It doesn't matter what VR headset you have, as soon as you put it on you are totally unaware of the world around you. One accidental step to the left and the fun you're having could be abruptly ended as your hand or controller clashes with something in the real world. That's why we're kicking off our 12 Days of VR tips with this simple guide for how to made sure you have enough space to enjoy and share your VR experience, no matter what headset you have!
Any VR headset you put a phone in
If you're using a VR headset that requires a phone to act as the brains and the display, you're not supposed to be moving around a bunch. That doesn't mean you can't move around, especially when you're spinning to see all of the cool things happening in a 360-degree video.
Keeping yourself and other safe using one of these headsets is fairly simple. Before you put the headset on, stretch your arms out to each side and rotate your bode. If your fingers come into contact with anything, this area isn't the best for diving into VR. If you can spin without your arms hitting anything, you're good to go.
It's also not the worst idea ever to look for a rotating char for VR. If you're able to sit still but also enjoy the entire scene, you're going to have a great time.
Setting up a space to enjoy PlayStation VR can be complicated. It needs to be very close to wherever your PlayStation 4 is, but you also need to be far enough back from the television that you don't accidentally punch it when swinging a sword in Skyrim VR.
The most important part of setting up a PlayStation VR is making sure the PlayStation Camera can see you. Keep these things in mind:
- Dim the lights to the blue on the headset shines bright
- Make sure no one tries to walk between you and the camera
- Cover up any big reflective surfaces that might be behind you
- Be aware of where that headset cable is at all times
Getting yourself ready to dive into an Oculus Rift means making sure your Constellation sensors are set up properly. These sensors are responsible for tracking your hands and head, making them the most important part of your experience. To set them up properly:
- Make sure the sensors are between three and six feet apart
- You don't have to have the sensors at the edge of your table, they can sit back at least a foot before causing problems
- Point the heads of the sensors toward your torso, not your head
Once you have your sensors set up correctly, you want to make sure you set up the Oculus Rift Guardian. This is a virtual wall you can see inside the headset that lets you know you've gone too far. Draw your virtual walls so there's at least six inches between something virtual and something physical. This will keep you from knocking over lamps or breaking windows, which I'm sure you agree is a good thing.
The best way you can set up an HTC Vive is to have an entire room (or most of a room) dedicated to the experience. This headset was built to be enjoyed by walking around and having fun, but doing that well means a couple of quick things:
- Set up your Lighthouse sensors high, but away from direct sunlight
- You can use adhesive wall stickers, tripods, or vertical tension rods if you don't want to drill holes
- Make sure the room you are in has enough power outlets before setting anything up
You also want to make sure you set up the Vive Chaperone system. This headset will let you walk around, and unfortunately in to, anything. Chaperone creates a virtual wall to let you know you're about to leave the safe play area, so make sure you set it up before playing any games.
You can also customize your Chaperone boundary, which is a lot of fun.
Windows Mixed Reality
The coolest part about setting up a Mixed Reality space is how few things you actually need to do. This headset has no sensors, but you can still walk around and enjoy immersive worlds. To get set up:
- Make sure there's nothing in the space around you that you could kick or knock over
- Stretch your arms out wide with controllers in hand to confirm your space is clear
- Take one big step back from your computer before putting the headset on
You also want to make sure you have boundaries set up in Mixed Reality. Here's a quick guide on getting that done!