Oculus Controller Blinking White? (What Does It Mean?)


The Oculus line of virtual reality headsets is arguably one of the best VR headset brands on the market, both in terms of its quality and its ease of use.

But as to how useful and fun a VR headset can be, they are not without their issues, and that goes for the Oculus controllers as well. One question that people have asked about the Oculus is about the Oculus controller blinking white, and what exactly that might mean.

Why Your Oculus Controller is Blinking White:

A blinking white light on the Oculus controller is generally an indication of its pairing status. For example, If it’s blinking multiple times, this means that the Oculus controller is not connected to the headset. This happens if the Oculus headset is powered off or if the controller is not near the headset it is paired with.

The frequency of blinks is what you need to determine your device’s pairing status. Let’s take a look at this in more detail.

Multiple blinks: The controller is not connected to a headset

If the light is blinking multiple times, this could be because you tried to use the Oculus controller, but the controller is not actually connected to a headset. Alternatively, it may be because the headset it is connected to is not in range when you try to activate it. Either set up your Oculus controller with the headset, charge or power on the Oculus headset, or bring the headset into range.

Multiple blinks: there is something going wrong with your Oculus controller

This is a less common occurrence, where the light blinks in a seemingly random pattern. If this happens, it suggests that there is something wrong with the Oculus controller’s firmware, or that there is something going wrong with the connection between your Oculus headset and controller. This problem can sometimes be fixed by unpairing the controller from the Oculus app.

To begin the unpairing process, open the Oculus app on your phone or tablet, and tap the Devices option. Select the headset you are trying to modify, and then tap Controllers. Next, select the controller that seems to be having issues, and then tap Unpair Controller. If this is affecting the other controller as well, repeat these steps for it.

Once you have unpaired the controller(s), the next step is to perform the pairing process. Go back to the Controllers menu for your headset, then select either Left or Right. For setting up the left controller, press and hold the burger button (three horizontal lines) and Y button until the LED light blinks and then lights up. For the right controller, hold the sideways oval button and B button until the same thing happens.

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One single blink: You have successfully paired your Oculus controller

This blink is contextual, and only occurs when you have successfully paired your Oculus controller using the Oculus app. In addition to the light blinking, the controller will also vibrate when paired.

One single blink: your Oculus controller is now powered on and already paired

When you push a button on your Oculus controller, the white light will flash once, and it will then connect to the Oculus. This flash of light is basically a confirmation that your controller is now connected to the headset.

Solid white light: the firmware is being updated

When the firmware of your controller is being updated, this will be indicated by a solid white light. You will also likely see a solid white light on both controllers. Be sure not to allow the controllers to power down until the firmware update has been completed, as this may require the update to start anew.

Why the Oculus controller blinks SOS in Morse code

If your Oculus controller is seemingly blinking random patterns, the truth is that the pattern is not random at all. Instead, the light is blinking ‘SOS’ in Morse code, a coded language of dots and dashes (communicated using sounds or, in this case, a blinking light). SOS stands for “save our ship” or “save our soul,” and was commonly used for military and government communications. Here, the light blinks SOS to indicate that something may be going wrong with the Oculus controller. 

What to do if Your Oculus Controller’s Light is not Coming on at All

If the light is not coming on at all, it could be indicative that the Oculus controller is dead. Swap out the AA battery in the controller for a new one, and then try powering the Oculus controller on. If the Oculus controller does not blink white at all, this may mean that the controller is damaged in some way or no longer has power. In this case, you will need to contact Oculus customer support to either troubleshoot potential issues or, failing that, set up a repair or replacement.

This repair or replacement cost will ultimately depend on whether the controller is still covered by warranty. The Oculus controller, like all Oculus devices, comes with a two-year limited warranty, which goes beyond the typical one-year warranty that devices normally have. Additionally, the warranty only covers defects, so if your controller is broken due to user error, you will not be able to get it covered. The only way you could is if you purchased an extended warranty that covered it.

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