Vive Wrist Strap Swap

Vive wrist straps are sometimes the only thing preventing you throwing a very expensive piece of kit across the room. I’ve chosen to swap my Vive controller wrist straps with alternative items.

Caution: Swapping things around on your Vive may affect your warranty.

Vive controllers aren’t cheap.

The lanyard-type wrist straps are worn to prevent a dropped controller falling to the floor. However, there are also cases where dangling the controller from your wrist for a moment may be a matter of convenience. When I put my headphones over my HMD, I sometimes have both controllers free on their straps.

Sometimes when demonstrating the Vive to friends, they may forget to keep hold of the controllers. A thick wrist strap may just stop a Vive controller going flying.

The Vive controllers are impressive items. Well engineered and with a heft to their feel. They contain a significant amount of technology including sensors, touch-pads and a lithium polymer battery to power it all. As such, Vive controllers are a fairly expensive item if you have to replace one out of pocket. The Vive controller currently lists on for $129.99.

Finding the strongest Vive Wrist Strap.

The end of the Vive wrist strap that connects to the controller is relatively thin cord. If sufficient force is applied, it may be possible to snap the cord. Of course, this could mean a controller taking a big and potentially damaging fall.

On closer inspection of my controller wrist straps, I can see no sign as yet of any fraying or damage. To ease my mind, I decided based on the experience of others and given the very low cost, to replace them with heaviest-duty straps I could find.

My source of my replacement Vive controller straps is an OEM Nintendo Wii set. Nintendo has plenty of experience with enthusiastic gameplay involving hand-held controllers and their wrist straps are thicker. I would guess later iterations of the Vive wrist straps will likely be more substantial too.

Disclosure: I own a Nintendo Wii and have been an avid player of sports games. I’ve have a couple of controllers ‘saved’ by the wrist straps in the past. Whether these straps are actually stronger can only be regarded a guesswork as I haven’t test either set of straps to destruction.

There’s no red port left in the bottle.

The set of straps I bought cost under $10 . The replacement straps don’t directly match the original Vive wrist strap color. In fact, there’s no matched pair in the pack. I’ve taken this as an opportunity to differentiate one controller from the other. Other than very close inspection of the serial numbers, there’s no other way to tell the controllers apart. This can be useful when you know one controller is low on charge but with your Vive HMD off, you can’t remember which.

I went with the nautical tradition of red, left and green, right. Okay, in this case it’s actually pink, left but it’s close enough ;-).

I’m happier now that I’ve got thicker straps fitted. The main risk to my controllers in future is my unfortunate tendency to mentally tune-out the visual chaperon and run out of playing room.

Note that this wrist strap swap is personal choice and is not endorsed by either HTC or Nintendo 😉