Valve will soon offer official replacement parts for its Index VR headset (and possibly other Index products like controllers and base stations) via DIY repair site iFixit.

Valve announced today that it plans to offer official replacement parts for “Valve Index VR products” via DIY repair site iFixit. The info was shared quietly alongside the same announcement regarding replacement parts for Valve’s new Steam Deck handheld PC.

IFixit is a DIY repair community which hosts free repair guides and also sells repair tools and replacement parts. The company frequently does teardowns of new tech to understand how repairable it might be; though they haven’t done a teardown of Index yet they recently put Quest 2 under the knife and have done the same for a handful of major VR headsets over the years. (If you’re curious, there’s another teardown of Index that you can find here).

It isn’t yet clear exactly what kind of Index replacement parts the company plans to offer through iFixit; Valve says it is “still hammering out the details, and will be sharing more info on this soon.” Granted, the announcement specifically says that the partnership will involve replacement parts for “Valve Index VR products,” which makes it sound like we could see parts for not only the headset, but potentially for the Index controllers and SteamVR Base Stations too.

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HTC made a similar deal with iFixit last year, and we were surprised at the breadth of replacement parts the company had on offer—with a catalogue ranging from replacement foam and power adapters to sensor arrays and individual screws. As part of that arrangement, iFixit also offered up detailed disassembly and repair guides for HTC headsets and controllers, and we’d love to see Index get the same treatment.

The move by Valve appears to be the company making a long-term commitment to Index, giving even out-of-warranty VR devices a chance at a second life if something breaks that could be fixed or replaced by those intrepid enough to crack open their headset or controllers.

That’s great news considering that Index is now over two-and-a-half years old and continues to sell (with little hint from Valve about a followup to the headset).

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Cless

    That is pretty dope actually! At least for the people that are close enough to buy from it D:

  • knuckles625

    This is great news. I’ve been impressed with Valve’s support level both in and out of warranty (firsthand experience and through stories on the Index subreddit). But it was mostly “if you have a problem, we’ll send you a new one” which is obviously unsustainable from a support sense.

    This move should keep the headsets and controllers around longer until there’s a true replacement (they are definitely not bulletproof build quality, but the index setup still has yet to be bested on a bunch of fronts).

    Hopefully lighthouses get included – beyond their intended VR purpose, there are an increasing number of robotics and research projects that rely on them.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Except the valve hardware seems to be of low quality and breaks very easily.

      • John Grimoldy

        I have an Index and it seems to be the same quality of construction as my HTC Vive. What parts tend to be of lower quality and break easily? (Honest question, no snark implied). I trust what you’re saying since you’ve been posting for years. Genuinely curious so I can proactively avoid breaking my Index.

  • Supeman

    Good news, especially compared to HP and their Reverb G2 shenanigans. Currently their replacement cables are running ~$200. For a cable. Seems like almost everyone ends up needing one or two, so you end up paying more than the price of a Quest 2, just for their cable. Ends up being more expensive than an Index. More places to fix and get replacements is always a good move for customers.

  • xyzs

    Great move.

    Now, update your hardware and release a new model… Index is really getting old…

    Innovation in VR is so lame. There is not even an interesting new device a year…

    • Sven Viking

      Slightly surprised they haven’t just released a minor revision with a new display.

      • Bob

        Agreed. The Valve Index is aging very quickly as time goes on and that relatively cheap fast-switch LCD with a resolution of only 1440 x 1600 isn’t going to last forever. Sooner or later, they will need to release either a revised model with a new display or an entirely new “next-generation” model. Furthermore, as more HMDs released in the near future will come with local dimming and HDR, the Valve Index will not be able to compete in any shape or form. In fact, it will no longer be considered “high-end”, and I’d be very surprised if a four year old device with a globally lit LCD with SDE, SRGB standard color gamut, and absolutely no HDR is still selling for one grand in the year 2023.

        The only saving grace of the Index is its build quality, ergonomics and integrated audio solution. The display is far too aged and quite frankly irrelevant in comparison to current and future devices. It will be very shameful if this thing is still selling for exactly the same one thousand dollars asking price as it did fours year ago in the year 2024 where every HMD will have monumentally superior resolution, no SDE, HDR capability, WCG, local dimming (or per pixel level via OLED) and higher luminance displays.

        • Sven Viking

          Knowing Valve it may just be that they don’t think it’s worth releasing a revision with their next-gen version (Deckard?) planned for release in 2021, 2022, 2023, 2024…

  • Rosko

    Does this mean a new model is unlikely?

    • Bob

      Yes. There will be no announcement of anything VR or VR related by Valve all of this year because of the Steam Deck. If you were hoping for a successor or a new HMD, tough luck. Blame their new product which will be the only thing the entire company will focus on for the next 1.5 years.

  • TechnoHunter

    We need more AAA VR games and content then new hardware!!! C’mon let’s go!!!

  • Bob

    The Valve Index is still selling like hotcakes three years after its debut because of its system requirements. Simply too many people are running potato systems according to the Steam Hardware Survey (970s, 1050s, 1060s) with very little knowledge of how this can affect their PCVR experience. These people see that the Index sells for a high price which immediately informs them that the device is a “high-end” product which will give them the best-in-class VR experience (fun fact: it doesn’t in the year 2022). These are the same people in that percentile that own older, less capable systems who believe that the minimum system requirements of the Index is enough for them to drive very high quality VR (again, the expensive price of the Index gives them this idea). So they purchase the device with that false idea which means Valve continues to sell them confidently at the same price when it first launched several years ago.

    The Index package is very expensive which gives the impression that it’s the best HMD around with the best visuals to date. It has low system requirements. It’s constantly advertised on the Steam store which is accessed by tens of millions of people per day. Tens of millions that very likely already own a potato system, evident in the Steam hardware survey, with just enough disposable income to splurge on a super expensive product. Essentially it’s a continuous cycle which is why Valve is incredibly reluctant to invest in updating their aging hardware. It’s akin to the Nintendo Switch which means VR enthusiasts should expect the Index to be somewhere in the “middle of its lifespan”.

  • Considering the many RMAs, I see this as a move to not make the customers too angry

  • ViRGiN

    lmao, 3 years after release? index was fully abandoned from day 1, not a single new feature added, not a single accessory released.

  • The CAT

    Could not find any parts on ifixit Store for the Valve Index…