Playing an AR or VR game is an incredible experience. However, some common issues tend to crop up from time to time, and if you aren’t aware of these nuances, they can quickly sour what would otherwise be a pleasant experience.
Whatever you do, don’t go into VR blind. Regardless of whether you’re into strategy or slots, action or drama, ensure that you avoid the most common pitfalls by taking note of the four issues covered below.
Choice of Platform
One headset currently dominates AR and VR sales figures worldwide – the Oculus Quest 2. By the end of 2020, the Oculus Quest 2 reached more than one million sales. Compared to Playstation VR, Oculus’ closest competitor, the Quest 2 had more than three times as many units shipped within the same time period.
The choice between an Oculus Quest 2 and Playstation VR depends entirely on your choice of gaming platform. Playstation VR is exclusive to Playstation users and cannot be used on a gaming PC. The Oculus Quest 2 can’t be used with a Playstation, but it grants access to a much larger selection of games.
All that Playstation VR requires to work is a Playstation console. The Oculus Quest 2, on the other hand, is more expensive in terms of hardware required but does offer a lot more in terms of game selection. Ultimately, the two highest-selling VR headsets largely depend on personal preference, types of games supported, and of course, the age-old question of affordability.
Let’s say you’ve gone for an Oculus Quest 2 as your VR headset of choice. Is your current gaming system able to guarantee reliable performance? You might run into compatibility issues, performance woes, or a hardware bottleneck due to a random combination of parts. There are many things that can go wrong, which is why doing some information gathering beforehand can be such a beneficial strategy.
If you check different review scores, watch videos showcasing specific headsets, and browse metrics like sales figures or top 10 rankings (for example), the odds of you running into trouble are greatly reduced. At the very least, a thorough knowledge of minimum and recommended specs should be seen as compulsory.
Most video games give you an hour or two of playtime before refunds become impossible, but some games don’t allow refunds from as early as the moment you install any game files. The only way to guarantee avoidance of most of the aforementioned issues is to own a PC far above any recommended specs. Even so, you will still need to make sure that each piece of hardware works well with the rest of your setup.
Alternatively, going for a headset like Playstation VR avoids technical issues, but you won’t have access to as many games as you would on a PC. And now that Playstation-exclusive titles are making their way to PC, the best all-round VR/AR experience is definitely on PC platforms.
A portion of the global population suffers from adverse side effects when using a VR headset. The most common ailment by far is motion sickness. Thanks to the unique interactivity present in VR simulation, movement in digital space doesn’t require much physical exertion. This causes dissonance between eye movement and motor effects for some VR users, which will often lead to symptoms of nausea, dizziness, and headaches.
According to a number of health experts, VR users susceptible to motion sickness should simply step away from the screen for a while. Taking a break to recalibrate is sometimes all it takes to enjoy extended play sessions. Alternatively, a number of approved substances can offer additional relief, such as nausea medication, herbal supplements, or medical marijuana.
Aside from the reactive measures mentioned above, there are a number of proactive things you can do if you’re dealing with motion sickness; software such as VRocker creates more movement-based interactivity, while hardware like Virtuix treadmills, while expensive, add much-needed locomotion to supported games.
The last thing you want is to purchase a VR headset, power it up and get ready to launch, only to find out that whichever game you want to play is not supported by the headset you’ve chosen. For example, while Steam VR supports the majority of VR headsets, none of Steam VR’s compatible devices work with macOS.
At first glance, cheaper headsets might seem like a worthy option, but many will not support nearly as many games when compared to a headset with a steeper price tag. For this reason, before you acquire any VR-related hardware, ensure that the specifications and compatibility list match your desired criteria.
With a growing selection of brands on the market, it’s more important than ever to perform due diligence when it comes to product research. It might seem like an arduous task to have to comb every spec sheet, but the benefits make it worth putting any significant investment under scrutiny.