Ever heard of Rift Sickness forums? When Oculus Rift DK1 was launched, we got so carried away in the virtual world that we finally had to give into nausea, dizziness, sweating and even vomiting. Rift discussion forums were hogged with queries related to this’ sickness’ experience after a 40-45 minutes continuous usage of the Rift.
Oculus was sensible enough to view it as a potential deal-breaker, and they replaced the LED screen with an OLED in its next version, the DK2. Soon the number of ‘sickness’ queries hitting the discussion forum reduced significantly owing to the motion tracking system and a much better display. But beginners who are just making their step to the VR world might still need to battle the ‘motion sickness’ issue. Let us dive deep!
“The challenge is that people’s sensitivity to motion and simulator sickness varies wildly,” said Evan Suma, an assistant professor who studies VR at the University of Southern California – Phys.org
‘Motion Sickness’ is one of the problems that has been plaguing whole of the VR headset industry. While there are many advancements taking place to put this issue behind us, we offer you 15 ways by which you can get rid of motion sickness in the Oculus Rift.
What is ‘Motion Sickness’?
Apparently, our bodies are not as smart as our brains. Our eyes sense movement in the virtual world and inform the brain that we are moving. Brain asks the inner ear whether we are indeed moving. Nope, comes the reply. The conflicting communication for a prolonged period wears out the body triggering the immune system to act against whatever that is happening. This results in side effects such as nausea, headache, tiredness, etc. While motion sickness is a common issue among Rift users, not everyone is troubled by it. It depends on how sound your cognitive abilities are.
Tips To Prevent Oculus Rift Motion Sickness
It is not necessary for you to taking sickness pills, and this is not a long-term solution as well. Here below we have given some of the best Oculus Rift motion sicknesses reduce tips which can stop your issues within hour or so.
1. Take a break every 25-30 min: Continuous VR gaming for about an hour could take a toll on your brain even though you won’t be aware of the time passing by. Taking short breaks (every 25-30 min) during prolonged periods of gaming could help you prevent oculus rift motion sickness that could stem from it.
2. Press Q or E: Like earlier said, Oculus has acknowledged the fact that ‘motion sickness’ does exist and they have imparted a feature to Oculus-enabled games to show your character/protagonist by pressing either Q or E on your keyboard. Toggling between these two views has resolved the issue for many! That is very thoughtful of Oculus.
3. Stop moving that head around: Many Rift users came to knew that such a problem exists only after they have read the forums and not because they experienced it first-hand. The point to take away is, some people direct their sight to a distant point while walking, running, etc. This holds true for virtual as well as real world. In the virtual world, this might help your brain to correlate your movements and keep you out of nausea.
4. Slow down your character speed often: Slowing down the movements of your character can ease any dizziness or motion sickness you might be feeling. This can be down by lowering the Field of View or either by slowing down the character’s movements in the game’s settings.
5. Shut your eyes when the camera is not controlled by head movements: In-game videos are not controlled by our head movements and hence deny our brains the opportunity to try and coordinate our senses. Strange as it may sound, looking away or keeping your eyes closed during in-game videos where the virtual environment is not coordinated with your movements will prevent VR motion sickness.
6. Adjust brightness below normal: Lowering the brightness was one of the earliest remedies gamers used to follow when DK1 was released. It was reported to have reduced the strain on one’s eyes and hence less nauseating.
7. Calibrate Rift properly for your eyes: An improper calibration of your Rift means the IPD (Interpupillary distance) is set wrong on your Rift, which could result in blurriness of vision. While the blurriness may not be clearly distinctive, recalibrating your Rift could get you rid of any blurriness that could be present.
8. Ginger to the rescue! Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is one of the most ancient remedies to dizziness and proved to be equally effective for motion sickness. Drink lemonade with ginger juice can cure your nausea.
9. Avoid rapid change in environment: Rapid movement equals the rapid change in environments. Continuous rapid movements can cause motion sickness as the brain could be in trouble sensing movement and sending coordination signals to the body.
10. Less back and forth motion: Okay, so it is battle time, and you are running amok, moving from cover to cover, forwards and backwards. Not that anything’s wrong with that, but your to-and-fro rampage can, in fact, confuse your brain resulting in motion sickness.
11. Keep away from games that make you sick: Duh! But this is one of the most overlooked reasons for being troubled with Oculus motion sickness. VR games are convincing only when the audio and video is matched to our surroundings, after all; VR is a fantasy experience. However, an unconvincing audio or a not-so-greatly designed virtual game might seem off here and there, leading to VR sickness. So if you are a newbie, start by playing popular and, well-rated VR games.
12. Grab a couple of beers: This is only for those who over 18+. Probably the fondest remedy of DK1 users, it works just fine! While it may not be an ideal solution to motion sickness, we don’t see anyone complain!
13. Time for a PC revamp: Your PC’s inability to process the high fps video at a refresh rate of 90Hz might cause juddering videos that might present a problem for your brain to correlate. Check the system requirements for the Oculus Rift to work with your PC.
14. Galvanic Vestibular Stimulation (GVS): Mayo Clinic has recently developed a set of algorithms when paired with GVS will put motion sickness in its coffin. With the help of electrodes, signals are fed to the inner ear by simulating head rotations. Rather advanced and very ahead of its time, the technique has no takers as of now.
15. Learn to use controllers better: Using the controllers while playing will help you to reduce the physical movements more. The better you know how to use the Oculus controllers, there will not be much of head movements.
VR headset makers including Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, HTC Vive have become increasingly conscious of the ‘VR motion sickness’ issue and is going to great lengths to resolve the problem. However, all you need is a bit of practice and preventive measures; and you are good to go! Hope we have helped!
Let us know your feedback or helpful tips in our comment section below!