How to Build a Virtual Reality Room – Complete Overview with FAQs, Tips, & More

Are you wondering how you can build a virtual reality room?

Let’s find out.

How to Build a Virtual Reality Room?

You must create a safe physical boundary between your play space and your spectator space. For example, if you have a large open room, you might want to use a wall or two.

Move a couch to the opposite side of the room from where you usually sit, place it against the wall, and then place a screen or television on the wall.

How Much Space Do I Really Need for Virtual Reality?

Depending on what type of VR experience you want to create, the size of your VR room will vary.

Seated Experience

If you plan on having a seated interaction only, then you don’t need anything beyond the area where your desk sits.

Standing Experience

Standing VR experiences require at least a 1-metre by 1-metre area (3ft by 3ft) for optimal comfort. Ideally, you’d prefer slightly more space than this. Ideally, you would want slightly more space than this if you have it.

Room Scale

To get the best experience from room-based VR, you need a space big enough to move around comfortably. HTC suggests a minimum playing area of 1.5m by 3m.

You need at least 1 square meter (1 sq m) of floor space. If you have space available, then use it; otherwise, just get as large an enclosure as you can fit into your room.

Do I Need High Ceilings for VR?

Do I Need High Ceilings for VR?

The height requirement for HTC’s VIVE Tracking Stands isn’t exactly fixed. They say “mount them at an angle and above head height”.

Mounting Requirments

At present, the Oculus Rift VR headset doesn’t offer quite as large of an immersive room-scale type environment as the one offered by HTC Vive. They don’t seem to require any special mounting arrangements with respect to the height of their bases.

They seem to think that they will be approximately the same height as your monitor and that you will have two monitors placed directly next to each other.

You may not want to permanently install your tracking stations/sensor or you may want to test different locations before installing them permanently.

To do so, purchase some tripod mounts or light stands and set up your stations/sensors at different locations. Then, when you’re happy with the results, install the stations/sensors permanently.

Important Things to Consider When Setting Up a VR Room

Make sure your space has no obstructions and is free from anything that could interfere with your ability to track your movements. You won’t be able to see your real-world surroundings when you’re inside the VR world.

Both HTC and Oculus provide systems for warning you when you approach the boundaries of your playing field, but they presume that you’ve already removed any trip hazards or other obstacles that could interfere with your game.

Clear

Make sure that your playing space is free from any obstacles that could cause injuries.

Low Ceiling Fans

If people are flailing their limbs in VR, consider not having low-ceiling fans. Instead, replace them with a non-glassy lighting fixture.

If you really want a fan, then get a low-profile one mounted on a stand, perhaps in the corner of the gaming room. It might even help to add some ambiance if you’re playing an immersive game.

Virtual Boundaries

Don’t put your virtual boundary right at the edges of the room; instead, place it slightly inside the room so that there’s a bit of a buffer zone between you and the physical walls.

Network Requirements for Your VR Room

If you decide to use a wireless router for your VR setup, make sure that you have a good network cable connected to it. For multiplayer games, an ethernet cable would probably be the best choice.

If you don’t already have an Ethernet connection available, consider purchasing a power line networking system that uses your home’s existing electrical wiring to transmit network signals.

Make sure that at the very least you have a strong Wi‑Fi signal available.

Get Rid of (or Cover) Items That May Cause VR Tracking Interference

If you’re using an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, mirrors and windows may interfere with the motion-tracked controllers.

If these things aren’t moveable, consider covering them up with a cloth or something so that they won’t be reflected by the motion-tracker lights.

To determine whether a mirror or other reflective surfaces affect your tracker, you need to experiment by looking at different mirrors and reflective surfaces. If you notice a problem, then look for something else that could cause the problem.

Managing Those Pesky Head-Mounted Display (HMD) Cables

The second most important thing when setting up your VR room is making sure that the cables connecting your computer to your VR headset are as unobtrusive and easy to hide as possible.

Cable clutter is one of the biggest issues for virtual reality (VR) enthusiasts. To avoid tripping over cables, some VR enthusiasts have built elaborate ceiling-mounted cable storage solutions while others moved their computers out of sight altogether.

You’re free to choose whatever level of cable management you’d like, but be careful not to cause any damage.

There are already wireless charging solutions available for purchase, which could eliminate the need for cables entirely in the near future.

What Kind of Flooring Should I Use in My VR Room?

Flooring plays an important role when designing a VR room because of several reasons.

Safety

There are lots of opportunities for physical activity in VR. Some games involve walking, climbing, running in circles, shooting, and so forth. You’ll need comfortable flooring to perform these activities.

A carpet with a thicker pad underneath would be a good starting point. Interlocking flooring could be even better.

VR Warning Track

The second reason why floorings are so important is that they allow you to include an extra safety feature called a “VR warning track.”

An ideal solution for VR would include a warning track that tells players they’re about to run into something.

By using foam-padded tiles for the play space, but leaving some gaps between the edges of the tiles and the walls, you could give people a subtle tactile clue that they’re near the boundaries of their safe zone.

It’s a subtle way to give the user an indication that he or she should turn around and head in another direction or at least be cautious.

Conclusion

Creating a VR play area isn’t rocket science, but it does take a little bit of time and effort.

You’ll need to plan ahead and do some research to determine how much space you really need for your VR setup.

If you have any questions feel free to comment 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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