A few years ago, we shared some tips to overcome VR motion sickness. Back then, HMD performance was lower than at the present. Thus, many of these instances of motion sickness were caused by poor depth of field, high latency, and other technology-related issues.
Unfortunately, many people still experience these negative symptoms, even at present. They are using modern VR devices, with the best features and specifications. However, they still feel nausea, loss of balance or direction, headaches, and blurry vision.
Your Brain on VR: Confusion Causes Motion Sickness
Before we share these new tips to overcome VR motion sickness, a quick word on what causes it. Basically, your brain is confused. The sensations from your body – that you are standing or sitting still – are in contradiction with the visual stimuli received from your eyes.
Thus, although you almost believe you are battling demons or zombies in a fierce fight, a part of your brain still knows you are in your room and not really moving very energetically. Thus, you develop these unpleasant symptoms.
Things You Can Do to Overcome VR Motion Sickness
Here are the latest tips collected from specialists, including doctors:
1. Take a Motion Sickness Pill
Many people suffer from motion sickness while riding in a car, or when on a boat. Since the condition is quite widespread, a cure also exists: Dramamine. This over-the-counter drug is highly effective in reducing nausea and other forms of discomfort associated with motion sickness.
There are few contraindications to taking Dramamine, but just in case, consult your physician before trying this method to overcome VR motion sickness.
2. Reduce HMD Brightness
Some users experience VR motion sickness because they did not set up their VR headset correctly. More precisely, the brightness level is too high. This means that the brain receives visual stimuli in excess.
Reducing brightness will not only help you overcome VR motion sickness, but also reduce eye fatigue (a problem caused by all types of screens – computer, smartphone, TV, tablet, etc.).
3. Try Additional Sensory Input
A research study has proven that by adding extra sensory inputs, VR motion sickness is greatly reduced. What does this mean? For one, make sure that you play all your games with sound, not on silent mode.
Also, use various scents in the room (flowers, scent diffusers) in order to experience smell, aside from seeing and hearing. If possible, also have a bottle of water or juice nearby, to take a small sip every once in a while (if you are enjoying a hands-free VR experience).
4. Place a Fan in the Room
Many users report that they have managed to overcome VR motion sickness by bringing a fan into the room. The constant flow of cool air appears to mitigate the sense of direction loss and nausea.
While there are no scientific studies to back this claim, there is no harm in trying it. Moreover, if it is a hot summer day, you will also create a pleasant atmosphere in the room.
5. Enjoy a Craft Ginger Ale
Craft ginger ale, as opposed to commercial brands, actually contains a significant percentage of actual ginger. This root has been proven to reduce motion sickness symptoms, especially nausea. Ginger ale has been traditionally recommended to pregnant women for hundreds of years to fight off morning sickness, so there is some empirical evidence that it works.
Plus, a lot of people love ginger ale with ice during the summer, as a healthier alternative to soda pop. Thus, you can overcome VR motion sickness and enjoy a cool, refreshing drink at the same time.