How Do You Stop Motion Sickness in VR?

Lower frame rates or poor graphics can contribute to motion sickness. Ensure that your VR system is running at a high frame...

Written by Niel Patel · 7 min read >
Virtual Reality app developmetn companies

When putting on a headset and entering a virtual world, some people get VR motion sickness, which makes them feel queasy or woozy. You don’t have to continue to endure VR motion sickness if you’re one of those folks. You can lessen your sensations or even get rid of them entirely. This blog post is all about How do you stop motion sickness in VR! 

Lower frame rates or poor graphics can contribute to motion sickness. Ensure that your VR system is running at a high frame rate (ideally 90 frames per second or higher) and adjust the graphics settings to optimize performance.

You can try several techniques to help alleviate or reduce the symptoms of VR-induced motion sickness.

Here are some suggestions:

A field of view in VR
  1. Start with less intense experiences:
  2. Take frequent breaks
  3. Optimize frame rate and graphics settings: Lower frame rates or poor graphics can contribute to motion sickness.
  4. Use smooth locomotion sparingly.
  5. If your VR headset allows an Increase field of view (FOV). A larger FOV can help reduce the sensation of tunnel vision, which is known to contribute to motion sickness.
  6. Minimize sensory conflicts: Motion sickness can occur when there is a mismatch between what your eyes and body feel.

What exactly is VR motion sickness?

VR motion sickness occurs when your brain receives conflicting information about how your body is moving in relation to the environment around you. This basically means that in virtual reality, if you are still and the environment around you is moving, your brain’s homeostasis will be disturbed. Similar to other varieties of simulator sickness, nausea, and dizziness are the most typical symptoms of motion sickness in virtual reality, but there are also other signs like headaches, sweating, fatigue, eye strain, and a general lack of balance. Additionally, studies have revealed that users sometimes experience side effects and don’t immediately recover from them; instead, they may actually begin to feel sick for up to several hours after leaving the virtual environment.

Why does VR sickness occur?

As we’ve already mentioned, VR sickness is brought on by contradicting signals that your inner ear, eyes, and bodily tissues send to your brain. When they see a digital version of themselves move swiftly in a virtual environment while their actual body stays still, some gamers report feeling sick to their stomach. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) environment developers frequently make the assumption that 25% of users will experience VR motion sickness. This is the same proportion of passengers that get motion sickness when flying through turbulence at low altitudes. But how do you stop motion sickness in VR after all this?

Motion sickness may be a significant obstacle to VR adoption as the market for the technology expands. Although the precise number of people likely to experience motion sickness is currently unknown, software developers who create VR or AR environments often expect 25% of users to do so. This is partially based on evidence that shows 25% of passengers on airplanes who are flying through turbulence at low altitudes get motion sickness.

What factors affect motion sickness in VR?

When developing VR experiences, it is beneficial to consider all of the possible causes and influences of motion sickness to reduce the likelihood that consumers would experience it. The kind of headphones, tracking, and headgear used greatly influences whether or not a person would feel nauseous.

Three Degrees of freedom tracking 

3DoF was a feature of the early VR headsets, allowing for 360-degree looking up, down, and to the sides. You couldn’t move around while in VR and the environment wouldn’t follow you if you did, which made you feel unbalanced and disoriented (and maybe even gave you a bruised leg from bumping against your corner table). Despite the fact that 3DoF headsets are excellent for watching more static 360-degree videos and photographs, they are not designed to allow the user to move around in the 3D world.

Variations in freedom

This issue can be resolved with the aid of spatial tracking or 6-DoF tracking. Users with headsets with 6DoF have more freedom to walk about in the virtual world, and the surroundings will change accordingly. By giving you a stronger sense of presence and decreasing the contradictory signals being delivered to your brain that produce motion sickness, this lessens the feeling of disorientation.

Learn more about VR headsets

The use of the controller and its nature are two additional factors that affect VR motion sickness. Only high-end headsets had controllers a few years ago, but happily, they are now much more common and reduce sensory conflict. Less disorienting than gazing down in VR and not seeing anything you’d anticipate is having hands in the virtual environment and being able to see them.


One of the primary causes of motion sickness in VR is latency. The amount of time it takes for movement to register in an app is known as latency, and it might send signals to your brain that something is off. If the display receives the signal too late, your body movements and activities won’t correspond with what you are hearing or seeing, which throws off your equilibrium.

Eye Jerking

Another thing to think about is the possibility of motion sickness in VR due to the unusual eye movements that are necessary to maintain the stability of the virtual scene on the retina. There is a discrepancy between what the brain anticipates the eye will see and what it really sees if the virtual environment moves differently than what the eye anticipates. As a result, in order to stabilize the image in VR on the retina, the eyes must move differently from how they normally do. It is this novel movement that affects motion sickness.

Physical Unsteadiness

Postural instability is one of the most intriguing elements affecting virtual reality motion sickness. Being stable and keeping our posture are important to us as animals, and when we find ourselves in situations where we haven’t yet mastered maintaining our balance, we often end up getting unwell. The easiest way to understand this is to think of seasickness as the body attempting to find equilibrium in an unfamiliar environment.

