Set up Windows Mixed Reality

Set up your motion controllers

The first step is to set up your Motion Controllers. If you plan to use an Xbox gamepad or keyboard and mouse you can skip this step.

Note: Windows Mixed Reality motion controllers require Bluetooth 4.0. If your PC does not have built-in Bluetooth, you will need to plug in a USB Bluetooth adapter that supports Bluetooth 4.0 to enable your motion controllers.

Motion controllers

Get familiar with your motion controllers

Get familiar with your motion controllers

Pair your motion controllers with your PC

Power on controllers by pressing the Windows button for 2 seconds until LEDs light up.

Remove the battery cover from your controllers and find the small pairing button at the edge of the controller. Per the instructions in Mixed Reality Portal, hold this button down to pair with your PC

Motion controller pairing

Pairing successful

Once your controllers are paired successfully, you will see two green checkmarks for the left and right controllers

Motion controller pairing successful

You may see a message in the bottom right hand corner of your screen as the firmware on your controllers get updated. While this is happening, you can advance to the next step in the tutorial, but please don't turn off your controllers.

Once controller firmware update is complete it will restart and re-connect to host PC. LEDs will be solid on and bright.

Common issues

  • Verify you have one and only one Bluetooth radio active on your PC. If you have more than one Bluetooth radio, you’ll need to disable the other radios in Device Manager.
  • Place your Bluetooth dongle in a port that has a clear line of sight to your controllers, and far from plugged in USB 3.0 devices. USB 3.0 is known to have RF interference with Bluetooth (read this paper from Intel for more details). USB 2.0 ports may work better for your Bluetooth dongle.
  • Make sure your Bluetooth dongle is not plugged into a USB port adjacent to your HMD's USB cable. The HMD's cable has been known to cause interference with Bluetooth dongles as well. Plug the dongle into the front USB port on your PC for best results.
  • For notebook ensure WiFi is connected to 5GHz band for best experience (click wireless network icon bottom right tray, select properties for the network you are connected). Notebooks that are designed to share a 2.4GHz antenna for Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity are most likely to see data congestion in the form of slow network speeds or poor tracking performance for motion controllers
  • Your motion controllers will receive new software updates from Microsoft on a regular basis. The controllers will show an alternating pattern of flashing lights when they receive these new software updates. This is normal. You will want to wait until the controllers complete the software upgrade, indicated by a vibration and the replacement of the alternating flash pattern with a constant light emitted from the controllers, in order to use the controllers
  • You may be told to "Put on the headset and use the thumbstick to teleport" before the controllers finish the update process. The controllers will not be visible or usable until the update is completed. Most updates occur within 2mins, but it's possible the occasional update is as long as ~10mins. Please wait for the update to complete to proceed to the next step

Set up your room boundary

The next step is to choose a room scale or desk scale experience:

Option 1: Set me up for all experiences (also known as room scale) will allow you to walk around the room and is the most immersive mixed reality experience. We recommend you at clear at least 5 foot x 7 foot (1.5 meters x 2 meters) of space for mixed reality.

Option 2: Set me up for seated and standing (also known as desk scale) experience will work at your desk. It's a good option if you don't have a lot of room in your space. It also means that you will be using your headset without a boundary. You'll need to stay in one place, as you'll have no boundary to help you avoid physical obstacles. Also, some apps and games may be designed to be used with a boundary, so they might not work as intended.

Choose a setup

If you choose "Set me up for all experiences"

Soon, your room will become a virtual world where you can walk around and interact! Stand up and clear some space in your room for running mixed reality (e.g. clear some floor space and move your chair to the side of the room). We recommend you at clear at least 5 foot x 7 foot (1.5 meters x 2 meters) of space for mixed reality.

Make sure your space is clear

Make sure your space is clear.

Center your headset

Center your headset.

Trace your boundary

Trace your boundary.

Stay pointed towards PC

Keep your headset pointed toward your PC.

Here's your boundary

Here's your boundary.

If you choose "Set me up for seated and standing"

There are no additional steps required if you choose this option.

What is the maximum size of the boundary?

The currently supported maximum boundary size in Windows Mixed Reality is 18x18ft (5.7x5.7m) or 13ft (4m) radius from the center. The boundary size is dependent on the anchor point and how far from the anchor point you can move before you risk the stability of the boundary. Windows Mixed Reality is built on a stage abstraction in the platform, the stage being the space you move around in, and that stage depends on a single anchor (which nearly every app also assumes – it’s how Vive and Oculus work too, as they only have a single coordinate system). The reason that this is important is that with inside-out tracking, as you move further away from an anchor point the headset tracking is reliable at keeping the boundary stable. Where the boundary is intended to help avoid physical obstacles, it becomes more and more of a problem the further out from the center you go. Two factors went into the decision on maximum boundary size; the maximum distance at which Windows Mixed Reality headsets could provide the best room scale experience with a boundary and the length of the headset cable, which for most Windows Mixed Reality headsets is 10ft (3m).

Set up speech

You can enable Cortana commands inside of mixed reality. This allows you to use speech commands inside of mixed reality to teleport, open apps, and do other things. You'll learn more about this in the Learn Mixed Reality chapter.

Mixed reality is better with speech

Set up your audio headset

Unless you purchased a Samsung HMD Odyssey (which has integrated AKG headphones and an integrated dual microphone array), you will need to get an audio headset (that has both microphone and headphones) and plug that into your headset's 3.5mm audio jack. The 3.5mm audio jack for your headset will - depending on the headset model - be located either on the underside of the headset visor or at the end of a short audio cable coming out of the headset visor.

How do I change the visual quality settings?

To change the visual quality settings, go to Settings > Mixed Reality > Visual Quality. From this screen you can set the quality to low, medium, or high. The Automatic setting directs Windows Mixed Reality to select the best setting for your PC hardware. Note, that not all hardware will run the high setting.

Launching mixed reality after the first time

Entering mixed reality a second time is as easy as putting the headset back on while its connected to your PC. You can also launch the Mixed Reality Portal app manually by opening it from the Start menu. Input and audio will route automatically to the headset when you put it on, or you can trigger this manually by pressing Windows + Y on your keyboard.

See also