7 Things You Can Do to Overcome VR Motion Sickness

Editor’s Note: With so many new people getting VR headsets this holiday season we thought it would be valuable to republish this listicle from 2017 focused on ways to overcome VR motion sickness. If you’re experiencing severe effects the best thing you can do is take off the headset and stop right away, but there are some other steps to take that might help you grow more accustomed to the immersive realm more quickly.

Motion sickness: it’s far from the flashiest aspect of VR, but it’s a real problem for some people when they put on a headset and enter a virtual world. VR motion sickness happens when your eyes tell your brain you’re moving around in a VR environment, but your body feels like it’s sitting in a chair or standing still. If you’re prone to the problem, these conflicting inputs cause you to feel miserable. Specifically, you might experience sensations like nausea, dizziness, headaches, sweating, excessive salivating, or all of the above. Even worse, these symptoms can continue for hours after you take off the headset and compound together.

Even if you’ve experienced VR motion sickness first-hand, don’t give up hope just yet. It’s possible to mitigate and even overcome VR-induced motion sickness altogether. We’ve already gone over a few tips that developers can use  to limit reactions here, so we’ve included some advice specifically for consumers below. Next time you’re having issues, give some of these a try.

Baby Steps

Let’s say you’ve had a bad experience playing a VR game. You tried it, and the moment you started moving around in the virtual world, your stomach lurched and your head started to spin. You might not be inclined to venture back into VR, but if you give up now, you’ll be depriving yourself of some truly amazing experiences. It’s actually possible to overcome VR motion sickness without using any crazy tricks at all. You can do it simply by taking it slow.

If a game makes you feel queasy, start out by limiting your play sessions to just a few minutes at a time. When you start feeling uncomfortable, shut your eyes, breathe deeply, and take a short break before trying again. If you gradually increase the time you spend in those games, there’s a good chance you’ll overcome the discomfort in just a few days’ time. Before long, you’ll be cruising around imaginary worlds like a pro. For many people, getting their “VR legs” just takes patience and practice.

Have Someone Tell You You’ll Be Okay

This one sounds bizarre, but at least one study suggests it’s rooted in scientific fact. According to the report, you may be able to overcome VR motion sickness simply by having someone tell you you’re going to be fine. The study focused on naval cadets who, prior to boarding their assigned vessel, were told they were unlikely to suffer from seasickness, regardless of whether it was true.

As a result, the cadets who’d been given this “verbal placebo” got seasick at a lower rate than cadets who hadn’t. Assuming the […]