures\Varjo folder on your Windows computer.
Record Records video of the headset view. The video file is saved in the Videos\Varjo folder on your Windows computer.
Gaze dot Enables you to visualize the eye tracking feature to understand where the viewer is looking.
Tip: this feature is only accessible if eye tracking calibration has been performed.
Pointer Toggles your mouse into a VR pointer.


Using presentation options

The Presentation tab in Varjo Base contains features to ensure that no headset actions are triggered accidentally by the viewer.


Headset buttons When disabled, the viewer can focus on the immersive experience while the presenter is able to control headset features from Varjo Base.
Mouse in the headset When enabled, System settings in the headset can be operated with a mouse.

When disabled, the mouse works with your PC only. System settings in the headset cannot be operated with the mouse.

Notifications in the headset When disabled, this option creates a less distracting experience in the headset.

However, please note that in the event of an error, such notifications will appear.

Optimize performance When enabled, Varjo Base will shut down Varjo System processes not required by the main VR application.


Exporting eye tracking data

Varjo Base can save eye tracking data alongside a recording of the headset view. This can be useful for analyzing a session afterwards.

Please note that you must calibrate eye tracking before saving eye tracking data.

From the Tools menu, open the Analytics window and click on the icon in the bottom left corner to open the toolbar. Select Eye tracking and enable the option to Log eye tracking data while screen recording. Click on Screen recording to start.

Both a data file containing eye tracking data and a video file of the headset view are automatically saved in the Videos\Varjo folder on your Windows computer. The data file is in CSV format and contains a timeline of the recording with x-y coordinates for gaze positions.


Positional tracking and device statuses

Note: This section explains tracking for use with SteamVR™ only. Information about using third-party tracking methods is found here.

Varjo headsets use the SteamVR™ tracking system. With this technology, your VR application always knows the exact position of your headset and the controllers.

The tracking system allows you to move around in your room freely while using the apps, and the headset image updates seamlessly when you move. With the SteamVR™ Tracking technology, you can have up to 5 x 5 meters of (16 x 16 ft) moving space around you.

The status of the devices is displayed in the status area in Varjo Base.


Device is connected and tracking.
Device is connected but tracking is not working. Tracking may be temporarily lost if the device is not in a direct line of sight with the base stations.
Device is not connected. Power on your devices to see their status.
Device’s battery is low. Charge soon.
Device is charging.

The number of devices that can be shown individually is limited; after you have connected several devices, they will be grouped into one icon in the status area with the number of devices displayed. You can click the status area to see a detailed view of all the devices.


Using Varjo Markers

XR-1 Developer Edition

You can use Varjo Markers to indicate the position of virtual items in your mixed reality application. The Develop for Varjo section contains information on printing Varjo Markers.

The status area in Varjo Base will show the markers that have been recognized by the headset. If the headset has recognized a large number of markers, you can see their details by clicking on the status area to expand it.


Markers are processed by your headset only if the current application supports the use of  Varjo Markers.

If the markers have not been recognized by the headset for a period longer than two minutes, they will be automatically cleared from the status area.

Please note: The markers have unique IDs. You should not use the same marker more than once in any given environment.


Using Chroma key

XR-1 Developer Edition

The Chroma key feature allows you to control where a viewer sees virtual content in the mixed reality environment. If your application supports the use of chroma key, a predefined color in your physical environment (most typically green or blue) is replaced with virtual content.

Chroma key works best in good, soft lighting. Please make sure the chroma key surface is evenly lit and avoid reflective objects in your scene, as the chroma key background can become visible in these places. Try to use lights with identical color temperatures.

Chroma key can be used either as a background for the scene or on smaller individual surfaces. When using a colored canvas as backdrop, please make sure not to leave wrinkles, creases or shadows on the surface. It helps to leave some distance between foreground elements and the background to avoid shadows falling on the canvas. When placing smaller individual elements into the scene, ensure that they are all the same color and lit similarly.


Updating the Varjo software and headset firmware

You can update the Varjo software and headset firmware in Varjo Base. It is recommended to always use the latest software and device firmware.

Go to the Support tab in Varjo Base to check for available updates. You can set Varjo Base to automatically check for available updates and display a notification if updates are available. All updates will ask for your confirmation before they are installed. Varjo Base never automatically updates itself without your consent.

If your computer doesn’t have direct access to the internet, you can download the updates on another computer and copy the installation files locally to your computer.

Important:  Firmware updates for Varjo headsets can only be installed using Varjo Base. Never attempt to update the firmware using the SteamVR application. If SteamVR suggests you update the firmware for your headset, please ignore the notification.




Using Varjo Workspace

Users of XR-1 Developer Edition can explore additional virtual features with Varjo Workspace accessible from both the headset and Varjo Base.

Virtual desktop

XR-1 Developer Edition

Virtual desktop allows you to use your Windows applications while wearing the headset. You’ll also have the ability to quickly switch between your desktop and immersive application.

You can use controllers to point and click at Windows applications on your virtual desktop. You can also grab and move your virtual desktop screens with controllers.

If you want to customize your virtual desktop, there are two options — either through Varjo Base or System settings.

Display set-up Adjust the layout, size, and position of your virtual desktop.
Virtual environment Change the background scene for your virtual desktop.


Show my keyboard

XR-1 Developer Edition

You will need to use your mouse and keyboard to work with desktop applications while wearing the headset. With Show my keyboard, you can simply look down and see your hands and peripherals.

To enable, navigate to the Workspace tab in Varjo Base and enable Show my keyboard.


Switching between virtual desktop and virtual applications

XR-1 Developer Edition

There are a few options for switching between your virtual desktop and virtual model.

  1. Recommended: Designate a shortcut key or mouse button in Varjo Base. F12 or mouse button 4 is ideal if your application doesn’t use these keys for any function. The following keys cannot be used as shortcuts: Esc, Windows, and Enter; left, middle, and right mouse buttons.
  2. Press the headset’s System button and select the shortcut for your active application. When in the application, press the System button and select the Workspace shortcut.

By enabling Active application background, you can set your application as the virtual environment. This can be configured in Varjo Base on the Workspace tab.