Pimax 5K+ gaming without any Lighthouses

Today i brought my 5K+ to my brother to test how things work on a PC never before having Pimax installed. As my brother only plays on Rift, he does not have any base stations or Vive controllers. So we decided to do all testing without 6dof. His PC is 2080Ti and i7 6700K.

Plugged in Pimax and installed PiTool 91. Firmware was already 176 (the latest) of course.

Did a room setup in PiTool sitting down (only for seated experiences). While sitting on the chair in front of the keyboard, having the Pimax on my head, I picked calibrate center. Then calibrated height still having Pimax on my head. Typed in 180cm in the input box and calibration successfull.

Started up SteamVR and did standing up room calibration doing basically the same thing, by just sitting down. Height and alignment was perfect in steam vr. No issues at all.

Started up Hellblade VR and played for 15 minutes. No issues with height or alignment from start. Easy to recenter as well. I was surprised how good this game works without 6dof, using gamepad of course. No drift, not a single tracking issue. Worked 100%

Tested Youka Laylee VR (mod) Same as above, no issues at all. Then Luckys Tale. Running Luckys with latest Revive gave us strange delay/lag on head movements (neve seen it before). But starting Luckys through PiTool instead without SteamVR worked 100%. Also here very surprised how well it worked without 6dof.

After that, we tried a couple of more games such as Moss, Ghost of A Tale, Assetto Corsa and Infinite Minigolf. All worked like a charm without Lighthouses.

During the whole afternoon, we had no problems, drift, misplacement or lost tracking at all. It just worked. Except for Luckys Tale that worked 100% with PiTool launcher but had some lag with revive and Steamvr.

I gotta admit im quite surprised, this was way above my expectations. 6dof is better and more immersive, but without it, I was still able to enjoy all above games without any issues.

So to all Pimax backers without Lighthouses: don’t worry :wink:

Btw, I had no idea we can control the SteamVR Dashboard with just a gamepad (xbox one). Works surprisingly well!

Edit: Oh we played Subnautica also, same as above. Worked great!


This is important to know, @Davobkk was a bit worried about the gyro tracking.


I played many games on my Pimax 4K without 6dof. Very doable. And Hellblade in the 4K was sometimes photorealistic and I had my first extreme virtual sense of presence in that game. I stopped playing soon after that because I want to finish the game with my 8K


Well that’s bloody good news for simmers :wink:


90% of simmers at least that aren’t hooked on the need to lean

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Yeah especially in flight sims I feel 6dof is important, in racing sims i could live without it tbh. And in games like Luckys, Subnautica or Hellblade i never felt i missed the 6dof while testing today. That surprised me.


Indeed but there are quite easy ways to add leaning with diy solutions & easier ones with things like driver4vr. :beers::sunglasses::+1::sparkles:

I use VR mainly for DCS. So, 3DOF is absolutely no option for me. No point to tell me otherwise, I just know it dosen’t work for descent sims. Ordered LH, most probably it going arrive before Pimax (backer 24xx). Just hoping Pimax is going to let setup itself and will work with single LH. Should get couple of Pimax LH with controllers some day, then going to try something else in VR too.


I agree, for sims like DCS or iL2, 6dof is a must!
I have spent hundreds of hours (not kidding) with only one LH at work with Pimax 8K and it works mostly perfect.


I strongly disagree.

To people not understanding the main shortcoming of 3DOF vs 6DOF:

3DOF implies that for any translation move from your head (think strafe type move, left/right or forward/backward, or up/down) THE WHOLE WORLD WILL MOVE AS IF STICKED TO YOUR HEAD.

It is no just a matter of more or less immersion, nor even of just being able to lean to have a closer look at something, it is about not getting sick, or at least heavily disturbed by something HEAVILY unnatural (whole world sticked to your head).

Of course as we see many people not worried about playing in 3DOF they obviously don’t bother having the world sticked to their head (for translations, rotations still work normaly) but I personnaly do and I would describe this feeling as one of the shittiest feeling I can have with a VR headset.

