You may get a Tracking Lost error message if you own an Oculus Quest 2 (Meta Quest 2). What is the cause, and How To Fix Tracking Lost On Oculus Quest 2? Is there a way to recover your saved progress if you need to perform a factory reset? Yes, you can.
Oculus Quest 2 is the most widely-reviewed VR headset currently on the market. It’s completely wireless and has six degrees of freedom. Advanced features include hand tracking. It is highly affordable at 299 and 128GB of storage.
Users have reported that they are seeing the Tracking Lost error message. This error message means that the Tracking is limited to head rotation, and apps are essentially unusable. The headset will not track your movements if you move up, down, sideways, forward, or backward. Sometimes, it will go away by itself after a few seconds. Sometimes it doesn’t.
What Causes The Tracking Error Lost?
What’s causing Tracking Lost to fail? We need first to understand Quest 2’s workings. Quest 2, like the Oculus Quest (reviewed here), senses its position using SLAM (Simultaneous Location and Mapping). Quest 2 is a standalone VR headset that does not require external tracking devices like the Oculus RiftCV1. It instead has four cameras that can analyze the surroundings. Quest 2 also has an IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) that senses changes in its position via a gyroscope and accelerometer. The Quest 2 uses computer vision and data from its IMU to create a 3D map that shows its surroundings in real-time. This allows it to determine its position in 3D space.
The Quest 2 will reorient itself when you turn it on. It must have a clear view of its surroundings. Quest 2 may lose track if it becomes confused by the surrounding environment or if its view is blocked. Certain types of movement can also confuse Quest 2. Examples include:
- If one or more cameras are blocked, your hands may partially block them while you adjust the headset.
- There is a lot of movement around the headset. The headset can become confused if there is a lot of movement around you.
- You move a lot. The headset might lose track if you move a lot, as when you switch from sitting to standing.
- It is possible to be in a moving environment. It is possible, for example, that a ship is moving, and the Quest 2’s IMU registers the ship’s movements even though there isn’t anything in the room.
- Too bright or dark environment. The Quest 2’s cameras may not be able to cope with bright sunlight or if the room is too dark.
- Monitors and screens. The Quest can find screens and monitors confusing because they can change brightness quickly or flicker at high speeds.
- Lighting in another country. You can bring your Quest to another country with different household electricity. The lights may flicker to your Quest 2’s cameras, even though your naked eye doesn’t see the flickering.
17 Ways On How To Fix Tracking Lost On Oculus Quest 2
1) Keep your Headset in Good Order & Controllers Clear
You can do several things to fix tracking issues with the headset.
- Hold your head(set) steady. At this point, you should not be rushing your head.
- Quest 2 can be helped by slowly looking up and down and to the sides.
- You should not cover the headset’s cameras with your hands.
- Your controllers should be in direct view of the headset. You can move them around while pressing the buttons repeatedly.
Be patient. Sometimes, the image will jump around for a while before it suddenly starts to work again.
This has helped me overcome temporary glitches or track lost errors caused by my headset.
2) Turn Quest 2 tracking on manually again
You can manually turn the headset back on if it cannot identify your surroundings correctly and disable Tracking. Click on the headset “Quick Setting” and select the “Guardian Off” icon. This will prompt you to allow Tracking.
You can also go to the complete list of headset Settings- System – Headset Tracking – turn on the tracking toggle.
Sometimes, I have bypassed tracking problems by manually activating the Tracking (after the headset has disabled the feature). It could be due to Quest 2‘s ability to probe the surroundings longer and the time factor.
3) Reboot Your Headset
The old “Have You Tried Turning It Off and On Again” method is a great way to solve tech problems.
Keep the power button down until you see the “Restart” option. You can then reboot the headset to see if it changes. You can also try to shut down your headset by pressing the power button for 10+ seconds. Then, test again.
4) Clean the Cameras
Four cameras are on the headset’s front plate and are used to map your room and track your controllers. For optimal Tracking, the cameras must be free from dust/smudges/hair.
Take a piece of clean clothing, preferably microfiber, and clean the cameras using a circular motion. After cleaning the lenses, reboot the device. It may be as easy as this to solve your Quest 2 tracking issues.
5) Modify Play Area Lightning Conditions
The Quest 2 is sensitive to lighting conditions in the play area, which could cause your problems.
First, you must remove bright lights (or cover them) visible from your headset. Make sure you are not pointing any LED lights directly at your headset or in a way that could interfere with the LEDs of your controllers (ring lights, Christmas lights, etc.).
If the sun is shining through the window, shut it down. Also, remove any reflective objects (mirrors are a good starting point). Tracking may be impeded by light from your laptop or monitor.
You want the room to be well-lit. Reboot your Quest 2 after making any changes to the room lighting, and then try again to verify if there are no tracking issues.
