How to Install Steam VR Completely [Tutorial]

how to install steam vr tutorial
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The tutorial below will show you how to install Steam VR with step-by-step pictures for each step. It’s intended to help you get started playing PC VR games as quick as possible.

This guide is for:

  • New VR headset owners who want to set things up properly before they start playing on their head-mounted display (HMD)
  • People interested in VR who want to see how quick it is to get set up and playing
  • VR players who need to reinstall Steam VR on their computer

If you have any questions about installing Steam VR and getting started, comment at the bottom of this guide.

Also, check out our comparison guide for the Steam VR vs Oculus vs Viveport platforms

How to Install Steam VR Step-by-Step

The step-by-step instructions below will show you how to install Steam VR on your computer and get started playing VR games on your HMD.

Go to the Steam Website

First, click here to go to the official Steam website.

go to steam website

Click on the Green Install Steam Button

At the top right of the page, click on the Install Steam green button to get started.

click green button to install steam vr

Click on the Blue Install Steam Button

Next, click on the blue Install Steam button. Your operating system will be chosen automatically as the default option, but you can click the smaller icons if this is wrong.

click on blue install steam vr button

Run Installer EXE

Windows will ask you if you want to save or run the EXE install file. Click on Run and wait for the installer to download.

click on run button steam

Allow App to Make Changes

When prompted, click the Yes button if you are asked to allow the application to change your computer.

allow app to make changes

Welcome to Steam Setup

At the welcome screen, click the Next button.

welcome to install steam screen

Select Language

Choose your default language for Steam and then click on Next.

steam choose install language

Choose Your Install Folder

Verify your install folder (you should not have to change this) and click Install.

choose steam install folder

Complete Steam Install

Let Steam install on your computer. Select Run Steam when you are done and then click on Finish.

finish steam installation

Create a New Account or Login to Existing

You will be asked to create a new account or login to an existing one when the app launches. If you have to create a new Steam account, click that option and follow through the prompts. Then you can come back to this step-by-step tutorial.

If you have an account already, click on LOGIN TO AN EXISTING ACCOUNT.

create a new steam account

Enter In Account Credentials

Enter in your Account name and Password and then click on Login.

steam enter account credentials

Complete Computer Authorization

If you are logging in from a new computer, you must authorize it for use. Steam will send you a code to your email account. On the authorization screen, select I’ve received the Steam Support message and then click Next.

complete steam login

Enter Code

Enter the code you received in your email and then click on Next. 

steam enter authorization code

Computer Authorization Complete

Your computer now has access to your account credentials. Click on Finish to close this Window. This is the end of the process of installing Steam on your computer. Now we have to install VR add-on package before you can use your headset on your PC.

steam authorization complete

Visit the Steam VR Website

Click here to go to the Steam VR website. Click on Install Steam VR.

visit the steam vr website

Do You Have Steam?

The next page will ask you if you already have Steam installed on your computer. Since we just completed that process, click on Yes, Steam is Installed.

do you have steam?

Switch Apps

Windows will now ask you to switch over to the Client Bootstrapper. The Bootstrapper is built-in software that will help you install Steam VR over top of the main platform. It will allow you to switch between PC and VR modes freely. Click on Yes to continue.

steam vr switch apps back to steam

Install Steam VR

The first prompt to install Steam VR will ask you to verify that you have the disk space required. Click on Next.

install steam vr message

Steam VR Queued

The VR package will be queued for download. You can click on Finish to close this window.

install steam vr queued message

Verify Steam VR Download

You can verify that Steam VR is downloading by visiting your Library tab. You will see the app in there, either queued or downloading.

verify steam vr download

Play Steam VR

When your computer downloads Steam VR, click the blue Play button.

play steam vr

Allow Steam VR to Make Changes

Windows will ask you if you want to allow the application to change your computer. Click on Yes.

allow steam vr to make changes

Steam VR First-Time Setup

Steam VR will run through its first-time setup process. You can watch the progress window or leave it be.

watch steam vr first time setup

Installation Complete

When Steam VR is being installed, it will show up on the bottom of your regular Steam window. The program will ask you to plug in your VR headset if you haven’t yet.

plug in your vr headset install steam vr

When you plug in your headset, Steam will confirm that everything is connected. VR games will now instantly launch within the headset for you to play!

