Reminder: Don't let your PS VR2 get damaged by direct sunlight

Sony PS VR2 lenses and halo strap.
(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

Long-time VR users will read this headline and either think "Obviously!" to themselves or nod their heads sadly, remembering the time they ruined their last VR headset with just a single mistake. But for new PS VR2 owners who don't know what the heck I'm talking about, I'll repeat the warning: Don't leave your PS VR2 lenses uncovered where direct sunlight can hit them.

Why? VR headsets like the PS VR2 use Fresnel or pancake lenses as a kind of magnifying glass that focuses your vision on the OLED or LCD display beneath it. Generally speaking, no light is supposed to enter the headset because your face and the facial interface or light blocker create an immersive vacuum where only the lit inner display remains visible. 

But if direct sunlight hits your VR headset directly when left out afterward, the lenses will magnify the sun's photons directly onto the display, causing permanent yellow, pink, or black sun spots or streaks that'll appear every time you put on your headset. 

Once that sun damage manifests, even if it's not dead-center, good luck immersing yourself in PS VR2 games with a permanent sun spot in your vision! Here are a couple of Reddit examples of what it can look like.

Worse, because it's the inner display that's damaged, rather than the lenses, it's doubtful Sony would be able to repair it without a total replacement. Certainly, your limited warranty wouldn't cover it, because it would fall under "negligence" or "accident."

The author putting on the Sony PS VR2 headset.

Keep that display covered, with your face or a blocker! (Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

In your PS VR2 manual, near the end of the "Health and Safety" section, you'll find the note, "Do not expose the product, battery, or accessories to high temperatures, high humidity, or direct sunlight during operation, transportation, and storage." 

But plenty of people will skip reading this or might set their headset aside (in a nice sunny spot) while reading it; and the disclaimer doesn't necessarily emphasize that it's the lenses you need to protect, but rather preventing high temperatures that might overheat the internals.

Meta makes it clearer for Quest 2 owners on this safety page that "the lenses inside your headset can be permanently damaged from less than a minute of exposure to direct sunlight even if it's indoors," but check Reddit to see one story of woe after another of Quest 2 owners asking where this yellow splotch came from and how to fix it (they can't).

(Note: I asked a PlayStation rep for comment on whether or not they had any recommendations about sunlight or blockers, but haven't heard back as of publication. We'll assume Sony hasn't somehow solved this issue with Fresnel lenses.)

For some PS VR2 owners without good lighting in their living or gaming room, this won't be a concern. And you'll need to close your windows to avoid sunlight anyways since it blocks your Sense controllers' IR signals for motion detection. But once you're done playing and the windows open, all it takes is someone unfamiliar with the rule (like a kid or a hired cleaner) to put it down the wrong way.

So far, I've simply ensured that my headset sits with its front facing the windows and warned my partner about the issue. But I may end up making my own makeshift blocker to stick inside the PS VR2 in-between play sessions, just in case! Either that, or you could keep it stored in an enclosed drawer or buy a case — either of which might be a little inconvenient because of the 14-foot cable.

So there's your PS VR2 sunlight PSA before your headset arrives. Beyond that, feel free to check out my PS VR2 review outlining why I love it thus far (all the more reason to keep it undamaged), or my other recommendation that you buy the Sense Controller Charging Station for it if you haven't already.

Michael L Hicks
Senior Editor, VR/AR and fitness

Michael is Android Central's resident expert on fitness tech and wearables, with an enthusiast's love of VR tech on the side. After years freelancing for Techradar, Wareable, Windows Central, Digital Trends, and other sites on a variety of tech topics, AC has given him the chance to really dive into the topics he's passionate about. He's also a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves D&D, Star Wars, and Lord of the Rings.

For wearables, Michael has tested dozens of smartwatches from Garmin, Fitbit, Samsung, Apple, COROS, Polar, Amazfit, and other brands, and will always focus on recommending the best product over the best brand. He's also completed marathons like NYC, SF, Marine Corps, Big Sur, and California International — though he's still trying to break that 4-hour barrier.