Is it games? Immersive meditation? Trying your hand at app development? Entertaiment, fitness or training? There are different headsets for different needs.
First, you need to establish your expectations on the experience. Do you want the best graphics experience despite a few discomforts? Or do you want a quick and easy VR session every once in a while? But most importantly, how much are you willing to spend?
At this point, you’ll be left with one simple decision: Desktop VR or Mobile VR?
You’re unsure about the difference between Desktop VR and Mobile VR? Check this blog post about XR terminology here.
For a better all-round experience Desktop VR is your go-to — superior performance, graphic quality and no need to worry about charging the headset — despite the additional expense of buying a high-end PC and being tethered to makes it not as “quick and easy” as Mobile VR. If you’re willing to go past these, you’ve found your VR hardware match! Some of the best examples of Desktop VR include Valve Index and HTC Vive.
For a first introduction, more simple expectations, meditation or fitness, mobile VR is the go-to and it’s also way cheaper.
As a first introduction to VR, Mobile VR tends to be the most popular option with 6.1 million units being bought in 2021. The reason for this is simple: Mobile VR offers a cheap alternative to Desktop VR while still delivering a great immersive experience. It’s the perfect match for simpler VR expectations, for example Fitness VR or VR meditation and for a quick occasional gaming session. Some of the downsides of Mobile VR include battery life (the headset tends to get low battery fast) and performance in some games might be affected. Some of the best examples of Mobile VR include Oculus headsets.
Find a safe space in which you can move around freely. VR can be used and enjoyed in a stationary position but moving around allows for a better experience! So, find a designated area in your home that offers enough range of motion to fully enjoy your VR session.
Adjust your headset to fit on your head. Don’t be afraid to make it as comfortable as possible, VR hardware can be heavy for first-time users. But, it’s not only about comfort: not fitting your headset right can make things appear blurry and create visual disturbance overall, which some users correlate to nausea in VR.
But don’t worry, VR doesn’t make everyone sick. But most of the time it happens because of the incorrect optimisation and development for that device. Sickness can appear due to a bad frame rate, misunderstanding of the locomotion or how to move the user within the VR experience/space. As a 2021 report explains, sickness occurs because VR content needs to restore harmony between the visual and vestibular systems of the body.
Time moves differently in VR – it’s because of how our perceptions change the moment you enter a simulation. Eye strain is no fun. So, take breaks, have a sip of water and give your eyes some rest before smashing another round at BeatSaber.
Finally, keep your headset away from direct sunlight! This is extremely important because the sun can damage the precious lenses that are inside your headset. We suggest keeping it in a drawer or on a shelf in the box it came in.
Thank you for following along – more articles to come, so send in any questions you may have about VR, or the immersive tech world and we’ll do our best to answer. What are your best tips for trying VR for the first time? Let us know on social media.