Finally time to buy motion controllers etc., what to buy in 2021?

I think I’m finally about ready to pull the trigger on buying a base station and controllers to go along with my 5K+. It looks like a Steam Base Station version 2 and the Pimax Sword controllers would be a good way to go? Although, I can’t seem to figure out how to order the sword controllers anywhere except with an HMD, so those may be out of the question.

What would you recommend in 2021 for VR controllers? Is a single Steam Base Station 2 sufficient?

A single 2.0 base station will be a pretty bad experience for real motion controller games. I would recommend getting the Index Controllers and two 2.0 base stations!


Hmmm. OK, looks like (just like many things currently), I won’t be investing in them for a while as they are unavailable unless I want to pay ‘extra’ for them (I’ll wait for them to become available directly through Valve at MSRP). So even with the version 2.0 Valve Base Station I really need 2 of them?

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2 is best if you plan on using roomscale and/or imho Motion controllers to have better stability.

As for what motion controllers are best? Atm we really only have Vive wands and Index Controllers. Most will say go Index Controllers vs Wands(with some very good reasons).

Pimax Controllers arre really unknown at this point if they will release this year or not. So in lieu of pimax controllers another option that looks like it should release this year is Etee; but would wait for some reviews once folks have them in hand. I backed Etee. Pimax controllers as well are really unknown how well they will perform in both function and quality/durability so best to wait once folks have them as well.

I would hope pimax will look after Backers before going down the pre order rabbit hole again.


With only 1 you can pretty easily loose tracking, for example by turning around or occluding with your own body. The most popular way is still to have two base stations on opposite sides of the playspace pointing at each other, after all they are still optics and not magic. Quite a few people also run 3 in a triangle layout for better tracking, it helps in fast paced games or when using FBT, but imo thats a little overkill.


Do what I did and see if you can find a used Vive if it comes with controllers and base stations.

the controllers and basestations separately are way overpriced.


Lol, been going through almost this exact same process myself. I’ve had an 8k+ with one Base Station 2.0 for quite some time, which has been awesome.

However, after recently acquiring a Quest 2, I’m now convinced I need controllers for my 8k+. ​And so the adventure begins…

The general consensus is that the best solution is a pair of 2.0 Base Stations (not cheap) and Index Controllers (also not cheap, and also not sold in Australia, lucky me). And once you do the numbers, you realize that the same amount of money could buy you at least TWO Quest 2s. Maybe three. The only other real option is a pair of 1.0 Base Stations and Vive Wands, which is only marginally cheaper.

As for Sword Controllers of some variety… they were promised with enthusiasm and due about 2 years ago, and whilst the enthusiasm and promises are still there, the controllers aren’t. I wouldn’t hold your breath.

As for me, I tried reaching out to Pimax to see if they could sell me Index Controllers (thought they might help out, given I’d spent over AUD$2000 with them for the headset and base station), but they wouldn’t. Apparently they’re not allowed to sell them separately.

I’ve eventually ordered some second hand Index controllers from the US for an almost reasonable price, and coughed up for another base station 2.0.

I love my Pimax and the big FOV, but have to say that for about one sixth the price, the Quest 2 has me frowning at the Pimax a bit. It’s cheap as chips, wireless, comes with controllers and great inside out tracking, highly polillished software environment, and the clarity is almost on par with the Pimax (yep, I kid you not), and sans eye strain. Oh, and it has plenty of grunt for standalone (no PC needed) games.

I do love the Pimax’s big FOV though, and super smoothing is a godsend, and with a Vive DAS and counterweight it’s super comfortable. But, yeah, the Quest2 is a wake up call to all other headset providers I think. That said, I still have my Index controllers and extra base station on the way.

Sorry for drifting off topic a little.


I think comparing to the Quest 2 is a little unfair, its like a console, sold at a seriously giant loss with the expectation to make back the money in data about you and sales from eco-system lock, backed by a giant corporation. Pimax and most other VR Headset companies can not sell at a loss, they need profit, because they do not run the game store for their headsets.

And the tracking of a Quest 2 is really bad compared to lighthouse tech, lighthouse tech is just expensive because its advanced. I gladly paid 2,7k USD for my VR headset and controllers instead of getting a Quest, because it means I get flawless tracking and visuals. Just my two cents on people always bringing up the quest.

Like @drowhunter I also bought a used Vive for the bases and wands, long before my 5K+ even arrived. I also have used one V2 base from Pimax and it was fine for forward facing play (most games) but I do prefer the two V1 bases from my Vive. This is especially true with some of the probs people have had with v2 bases.
If the used Vive taught me anything it was that trackpads suck. I still use the wands attached to a broomstick as a kayak paddle in Downstream but I use Valve Index controllers for everything else. Love them.

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Yeah, I mean it looks like we are talking very close to $700 for two base stations and the index controllers. It looks like I can get the entire Valve Index VR kit for $999, which includes a lot of extras I would use (the included Alyx game alone is worth a little). Then I could sell off the Index HMD if I wished to do so. Although, TBH at these prices I may just skip all of this. The only REAL reason I want all of this is so I can begin playing those few VR titles that require VR controllers - Alyx, FO4 VR, etc. Everything else I do I’m absolutely fine with just the HMD and either my XBox controller or my racing sim equipment. I think I would rather save that cash and put it toward a better GPU and better HMD, and hope that someone eventually releases reasonably priced VR equipment.


Once I had played games like Boneworks, Contractors, ALYX, and such with Index controllers, I wanted nothing less. Having rl firearms training, the immersion factor is ramped up dramatically in shooters now using rl loading mechanics. Then there’s the evil “bow shooter” In Death. Can’t get there with my XBone. :grinning:

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Your 100% correct here. The quest is easily the best headset full stop.

Pimax has one killer feature however that keeps their heart pumping and that’s the FOV.

My biggest problem with the Base station’s is that feeling deep in my gut, that eventually they will die. And then it will be the cost of a Quest to replace them.

Of course Pimax owes me two 2.0 base stations (still waiting) , so if that happens I will be kicking down their door.

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