How to Combat Motion Sickness in VR

VR is revolutionising how we interact with digital worlds. The ever-changing industry is expanding at an incredible pace, and embarking on a virtual reality journey has never been easier! Whether from one of our London or Birmingham departure lounges, or from the comfort of your own home, VR can offer unparalleled immersive experiences. Unfortunately however, a common hurdle for enthusiasts and newcomers alike, is the challenge of VR-induced motion sickness. (booooo!)

But fear not, intrepid explorer, for we’ve created a quick and simple guide to help you understand why it happens and how to avoid it!

Understanding VR Motion Sickness

VR motion sickness, often likened to the sensation of seasickness or car sickness, arises when there's a disconnect between what your eyes see and what your body feels, especially in the unique and dynamic environments available in VR. As you navigate these newfound virtual landscapes, this sensory mismatch can trigger mild symptoms like dizziness, nausea, and discomfort. (No one has vomited in our pods yet, so I wouldn’t sweat it!)

Why It Happens

The essence of VR lies in its ability to transport us to otherworldly dimensions. However, this digital teleportation comes with a caveat; your body doesn’t quite get it…

Motion sickness occurs because the visual input from the immersive 3D environment suggests movement to the brain, while the vestibular system in the inner ear, which senses motion and balance, does not detect corresponding physical motion. This sensory conflict leads to confusion in the the vestibular nucleus (the brain's integration center for balance and movement) causing symptoms of motion sickness. Additionally, the lack of proprioceptive feedback, which helps understand the position of our body in space, exacerbates the disorientation and nausea associated with VR-induced motion sickness.

Simply put, whether you’re soaring through the trees or fleeing from a zombie horde, your legs probably aren’t moving, so your body gets confused.

So what can we do to prevent it?

Gradual Exposure: Start with simpler VR experiences which gradually introduce you to the way VR feels. Great options for this include Fruit Ninja and Cook-Out.

  1. Static Reference Points: Some VR experiences and games, incorporate fixed visual elements or "horizons" within the virtual space to help ground your senses.

  2. Hydration and Breaks: Taking regular breaks and staying hydrated are crucial, especially during extended sessions. We typically recommend the 40 or 55 minute for beginners to get them accustomed to the way VR works, but even a slightly longer session should be completely fine for the majority of people! Bare in mind that VR can be pretty physically demanding, so you should prepare in the same way that you would for some light exercise!

  3. Settings Adjustments: Many VR platforms offer settings to minimize motion sickness, such as field of view adjustments or teleportation movement options. Tailoring these settings can enhance your comfort in any VR experience. Some VR arcades (or at least us) will implement these features by default, minimising the risk of motion sickness for the average customer.

  4. Ginger Supplements: A natural remedy for nausea, ginger can be a handy ally against motion sickness in VR. Whether you're gearing up to blast off for a VR adventure in Birmingham or London, our site staff keep a handy reserve of ginger sweets to combat the effects of motion sickness.

It’s not so bad anyway!

Not to worry if you do feel a little queasy during your journey, the effects of motion sickness typically pass very quickly, and most sufferers end up going in for round two after a quick break to recuperate!

Ready to go?

As the VR industry continues to expand, and new virtual worlds are created, understanding and mitigating motion sickness is key to unlocking the full potential of virtual exploration. By adopting these strategies, enthusiasts can dive into the vastness of VR with confidence and comfort, whether it’s from our luxury VR bars in London and Birmingham, or the consumer-grade headsets available for home use.

VR is the future, don’t get left behind!

Want to give VR a go?

Book in now to experience it for yourself, or head to our Island Page to see the full list of VR games available!


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