How to deal with nausea when playing PlayStation VR

Virtual reality (VR) can cause people to feel sick or dizzy while playing. This comes from the sensation of seeing things moving forward, even if your body is standing still. While it's an outstanding platform, even the PlayStation VR (PSVR) can cause nausea from disorientation. There are a few things you can do to help curb feeling sick and we've got the details here!

Products used in this guide

Build a tolerance by playing while sitting down

  1. Set a chair in the middle of your playspace.

  1. Check your settings for what your PlayStation Camera is seeing to make sure you're still in range.
  2. Go to Settings from your Main Menu.

  1. Select PlayStation VR from the list.

  1. Select Confirm your position.
  2. If everything looks good you can now load your game. If not, adjust your camera position and then load the game.
  3. Check the settings of your game to see if there is a play while sitting down option.

  1. Sitting down options are found in a different spot for every game, but you can almost always find the option from the main menu. This is never an option you'll find in the standard PlayStation or PlayStation VR main settings menus.

If you start to experience nausea, the first thing you need to do is sit down and collect yourself. After a few moments, and there are no improvements, take off the headset. Go have some water, eat some food, and then try again after your stomach has settled.

Use a fan

Many folks who frequently get carsick can tell you that fresh, flowing, and cool air can make a serious difference. You won't be able to feel it as acutely while wearing your head-mounted display, but it can still make a difference.

  1. Set up your fan on the outside of your play area.
  2. Set it on a medium speed that oscillates.

Having constant wind blowing on you can get a little annoying and that's why we recommend the oscillating settings. If your area is a little tight it's okay to use a small desk fan instead of a full room fan. All you have to do is make sure it's at eye level with you and on a medium to low setting. You want a light breeze, not a windstorm.

Why does this happen?

Nausea or dizziness in VR is caused by your brain getting confused about what it's trying to process. When your eyes are seeing scenery that says you should be moving, when you actually aren't, your brain starts to panic. When it panics, you might start to feel queasy or even begin to sway in place.

There are even a few things you can do that require more prep than setup.

  • Drink water and eat food before playing. Don't eat until you're stuffed, but make sure there's something inside of your stomach before you start playing.
  • Avoid playing intense games until you're more accumulated. Start with games that have less motion or watching movies in viewing mode before moving onto high-intensity games with a lot of movement.
  • Don't push yourself. Don't force yourself past your limits. Let them raise naturally a little at a time. Pushing your limits isn't going to make that happen faster; it's just going to make you get sick more often.
  • Try taking medicine for motion sickness. If you're prone to getting sick when you ride in a car, you're more than likely going to get sick trying to play VR as well. Motion sickness medicine helps with car sickness and it will definitely help nausea caused by VR as well!

Not everybody is affected by this. Only certain games or experiences will trigger the feeling of nausea for some people, but others may never experience it at all. Each person is different, but that doesn't mean VR isn't for you. It just means you need to find your own comfort levels before diving into highly immersive games. Just because you discover what types of VR make you nauseous doesn't mean you can't play those types of games. Instead, try out any of these tricks to help you out.

This HomePinte fan is perfect for any home, even if you don't play on your VR headset often. Use it in the living room to cool off, your gaming room to keep your equipment cool, or your VR playspace to prevent nausea!

Alternate options

Don't have room for a full fan or any fan at all? Here are the best alternative options for you to use.

Honeywell HT-908 Desk Fan ($13 at Amazon)

If you're working with a tight space you might not have the option of a room fan. This little fan is perfect for setting in the corner of your play space, turning on a low setting, and helping with your nausea. Don't worry about breaking it with an accidental kick. I've personally owned the Honeywell HT-908 for many years, through two kids, and it's still going strong.

Dramamine Motion Sickness Relief ($5 at Amazon)

Dramamine is a medicine to relieve the effects of motion sickness caused by car sickness, but it helps with nausea caused by playing in virtual reality as well!

Essa Kidwell

Essa Kidwell is an expert in all things VR and mobile devices who can always be found with an Oculus Go, a Pixel 2, and an iPhone 7+. They've been taking things apart just to put them back together for quite some time. If you've got a troubleshooting issue with any of your tech, they're the one you want to go to! Find them on Twitter @OriginalSluggo or Instagram @CosmeticChronus.