Getting started with XR-1 Developer Edition

This page helps you get started with your new Varjo XR-1 Developer Edition. We’ll guide you through the Varjo software installation and headset setup.

What's in the box

Below you'll find the essentials included with your Varjo XR-1 Developer Edition headset.


XR-1 Developer Edition headset Link Box
Link Box power supply unit
Connector cables:
1 x USB-C
2 x DisplayPort-DisplayPort
2 x DisplayPort-Mini DisplayPort
1 x USB-A
3 power cables:
Euro plug
UK plug
US plug
Standard fabric face mask
Large PU face mask
Cleaning cloth


What's not in the box

There are a few items that are not provided with Varjo XR-1 Developer Edition. These will need to be purchased separately:

Accessory Recommended Minimum
SteamVR™ base stations 1.0 or 2.0 * 4 x SteamVR™ 2.0 base stations

  • Four base stations are recommended when using VR apps that require moving in the room.
  • You can purchase these from the Varjo webstore.
2 x SteamVR™ 2.0 or 1.0 base stations

  • A minimum of two base stations is required for tracking the headset in stationary use or while sitti­­­­­ng.
  • Please note: You can use either the SteamVR™ 1.0 or 2.0 base stations, but the base stations you plan to use must be compatible with each other. You can find compatibility specifications here.
SteamVR™-compatible controllers * Optional

Controllers are used for interacting with virtual objects. The Varjo XR-1 Developer Edition headset can be used without controllers, but your VR applications might have specific interactions that require using a controller.

You can use either SteamVR™ 1.0 or 2.0 controllers, however, the base stations and controllers you plan to use must be compatible with each other.

Headphones (optional) Optional

Headphones with a 3.5mm audio jack are compatible with the Varjo headset.

* Note: Alternative tracking technologies are compatible with Varjo headsets. Please review these instructions for detailed information.


Check the system requirements

Check your PC


      See system requirements


Important: XR-1 Developer Edition has very specific hardware requirements. Only certain Windows 10 desktop computers and laptops are capable of supporting the headset.

We are maintaining a list of computers known to work with the Varjo XR-1 Developer Edition headset.

It is strongly recommended that you use one of the models from the list. If you connect XR-1 Developer Edition to a computer that is not mentioned in the list, it is highly probable that the headset will not function.

Tip: take note of the requirements regarding connectivity ports – the use of adapters is not recommended due to known compatibility issues.


After you have ensured your system meets the System Requirements, install the necessary software.


Install the software


Software Required Get the software
Varjo Base v. 2.1 Download Varjo Base
Windows 10 OS Version v. 1809 Go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update on your local Windows 10 computer.
NVIDIA GPU driver 436.48 or higher

Important: Versions 440.97 – 441.12 are not supported.

Download from NVIDIA


Thunderbolt driver Install the Thunderbolt software and driver downloaded from the motherboard manufacturer’s website. Perform the installation regardless of whether the Thunderbolt software is pre-installed. ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming

ASUS Prime Z390-A Motherboard w/ Thunderbolt Ex3 Extension card

Gigabyte z390 Aorus Extreme

SteamVR * v. 1.7.15 1.     Download the Steam desktop application

2.     Create a Steam account

3.     Download SteamVR

* Please note: SteamVR software is required regardless of the tracking technology you will ultimately use.


Setup Steps

These steps will guide you through setting up your computer and the physical environment for the Varjo XR-1 Developer Edition headset.

Important: If you are using tracking technology other than SteamVR™, please refer to these instructions before beginning setup.


1. Start Varjo Base

Varjo Base is needed to run XR-1 Developer Edition and contains the necessary settings and functionalities for it. Download it here.

When installed, Varjo Base will appear in the Windows Start menu and the notification area on your Windows taskbar.

Start Varjo Base to proceed with the setup.


2. Connect the Varjo XR-1 Developer Edition headset

Note: When connecting for the first time, Windows will recognize the headset as a new USB device and install the appropriate drivers.

A. Connecting with a PC

DisplayPort cables (4 and 5): If your computer has both an integrated graphics card and a dedicated graphics card, make sure to use the DIsplayPorts on your dedicated graphics card.

XR camera cable (XR): In case there are multiple USB-C ports in the motherboard, use one with a Lightning icon.

B. Connecting with a laptop

DisplayPort cables (4 and 5): Depending on the type of port you have, use either the full or Mini-size DisplayPort cable included in the box.

3. Approve the Thunderbolt device connection

Important: Windows will require your permission to connect XR-1 Developer Edition with your computer. You will need administrator privileges to do this.

