How to Avoid VR Motion Sickness
Are you new to PSVR? Have you barfed up a lung yet? No? Well, you are doing better than some people when they first play PSVR! The fact of the matter is VR is a completely different animal when it comes to not only gaming but also external stimuli to our body. Our goal is to explain to you briefly why we get motion sickness in VR and some different proven ways to provide relief so you can get back to hunting dragons, shooting down ships or slapping zombies with their own ripped off limbs.
So first off, why are we getting sick? We’ve never gotten sick playing trippy games before! Well, it all comes down to the fact that what your eyes are telling your brain doesn’t match what your other senses are telling your brain. We use the term motion sickness, but according to multiple online sources what we experience is actually the opposite of motion sickness.
So your eyes while playing PSVR are saying that you are 250 feet in the air on a scaffolding, running through an abandoned mansion, in the cockpit of a ship racing through small cave openings but the rest of your senses (touch, smell, other intuitive senses) are saying “Nah brah, you’re standing up in your room by yourself”. So technically you dont have motion sickness in VR because that is when your eyes tell your brain you are stationary but in real life you are moving and your other senses are telling your brain. So again, in PSVR you are experiencing the opposite of motion sickness, but who cares, that is a petty difference and regardless it sucks.
So now that you know why you get motion sick, you can better prepare to defeat it. What you need to do is distract your brain or simulate the experiences so there isn’t such a big discrepancy between what your eyes say you are doing and what you are doing. (Even a nice breeze stimulates some of your other senses enough to make it more tolerable than just standing there with no external stimulus at all).
Here are our favorite tips that not only have we used, but most recommend to first time players of PSVR or VR in general:
If you are feeling sick, STOP! Don’t continue playing
I start with a several methods that you personally could try without having to purchase anything or ingest things. The first recommendation I have is to stop if you are feeling sick. Here is the thing, if you start to get sick, it won’t just go away. It will compound and compound and before you know it, you’ll feel extremely bad. I know it’s fun. I’ve been there where getting me away from PSVR was like taking a ham from a dog, but you have to stop. If you start to feel sick, you can take a break from Farpoint for 5 minutes and jump back in. If you push through the rest of the level and then get real sick, you’re done for the night. And it’s not a pleasant night at that.
Take it easy, slowly increase your playing time
Another thing I know people don’t like to hear. You got a new toy, it’s effing awesome you wanna ride! Well, unfortunately some of us don’t have the ability to just go crazy on VR immediately. Because it is something so unaccustomed for our body, it’s best to work your way up. Start at 30 minutes, even 10 minutes, whatever it is. Then slowly just bump it up to 45 in, then an hour then more. I have heard of very few (if any) people who just straight up couldn’t play VR because of their body. I’ve seen people get sick and not want to put in the time to adjust, but I would say that if you slowly increase your playing time, you’ll be finishing Superhot in one sitting in no time.
Don’t play tired, thirsty or hungry
When you are thirsty, tired or hungry (especially tired) your body doesn’t react to differences in your senses well. You are must more likely to feel VR sickness at 2am than at 8pm. I know you gotta get some VR time in when you can, and if it’s after the kids are in bed and it’s late there isn’t anything you can do. Drinking water (and no, not 5 beers, that will make you sick too!) and having food in your stomach will help tremendously.
Adjust the headband pressure and headset display
If you are already fighting VR sickness, you want everything else to be as comfortable as possible. This means posture, temperature and of course the headset. I remember that with a new headset it rests pretty tightly to your head. So tightly in fact that it can cause a headache in itself (that was with early V1 headset, I don’t know about V2). But be sure to adjust it so it isn’t so tight, after a while it will loosen up a bit and not feel so tight on you (or maybe you get used to it, I’m not sure). Adjust the lenses as well so that the image is clear and feels comfortable on your face.
Sitting down just simply helps with VR sickness. I won’t get into any science, but sitting down can really help so if you are a standing room only type of player, try sitting for a bit then standing back up. The option button and re centering is your friend here.
Eat Ginger beforehand-about an hour or two ginger ale or pills
Ginger helps curb the feeling of VR sickness because of science and chemistry. Do your own research on that, but people on reddit, online resources and legitimate people all say that for some ginger can really help. Take a dose of ginger one or two hours before your play session. Your options include ginger itself, ginger pills or possibly ginger ale! Yum!
Dramamine is another ingestible that can help with VR sickness. Dramamine is usually taken to help people ride roller coasters, read in a moving car and now VR sickness! It is fairly cheap and comes in chewable form or pill form.
8. Have a fan directly on you
Having a fan is a “fan” favorite (meaning that many people in chats, reddit and other forums like having a fan blow air on them). The fan stimulates your other senses and makes it feel like maybe you are gliding through the air and so there is less issue with the brain when your eyes are telling you something similar. Whether an overhead fan or a portable one right in front of you, this may be a good thing to try. And regardless, you’ll need it once you start playing Sparcc, Sprint Vector, Creed or Beat Saber anyhow!
9. Smoke the reefer
First things first, I am not telling you to smoke marijuana and I am not saying I support it at all. But….some people on online forums say that actually smoking a bit of mary jane before a play session helps with the VR sickness. Honestly,, I have never tried this, so I don’t really know.
10. Where a special motion sickness wristband
There are many VR wristbands on the market that supposedly help with motion sickness. I haven’t used one of these, but what I have used is an item called Seabands that do the same thing. Essentially its a wrist band that activates a certain acupuncture pressure point that alleviates those sickness feelings. I’ve used Seabands not for VR but for deep sea fishing and I know many others who use them and it definitely works for that. You can find these for about $5 at any large store like Kroger, Walmart, Publix, etc.
I really hope this article helps explain why we get sick and some ways that work specifically for you. We all know VR is incredible but getting sick really ruins the experience. If you have any other advice please contact us and we will include it in this article along with a shoutout to you. Comment below and we really hope you enjoy PSVR even a fraction as much as we do, welcome to the PSVR family!