HTC Vive

As nice as it may seem to have a dedicated room where all you do is wander around and play VR games, that's a luxury few people have. Valve's monthly report of VR user activity suggests that most folks have a VR space of 2m by 1m, which isn't a ton of space for walking around. It's not hard to see why this is a problem, most folks didn't design their living rooms or offices with a lot of space for walking around, assuming they had the extra space to begin with. Things like couches and desks are important for non-VR things, and it's hard to get everyone that ditching the bulky furniture would be better for the "important" stuff.

There are a few things you can do to adjust your VR habits and your living space to make sure both are co-existing peacefully, and hopefully giving yourself a little extra space to play in the process.

Map out the furniture that is most in the way

Lots of users are sharing their VR space with the largest room in their house — the living room. This is a solid option for a couple of reasons. You can connect your VR PC to your TV, friends can come over and chill on your couch while you play and take turns, and if you owned a Nintendo Wii you're also used to being careful about swinging your controllers around like a crazy person.

The key to successfully using your living room as a VR space is making sure you're getting the most out of that space. Whether you're using PlayStation VR, Oculus Touch, or the HTC Vive room-scale system, step one needs to be mapping out your furniture to make sure nothing it going to be smacked by a controller when playing a game. HTC makes this easy by asking you to draw a box where the VR space is going to live, but for everything else you need to do some of the work yourself.

Without a headset on, stand in the center of your VR space and lean in each direction with your arm outstretched. Take a step in each direction and repeat this process. If your controller touches something, you're going to have a problem in VR. It's easy to lose your position in the room with a headset on, and if anything is that close during gameplay you are almost guaranteed to hit it at some point.

Furniture coasters are your friend

The good news if you have extra space around you is most furniture can be easily moved for VR with a couple of small purchases. The basic idea here is to have a functional living room or office most of the time, but the biggest VR space you can possibly have in that space when it's time to put the headset on. Simple furniture coasters for carpet or hardwood flooring makes it so things like couches or cabinets can be easily slid out of the way when you play, and slid back just as easily when you're all finished.

It may also be time to consider some alternatives to your existing furniture. A wall-mounted television will take up noticeably less space than a bulky cabinet or entertainment center. The ultimate goal is to make sure you have as much space as possible without making the room feel empty when you're using it for its normal purposes.

Put your gear away

Your VR gear does not always need to be out on display, and storing just about every VR headset is mostly painless. Oculus Rift, for example, comes in a box that works exactly like a carrying case. It's a little bulky, but great for putting the hardware away and storing when appropriate. The same goes for any VR headset, with a notable exception for the HTC Vive light boxes. Your living space doesn't have to look like a science fiction scene all the time, unless of course that's how you like it.

Simple storage for VR can be as common as hooks on the walls for your headset and controllers, or you can stow everything away in cabinets and boxes. The real key is cable management. Everything in VR has a long cable on it, and adjustable cable ties are your friend. These cables aren't necessarily fragile, but they aren't built to be constantly yanked or trampled wither. Storing your hardware when it's not in use keeps the room looking a little less sci-fi, but it also keeps your gear safe

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