10 Solutions for Quest 3 Motion Sickness, Dizziness and Nausea
When I first got into VR, I couldn’t play games for more than 5 minutes without wanting to throw up. If you’ve just got your Meta Quest 3, you might be experiencing the same thing.
Any games that require smooth locomotion, using the controllers to move, gave me bad VR sickness. I couldn’t play games that I really wanted to try like: Skyrim VR, Minecraft VR, Fallout 4 VR and more.
But luckily it’s not all doom and gloom – it’s possible to overcome VR motion sickness. Here are some tips to cure your VR motion sickness that actually work.
What Causes VR Motion Sickness?
VR sickness, commonly referred to as VR motion sickness or cybersickness, is believed to be caused by a mismatch between different sensory inputs and expectations. When you use VR, your eyes see things like running or turning, but your body isn’t actually moving.
Imagine sitting in a car without moving but seeing everything zoom by super fast — it’d feel weird, right? That’s kind of what happens in VR. Your brain gets confused because what your eyes see and what your body feels don’t match up. This mismatch can make you feel dizzy or queasy. It’s like when you read in a car and feel car sick because your eyes focus on the book but your body feels the car moving.
10 VR Motion Sickness Cures
Here are 10 cures for VR motion sickness:
1. Train Your VR Legs
What are VR legs? Growing your VR legs means growing more resistant to VR motion sickness.
It’s possible for almost anybody to get their VR legs, even if it may seem impossible for you. I know, because I was there once. Here’s what you should do:
- Download VRChat to train getting your VR legs
- Start by only moving forwards and backwards. Move your legs and arms in the process as if you were walking
- Start with short session and slowly increase your time as you get more accustomed to the experience
- Close your eyes and relax if you start getting sick.
- Push yourself to where you’re uncomfortable, but not until you’re sick and ready to throw up.
- Once you’re comfortable with back and forth movement, add in side-to-side movement.
- Then add in snap turning (I find that turning in VR tends to cause the most motion sickness)
- Then smooth turning
Here’s my full guide on how to develop your VR legs.
How long does it take to develop/build your VR legs? For some, it’s about 3-4 weeks. For others, it can be up to 6 months of consistent use. Yep – it could take that long.
2. Take Dramamine
Dramamine (dimenhydrinate) is an over-the-counter medication commonly used to treat symptoms of motion sickness. It works as an antihistamine, helping to prevent nausea, dizziness, and vomiting that some people experience with motion. Because VR-induced motion sickness has similarities to traditional motion sickness, Dramamine is effective in mitigating the symptoms of VR motion sickness.
Is Dramamine safe? 100% unless you have allergies. If you’ve ever been car sick, there’s a good chance someone recommended you to take Dramamine which comes in pills or chewables.
3. Eat Ginger Candy (This Actually Works)
Ginger is an alternative to Dramamine and this isn’t some old wive’s tale. Several studies suggest that ginger might be effective in preventing and treating motion sickness. I’ve personally used ginger as a “crutch” for preventing VR motion sickness and I can say it works very well. At first I was only able to use teleport locomotion, but with ginger candy, I can do smooth locomotion for short periods without wanting to throw up. Ginger does wonders for preventing nausea.
4. Adjust IPD
Many VR headsets allow users to adjust the IPD to match the distance between their eyes. Ensuring the IPD is set correctly can make the virtual environment look clearer and feel more comfortable.
Many studies have shown that an IPD mismatch between the headset and your eyes can cause symptoms of VR motion sickness. It’s like wearing glasses of the wrong prescription.
5. Point a Fan at Yourself
Pointing a fan at yourself during VR sessions is a commonly recommended strategy to combat VR motion sickness, and here’s why:
- Grounding Sensation: A fan provides a constant stream of airflow, which can offer a stationary reference point, helping you feel more grounded in reality. This can be particularly helpful when the visual inputs from the VR environment don’t match your body’s physical sensations
- Cooling Effect: Extended VR sessions can lead to increased body temperature and perspiration. A fan helps keep you cool, preventing discomfort that can exacerbate feelings of nausea
- Distraction from Discomfort: The sensation from the fan can serve as a distraction from minor discomforts, potentially reducing the focus on any feelings of motion sickness.
