Do you suffer from nausea and dizziness when you play virtual reality? Even if you are used to playing regular action and first-person video games, VR headsets can still leave you spinning. In this guide, we’ll go through some tips and tricks to stop VR motion sickness.
First, we’ll go through what motion sickness is and who it affects too.
If you have any tips to offer, make sure you comment down at the bottom of this guide.
What is Motion Sickness?
Virtual motion sickness is the physical discomfort that occurs when an end user’s brain receives conflicting signals about self-movement in a digital environment. In medical terms, this is called sensory conflict.
The symptoms include nausea, dizziness, fatigue, headaches, and general discomfort. In some occasions, users can also experience disorientation, vertigo, drowsiness, pallor, sweating, and vomiting.
Why Do You Feel Motion Sick During VR?
VR motion sickness happens because there is a conflict between the motion transmitted by the eyes and your body, which is actually not moving.
This is the same reason that some people feel motion sickness in a car. You can see yourself moving down the highway but your body is actually sitting in place.
The brain is confused between the two inputs and this confusion is making you feel sick.
However, don’t give up on virtual reality. With a little experience and the VR tips listed below, you can get rid of motion sickness. Your body and brain need to adjust to the stimulus of VR and develop a level of tolerance.
Factors That Cause VR Motion Sickness
There are different factors that cause VR motion sickness in people:
Age plays an important role in determining who may fall victim to motion sickness. For example, women are more likely to be affected than men.
Some researchers believe this is because women lag behind men in the consumption of virtual reality programming. Other researchers believe that women have better peripheral vision and require a larger field of view (FOV) to avoid motion sickness.
If the visual scene is moving forward, users often lean forward to compensate. Since the user is standing still instead of moving forward as perceived, leaning forward makes the user less stable. Being off-balance increases the likelihood of motion sickness. This is often called “VR legs”.
VR motion sickness can be developed when there is a change in the brightness between cycles of your screen. Even a tiny discrepancy can cause these unpleasant sensations.
When you wear a VR headset, the screen is inches away from your eyes. You are more likely to notice a flicker in the display, increasing the chance you’ll get motion sick.
Certain health conditions can cause problems while playing VR. Migraine headaches, inner each conditions, and sight problems can increase the likelihood of issues during VR.
Different experience levels with the VR headset also determine if a user will be affected by VR sickness. When you first get your headset, you should limit your play time to 20 minutes or less. Slowly work your way up as you play.
When you are looking for VR deals on games, take note of what the comfort level is of the game. Comfortable games are fine to play without worrying about motion sickness.
How to Stop VR Motion Sickness
Now that you know what VR motion sickness is and the possible causes, let’s take a look at how to prevent it.
#1. Walk in Place
If you are suffering from VR motion sickness, try walking in place. More specifically:
- Standing up while playing VR games
- Turn with the headset (not using a joystick to turn)
- Avoid doing things in the VR world that don’t make sense in the real world (jumping from high places, going through walls, etc)
#2. Play Stationary Games
If locomotion movement games make you feel uneasy, play stationary games. These games don’t involve movement like turning, walking, racing, jumping or flying. You’ll be standing or sitting in one area and using your own body movement.
Users who play motion games along with the pace of their character are likely to develop VR motion sickness.
#3. Adjust Your Interpupillary Distance (IPD)
A headset’s IPD refers to the distance between both of its lenses. In general, a headset’s IPD should roughly match the distance between your eye pupils for the best experience.
Adjusting your headset’s IPD can do the magic. Some VR headsets have a mechanical adjustment and others can be tuned in the software.
#4. Use a Fan
Another way to stop the feeling of motion sickness is to use a fan. Set up your fan on the outside of your play area. If your area is a little tight, it’s okay to use a small desk fan instead of a full room fan.
All you have to do is make sure it’s at eye level with you and on a medium to low setting. You want a light breeze, not a windstorm!
#5. Take Breaks
Taking breaks when playing VR games can also help prevent nausea and dizziness. Be aware that you may not even realize how affected you are until you take off the headset.
This is why it’s a good idea to set a timer on your cellphone to remind you to take off the VR headset.
Even if you feel fine, walk around, get some fresh air and take some time before you put it back on and play again. Manufacturers suggest a 10 to 15-minute break for every 30 minutes of VR play, even if you don’t think you need it.
#6. Try a Supplement
There are a bunch of remedies on Amazon for getting rid of motion sickness. These include Gravol pills, motion sick pads, bracelets, and bands.
These remedies can decrease or eliminate your chances of getting motion sickness while playing virtual reality. Always consult with your doctor before taking anything too drastic.
Did these tips help you or someone you know to prevent or stop motion sickness? Do you have a special trick that helps you with nausea in VR?
If so, let us know about it down in the comment section. We want to hear more about what helps our readers get the most out of VR.