Virtual Reality is an amazing technological feature, capable of countless learning, training, and educating experiences, as well as of fantastic entertainment.
If you are new to the world of Virtual Reality, then you will need some guidance. You don’t have to learn everything by yourself and get frustrated with a bunch of disappointing sessions when you can learn from other’s experiences and get the most of your VR set right from the start.
So, without further ado, let us see together a few basic rules for VR newbies.
Nausea and How to Cope with it
VR newbies often get dizzy or feel nauseous Especially for new players, it is critical to immediately stop when a player gets nauseous or tends to feel nauseous. This, of course, is caused by motion not properly synchronised with image and the previous experience of the body. Often, the game itself is poorly designed and causes the problem, e. g. it suffers from freezing screens or low refresh rates.
To avoid possible injuries or a drop, try this when you feel nauseous:
- First, close your eyes at once.
- Remove the VR headset.
- Go and sit or lie down for several minutes or more, until you feel alright.
Nausea can linger on for some time, so don’t hurry to resume the VR session. Naturally, each new player has a different experience. Depending on their characteristics, physical condition etc. such symptoms vary in their intensity. What’s sure is that the brain quickly adapts and the symptoms will quickly vanish.
Take it Easy at First
It is very important to start with pretty simple games and experiences if you are new to the world of VR sets.
Sure, you will probably want to storm into a free-fall game or to a roller coaster simulator right from the start, but this is not a very good idea. I have known several people that found the whole experience far too scary or overwhelming and the VR in general off-putting.
And that is a pity.
So, better start with something simple, maybe a stroll in the woods or a village or a famous city. Several VR sets come with integrated home environments, which allow the user to move around and catch items.
Next, try one of the introductions most HMDs come with. They are designed with VR newbies in mind.
After a while, you can try some of the easier games. All manufacturers and game designers have come up with several games and experiences specially designed for inexperienced VR players. They allow the players to explore the whole environment, familiarise themselves with their features and capabilities (touching, drawing, grabbing, walking, running, throwing etc.) and then move to more complicated moves and demands.
Sit Through your First Games
If you are new to virtual reality experiences, then make sure your first game is played while sitting on a sofa or a cosy armchair or office chair.
This will give you a feel of being more stable, minimise the risk of nausea or headache – or even fall.
Do not forget this one: if you plan to follow our advice, set your Guardian or Chaperone to Stationary before starting playing sitting down.
Ask a Friend to Help You Stand Up
When you feel ready to play your first game or have the first experience standing up, then ask a friend to stand by you and be ready to help you at all times.
If you feel dizzy or uncomfortable, ask them to grab you by the shoulder. It is important for your friend to announce it before doing that so that you are not startled or scared.
This trick is very effective in helping you regain your balance. If it does not work and the dizziness insists, then stop the game and try again another time.
Always set the Guardian or Chaperon to “roomscale” if you want to play standing up.
Another option, especially for passive games, is to put a chair in front of you, so as to be able to grab it if something goes or feels wrong.
Note though that the chair trick obviously is a bad idea for games that require moving around.
Use the “Blink” Method for Walking
Something that has proven quite nauseating during VR sessions, along with lag and frame drops, is the is the option of the constant move.
While exciting, this feature is not designed for newbies. Even experienced players have sometimes trouble coping with it.
Why is it so difficult or, more accurately, complicated? It is quite simple actually: the “continuous” option allows the player or user to control where he or she is going, using the controller’s thumb-sticks, exactly like in a conventional game. Still, your eyes (and, as a consequence, your mind) do not anticipate such kind of movement, thus causing dizziness or nausea.
So, as an alternative, most of the available games allow you to use the “blink” method to move around, in which all you have to do is to point the direction you want to go. Instantly, the player sees his or her feet displayed on the target location. Upon releasing the button, you move there.
This second option is, obviously, much preferable for non-veteran VR players. In fact, it gives them an advantage in the game since it enables them to move faster or slower much more easily.
Eventually, you will be able to start experimenting with continuous moving, step by step (step meaning only a few minutes each time). Sooner or later, you will get the hang of it.
Not all Games Are Suitable for Beginners
You need some restraint when you try new games with your new VR set. If you cannot judge which games are suitable for you and which are not, then ask a more experienced VR player to help you and recommend something he or she has tried himself/ herself.
VR is an amazing experience. Hence, do your best to ensure that your first sessions are both exciting and fun.