The last thing you want to worry about when you’re fighting for your life against an alien swarm is cable management. Can you think of a more dull way to be pulled out of a game and back into reality? Unfortunately, unless you want your alien war to end with a trip to the hardware store to replace broken drywall, you have to figure out a way to keep your cables out from underfoot. Here are a few tips.
Attach the cable to yourself.
Hooking the cable on your belt loop or connecting it to your body in some way will keep it off the floor and away from your feet. Take care that you don’t spin too quickly and wrap yourself up in the cable, though. While this will leave you aware of the cable’s presence, most people are able to subconsciously avoid tangling themselves in the cords.
Ask for help.
While it’s not practical for solo play sessions, if you’re going to show friends and family how the Vive works, ask someone to help you manage the cable. This is especially useful when there are children around; not only do they get to participate, but they can move behind you and prevent you from tripping. It also gives the feel of a more professional demonstration, but that’s just an added benefit.
Turn on the camera.
By default, the HTC Vive’s camera is disabled. Turning it on in the Steam software allows you to quickly toggle it on for those moments where you simply want to get a better look at what’s going on in the real world. This can be super useful for helping you locate where your cable is at after you’ve been playing for a while. Obviously it’s not something you can have enabled the whole time while gaming (as it breaks the immersion) but it’s nice to be able to check in and make sure your facing in a way that won’t interfere with your cable setup.
Set up a dedicated system.
You’re already spending almost $1,000 on the HTC Vive and dedicating a lot of space to it. Go ahead and jump in the rest of the way. By setting up a dedicated rail system on your ceiling, you can remove the cable entirely from the floor. In theory, the system should allow the cable to connect to your headset without tugging it from your head, but this will require a bit of know-how. The basic idea is this: by keeping the cable above waist-height, you won’t trip over it. Even if you happen to bump into the hanging cable with an arm, it poses far less risk than if you catch a foot on it.
But it’s really not so bad.
According to developers, most people become aware of the cable and are able to avoid it with ease after 20 to 40 minutes of playing. There are also a number of reviews that state tripping is far less of a possibility than they originally thought it to be. This is something we can confirm from our own experiences. We have never had issues stumbling on the cable. Most of our issues have actually had to do with running into the Play area borders and stretching the cable a bit too far, but even these haven’t been real problems for most of us.
Either way, it doesn’t hurt to be safe; take the time to set up a system so you can play without worry.