Getting your VR legs

So, you just got your Oculus Rift and wonder "What to do next?". Here are some assorted tips and tricks on how to ease into VR as smoothly as possible:
A word on motion/simulation sickness
First of all, VR sickness is a real thing and most people get it at some point. So far there is no way of telling if and how much someone gets it but even seasoned gamers with a lot of experience in 3D aren't immune to it.
It usually doesn't set in immediately, but it can be set off instantly by some action inside the Rift. (i.e. flying in a cockpit is fine but a barrelroll makes you reach for the bucket)
On top of that there is no way to just push through it, if on a given play session you get it, it will just get worse that day if you keep doing whatever got you there and you MUST take a break at this point.
So, what can you do?
The easiest thing to do is to never let it become really bad. Once you start feeling a bit disoriented and/or sick, get out of the Rift and take a break. Give your brain some time to cool off from what it just experienced.

Also some games and demos lend itself more to getting VR sick than others. A lot of factors are at work here and your mileage may vary, but the smoother and slower the game/demo is, the easier it is to get used to it.

  • As awesome as it looks, don't go into the Rift while standing up but rather stay seated.
  • There is still some light leakage, so lowering ambient light will help with that.
  • Having a fixed point or frame of reference helps a lot, anything with a cockpit helps because of this.
  • In general you should have at least a framerate of 60fps minimum for a solid experience.
  • Any lag should be avoided, so you should also turn off Vsync. (Unrelated to motion sickness, the Rift down samples pretty much any resolution to 1200x800, so setting a resolution higher than that can work as sort of anti aliasing)
  • The more realistic the movement in game is, the better the experience. (HL2 for example can be hard because one accelerates instantly to running speed.)
  • Strafing should also be avoided at the beginning.
  • What can help with this is using a game pad with analog sticks, it let's you accelerate more smoothly in these games.
  • As there is no positional tracking for the Rift try to only rotate your head and keep the movement to a minimum, the is specially true for games that take control over the camera during cut scenes (HL2, Mirrors Edge)
  • Ginger seems to be a tremendous help for some to not get sick too fast. It comes in various forms, such as pills and tea and a lot of people reported good results.
  • If you're really sick the next best thing is Dramamine/Vomex/Gravol but it does come with it's own set up side effects. This shouldn't be your first choice and the results so far have been mixed.
  • Also lumberjacks reported mixed results.
Experiement and don't get discouraged! Give yourself a few days to get used to VR
An example playlist to ease you into the Rift
It is best to slowly increase the speed of the games and the level of activity in the Rift. Don't expect to run on your Omni treadmill, gun wielding on the first day.
So after some testing here is a list of games and demos in order of how easy they are on the stomach. (Just a rough guideline, YMMV)

Any other suggestion you want to share with your fellow rifters?


Many thanks to conz, PatimPatam, Emanu, Ananas4 and everyone else that help with this guide by contributing ideas.
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