Accidentally breaking a motion controller or finding out your all-important headset cable has been chewed through by a pet can ruin anyone’s day, especially for a device as costly as Valve Index. Now Valve has made replacements controllers and headset tethers available for purchase. They’re pricey, but it may get you back in the game sooner.

Valve now offers both left and right Index controllers, which are priced at $150 each. When bought in a left/right bundle, a full pair costs $280, effectively putting a $10 premium on top of each controller when purchased separately. Thankfully the controller comes with a lanyard, although it doesn’t seem Valve is offering those on their own.

Index replacement tethers are priced at $130. At the time of this writing, separate controllers and tethers appear to only be available in North America, Europe and the UK.

DisplayPort 1.2 and USB 3.0 Connection cable | Image courtesy Valve

Since neither separate controllers nor tethers have been commercially available up until now, Valve Index users have typically had to go the route of simply asking Valve for a return merchandise authorization (RMA) on damaged accessories. Some have reported luck with obviously damaged parts, which seemingly goes against the company’s limited warranty.

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Newly Published Valve Patent Envisions Wireless & Standalone Versions of Index, New Head-mounts

It’s not clear whether Valve’s reported leniency with RMAs will change now that you can buy replacement parts for two of the most fragile bits. Still, if you’re in doubt whether Valve will cover whatever damage your controllers or tether sustained, it’s better to contact Steam support first before throwing money at the problem. If you’re denied though, at very least you can now buy the new first-part parts you need.

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    • wheeler

      Comment looks blank on my end (and I keep my adblocker disabled for this website too)

      • Weird, it’s just a tweet link the backend automatically embeds. Works for me on firefox & edge & on mobile chrome it’s just a link it doesn’t embed. But they posted it as news, finally, so never mind (Steam Next Fest thing)!

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          • You’re not gonna go far in media with a pretentious attitude.

          • MeowMix

            Just report the comment as spam (since it is spam). You can also block them once reported.
            I did just that

  • wheeler

    From what I’ve heard this is within expectations for the cost of a low volume and complex cable.

    With this in mind though, I hope with the Index 2 or whatever they release two different versions: one with only a cable and one with only wireless (or if there will only be one SKU and it has integrated wireless, then hopefully the cable is entirely optional).

    The wireless adapter will likely be quite expensive if they’re going with a WiGig one (as all evidence indicates), but if ~$130 of the $1000 price is already consumed by the cable itself then the expense of the wireless adapter (~$250?) can be partially offset by the removal of the cable.

  • if Only Oculus did the same for CV1 cables still. Great to hear Index users are able to keep their headsets fresh, though!

  • TechPassion

    Stop justifying astronomical price. Outdated VR headset and expensive spare parts, 2 years too late.

    • Well here’s the thing; even RTX3090 can’t drive Index at super resolution and higher frame rates, Valve built some future proofing into their design. Pricing isn’t astronomical considering the replacement remote control for my LG television is £60 compared to £139 for complex Index controller.

      Secondly, extending the operating life of an expensive VR system by offering replacement parts is simply good practice; especially with rising concerns over e-waste.

      The ability to repair an otherwise working device is very important for owner and environment. Better late than never…

  • Christian Schildwaechter

    I don’t think that the cable is more complex than other digital (video) cables. It is difficult to carry a large bandwidth on a few wires over several meters, but the Index tether does nothing that a HDMI, Displayport, Thunderbolt or USB-3/4 cable doesn’t to carry the signal. The latter two also carry power. In fact the “Displayport over USB” alternate mode has been specified for a long time, and the current version over USB-C can not only carry a 8K@60Hz video signal in parallel to USB data, but also provide up to 100W of power

    The proposed VirtualLink connection was limited to 30W to power the HMD. It was pretty much an earlier, extended version of DP over USB. Extended because the regular version wasn’t fast enough at that time. An almost, but no really USB-C cable made it more complicated/expensive, negating many of the benefits of using an existing standard, which is why everybody kept using their own tether.

    I don’t blame Valve for using one too, but I’m pretty sure that the high cost are due to it being a proprietary product with very small sales/production numbers, not because it is inherently expensive to create a high speed cable. Not when you can buy cheap 6m USB-C cables for USD 10, which will get speed ratings of 2.5GBit/sec on the Quest 2.

    • Thanks for your interesting information, as the tether set includes main tether and trident, cost could be compared to Vive Pro tether with linkbox (both require external 12v DC)

      The index trident (short section with breakaway) contain Microchip USB3813 USB 2.0 hub chip with OCuLink connector, DP, USB and 12v power cables and connectors

      The main tether has Parade PS8330B DisplayPort 1.2 repeater, Texas Instruments TUSB1002A USB 3.2 repeater, 16 channel signal boosters, OCuLink and headset connector, voltage protection and regulation IC

      packaged into custom cable, overmould tooling cost for connectors, low production volume; suddenly the price makes sense?

  • Geoff

    $150 for half a joystick? Pfft.

  • MeowMix

    $129 for a new cable; ouch.
    No more freebies for Index owners, gotta pay up now.