When a virtual scene moves forward in virtual reality, such as on a rollercoaster, the user will unavoidably lean forward in the real world as well. However, while their body hasn’t pushed forward as much as it would on a genuine rollercoaster in VR, it may experience postural instability and motion sickness because this is a new setting for the body to learn how to balance in.

How do you stop motion sickness in VR? 

The good news is that motion sickness can be treated. Your body can adjust to virtual reality over time. Ways to assist you enjoy VR gaming have also been compiled by scientists and gamers. Try these tips to help you continue if you suddenly get the urge to become motion ill. 

# Get Regular Breaks

It may sound very basic, but the first thing you should do if you have any signs of cyber illness is to stop. Take a break, drink some water, and then return when you feel better. Check your time each time you play a game to see if you can extend your playtime. It can take some time, but as each day goes by, you should start to notice an increase in playtime before your symptoms return. Don’t force it, and don’t feel bad about pausing the game. You can always return it and find it there. 

# Game Option

We wouldn’t suggest playing a fast-paced game if you’re just getting started with VR. Start with a game that won’t overload your senses because the world isn’t moving very quickly. It might be better to start with a game like Moss where you can take in the surroundings while third-person directing a character. Your mind and eyes will adjust more easily if you start with a game that moves more slowly. It might also be preferable to play a VR game where your point of view is different from first-person. When playing a game in the third person, you can take your time and gradually switch to a first-person viewpoint. 

# Read the User’s Guide for Your Headset

We understand that reading the instructions is the last thing you want to do. We want to jump on the console and start playing right now. You can read the handbook before playing to get advice on how to use the headset and the optimal playing techniques. Every headset is unique. Each one has a special controller that is included. Learn how to use the buttons and the headset’s features. You’re about to enter a completely new world, so study the map carefully. 

# Change the headset

You’ll find advice on how to correctly fit your headset when reading the manual. If your headset isn’t properly configured, you risk motion sickness in addition to losing immersion when playing. Headsets can be altered in a variety of ways, and they are not all created equal. As well as making sure the headset is adjusted snugly and securely so it won’t fall, make sure the screens are focused on your eyes.

# Develop your focused breathing

Focused breathing is crucial during a gaming session, much like staying hydrated. Take it slow, I know I’ve said it before. Take a breath before each head turn and give yourself some time to get used to VR. Concentrating on your breathing can help your body adjust and feel more comfortable. Take time to catch your breath after finishing a challenging level before moving on to the next one. Breathe as you walk and as you explore the new VR environment. Don’t forget to breathe some fresh air. Indoor temperatures can rise quite a bit, especially in the summer. Go outside for a while to get some fresh air. After playing video games for several hours, the body benefits from getting some fresh air. 

# Benzos and Ginger

Dramamine and ginger may be familiar to you if you frequently experience motion sickness or seasickness outside of gaming. Dramamine is a common over-the-counter remedy for nausea, vomiting, and vertigo. Dramamine taken prior to playing could help avoid motion sickness, particularly when playing VR games. If you do choose Dramamine, make sure you can take it by consulting a doctor before doing so. Make sure it isn’t sleepy to avoid dozing off while playing. Ginger is also effective in treating motion and nausea sickness. Ginger can be consumed orally, via ginger ale, or as tablets. In some circumstances, ginger might be more beneficial than over-the-counter medicine. Try eating some ginger before playing if you can take the flavor.

# Slow Down and Regulate Your Breathing

Motion sickness will be lessened by experiences where you have some control over the environment or speed because your body will be more prepared. Remember to breathe normally if you’re anxious about being sick in virtual reality because you might unconsciously hold your breath in anticipation.

# If You Have an Ear Infection, Avoid Using VR

The ears play a role in the body’s perception of equilibrium and balance. As a result, if you already have balance issues related to internal ear issues like an infection, these issues will likely worsen in virtual reality because your body will have to work more to maintain orientation.

# Gradually Lengthen VR Sessions

Your body progressively becomes used to motion sickness, just like with other types. For instance, if you spend a few days on a boat, your body will probably adjust by the time you get off. The same is true with VR motion sickness; once your body becomes used to VR, it will adjust and stop being affected by the sensory input, and you won’t feel nauseous anymore.

Increase your VR time gradually by starting with 5 minutes every few days for a week, then 10 minutes twice a week the following week, and so on. You should no longer have VR motion nausea if you aim for 15 minutes at a time over several weeks.

What’s the Final Thought?

Virtual reality gaming is a fantastic experience that keeps getting better. The trick is comprehending your body and how it responds to virtual reality. You enter a completely different universe the first time you put on a headset. Some people are able to acclimatize right away. Others need time to adjust. You are not alone if you initially suffered VR motion sickness, but don’t let it discourage you from trying VR in the future. You may have experienced motion nausea in VR for various reasons, some of which are attributable to the developers and others due to your body adjusting to this unique sensation. Your body will gradually get used to being in VR as your brain and body become more adept at processing what you’re feeling.

We hope that these useful hints will enable you to fully embrace VR.

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