6) Play in a Different Room
If your headset does not have optimal lighting conditions but you still experience problems, then try your Quest 2 in a different room.
It can cause interference with Quest 2 tracks, so it is worth trying. The Tracking could be affected by power cables, appliances, fluorescent lamps, or other wireless devices.
My experience with the headset shows that it doesn’t like a cluttered play area. (My table is often messy). For optimal tracking, flat and clean surfaces are best.
You can also try different lighting conditions and rule out any interfering devices. Also, you will be able to test a new play area to eliminate problems with your saved guardian.
7) Delete your saved Guardians
Your Quest 2 headset stores the guardian you have created so that you can continue playing the next day without the need to create another guardian.
However, there are some situations where the Tracking of your headset might be affected by slight changes in your environment (different lighting conditions, objects moved about)
You can delete guardians you have saved (Settings > Guardian > Clear Guardian History) to make starting over with a new guardian easier.
8) Reconnect and Unpair Your Controllers
It is worth trying to turn off/on your headset the same way you did for the controllers.
The Oculus mobile application on your smartphone can be used to disconnect and then repair the controllers. Navigate to Menu – Devices – Controllers. Select one of the controllers and then click Unpair.
After you have successfully disconnected the controller, pair it again.
9) Switch between Controller and Hand Tracking
The Quest 2 can automatically switch between hand and controller tracking. Depending on the software release, this can lead to tracking problems in certain cases.
Turn off-hand Tracking if it is enabled on your Quest 2 headset. Go to Settings – Hand and Controllers and toggle “Hand Tracking off.”
Alternatively, you can try using hand tracking if you don’t have it. Turn it on and use your head instead of your controllers. This will help you determine if the tracking issues are different.
10) Switch off the Headset (Instead Of Using Standby Mode).
The Quest 2 has one thing I noticed is that the Tracking can be more glitchy when the headset is awakened from sleep mode.
Sometimes, my headset needs to be rebooted after waking from sleep. The Tracking is often very glitchy. If this is the case, you might want to turn the headset off rather than leave it on standby.
11) Change Tracking Frequency
You can also change the frequency of Tracking. This is done via ” Settings.”
The “Auto mode” should detect the country’s electric system frequency switching frequency. However, you can manually set the value using your Quest 2 settings.
You can also try an alternative tracking value (e.g., if your country is 60Hz, or 50Hz). If the Quest 2 tracking is not improving, you can restore the default value (“Auto”)
12) Place your Controllers & Headset on the Floor
Although this might sound strange, I recommend that you place your headset and controllers on the ground in your play area. Keep the cameras in view. Turn on your headset and leave it on for approximately one minute.
This gives your headset an alternate and steady view of your area, which may surprise you. It could also help Quest 2 accurately map your room. It is quick and easy, so you don’t have to worry.
13) Change Controller Batteries
Rechargeable 1.2V batteries should not be used in controllers. Make sure you test them with regular high-quality AA batteries (1.5V). While it is theoretically impossible for battery voltage to affect Tracking, some claim that this was the cause of their problems.
Oculus support has suggested changing your batteries if you have tracking problems.
14) Turn off Guardian
You can also disable the guardian from your Quest 2 to get around the Quest 2 tracking problems. Keep in mind that guardians are there to protect you and your property. Turning it off in tight spaces is impossible, where you might bump into other things.
If you have enough space and can place a mat/mat underneath your play area (to help with your position in the room), you can play without a guardian.
To turn off the guardian, you must enable developer mode first on your Quest 2. After that, go to ” Settings,” “System,” and “Developer,” and toggle off the “Guardian.”
15) Updating Your Device
Make sure your Quest 2 has the most recent software version. Oculus has made many software updates that have addressed tracking issues, such as Oculus Quest 38.0 (the most recent time of writing).
When connected to WiFI, the Quest 2 headsets will instantly update when turned on. Make sure to:
- Fully charged
- Turn the headset on (sleep mode considered “on”)
- The Quest should lie flat on a smooth surface for a long time without movement or obstructing the inside sensor.
Alternatively, you can manually apply and check for updates by going to Settings – Software Updates. If you know a new version is available but don’t know where to find it, you can put your headset into sleep mode and plug in the charging cable. The update will be applied to your headset automatically.
16) Perform a factory reset
You can perform a factory reset on your headset as a last-resort option to resolve your tracking issues.
Take note! You will lose your account information, downloaded games, and content from the headset. All purchased games will be available for download and reinstallation.
17) Contact Oculus Support
You might have a hardware problem if you’ve tried everything.
You can create a ticket with Oculus Support and describe your problem. Also, list the solutions that you tried. You should be thorough as you will receive standard responses from Oculus Support. It will also take too long to bounce information back and forth.
You can request a replacement or refund if your headset is still under warranty (bought through a reseller).