You’ve got your new PlayStation VR headset, but you’re struggling to cope with motion sickness?
It’s not an issue for everyone, and there are many PSVR games that don’t make you feel nauseous, but for some it’s a very real problem, and symptoms can include: headaches, dizziness, stomach aches, and hot sweats.
I’ve experienced motion sickness, though not to the point of feeling like I was going to throw up, on games where there’s a lot of movement, like RIGS, Battlezone and EVE: Valyerie.
My initial way to handle feeling dizzy was to stop playing, or switch back to games that don’t make me feel motion sick, but I don’t want to do that - I want to spend as much time in a virtual reality world as possible, and feel comfortable doing so.
Here's some tips to help prevent motion sickness.
1. You must take a break
Your brain is adjusting to virtual reality, but it will get better over time. Many VR games actively encourage you to take breaks at strategic save points in their games because they’ve conducted studies on how long you should be playing for. Take heed of this advice. Go grab a drink, take a walk in the fresh air, and come back in 10 minutes.
2. Breathe in and out deeply
Whenever you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, take a deep breath in and out to calm yourself down. Try and regulate your breathing while playing. The more over excited you get, the faster your breathing becomes and the more motion sick you may feel. Check this out...look how over excited I got playing Here They Lie, my legs are all over the place, but after some deep breathes I felt okay to carry on.
3. Get a fan blowing in your face
If you’ve got a fan at home, set it up in front of you and let that cool air blow across your face. You know when you were a kid and you were feeling sick in the car from a long journey? What would mom do? She’d open the window and let some fresh air in. Cooling yourself down with a fan may help prevent hot sweats and generally give you a feeling of being more grounded.
4. Chew on a piece of gum
Chewing gum has worked for me. I was able to play RIGS for almost 45 minutes rather than the usual 15 minute spell without feeling motion sickness. Your brain gets confused by movement, so giving your brain something else to focus on (the movement of your jaws chewing gum) can really help.
5. Calibrate your PlayStation VR headset
It’s easy to get excited when your headset arrives, and you want to dive right into those games, but you should spend time in the settings calibrating the VR headset for your eyes. It was a couple of days before I did this, and headaches and sickness have really improved. I was getting blurry vision, and straining to read menus in-game, but I took time to calibrate and now vision is much clearer.
6. Don’t move your head unless you need to
The more you move your head, the sicker you can become. Many VR games give you the option of looking around with head movement, or using the thumbstick of the DualShock 4 controller. Use the latter option when you can. You can alleviate symptoms by restricting your head movement as much as possible.
7. Eat or drink ginger
Ginger has long been a treatment for motion sickness and nausea. Cut up some fresh ginger, pour some boiling water over it, and then take some sips while you’re playing your PSVR games. You can buy ginger in capsule format if that’s easier, or nibble on some ginger biscuits. The guys at Virmo claim to have the world’s first solution for motion sickness.
8. Play games that don’t make you sick
I know, it’s disappointing, but if you can’t shake off that motion sickness stick to the games that don’t make you feel sick, or build up your resilience with titles that have less movement, and go back to those other games at a later date to see if you’ve acclimatised.
9. Play games sitting down
The first game I played standing up was Sports Bar VR. I was all over the place – shaky legs, wobbling from side-to-side, and feeling totally dizzy. If you can’t cope with motion, then play your games sitting down. It doesn’t ruin the experience and you’ll feel a lot more grounded.
10. Give your eyes a break
Your eyes are important. Without them you wouldn’t be able to see! Treat your eyes with respect, and give them a break whenever you can. During loading screens or at save points, close your eyes for a few moments to give them a breather.
If you have any more tips to stop PlayStation VR motion sickness let us know in the comments below. We’d love to know what’s worked for you and what hasn’t.