FAQ and Troubleshooting

This section includes additional tips and frequently asked questions about setting up and using your headset.

For questions related to ordering and logistics, please see the Ordering and deliveries section. For information on Varjo's current operational status amid Covid-19, see Covid 19: Operational update.

Frequently asked questions for XR-3 and VR-3 will be released in early 2021.

Read more about upgrading to XR-3 and VR-3.


If you can’t find an answer to your question, you can send an inquiry to Varjo Support. If you want to report a bug, please reach out to developers@varjo.com. Thank you!


Connecting the headset

Can I use adapters for connecting Varjo headset to my computer?

Use only cables to connect the headset to your computer. We cannot guarantee full functionality when using adapters.

For example: if your laptop has USB-C ports instead of DisplayPort , it is better to use a DisplayPort to USB-C cable to connect the Link box to your laptop rather than an adapter.


I connected the headset using an external dock between my headset and Windows computer for extra ports. I cannot see the image on my headset display.

  1. External docks act as a USB hub and may cause compatibility issues. We recommend connecting laptops using the Link Box directly and without connectors or adapters. See the System requirements for more details.
  2. Some desktop motherboards have USB 3.0 routed through an internal hub and this will place USB devices too far in the USB chain. To solve this, locate a USB 3.0 port that is directly connected to the USB root. We recommended connecting to a port on the back of the computer as these are likely connected to the USB root.

I shut down my computer, but the headset does not turn off.

The headset is powered by the Link Box power supply. When plugged into a wall socket, the headset remains powered on even if you turn off your computer.

When the headset is not used for a longer period of time, it is recommended to unplug the Link Box from the wall socket and disconnect the headset’s blue optical cable from the Link Box. Unplugging both cables will shut down the headset.

Setting up the headset

Can I use my Varjo headset without an internet connection?


SteamVR requires an internet connection by default. However, you can install SteamVR for Enterprise / Government to use your headset offline.

I have finished the setup steps but can’t get my VR application to show up on the headset. Instead, I can see my Windows desktop extended on the headset displays.

Make sure you have the latest NVIDIA graphics card drivers installed. Check the supported driver versions from the System requirements.

AMD GPUs are not currently supported by the Varjo VR-1.

The headset doesn’t work after a Windows or graphics driver update.

We recommend you update to or reinstall the latest version of Varjo Base or your NVIDIA GPU drivers.

Check System requirements for information on supported software versions.

I am having trouble getting the setup to work on a Windows 10, N version.

Windows N versions don’t include all media framework libraries the software depends on. Install the latest Windows Media Feature Pack and try running the setup again.

Starting an application

Headset does not render the image, when I start application as an administrator.

This issue was resolved in the Varjo Base update 2.3.0. Please update to latest version for best results.
If you have to use older Varjo Base version, then follow the instructions below.

If you run your application as an administrator, Varjo software will not be able to communicate to it correctly by default. In order to change that, please follow these steps: 

  1. Create a file varjoprocess.cfg  using Notepad (or any other text editor) at %ProgramData%\Varjo\varjo-process\ 
  2. Add the following line to the file: VarjoCompositor.start_as_admin=true 
  3. Restart ProcessServer service through Windows services in the Task Manager. Please note that restarting through Varjo Base UI is not sufficient. 
  4. You can now start your application as an administrator 

The configuration change is persistent and will be retained through Varjo upgrade installation uninstallation or upgrade installations. In order to revert the change, please delete the file, or remove the line from the file. 

Please note that you should do this only if the application requires it to work. It is better to avoid use of administrator privileges for any background processes, unless necessary. 

My VR application doesn’t start.

There can be several reasons why an application doesn’t start. First verify that this software has worked on your Varjo headset before.


If this is the first time you are using the software on a Varjo headset

If you have an application that has been created for another VR headset, you need to port your application to work with Varjo headsets. See the details in Develop for Varjo for how to integrate your existing apps with the Varjo headset.


If the software has previously worked on this Varjo headset

If you have trouble starting your VR application, or the image doesn’t appear full screen on the headset displays, try the following steps:

  1. Close all running VR applications.
  2. Unplug the headset. Wait for a few seconds and then reconnect the headset cables.
  3. Navigate to the Support tab and Restart the Varjo System. Alternatively, right-click on Varjo Base on the Windows taskbar and select Restart Varjo System.
    • If you don’t see Varjo Base appearing on the Windows taskbar, navigate to the Windows Start menu and start Varjo Base again.
  4. Wait 30 seconds.
  5. Launch your VR application again.

My OpenVR or OpenXR application doesn’t work with my Varjo headset.

Varjo headsets are compatible with OpenVR and OpenXR, which are enabled by default.

In some situations (e.g., you have used other headsets on your computer), you may need to enable them manually. Navigate to the System tab and choose Enable OpenVR or Enable OpenXR.

Displays and image quality

Headset performance is lower than expected when using VR/XR applications.

Rendering the headset view in several windows at the same time will require a lot of processing power and may impact performance.

