For some people, enjoying time in VR can cause dizziness or nausea. This isn't a frequent occurrence, and there's not one thing in particular that causes nausea, so it's important to be aware of the best way to handle yourself if you find yourself in Daydream and suddenly aren't feeling so great. Here's how to minimize your chances for nausea, and what to do if the worst should happen!
The very first thing that you'll want to do is go ahead and get physically comfortable. Specifically, you'll want to find an open space where you can sit down and enjoy your VR in peace. Some Daydream experiences work better when you're standing, but if this is your first time and you're not sure what to expect you should start seating. Sitting down actually can reduce a potential nausea inducer called cue correction, which is what happens when your brain thinks your body should be moving but it's not. If you're prone to motion sickness, this is especially important.
By starting out playing in a comfortable, seated position, you can ensure that you're taking steps to be prepped for nausea. Many of Daydream's apps and games are entirely playable from a seated position, so you shouldn't miss out on much by hanging out in your favorite swivel chair if you find standing uncomfortable.
Avoid shaky experiences
One of the biggest culprits of nausea in VR, including on Daydream comes from shaky videos. Being able to watch 360-degree video from YouTube is great, right until the person holding that camera decides to start running down the street while waving their arms around. These videos are rarely stabilized for comfort, which can quickly make you feel like you're on a tiny roller coaster in someone's hand.
Remember to keep your Daydream controller in hand and tap the Home button if you ever need to quickly escape a bad 360-degree video.
Know your tolerance
Not everybody has the ability to jump into Daydream and get lost for two hours without issue. Everybody has different tolerances, and while some of them won't get sick at all, others are extremely sensitive. Taking the time to slowly immerse yourself in VR to test your tolerances is a good call. That way you won't jump into a game and wind up feeling sick for twenty minutes afterward. The absolute worst thing you can do is try to muscle through discomfort in VR, no matter what is happening.
This doesn't just mean feeling sick either; VR headsets can cause eye strain over time. If you start to feel your eyes straining, then it may well be time to take a break. Avoid playing with your Daydream when you have a cold, an ear infection, or an eye infection — VR and the inner ear are connected, and you may exacerbate your problems in the short term by playing.
If at any time while playing you start to feel dizzy or queasy, it's a good time to take a break. For most players, taking a break every hour or so is a good call. This will let you rest your eyes for a few moments, stretch out your limbs, and let your equilibrium settle back in. The more time you spend with your Daydream headset, the better you will know where your tolerances lie and how much VR you can handle in a single sitting.
Try a fan
If these tips only help a bit, and you still find yourself getting nauseous there is another trick that you can try. Get yourself a small fan that can be pointed towards your face while playing. This might sound a little bit crazy, but it seems that the cool air blowing over some users faces has helped dramatically. This actually isn't unheard of in general either.
Cool flowing air can help to diminish nausea when you're outside of VR, so it stands up that this method can help you while in VR as well. If you go this route we recommend setting up your fan so it's directed at your face while playing. If you're already enjoying VR from a swivel chair, then placing it in front of you on a desk or solid area is going to be your best bet.
Have you had issues with nausea in Daydream? Do you have a tip that we missed here? Be sure to drop us a line in the comments!
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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.