People who know me are aware of the fact that I like a gadget or two (perhaps the understatement of the year).

Arguably the hottest gadget around at the moment for consumers/gamers is the PlayStation VR, but it does come with its downsides.  And these downsides may come by the bucket load, so might say (pun intended).

According to research, nausea and motion sickness is something that 90% of PlayStation VR owners are experiencing, and I must admit there are certain VR experiences that have left me feeling queasy for a good few hours after daddy’s playtime was over.

For reference, symptoms of motion sickness can include pale skin, cold sweats, dizziness, an increase in saliva, shallow breathing (often rapid), headaches, tiredness, and a good old bout of vomiting. These can obviously detract from your enjoyment – unless you’re into these sort of things of course!

So with this in mind I set out to test a few strategies to minimise the effect of motion sickness, and I can honestly say these tactics have helped quite a bit. So, in no particular order, here are a few things to try or keep in mind when using your PSVR if you’re one of the unfortunate gamers that frequently end up reaching for a bucket instead of the controller.

Reduce Playstation VR Motion Sickness

First off and before anything else you need to ensure the PlayStation VR is set up correctly. Your viewpoint should always be correctly centred (hold down the Options button during gameplay with your head facing straight forward) and the screen should always be perfectly clear to the player, with no blurring.

One handy tip that many don’t realise is that there are settings in the Settings > Devices menu of your PlayStation 4 that will allow you to further tailor the PSVR to your particular individual needs. This includes a face measuring section that can detect the space between your eyes using the PlayStation camera, and having it perfectly set up for your eyes is vital if you want to minimise eye to brain correlation issues. I found mine was 7mm out as default.

1. Know your stress levels… and breathe!

The more stressed you are, the shallower your breathing, and breathing is actually very important when using the PSVR. If you plan to use your PlayStation VR if you are stressed or suffering from anxiety you will find you become nauseous much quicker than usual. Take deep breaths when using the Playstation VR unit and it will help reduce the onset of motion sickness. Use in a well ventilated area too. The more fresh air you get, the better your body is able to cope with these effects.

Bucket reduction rating: Excellent

2. Chew gum

I must admit I was skeptical when this was suggested, but it did help. I was able to play the Luge game on VR Worlds and didn’t feel like I’d just spent ten minutes in a centrifuge. Keep a ready supply of chewing gum handy and chew while you play.

Bucket reduction rating: Good

3. Take frequent breaks

Long sessions of VR can see nausea creeping up on you without you realising it. Try to minimise your sessions to a maximum of 30 minutes, followed by a break of the same length.

Bucket reduction rating: Medium

4. Take motion sickness tablets or herbal remedies before play

Over the counter motion sickness remedies work well to reduce the effects of motion sickness, and I have found that anti-histamine tablets also work, strangely enough. If you’d prefer a more natural solution, sucking peppermint sweets or drinking peppermint tea can also help. Ginger is another substance that’s said to be very good at helping with this type of nausea.

Bucket reduction rating: Medium

5. Use a motion sickness wrist band

Motion sickness wrist bands provides gentle, constant pressure to the meridians on your inner forearm, and this pressure is said to alleviate the nausea caused by motion sickness. However, if you don’t own a wrist band you can still massage your forearm arm between the two tendons on your wrist above your thumb using your fingers.  There’s very little Western science to support this method, but it did seem to help a little, especially after prolonged PSVR use.

Bucket reduction rating: Low

6. Don’t eat before play

Eating before going on a fairground ride often leads to a very uneasy feeling, and the same can be said for playing the PSVR. If you’re going to eat, leave an hour before using the VR headset. For reference, whilst researching this article I tested the PSVR directly after eating and I can safely say it wasn’t something I’d recommend doing!

Bucket reduction rating: Medium

In Conclusion

The Playstation VR is a truly fantastic device, and it’s a shame people aren’t getting the maximum enjoyment out of it, due to the nausea factor.  Hopefully, one or more of the six methods above will help reduce nausea and motion sickness for you when using your PSVR, and I’d be interested in hearing your own methods of overcoming the problem.  Feel free to drop me a line in the comments, via email or using social media with your own ideas.

Personally I found chewing and fresh air to help the most, but everyone is different so I’d experiment and see what works for you.   Happy gaming!