Virtual reality is more accessible than ever, and few more so than the PlayStation VR, which works together with the PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5 that you may already own. However, while the world of virtual reality is an exciting one, the setup process can complicate things a little bit when it comes to PSVR. Where do all those cables go, anyway?

Have no fear, as we explain exactly what you’ll need to dive into the virtual world of PlayStation VR, as well as a step-by-step guide on how to set up PlayStation VR for either the PS4 or PS5.

PlayStation VR checklist

While you may think this is a silly section to include in a setup article, but unlike other systems, Sony’s PlayStation VR doesn’t come with everything you need in the box.

In fact, the standard bundle doesn't even include the PlayStation Camera, vital for PSVR use. So, to summarise, here’s everything you’ll need to play PlayStation VR:

  • PlayStation VR bundle (Headset, processor unit, earbuds, HDMI cable, USB cable, AC adaptor and cord, PSVR headset connection adaptor)
  • PlayStation Camera
  • PlayStation 4/PlayStation 4 Pro/PlayStation 5
  • PlayStation Move Controller x2 (optional but recommended)
  • PlayStation Camera adapter (required for PlayStation 5)

How to set up PlayStation VR for PS4

The first thing you’ll notice when you open the PlayStation VR box is the sheer number of components and cables – and that’s not including the PlayStation 4, PlayStation Camera or Move batons, which are all sold separately. So, where do you begin?

1) Identify the Processor Unit (black box) and slide the cover so the rear ports are visible. Take the provided HDMI cable and plug it into the HDMI output on your PS4, then plug the other end into the Processor Unit port labelled “HDMI PS4”. Plug the second HDMI cable into your TV, with the other end plugged into the “HDMI TV” port of the Processor Unit.

2) Locate the provided USB cable, and plug the micro-USB side (small side) into the rear of the Processor Unit. Plug the other end of the USB into a USB port on the PS4 – note that the PS4 Pro has an additional USB port at the rear, ideal for use with PSVR.

3) Plug the AC power unit into the Processor Unit and connect it to a power outlet.

4) Find the VR headset connection cable and plug the VR headset connection cable into the front of the Processor Unit, making sure to match the symbols to achieve correct orientation. Plug the VR headset into the other end of the connection cable, again making sure you match the symbols of the cable and corresponding port.

5) Now the VR headset is connected, the next step is to connect the PlayStation Camera (not included). Attach the PlayStation Camera cable to the corresponding port on the back of the PS4, and place the camera atop or below the TV, making sure there are no obstructions blocking its view of your play area.

6) With all components now plugged into your PS4, it’s now time to turn on the console. Simply power on the console and follow the on-screen instructions to configure your play area and finish the initial setup of the VR system.

Once that’s done, you should be ready to play in VR! If you’ve bought Move batons, connect the batons to the PS4 using the supplied USB cable and press the PlayStation button to pair them.

How to set up PlayStation VR for PS5

The bad news is that even if you already own a working PSVR setup, it won't work out of the box with PlayStation 5. The good news is that the only part you need is free, and once you have that everything is the same.

PS5 ports

The issue is that the PlayStation 5 doesn't have the custom port used by the PlayStation Camera accessory. Luckily Sony is providing free adapters to any PSVR owners - all you have to do is provide your PSVR serial number and the company will send you a free adapter in the post.

Once you have it, simply connect the PlayStation Camera into the adapter, and follow the above steps for the PS4 in exactly the same way for the PS5. Once you get to step 5) simply connect the PlayStation Camera via the new adapter into one of the rear USB ports on your console, and you're sorted.

One quick note: you might be tempted to simply use this as an excuse to upgrade to the new HD Camera for PlayStation 5. Don't. This is only designed for filming yourself for livestreaming, and is not compatible with PlayStation VR. It may prove to be a part of the expected PlayStation VR 2 whenever that arrives, but for the moment it won't help you with any VR setup at all.

And that's all - you're now ready to get stuck in, exploring virtual environments and battling virtual baddies. If you're in need of game inspiration, check out our list of the top PlayStation VR games.