It is recommended that you use the Analytics window in Varjo Base as the primary mirroring window and minimize all other windows. Navigate to Developer tools and choose Analytics window, then minimize the Varjo Base main window.

Also note that if your application opens a mirror window in Windows and you are running Varjo Base simultaneously: 1) Keep only one mirror window open in the foreground of Windows, and 2) minimize all other unnecessary windows.

My application appears in lower resolution than expected.

If your application supports both Varjo Native and OpenVR or OpenXR, it may be running in OpenVR / OpenXR mode instead of Varjo Native. In this case, it is indicated in Varjo Base in the Headset view title bar.

To resolve this, disable OpenVR or OpenXR and restart the application.

My OpenVR application doesn’t run smoothly.

The Varjo headset’s screen pixel density is much higher than that of other headset manufacturers. 100% resolution in SteamVR for the Varjo headset is 4096 x 4096 pixels per eye and this may be too demanding for some video cards and heavy applications.

If you are experiencing performance issues, you can adjust the resolution through the SteamVR settings.

  1. In the SteamVR application, choose Menu > Settings > Video .
  2. Select Enable custom resolution and adjust the resolution to the desired setting.
  3. Restart your VR application.

Tip: You can adjust the resolution from 20% to 500% of the original quality. Note that after 8K resolution is reached, there is no need to increase the resolution further as you will not see any additional image improvement.

If you need to create an exception to the general resolution for individual VR applications, this can be performed through the Applications settings. Refer to the instructions below.

Important: This application-specific setting is a multiplier of the general resolution under the Video settings. When set to 100%, your VR application will use the general resolution specified in the Video settings. Only change it from 100% if necessary.

  1. In the SteamVR application, choose Menu > Settings > Applications.
  2. Locate the application(s) in the list and adjust the resolution to the desired setting.
  3. Restart your VR application.


One or more of the headset displays are off or they show a corrupted image.

1. Reset the headset: Press and hold both the System and Application buttons until the LED light blinks red once. Release the buttons.

Wait until the headset restarts and check that the displays show the correct image.

2.  If that doesn’t work, unplug the Link Box power cable and restart your computer.

After your computer has restarted, re-connect the Link Box power cable. The headset will restart.

Check that the displays show the correct image now.

3.  Ensure that the NVIDIA GPU driver is 436.48 or higher. Please note: Versions 440.97 – 441.12 are not supported.

The screen flickers, or the image does not update smoothly on the headset displays.

If the content you are running is too complex to render with your current computer, it may cause flickering or screen tearing.

See tips in the Develop for Varjo section on how to improve your application performance in Unity or Unreal.

The border between the focus and the peripheral areas doesn’t look smooth.

You can choose how the border between the focus and peripheral areas appears using the Display blending feature in Varjo Base. We recommend you first try out the option for Smooth: Seamless transition.

This problem can also occur if the headset is not correctly positioned on your head, or if the lens distance has not been adjusted to correctly match your eyes.

Follow the instructions for headset positioning and lens distance adjustment:

  1. Navigate to the Headset tab in Varjo Base. Ensure that both Automatically adjust interpupillary distance and Automatic headset positioning are enabled. If you don’t want to automatically adjust the interpupillary distance, make sure that you manually enter the correct interpupillary distance for your eyes.
  2. Put on your headset and follow the on-screen instructions for optimally positioning the headset. When the Headset positioning guide is displayed, your headset will automatically re-adjust the headset lenses for your eyes. You will hear a short buzzing sound during the adjustment.

Mixed reality

I would like to know more about Varjo Markers and Chroma key.

You can read about using Varjo Markers and Chroma key under Get to know your headset.

More detailed technical information can be found on our Developer Portal. Refer to the sections on Varjo Markers and Chroma key.


I connected XR-1 Developer Edition to my computer, but the mixed reality cameras don’t show any image.

There are a few reasons why this may be happening. Try the following:

  1. Unplug and reconnect the Link Box power cable.
  2. Check the XR camera cable connection on your computer. Make sure the port you are using has the Thunderbolt Lightning icon.
  3. The XR camera cable needs to be connected directly to the motherboard’s Thunderbolt port, or if you are using a Thunderbolt expansion card, the ports in that card. There may also be other USB-C ports on the motherboard or the graphics card – do not use those.
  4. Download the latest Thunderbolt driver for your motherboard. See links to manufacturer’s pages in the System requirements.
  5. Make sure to approve the Thunderbolt connection for the headset. See Getting started with XR-1 Developer Edition, Step 3 for instructions on how to approve the connection.
  6. The Thunderbolt settings in BIOS can be incorrect. Consult your motherboard manufacturer’s instructions on how to check and edit the BIOS settings for your motherboard.
  7. If any of the above doesn’t resolve your issue, you may need to update your BIOS to latest version. Consult your motherboard manufacturer’s instructions on how to update.

Using positional tracking

The headset image does not update when I move.

