When using Amethyst, you’re most likely going to use a Kinect. Other devices are supported, but 99% of users are interested in using the app for Kinect body tracking.
If you came here, it’s because you don’t already have a Kinect, and want to know where and what to buy. There’s a few recommendations and some huge DO NOTs that you should follow. It’s easy to end up overpaying, or buying broken hardware.
There’s other options out there, SlimeVR, Apriltag, Vive trackers obviously, PS Move too. Kinect is cheap, but it has limitations that might make you want to reconsider.
- Sideways tracking is almost inexistent.
- Any poses that involve your head being lower than your waist, e.g. handstands, breakdancing, cartwheels, backflips, can’t be done.
- Joint rotation is far from perfect unless you provide external data from compatible devices.
- And most of all, you need a really large room.
With Xbox 360 Kinect, you need to stand at least 1.5 meters away from it for tracking to work, and preferably 2 meters for the best tracking.
With Xbox One Kinect, it’s more around 1.2 meters minimum, and 1.8 preferably.
You also need to put the Kinect where it can see you at eye level and connect to your PC (The cable is about 3 meters (9 feet) and the adapter adds another 30cm (1 foot))
And if that wasn’t funny enough, the Kinect, especially the Xbox One Kinect, is very demanding when it comes to USB bandwidth.
Generally, if you have an AMD Ryzen computer you’re almost guaranteed to be fine. Laptops and Quest 2 with Oculus Link are notable things that can cause issues. If you’re unsure, I would recommend joining the Discord and asking us for advice there.
In most cases the answer will be to get an Xbox 360 Kinect. For reasons detailed on this page.
Xbox One Kinect common issues
The Xbox One Kinect costs a lot more over the Xbox 360, and apart from a larger field of view, smaller minimum required distance for tracking and a 1080p color camera, it doesn’t actually track you any better or faster than the Xbox 360 Kinect. It also suffers from a lot of issues with USB 3.0 bandwidth and chipset compatibility and breaks tracking on headsets and controllers using base stations e.g. Vive, Index, Pimax.
If you have a smaller room, and can only stand about 1.5 meters away, and you’ve ensured that you have the USB bandwidth to run the Xbox One Kinect, then you might consider it. But otherwise, just don’t.
If you’re in the UK: Go here don’t even ask any questions. Kinects sold at CEX always work, the adapters are tested, and there’s a warranty. It’s price is also unbeatable. It also means you get to ignore the entire part about adapters further down this page.
Elsewhere, check either eBay or local classified ads websites. Any Kinect you’ll find on Amazon is probably overpriced.
Finding cheap Kinects
If you search for common mispellings of Kinect like “xbox connect”, “konect”, “kinnect” or similar, you’ll often find listings from people that lack education on both spelling and money. :)
Get it on eBay, please.
After doing years of suport on the K2VR Community Discord, we found that every user who got shipped a dead adapter, had purchased it through Amazon. I know that some people may be reticent to use eBay because of past experiences. But we’ve had only good feedback from people using eBay on our Discord.
Depending on where you live, the link for eBay will change, but just open the homepage and search “kinect 360 adapter” and pick the first or second listing. Whichever has cheaper shipping, or if you wanna get it faster, buy it from a seller in your country.
If you don’t have eBay, you can check local stores, classified ads, or local eBay-like websites, e.g. Mercari, Marketplaats, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, e.t.c.