Last month, I wrote an article on simulation sickness and how to lessen or negate the effects of it. While I wrote it due to personal issues that I was having with gaming, the response from the community was overwhelming. So first off, thank you so much to everyone who shared the article and helped out people who are having trouble playing games!
There were so many good suggestions from the community that I decided to make a roundup of them here. I’m paraphrasing a lot of the comments, but if you click on the name of the person who made them, you can see their original comments in full.
For anyone who is dealing with simulation sickness (or ‘simsick’ as one person so cleverly coined the term), just remember that you are not alone and that your health always comes first!
Third-person camera or crank the field of view way, way up if the option is available.
Limited Field of View (FOV) can exacerbate motion sickness.
75 degrees could be the sweet spot for your FOV setup. Experiment with the FOV.
Sea bands may help with motion sickness in games. They are acupuncture bands that you wear on your wrists and aren’t very expensive.
Try playing in windowed mode instead of full screen.
Pixelated graphics can make things worse and sometimes there are mods that will smooth things out.
Turn off head bob/gun bob.
Use third-person as an option and try zooming out the camera as far as you can.
Avoid caves, tunnels, and tightly enclosed spaces.
Play in a cool room out of direct sunlight.
Sit further away from the screen.
Drink plenty of water, but avoid heavy, carby food and safe drinks.
Avoid other media while playing (don’t watch videos or the like).
Don’t let people think you’re alone. If you’re at your limit, you don’t have to play the game.
Put a dot in the middle of the screen to give your mind something to focus on.
For people who suffer from migraines, keep your play time short and play in a well-lit room.
Lower brightness of your screen.
Play third-person if the option is there.
Adjust FOV to above 90 degrees.
Dramamine or other motion sickness medications may help. [Be sure to consult with your doctor first!]
Changing the camera to third-person can make a world of difference.
Be sure to turn off screen shake in the options.
Tea can help soothe your stomach when you’re playing.
The support for those who suffer from simulation sickness in games has been truly overwhelming, and there are tricks that were mentioned that have since helped me to play games longer as well. Hopefully, those of you who have trouble with simulation sickness will find some of these tips helpful to you. Coupled with the original article, these posts comprise a pretty comprehensive list of what can be done to allow everyone to enjoy games.
While there are still some games that may be forever barred to us (I’m looking at you, Oculus Rift), at least we can take comfort in the fact that developers are trying to help us deal with simulation sickness. Until they’re able to figure out a surefire way to do so, there is a supportive gaming community that will help see us through.
The main point I’d like to stress, though—as mentioned above—is that your health comes first. However much you might want to play a game, if it makes you sick, then you have to decide for yourself whether it’s worth it or not. As radetzkymarch so eloquently states in their post, no one else gets to decide for you whether or not you should begin to play or continue to play a game.
Stay safe and happy gaming!