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Suddenly the controller stopped working (no tracking). Also, re-pairing not possible.

Tobias Claren

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Yesterday, the controller virtually (not really) fell to the virtual ground during use.
Then he did not work anymore.
There was no impact before, I had it in my hand.
I switched it off and on, but it was gone.
I tried to reconnect it, but he says I have to disable one of the two registered controllers first.
I turn off the controller and the pairing window appears. I start the pairing process (system and menu button).
Then it flashes slowly (!) Blue, but the controller is not paired.
With the other controller, it quickly flashes blue, and it is paired immediately.

What can I do. Do I have to buy a new controller? Or is the defect a known problem?

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Here's a clean set of instructions for the unpairall procedure. This wipes out the current controller pairing file and leaves you with a blank slate which is super helpful when troubleshooting issues like the one you described:


  1. With the SteamVR compositor open and the HMD connected to the PC , open Windows explorer and navigate to ....STEAM\steamapps\common\SteamVR\tools\lighthouse\bin\win32
    • In an default installation scenario - this folder will most commonly be located at: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\SteamVR\tools\lighthouse\bin\win32 
  2. Locate "lighthouse_console.exe", right-click it, and select “run as administrator”. Windows User Control may prompt you for permission to launch the application; if so, please grant it the required permissions by selecting “Yes” and providing your administrative login credentials (if required).
  3. A console window will launch. To preform the unpair all procedure, type in the following command followed by the enter key: unpairall
  • Note: If the console pops up and quickly disappears, please ensure the SteamVR compositor is running and that the HMD is properly connected to the PC.
  1. All paired device should be unpaired. Any previously paired controllers should revert to a blue LED indicator.
  • Note: The SteamVR GUI may need to be restarted to fully indicate that no devices are paired.
  1. Next, pair the controllers via SteamVR’s standard controller pairing GUI. You can also pair trackers and other peripherals but in a standard use case, you’d pair motion controllers first followed by trackers and other devices. In more complex situations, it may be useful to plug the controller into the PC via a microUSB data cable to “force” the controller to pair to SteamVR.
  2. If the devices pair as expected, you should be able to continue onward with your SteamVR session normally.
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I'll let  comment on the repair outlook as he's on the hardware team and I'm in devrel world. If the controller is under warranty, the repair is usually free. 


I'm extremely surprised  the unpair all procedure didn't work in this scenario. I did make some edits to the procedure within the last hour as I noticed Valve updated a few key points - check to see you followed the most recent update that's above. Your controller is showing what I'd pin as a SteamVR error. In some cases, a physical shock can cause a component to come loose inside but in those cases, the controller simply won't work. The fact that it works for a brief minute than stops is abnormal af from a troubleshooting prospective. 

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That is very odd. Unpairall should have worked, but perhaps there's something wrong with the antenna or maybe the firmware chip? I'd need to look at it in person to be sure.

As for what kind of repair it is, that depends on the issue which I simply can only speculate on right now as I don't have it in front of me. As far as the actual cost, there are two possibilities: Either you're within the warranty period (1 year from purchase, typically) and the device is still covered (no major physical or liquid damage) then the repair will be carried out under the warranty at no additional cost to you.

If not, the service center will assess a fee for repair and offer you a quotation between 105-135$USD depending on the scope of the process (basically, repair components or replace unit in whole)

Edit: Beyond the warranty period, devices are not eligible for RMA repair.

Thank you,
-Jack S

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Price for a new device from the dealer including postage is $142.
And used by the dealer from $31 to $95 (Ebay auction).

Are there any prices for the spare parts? For example, the "motherboard".

It is not rocket science, I can replace any part.
This is not a job that requires a professional qualification ;-). Or will HTC use soldering iron, ir rework station etc.?

Are there known errors?

Buttons and touchpad is not broken, and battery is not bad.

I do not assume that all sensors fail at the same time.

In addition, there seems to be a known problem with the click of the touchpad on the right side.
It's bad on both controllers. Why? The problem has many users.
There are even YouTube videos. And always the right side.

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We don't sell spare parts. The parts are either manufactured by us or purchased in bulk from suppliers. It could be as simple as loose pins or something like that. I just don't know without having it with me. The service center would run a proprietary diagnostic tool and then depending on what their assessment is, open it up and visuall inspect the device.

Then repairs would be done, depending on the needs of the unit. It might mean reflashing the firmware or replacing one of the chips or maybe removing the old antenna assembly and attaching a new one. It really depends on where the failure is, which is pretty hard to determine without the diagnostic tool and expert inspection.

Thank you,
-Jack S

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