Playing alien isolation for exemple, the VR mod prevents your head going though objects. So when your head comes close to something and you continue moving your head to that direction the whole world will start moving with your head.

Another test case with a rift is to cover your sensors (cameras). I have 3D printed protected caps on mines and I forgot to remove them from time to time which downgrades the rift into 3DOF mode, what a pain, do not want that, this is not true VR anymore for me, I just don’t want to play anything like that at all.

And last, the often read argument 3DOF would be ok for sims (or any seated game) because you don’t move your head too much is completely invalid for me (= for my sensitivity to this 3DOF “issue”). I don’t need large movements to be pissed by the world moving sticked to my head, only 1cm is enough which just happens all the time because nobody keeps his head completely fixed.

So no I don’t want to read general statements like “don’t worry about using the pimax without Lighthouse(s)” or “it will be perfectly fine for seated games”.

I don’t want to see VR being leveled down because “some” people find 3DOF acceptable, being because they are not that sensitive to a world being sticked to their head, or their immersion is mostly based on the stereoscopic vision and rotationnal tracking is enough for them and translation tracking just seen “as a bonus”.

For me (and I’m not alone thinking this) 6DOF is a key component of VR without which the experience is not VR anymore. For all those who will be as sensitive as I am to a VR world sticked to your head, no lighthouse = no VR and it sucks badly pimax haven’t secured LH supplies and could even think for a second it wouldn’t be a problem to send HMDs without LHs to backers and open pre-orders knowing perfectly they won’t be able to send LHs with the HMDs before quite some time (possibly half a year or even more).


I agree, but until my Pimax lighthouse arrives, I’ll be making do with 3DOF, inside Elite Dangerous mostly, but I’ll probably also play driving games like Dirt Rally.


It’s where freetrack, trackir, psmove, kinect etc can give what is needed for a simmer wanting simple 6dof option. Even an old android/iphone or Wii mote setup can complete the experience.

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Which is the point it’s not a deal breaker to wait & use it with 3dof or use one of the many methodes to add it in.

Otherwise those that are stubborn about a wait should consider selling & buy a wmr headset as wide fov could be argued not really needed for sims; it’s just added bling.

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Thank you so much, SweViver, for the info given here!
I do not own the Vive and won`t have Lighthouse-Tracking until the one station, I pledged for, will arrive. So, when I finally get my 5K+ I won´t be able to use 6dof. But I was a little bit worried, if I will be able to set up the Pimax at all without base stations. Now I am confident, that at least I will be able to test the headset, even if it is only 3dof.
Thanks again!


Dan have you actually got that to work in conjunction with a Pimax, I was not aware you could have TrackIr running with headset tracking at the same time ?

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I dont think you get my point with this post.
Im not saying 3dof is better. Im not saying i recommend it. 6dof is of course much better in VR and room scale gaming is a big part of VR for me.

What im trying to say here is that IF u are about to recieve your Pimax and currently cannot afford (or haven’t purchased yet) the Lighthouses and controllers, u dont need to keep the Pimax in the box.

There are dozens or probably hundreds of VR games u can play in 3dof to just get familiar with Pimax meanwhile, until u get your LH and controllers. Thats my point.

If I just recieved my Pimax today and didnt have LH, I would much prefer playing with it in 3dof instead of waiting to afford 2 LH+controllers (which are very expensive).

But yeah u are right about the part that 3dof is a downgrade. Thats why I never bothered about Oculus Go.


Well, on the 8K, the drift became subtly prevalent when watching a movie or when head is not on a swivel.

I see. I havent tested watching movies with 3dof on Pimax. In games and sims at least, we didn’t notice any drift for several hours playing and testing :thinking:


Same here, no drift after some hours playing with the 5k+.
I haven’t tried to watch some movies except some minutes of adult just for science of course.
( no drift).


Can you use one lighthouse base station without linkbox ?