Overcoming VR sickness with Darth Vader

April 23, 2021

When I first got into VR I got sick within one second, now I'm cruising around no problem.

For those of you that don't know, some VR games allow you to move around within the game. There are two predominant forms of locomotion in VR - smooth and teleportation.

Smooth locomotion is where you push a thumbstick forward on a controller and your character moves forward, like a normal video game. In VR though this can cause motion sickness sense your eyes are perceiving movement while your body is not moving. This mismatch in the brain causes disorientation, which leads to sometimes instant sickness. This is the same thing for seasickness, airplanes, etc. Teleportation gets around this by allowing you to point where you want to go, then instantly teleport there. This can be a bit jarring at first, but doesn't cause the brain to perceive a mismatch. Hence you don't get sick.

I tried smooth locomotion many times and felt sick right away. I was smart enough to stop as soon as nausea happened, so never threw up or developed an aversion to VR -- apparently trying to push through will instead just teach the brain to hate VR and equate it with sickness. The nausea though irked me, I'm a sailor and never get seasick, so I figured I could get used to VR.

Smooth locomotion is much easier and a more enjoyable game experience than just teleporting everywhere so I was determined to get the hang of it.

I read the current advice, which is to take it slow and move your feet when using the stick. Essentially you walk in place to tell the brain you are moving, even though you're not going anywhere. This little modification often allows the brain to accept the discrepancy for longer than it did before.

Lucky for me I tried this trick out on the Vader Immortal series.

r/virtualreality - VR Noobs, Vader Immortal is the "game" to help you get over VR motion sickness

Now I'm cruising through multiple rounds of fast paced shooters like Population One without getting sick, moving with just the stick.

Ok, so what is this Vader Immortal? It's not really a game, it's actually billed as a Star Wars "experience". Essentially you play a force-sensitive smuggler that lands himself in a Star Wars side story involving Darth Vader. There's a handful of cool moments for any Star Wars nerd - jumping to lightspeed, meeting Darth Vader, wielding a lightsaber - but the actual game play is pretty lame.

There are however tons of frequent cutscenes that allow your brain some rest while the characters do their dialogue. The pathways are mostly forward, the battle scenes you always stand in place. Easy.

You walk in place, then just stand there during the next cutscene, then walk in place. etc. By the time you get through all 3 Vader Immortal Episodes you won't have VR motion sickness anymore and you won't be disappointed in how bad the "game" was.

Think of Vader Immortal as VR training, not as your overpriced Jedi experience!

Try out Vader Immortal, and thank me later in a Population One lobby

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