Pointing a fan at yourself can provide a tactile sensation on your skin. This additional sensory input can sometimes help bridge the gap between what you’re seeing in VR and what your body is feeling, potentially reducing the severity of the mismatched signals that lead to motion sickness.
6. Use ‘Natural Locomotion’ Programs
Natural Locomotion (NaLo) on Steam is a solution developed to mitigate VR motion sickness by offering a more intuitive movement approach. Instead of traditional thumbstick or touchpad controls, users move within the virtual environment by swinging their arms, emulating the rhythm of walking or running.
This arm-swinging technique helps to bridge the sensory gap between what the eyes see and the body feels, thus potentially reducing feelings of discomfort. While there’s a learning curve associated with adopting this method, many find it increases immersion once accustomed. However, compatibility varies, so users should check if their preferred VR games support this locomotion style.
Read the reviews on Steam to see how effective it is at preventing VR motion sickness.
7. Play Stationary Games
Playing stationary games can help you bypass motion sickness altogether. You might not be able to play games like Half-Life: Alyx, but you can play games like Beat Saber.
Even though I experienced major VR sickness, I was able to play Beat Saber for hours without getting sick. Almost everyone can, because there’s no artificial motion.
If VR makes you too uncomfortable, there are always games that are free from motion sickness. Or you can watch a movie in VR.
Marijuana (cannabis) has been explored for its potential to alleviate a variety of symptoms, including nausea and vomiting, especially in the context of chemotherapy-induced nausea. Some users have reported anecdotally that marijuana helps them manage motion sickness or the symptoms associated with VR motion sickness.
9. Use a Headset with High Refresh Rate Like the Meta Quest 3
Research has shown that low refresh rates can lead to a higher probability of VR motion sickness. The Meta Quest 3 can go up to 120 Hz refresh rate, which is a nice sweet spot for VR.
10. Avoid Realistic Pictures
Research has also shown that games containing realistic pictures/environments can increase the likelihood of you getting VR motion sickness. When starting out, avoid games containing realistic images.
Symptoms of VR Motion Sickness
- Nausea: A general feeling of queasiness or the urge to vomit, which is often the most reported symptom.
- Dizziness or Vertigo: A feeling of being off-balance or that the surroundings are spinning.
- Disorientation: Difficulty determining one’s position, direction, or surroundings in relation to the environment.
- Headache: A persistent ache or pressure, particularly in the front or temples.
- Eyestrain: Discomfort or fatigue in the eyes, which may also be accompanied by dryness or watering.
- Stomach Upset: General discomfort or queasiness in the stomach, which can sometimes escalate to vomiting.
- Sweating: Increased perspiration even in the absence of physical exertion.
- Fatigue: A feeling of being extremely tired or drained after using VR.
- Postural Instability: Difficulty standing or walking due to feelings of imbalance.
- Oscillopsia: A sensation that stationary objects are moving when they are not.
If you’re experiencing VR motion sickness, the best thing to do is to take a break immediately and only return to VR when feeling better. Repeated exposure, combined with measures like adjusting VR settings, using fans, and ensuring a more natural movement, can help decrease susceptibility over time.
How long does VR sickness last?
Usually only a matter of minutes to a couple hours. Sometimes it can go up to a day. If you experience VR sickness the day after, it means you overused VR. We recommend taking breaks between VR sessions especially if you’re new. Sometimes VR sickness lasts for a few days if it’s really severe.
Meta Quest motion sickness tips:
The Quest headset is quite heavy and can be uncomfortable at times. I recommend having a look at the comfort mods as they may help reduce motion sickness or headaches.
Hope you find these VR motion sickness cures helpful! Got any advice/tips that worked for you? Please share them with me here: email@example.com