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Virtual reality, or VR, has increased in popularity and accessibility over the last few years. With multiple comparable devices and platforms available, what might have seemed like science fiction is now part of some peoples’ regular gaming routines. VR is something you can have in your own home and use anytime, but it might not work for everyone. Here we’ll go over the important things to consider when setting up VR in your home.
While each VR device on the market is different, most have basic requirements for physical space. Most companies recommend a minimum of 3 feet by 3 feet space to sit or stand and ideally more. Because a VR headset will completely disguise your surroundings, you won’t know if you’re about to bump into an end table or even a wall. Setting a clear boundary on the floor will help keep you (and your furniture) safe.
It’s a common misconception that you need high ceilings for a successful VR setup. In actuality, only one of the VR sets available on the market has sensors you attach to ceilings or walls. Otherwise there are no height requirements beyond what makes sense for your personal height. Some sensors you can attach to the top of a computer monitor, while others you can place using free-standing mounts like camera tripods.
Not all VR games require the internet, but a solid connection is essential for multiplayer gaming. Connecting directly via wired Ethernet connection is ideal, though Wi-Fi will also work as long as the signal is powerful enough. This is another thing that’s important to factor in to your VR design plans, as having the router nearby can give you an advantage.
Unfortunately, VR comes with a lot of cables that can cause frustration and even safety hazards if not properly managed. The most common issue is the head mounted display cables that connect to your PC or other platform. While these cables are typically extremely long to allow for flexibility and movement, it’s easy to trip over them. Some VR enthusiasts use ceiling-mounted cable management systems to keep these cables off of the floor and out of the way.
Technically, there is no type of flooring required for using VR. However, a lot of VR games and apps available encourage physical movement and exercise. Depending on the game, you might be jumping, crawling, jogging in place or crouching on the floor. Most experts recommend setting up your VR system in a room that has carpeting, ideally with thick padding underneath. Other options include large foam mats or interlocking tiles, which come with the added convenience of movement and storage when VR time is over.
If you’re considering bringing VR into your home gaming life, it’s important to be mindful of your environment. Staying safe is key, but the better outfitted your room is for VR, the more fun you’ll have. Measure carefully and look for retailers that have rental options so you can give this technology a try.