What is motion sickness in VR and how to prevent it? Motion sickness is one of the biggest reasons that discourage people from using Virtual Reality headsets. And that’s a shame because a lot of people think they are not able to get better. Many people have been playing with VR for many years now.
But, Yet they are also prone to VR motion sickness because they don’t know how to prevent motion sickness while playing VR games. The good thing is that you can improve your skills.
What Is Motion Sickness In VR?
First, let’s talk about what is VR motion sickness and what causes motion sickness in Virtual Reality.
When your eyes believe that you are moving but in reality your are not moving then motion sickness arises. In a VR game, if you are sitting or standing in one place but moving around with the joystick of your VR controller, it creates an inconsistency that might trigger motion sickness.
In more depth, Motion sickness is a condition that occurs because of an inconsistency between the work of the visual system, the balance system, and the touch system in the body. So it’s not in sync between what you see and what happening in real life, that’s why our brains get dizzy with nausea.
Motion sickness in VR games occurs when we play a game where your body moves in VR, but physically your body is still. Well, our brain thinks we are walking in VR, but the body is not moving. When that happens, it is the same kind of feeling that you can get from being carsick.
The most common VR sickness are general discomfort, eye strain, headache, nausea, vomiting, pallor, stomach awareness, sweating, fatigue, drowsiness, disorientation, and apathy.
You may have dizziness, headaches, fatigue, and vertigo, but nausea is the most common symptom.
How long does VR motion sickness last?
If you don’t take care of this, you’ll probably vomit or feel sick for hours after you put down the headset.
But motion sickness doesn’t happen to everyone, you’re in luck if you’re one of them. They won’t experience motion sickness because they have strong VR Legs. What are VR legs? VR leg is a term for VR users who have a good ability to synchronize their brain and body.
Now, what about people who still get dizzy and have motion sickness when playing VR? So in this article, we’ll explain how to make your VR legs stronger and how to prevent VR motion sickness. If you’ve ever felt motion sick before, hope these tips will help you out as well.
How to Prevent Motion Sickness in VR
1. Learn When to Take A Break.
If you start feeling VR sickness, immediately take a break. You can generally break out in a cold sweat or have a general sense of discomfort. When that happens, I know that if I continue playing, it will get worse and I will have a hard time getting over it.
When you’ve been playing the game for ten to fifteen minutes and already feel dizzy, you should immediately rest. Lay down for a few minutes or maybe a few hours, drink, eat snacks, and if you’re still dizzy, hold on not to continue playing.
As long as you don’t have a headache, you can continue playing. The point is, don’t force it, because if you are dizzy and you are still forced to play, those who will be nauseous and vomiting, surely you don’t want to, right?
In addition, if you are forced to use it for the long term, playing VR will often cause you to feel dizzy. You need to rest a lot at the beginning if you want your VR legs to be strong.
Taking breaks has also helped us to develop stronger VR legs. You will be able to play longer periods over time by starting slowly and playing short sessions first.
2. Choose the Best Comfort Rating
Tip number two, look for a game whose Comfort Rating is comfortable, especially for those of you who are playing VR for the first time. If we look for games on the Oculus Store, every game or application has a comfort rating.
What is the comfort rating? So it’s a kind of rating for the game depending on the level of locomotion or the type of body movement. There are 3 comfort ratings: comfortable, moderate, and intense.
For beginners, choose a game that has a comfortable comfort rating, then when the VR legs get stronger, we can play to moderate, continue to rise again to the intense. In games that have an intense comfort rating, usually, more body movements make the head dizzy, so for beginners, avoid intense games, okay!
It should be noted that Steam and PSVR don’t have a comfort rating. So you need to guess whether the game makes motion sickness or not. All you have to do is go to YouTube and look at game reviews or gameplay.
Look for games whose movements use the teleportation system, because teleporting doesn’t make motion sickness, it’s not like walking virtually using a controller. For beginners, it must be dizzy.
Many games have movement using a controller but it doesn’t cause motion sickness, there is a kind of configuration where we can set the comfort level by adding a vignette in the VR game we are playing.
By the way, for the game, if it’s your first time playing a VR game, you can play Beat Saber or Superhot VR, because they don’t make you dizzy and make you feel good in your eyes.
Or if you want to play a game with movement, choose Vader Immortal, Arizona Sunshine, Robo Recall, and several games that use a teleportation system for locomotion.
3. Adjust Comfort Settings
You can typically modify the Comfort settings in every VR game. If you open up any menu in any VR game, you’ll most likely find it under VR settings or Comfort settings. Examine each option to determine what works best for you.
Afterward, you’ll be able to apply it to other games. For example, I cannot take smooth turning or locomotion that is not head relative. So in every game, I set turning to snap instead of smooth and smooth locomotion to head relative instead of hand relative.
4. Setting Up IPD
Many novices to virtual reality are frequently unaware of this. In every VR headset, you can set your IPD, short for interpupillary distance, to match your eyes. What is IPD? IPD is the pupil distance between the left eye and the right eye. Oculus Quest 2 has 3 levels of IPD, fifty-eight, sixty-five, and sixty-eight millimeters.