Follow the steps below to approve the connection from a Windows notification (3A), or manually (3B).

If you are still unable to approve the Thunderbolt device connection, please refer to the FAQ section.

3A. Approving the connection from the Windows notification

1. After connecting the cables, a “New Thunderbolt™ devices” notification will appear. Press OK.

2. From the dialogue box that opens, press Yes.

3. Choose Always Connect and press OK.

3B. Manually approving the connection

If the notification doesn’t appear, refer to the steps below.

1. Click on the Thunderbolt™ Software icon in the Windows notification area. Alternatively, you can search for “Thunderbolt™ Software” with the Windows Search tool.

2. In the dialogue box that appears, select the Varjo, XR module. Press Not connected in the Device Information.

3. Follow the steps 2 and 3 in section 3A.

4. Install headset configuration bundle

For the best possible visual experience, please download and install the headset configuration bundle associated with XR-1 Developer Edition.

If you have not yet completed installation, a notification will appear in the status area of Varjo Base with instructions for downloading the software. Alternatively, navigate to the Support tab in Varjo Base and follow the instructions under Software updates.

For offline installation, download the headset configuration bundle on another computer and copy the installation files locally to your computer.

5. Set up the base stations

Set up the SteamVR™ base stations in the room following these step-by-step instructions. You can use either SteamVR™ 1.0 or 2.0 base stations.

Important: The tracking features in Varjo Base only apply to SteamVR™. If you are using an alternative tracking method, please review these instructions.

6. Track your headset

Varjo Base shows the status of your base stations. Check that your headset is visible to your base stations and that tracking is working.

If the headset is not tracking, make sure that the headset is in direct line of sight with the base stations, and that the sensors on the front plate of the headset are not covered.

  • Tip: SteamVR™ tracking elements are placed behind the front plate of your headset. Make sure that the base stations are pointing towards the headset’s front plate in all positions, including when moving or turning around in the room. The minimum recommended distance between the base stations and the headset is 1.5 meters (5 feet). Please be aware that reflective surfaces may interfere with tracking; if possible, cover all reflective surfaces in the base stations’ field of view.
7. Set up room

When using XR-1 Developer Edition for the first time in a new environment, you will need to perform a brief setup to configure the headset and base stations.

Perform this setup each time you move the headset and base stations to a new environment, or if you move the base stations or change their orientation in your current room.

  1. In Varjo Base, navigate to the System tab and Start SteamVR room setup.
  2. From the Room setup instructions, Launch SteamVR and wait for the application to open. Alternatively, manually open SteamVR from your Windows computer.
  3. In the SteamVR application window, go to Menu > Room setup and follow the instructions. It is recommended that you choose the Standing Only setup, which is the most straightforward way to complete the setup. Please note that choosing “Standing Only” does not prevent you from playing VR experiences that have been created for room scale.
  4. After you’ve completed the Room setup, return to Varjo Base.
  5. Press Done. Your tracking system is now ready to use.

8. Optional: Pair your controller(s)

You can set your existing controllers to work with XR-1 Developer Edition. You can use any SteamVR™-compatible controller, such as the HTC Vive controller.

Note: If you have paired your controllers with another VR headset, they will need to be paired again with XR-1 Developer Edition.

  1. Switch on your controller(s).
  2. In Varjo Base, navigate to the System tab and open Pair SteamVR device.
  3. From the Device pairing instructions, Launch SteamVR and wait for the application to open. Alternatively, manually open SteamVR from your Windows computer.
  4. In the SteamVR application window, go to Menu > Devices > Pair Controller and follow the instructions.
  5. After you’ve completed the pairing, return to Varjo Base.
  6. Press Done. The status area will show the status of each paired controller.
9. Optional: Connect your headphones

If your VR experiences include sounds or voice input, you can plug your headphones into the headset. Headphones with a 3.5mm audio jack are compatible with the XR-1 Developer Edition headset.

Remember to check that you have selected the correct sound output and input source from the settings on your Windows computer.


This completes your setup for Varjo Base. What’s next?

Test your headset with Varjo Showcases

The quickest way to test your headset is to download Varjo Showcases, a set of VR experiences designed to demonstrate the graphical capabilities of the Varjo headsets.

Save the showcase apps to your computer and open an app to view it. The application opens directly in the headset.

Enjoy your headset!

Your Varjo headset should now be up and running.

Want to know more?

  • We’ve prepared a reading package for you to get to know your headset better.
  • To get more apps, check the Develop for Varjo section for information on how to port existing Unity and Unreal Engine projects to run with the Varjo headset.
  • See FAQ & Troubleshooting for any problems or questions during the setup.