Click on the hamburger menu (3 horizontal lines) to open the VR settings option. This will allow you to configure your room boundary, VR view, and other software settings.

install steam vr custom settings

Congratulations! You have now completed the process of installing Steam VR on your computer. You can now go and play PC VR games you have downloaded to your account!

If you are new to this, we’ve outlined the regular platform and the VR add-on in a little more detail below.

What is Steam?

Steam is the largest gaming platform and distribution network in the world. Similar to the app stores by Apple and Google, it allows game developers to distribute their games easily to users. It also provides features for automatic game updates and other developer-friendly analytics and distribution tools.

The world’s biggest PC games are available on the platform. Users can leave reviews and ratings for everything they buy. In addition, game add-ons and modifications are also supported and found in the app store.

What is Steam VR?

Steam VR is a snap-on application that enables the connection of VR headsets. It includes configuration software that maps VR hardware, controllers, and tracking.

Steam VR has both generic configuration for VR and direct support for all major VR headset HMDs:

Minimum System Requirements for Steam VR

In order to run Steam VR, make sure you computer has these specs or better:

  • OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1 or later, Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-4590/AMD FX 8350 equivalent or better
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970, AMD Radeon R9 290 equivalent or better (recommended GTX 1060 or AMD Radeon 480)
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • VR Support: SteamVR
  • Additional Notes: 1x USB 2.0 or newer, HDMI 1.4, DisplayPort 1.2 or newer

Steam VR Settings

Once you have successfully installed SteamVR, you should understand the various settings to get the best possible VR experience. When you open SteamVR, click on the hamburger menu (3 horizontal lines) to access these options:

General: This section allows you to opt in or out of the SteamVR beta, check for updates, and choose your startup and shutdown preferences. You can also toggle notifications, adjust performance settings, and enable supersampling here.

Audio: The Audio settings are where you can manage your input and output devices for VR. For instance, you may want your audio to switch to your VR headset when SteamVR is active and switch back to your regular speakers when you exit.

Video: Here, you can adjust the resolution of your VR headset. This setting can greatly impact performance, so you may need to tweak it depending on your system’s capabilities. You can also enable per-application video settings, allowing you to customize resolution settings for each game individually.

USB: The USB section displays the status of your USB devices. It can be useful for troubleshooting issues with VR hardware.

Camera: If your VR headset has a built-in camera (like the HTC Vive), you can enable it here. This can help see your real-world environment without removing your headset.

Chaperone: The Chaperone system warns you if you’re about to bump into something in the real world. Here, you can adjust the style and colors of your boundary and set the boundary’s transparency and activation distance.

Controllers: In this section, you can adjust settings for your VR controllers, including button mappings, calibration, and more. You can also view the battery levels of your controllers.

Bluetooth: If your VR system uses Bluetooth (like the Vive’s tracking base stations), you can manage those devices here.

As you saw above, you install Steam VR alongside the regular store to enable VR mode and capabilities. The whole process only takes five or ten minutes, and then you are good to play.

If you have any other questions, make sure to comment below!


  • Ryan William

    With over 7 years of hands-on experience in the dynamic world of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and mixed reality (MR), Ryan is a recognized authority in the field. His collaborations with industry giants like Meta and HTC underscore his expertise in shaping the AR/VR landscape. Ryan has written over 2,000 blog posts, offering in-depth insights, reviews, and analyses of the latest mixed reality technology. From groundbreaking games to cutting-edge hardware, Ryan's extensive knowledge ensures readers are always at the forefront of AR/VR/MR, as well as Steam Deck, news.

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