Are you frequently getting an error that says ‘Tracking Lost’ on Quest 2? Here are some things that might help.
The ‘Tracking Lost’ error often appears on Quest when you’ve turned the headset on or when it’s adjusting to a new environment, right before guardian setup.
Anecdotally, our staff and users online have reported encountering the error quite frequently, but there’s no definitive explanation or solution for why it’s happening so often.
It’s also worth noting that (again, anecdotally) the error is appearing more frequently as time goes on (and new Quest updates roll out). It’s not clear if there is a logical reason for the error or whether it’s just an increasingly common bug (or both).
So while there’s no fix-all solution, we’ve put together this list of tips and tricks that have helped us overcome the strange error, ordered from what to try first up to the last resort.
Update: After publishing this piece, we received loads of helpful comments from our readers suggesting solutions that worked for them. We’ve updated the guide and added those tips in below.
Restart Your Quest
Overwhelmingly, we’ve found that restarting your Quest (properly powering off and rebooting, not just putting the headset into standby mode) should, in most cases, resolve the tracking lost error. If not, it might be something else causing the problems, so read on.
For what it’s worth – even after messing with the tips below, sometimes you might need to restart the headset again for the following changes to take effect, so keep that in mind and keep rebooting where necessary.
Reset Your Guardian
When you’re given the message about tracking being lost, Quest will offer to turn off 6DOF tracking so that you can keep interact with the platform, though only by tilting your hands and head. If you accept, the Guardian will be turned off, but you can quickly head back to settings and turn it back on, in effect resetting it. As with other solutions this can sometimes work, but it’s not 100%.
Clear Your Guardian History
Some our readers suggested that a build-up of saved guardians may increase or cause the Tracking Lost error, particularly if you’ve created and saved multiple guardians of the same space.
To clear you guardian history, head to the settings menu on Quest — under the guardian section, there’s an option to clear your history. You can use the limited 3DOF mode, described above, to access this setting while you’re getting the error.
Clean The Cameras
Tracking is linked to your Quest’s cameras, and many people often forget to clean and take care of the four exterior cameras on the headset. Smudges, scratches and anything else obscuring the cameras can cause tracking problems and potentially cause the tracking lost error.
Use microfibre cloths to carefully and thoroughly clean the four cameras on each corner of the headset. Once they are all clean, see if the error persists.
Adjust Your Lighting and Tracking Settings
If you’re experiencing this error while playing at night or during the day while using lamps or other lighting, you may need to make some adjustments. Make sure you’re playing in a well-lit area and check that the tracking frequency option in the Quest settings is set correctly for your region.
By default, tracking frequency is set to auto, but if you’re having trouble then you can manually set it to 50Hz or 60Hz according to what’s used in your region. To get past the tracking lost error and adjust the settings, you can continue through to Quest Home without tracking and use the basic 3DoF mode to go to Settings and make changes.
Check for Reflective Surfaces and IR Signals
The Quest Touch controllers uses infrared lights on the tracking ring, which allow the headset to determine the controller’s orientation and position. However, if there are any other devices emitting infrared — such as cameras, television remotes and many more — in your play area, it might be confusing and interrupting the Quest’s tracking system.
Likewise, reflective surfaces and mirrors can mess with tracking for the same reason. Clear your play area of any devices that use IR and cover (or move) any mirrors and see if that helps.
Avoid Standby Mode
This is completely anecdotal, but we’ve found that the tracking lost error occurs most frequently when waking the Quest up from standby mode, as opposed to turning it on from a full shutdown.
In between VR sessions, try turning the headset completely off when not in use and see if that reduces the frequency of the error.
Sometimes the Quest just needs a bit of time to get its bearings. While it feels like a lifetime in a VR error menu, we’ve found that if you wait 30-60 seconds on the tracking lost screen, the Quest often resolves the error itself and regains tracking. It doesn’t always work, but sometimes it just needs a bit of time.
If you’re game, you could try completely wiping your Quest and reinstalling everything from scratch – but we only recommend this if you have all your saves backed up to the cloud (or manually using SideQuest) and you’re confident that you can get everything back to normal after you wipe the headset. Here’s our guide on how to do that.
If all else fails and the error is persistent over a long period, we recommend contacting Oculus Support to enquire about whether you might have a faulty unit or if there’s anything else you can do to resolve the error. You can contact Oculus Support here.
Have you encountered the tracking lost error on Quest? How did you fix it? Let us know in the comments below.
This article was originally published in December 2021 and was updated in January 2022 with added information.