This is important because if you don’t match the IPD in VR, then you will not only have a blurry display, but it could also cause motion sickness. So if you don’t know your IPD, you can measure it yourself using mobile apps or using an old-school ruler, although this might not be as accurate.
Try getting your eyes measured at a prescription glasses store to get an accurate measurement. If you know your phone number, you can install it into your headset. On the Valve Index, HTC VIVE devices, Oculus Rift CV1, and Oculus Quest, there is a physical slider usually below the headset that you can use to set it. On the Rift S, you can set it in the Oculus app by going to the settings.
5. Wear Travel Wrist Bands
Try out a travel anti-nausea wristband. What it does is, this plastic stud here, puts pressure on an acupuncture point of each wrist that has been proven to help against motion sickness.
You have Nei-Kuan point in your hand. Place the middle three fingers of your right hand on the back of your left wrist to find this point. The point of your Nei-Kuan will be right beneath your index finger.
You’ll know you’ve found the appropriate area if you press that point with your finger and experience a tiny sensitivity or tingling. Before you feel motion sickness, wear the wrist bands on this spot on both arms.
6. Eat Some Ginger or Drink Ginger Ale
Get some ginger in your house. Ginger is a natural remedy for motion sickness, so it’s worth a try. There are a lot of forms of ginger; you can drink ginger ale (ginger ale is widely available online) or make tea with fresh ginger.
You can even find ginger candy to chew on. It should help you while you play or even after you get motion sick. After consuming some ginger, you may feel better sooner.
If you want to save money, just make ginger water using sugar, keep drinking before or while you play VR. Ginger ale is always a recommendation for treating people who have motion sickness.
7. Use a Fan While Playing VR
Use a fan while playing VR. Besides the air is cooler, you will also feel that your body is moving. If you fly on VR, you will feel like you’re flying because there is the wind blowing on your body.
8. Start With Comfortable Games
A lot of people who try VR for the first time have tried a rollercoaster VR experience. These games are super intense and can cause motion sickness fast. We recommend training your VR legs by playing games that are comfortable first and then move on to more intense games.
More comfortable games are games like Beat Saber or Superhot, where you don’t have to move around in-game. After that, you can move over to medium comfort games like games that use smart locomotion systems, like Sprint Vector where you move your arms to run, or this stealth kayak game Phantom Covert Ops.
If you can handle all those, you can move on to more intense games like Skyrim or No Man’s Sky. The Oculus Store indicates whether a game is comfortable in the game’s description. Unfortunately, Steam or Viveport does not do this so with those platforms; you’ll have to do some research like watching a review or gameplay video.
9. Look At Your Setup.
Make sure your tracking setup and computer setup are correct before beginning a game. Is your PC up to the task of running a VR game at a decent frame rate? Is your tracking setup done correctly, so you don’t get tracking occlusions? The loss of tracking causes weird display issues that can cause motion sickness instantly, so this needs extra attention.
10. Check Your Frame Rate.
Motion sickness is likely to occur if a game causes frame drops. So, if you just bought a new game and are starting to feel strange, you should check the frame rate first. You can do this in SteamVR by right-clicking the SteamVR window > Settings > Video > Advanced Frame Timing.
11. Don’t Drink Alcohol
If you are prone to motion sickness, do not play a VR game after drinking alcohol.
12. Physically Turn Your Body in Real World
When you turn your body in VR, do so physically. This means that when your body turns physically, you will be more comfortable and less motion sick than if you use the controller when your body is still quiet.
Many VR games allow you to turn your body virtually using a snap or smooth turning, but beginners without VR legs will become disoriented when twisting their bodies. So, if you want to change your body into virtual reality, you should physically turn your real body. You can use the best VR treadmills to physically move your body easily.
By the way, this does not apply to Playstation VR, since if you turn your back, the Playstation camera cannot detect the controller’s sensor.
13. Swing Your Arms When Walking in VR
When walking in VR, swing your arms as if you were walking in the real world. It is very common to have your hands swing too when you walk. This way, your brain will think you’re walking, and you won’t feel dizzy.
14. Alternative Movement Methods
Depending on the game and headset you’re using, there may be alternative movement methods you can try to help to reduce the problem. Simply put, increasing the physicality of your experience may aid in the solution of the problems.
If you jog in place and move around the room while playing, for example, your mind will be tricked into thinking you’re moving through the game world. VRocker and Natural Locomotion, for example, are software-based solutions that can be beneficial.
On the hardware side, there are Cybershoes, which allow you to sit and swing your feet, 3DRudder, which requires you to swing your feet around, and best Omnidirectional VR treadmills, which minimize motion sickness but come at a high price.
So that’s it! Those were the things we do or did to help us get our VR legs. What are some other tips and tricks that you have to prevent motion sickness? Let’s help each other out by commenting below!