How Long Does VR Sickness Last? – Full Breakdown, Solutions, Tips & More

VR is super fun to play, but it can get quite unpleasant if you develop motion sickness issues. 

VR motion sickness can last for hours, and thus, it may even ruin your entire day if you’re not careful.

This post will tackle important questions related to VR sickness, such as how long it lasts and what you can do to prevent it. 

Quick Summary

In this post, we will discuss: 

  • Symptoms of VR motion sickness 
  • What causes VR motion sickness 
  • How VR motion sickness differs from regular motion sickness
  • How to cure VR motion sickness 
  • How to prevent VR motion sickness 

So without further ado, let’s get started.

Symptoms of VR Motion Sickness

VR can be a wonderful experience for most people, but for others, it can be quite unpleasant. 

It can also occur in certain VR games, whereas in other VR games, you may not experience these symptoms. 

The symptoms of VR motion sickness include 

  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Dizziness
  • Queasiness
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue 
Why Does VR Motion Sickness Occur?

If you experience any of these symptoms, the best idea at that point is to take off your VR headset and take a break. 

Even though there’s no actual movement when you’re in VR, the symptoms can oftentimes be the same as that when you’re in a moving vehicle. 

Why Does VR Motion Sickness Occur?

When you’re in a VR space, the options are limitless, and you can experience a variety of things. It could be anything from a ride in a spaceship to running and gunning on a war-torn battlefield. 

When your body is hit with all these stimuli, your eyes register the virtual movement and tell your brain that you’re moving. Your ears also sense this movement and tell your brain that you’re moving in perceived space. 

However, since it’s a virtual space, you’re not actually moving. Hence, your body’s muscles and joints send signals to the brain that your body is not actually moving. 

These mixed signals that your brain receives can often confuse it, and thus, it results in the symptoms of VR motion sickness that we listed above. 

How Does VR Motion Sickness Differ From Regular Motion Sickness? 

The ultimate goal for VR game developers is to create a simulation that feels absolutely real. 

That’s, of course, what makes a VR game immersive and fun to play. 

VR motion sickness can, unfortunately, occur as a result of VR game developers doing their jobs correctly as well as incorrectly. 

When VR Game Developers Do Their Jobs Correctly

It will depend on the type of VR game that it is. If it’s a calm and soothing VR game, then you most likely will not experience any symptoms of motion sickness. 

However, if the VR game experience includes something that would cause you to be nauseous in real life, the VR experience will cause nausea as well.

For example, if you were hurtling through space at light speed, it would probably make you vomit, no? If a VR experience like that feels extremely real, it makes sense that you’d feel nauseous. 

When VR Game Developers Do Their Jobs Incorrectly

This can often result in feelings of nausea as well. 

However, this time, it will be because since the movement is not natural and feels odd, it’ll catch your body off-guard. 

How to Cure VR Motion Sickness


The movement may be jarring and not feel anything like the way a human moves. Hence, this weird feeling of unnatural movement can also often cause symptoms of motion sickness. 

How to Cure VR Motion Sickness?

If you’re playing a VR game and you start to notice yourself getting nauseous, the first thing to do is stop playing. If you continue to play, it’ll only prolong the symptoms and even make them worse. 

If you feel the symptoms are too unpleasant to handle, there are some solutions you can try out to make them stop. 

Here are some ways to stop VR motion sickness: 

  • Get some fresh air: It’s not clear why people report feeling better after getting fresh air but it definitely does work for many individuals. If you’re playing VR, you’ll most likely be inside. Go outside and breathe in some fresh, cool air. 
  • Ingest some Ginger: Ginger has long been used to treat symptoms of nausea and motion sickness. You could try eating ginger candy or brewing up some ginger tea. 
  • Take some first-generation antihistamines: First-generation antihistamines such as Benadryl and Dramamine have long been used to treat symptoms of motion sickness. However, do consult a doctor to ensure you’re not susceptible to any side effects.
  • Try some aromatherapy: Oils such as ginger or lavender can also help reduce symptoms of motion sickness. If you have a room diffuser, turn it on and breathe in the scent to alleviate the symptoms. 

How to Prevent VR Motion Sickness?

There are a few ways to prevent VR motion sickness. 

Some of them include buying additional products and that’s something that may only be a suitable option for some people. This is because not everyone can afford expensive accessories for their VR setup. 

How to Prevent VR Motion Sickness

These products are: 

  • VR treadmills: These treadmills allow you to walk in place in order to traverse in a VR space. Since they simulate actual movement with your body, you won’t have any nausea issues. 
  • Low-latency VR games: There’s a high chance that the games you’re currently playing are high-latency. Switch to low-latency games that have a little delay between you doing an action and that action showing up on the screen. 

If you can’t afford a VR treadmill or if you want to play a particular VR game, but it makes you nauseous, then you have some other options. 

These options are: 

  • Scopolamine patches: This is a prescription anticholinergic drug that is administered with the help of a patch that is pasted on the back of your ear. You can wear it while playing VR to prevent motion sickness issues. 
  • Play on an empty stomach: The easiest way to prevent nausea issues is to play VR games on an empty stomach. This will allow you to have a much better chance of not developing motion sickness. 
  • Antihistamine medication: While Benadryl and Dramamine can be ingested after you develop motion sickness symptoms to stop them, they can also be taken beforehand. This will allow you to prevent nausea issues when you play. 
  • Wear an anti-nausea wristband: You can buy an anti-nausea wristband and wear it while you play VR games. They work by sitting on the nausea pressure point called Nei Guan or P6. 

Wrapping Things Up… 

Chances are that if you own a VR headset, you’ll experience motion sickness at some point during usage. 

It’s nothing to worry about, however, as we’ve detailed a number of different ways that you can stop and prevent such issues. 

It’s also important to take regular breaks because even if you don’t experience any symptoms at first, they could develop over a prolonged VR session. 

How do you prevent motion sickness issues when you play VR? Let us know your tips in the comments section below.  

Author

  • Victor Marquez

    Victor is the Editor in Chief at Techtyche. He tests the performance and quality of new VR boxes, headsets, pedals, etc. He got promoted to the Senior Game Tester position in 2021. His past experience makes him very qualified to review gadgets, speakers, VR, games, Xbox, laptops, and more. Feel free to check out his posts.

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