Should I enable smooth turning in my VR games?

Full body motion in VR is hard. When your eyes see the world moving around you, but your body can't feel a matching sensation for movement, the end result is frequently called Cue Correction or Sim Sickness. Your brain tries to compensate for not being able to feel the things the eyes are seeing, maybe by leaning in one direction or crouching, and it quickly makes some people nauseated. This is why many VR games put you inside of a vehicle or let you walk around with your body instead of using a button to move.

Some games, usually faster-paced action games, rely on thumb sticks for movement in VR. To compensate for the potential of Cue Correction, most of these games don't let you turn around very quickly. Some games limit you to a 30-degree turn at a time, or make the turns slow enough to decrease the potential for sickness. In most cases, these games also have a comfort setting you can adjust in order to turn faster. Here's how to use that feature without getting sick.

Smoother Turning

Every game calls this something different. RIGS: Mechanized Combat, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Windlands all call these comfort settings, while Resident Evil 7 refers to it as Smooth Turning. Brookhaven Experiment and others just give you a button to do a 180-degree turn with a blink instead of an actual rotation animation. There's no "right" or "wrong" way to handle motion right now, but if you find yourself wanting the ability to turn to feel a little more real, these are the settings you want to adjust.

These comfort settings are designed to be adjusted to suit your needs, but it's important to make those adjustment slowly. If you turn off everything and jump back into your game, at the very least you're going to find yourself highly disoriented. Instead, you want to slowly make adjustments so you can go back to the game with each adjustment and make sure you're comfortable.

The best place to start is with turning. The slower turning can break that immersive feeling, so the goal is to try and set your turning to as close to the speed your normally turn your head. This is going to take some tweaking, and it's going to be different for each game with these comfort settings, but the end result is a more personally tuned VR experience that helps you get into the game.

Avoiding Nausea

The most important part of playing with comfort setting is that you not completely ruin the VR game for yourself by getting sick. Comfort settings are usually turned up as high as possible so everyone can enjoy the game, which is why you slowly adjust the settings until it fits your needs. As always, if your feel a little out of sorts while trying out new settings, step one is always to take the headset off and take a break. You can even adjust these settings with the headset laying on the floor if you're using your television, so it's easier to take breaks in between tests.

Perhaps more important than making sure these settings are good for you is making sure you are adjusting those settings when you share your PlayStation VR with friends. Reset things back to the highest comfort level if you know someone else is going to be playing in your headset, even if they've already used VR before and claim to have no problems. More than anything, it's a safety measure to keep your headset from being damaged when it's pulled off quickly.