Headset tracking has been lost. You can confirm your base stations’ tracking status in the Varjo Base status area above the Headset view window. Try slowly waving the headset towards the base stations to regain tracking.

The SteamVR™ tracking elements are placed behind the front plate and on both sides of the Varjo headset. Be sure not to cover or occlude the SteamVR™ tracking elements with your hands. Ensure that the base stations are pointing towards the headset in all positions, also when you move or turn around in the room. The minimum recommended distance between the base stations and the headset is 1.5 meters or 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. Here you can find specific instructions on how to set up base stations.

How can I reset my position in VR?

The starting point, orientation, and floor level of an application are defined by your room setup. You can quickly adjust these using the Override origin and direction feature in Varjo Base.

Please note that the override setting is only a temporary fix. We recommended you perform a new room setup if you encounter tracking-related issues.

Using eye tracking

I can’t get the eye tracking calibration to start.

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. See detailed instructions for using the Eye tracking in the Get to know your headset section.

Eye tracking calibration always finishes with the error: “Calibration unsuccessful”.

There are two options for calibrating your Varjo headset:

  1. In Varjo Base:

    Select Calibrate eye tracking in the Tools panel on the left side of the Varjo Base window.

  2. In the headset:

    Press the System button. In the Calibration tab, Start eye tracking.

    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 hand tracking

How do I enable hand tracking for my VR-2 Pro headset?

VR-2 Pro headset features Ultraleap’s hand tracking which requires additional software to function.

To enable the use of hand tracking in your apps, you will need to download Ultraleap SDK for Varjo VR-2 Pro.

For more information on using hand tracking, please take a look at our Developer Portal.

My hand tracking is not working.

When the Control Panel for Ultraleap’s hand tracking is running, an icon is displayed in the notification area of the Windows taskbar. The icon changes color to reflect your tracking status as follows: 

Hand tracking is working normally.
Hand tracking is not workingTry to power your headset off and back on again.
The tracking sensors are obstructed. Try to wipe off any smudges on the front of your headset.
Tracking is suspended because of low sampling rate. The most typical cause is USB bandwidth congestion. Try connecting your headset to a different USB port, or removing other USB devices.
The tracking frame rate is low, and the Avoid Poor Performance option is turned off in Leap Motion Control Panel. Tracking will continue, but less reliably.
An update is available. Open Leap Motion Control Panel to install the update.

You can access further settings by clicking on the Control Panel icon.

Using controllers

My controllers are not working.

The controllers are connected using the SteamVR application. See the setup steps in the Getting started guide.

Please note: if you have paired your controllers with another VR headset, they will need to be paired again with your Varjo headset.

The System button in my Vive controller does not work.

When using applications developed for Varjo headsets, the System button on your Vive controller will not work. However, when using SteamVR (OpenVR) applications, the System button will function normally.

You can also access System settings by pressing the System button on your headset.

Using headphones and audio

What kind of headphones can I use with Varjo headsets?

Varjo headsets feature a standard 3.5mm AHJ (CTIA) audio connector. It is located between the face mask and the headset body, next to the right-side eye lens.

You can use headphones either with or without a built-in microphone. Please note that some headphone models with a built-in microphone, such as Apple headphones, may not work properly. This headphone model has been tested to function correctly.

Which audio format do Varjo headsets support?

2 channel 16-bit, 44.1kHz/48kHz sampling rate for playback and recording is supported.

I connected my headphones to my Varjo headset, but I cannot hear anything.

Audio may not be routed to your Varjo headset.

  1. On your Windows PC, select Start and type in Sound.
  2. Select Sound (Control Panel) from the list of results.
  3. Open the Playback tab, and select USB Audio Device > OK.

Using the headset for extended periods of time

The headset gets warm during use.

The headset may get warm during extended periods of continuous use. This is not dangerous. If the headset feels uncomfortably warm to wear, unplug the headset and let it cool down. Place it on a flat surface with the vents on the top of the headset facing up.

The headset shuts down automatically.

This may be due to ambient temperature rising above a defined limit. Varjo headsets automatically shut down when they have reached their internal temperature limit.

Unplug the headset and allow it to cool down for 15 minutes.

Error messages

Varjo Base shows an error message.

Varjo Base can detect several different errors and always displays the recommended steps for how to recover. Please follow the instructions shown in Varjo Base.

You can view advanced technical details about the error in Varjo Base. This may be helpful if you need to connect Varjo Support about your issue.

If your problem persists and you can’t get the headset working, please report your problem to Varjo Support.

Moreover, in case you need help with any developer-related questions, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with the content of our Developer Portal.

The SteamVR status window shows an error message.

When running SteamVR applications, SteamVR may show error messages related to displaying SteamVR content. Follow the instructions given by the SteamVR app. Resetting the SteamVR app may also provide a solution.

Otherwise, you can ignore the error messages displayed by the SteamVR application.

For issues related to the headset or other Varjo-specific errors, always refer to the instructions and messages appearing in Varjo Base.