Nothing kills a good gaming session quite like motion sickness. The familiar dropping feeling in your stomach and increasing nausea can quickly come on and ruin the game.
Don’t let motion sickness keep you away from your favorite games when changing a few things might help you play without that awful sensation.
Can Video Games Cause Motion Sickness?
Video games can cause motion sickness in some people. It is also called simulator sickness because you aren’t moving — but your brain believes that you are when the perspective on the screen is moving.
What Causes Motion Sickness
Experts aren’t entirely sure why video games can make you feel motion sickness. One theory involves your ears, which are one of the ways your body tells you that you’re moving.
When playing a video game, your eyes give you motion feedback, but your ears know you aren’t moving. The difference in your senses might be what causes motion sickness.
Games to Avoid with Motion Sickness
Certain games are worse than others for those with motion sickness. However, certain solutions can help you play these Motion Sickness Video Games if they’re your preferred titles.
First-person Shooter Motion Sickness Games
Games like Call of Duty or Halo often have a head bob, making it difficult for those with motion sickness to play. However, you can turn off that effect to see whether it was the cause of the motion sickness and, if it was, play on.
And try to avoid using first-person mode as much as possible. Almost all shooter games allow you to play in third-person mode. Try to stick to it. This might be of some assistance to you.
Lego Games Motion Sickness
The Lego Games — which encompass a variety of titles from Batman to Star Wars — can make some players motion sick. Certain people find that it’s the settings causing it and that the feeling is elicited by changing them.
Not all games in the series have the option, but check your video and gameplay settings to see if you can turn off motion blur. If you can, it might help.
Motion Sickness in Minecraft
For people who feel motion sickness while playing Minecraft, sometimes changing your perspective can help. Others find relief by doing one of a few things:
- Change the field of view (FOV) setting. FOV determines how much of the environment is showing while you’re playing. Some people notice a significant increase in their motion sickness when the FOV is set wrong for them. Try bumping it up or down by five points at a time to see if you can make the motion sickness go away.
- Turn off head bobbing or change your player’s perspective.
- Download a new texture pack. Sometimes players struggle with the pixelated nature of the game; something about it seems to trigger motion sickness in certain people. Texture packs can get rid of this issue.
Motion Sickness in VR Games
Virtual reality games give many people a staggering feeling of motion sickness. If you’re new to VR, try playing seated games at first to get used to the sensation of being in VR. Starting with games that require more motion might be too much too fast.
Stop playing as soon as you feel nauseated. It’s possible that the feeling will get worse if you try to push through it. It’s better to let the feeling pass before entering the game again.
Some players have had luck setting up a fan and letting the cool air rush past their bodies while they play.
Mobile Games and Motion Sickness
Since mobile games are often played with a screen close to your face, many of them can trigger motion sickness. If you find yourself getting sick while playing a mobile game, try putting it farther away from you.
It can also help to move your body in the direction of your character in the game — something that is more difficult if the phone is on a stand while you play.
Using a mobile phone with a larger screen or a higher-resolution screen can also help you get rid of motion sickness. You can see detail without keeping it right next to your eyes.
Motion Sickness and the Uncharted Series
Many players have noticed motion sickness occurring when they play entries from the Uncharted series. If this happens to you, try turning down the motion blur. They used a lot of it to overcome FPS issues in specific titles, and it’s a significant reason people feel sick as they play.
Motion Sickness in Third-person Games
While motion sickness isn’t as rampant in third-person games as in those with first-person perspectives, it can still happen. If you’re feeling sick in third-person games, check when it’s happening.
You might be able to decrease it by doing things like swapping to a cinematic camera in cars, turning off motion bob, or changing the FOV.
How to Prevent Motion Sickness in Video Games
You can try a few strategies to make yourself feel less sick while you play your favorite games.
- Sit farther back from the screen. If your face is close to the screen, it might cause you to have difficulty perceiving that you aren’t moving. Scoot back and see if your symptoms are less severe.
- Stand up every so often and take a walk around. Getting away from the screen and breaking that connection can help you play games without motion sickness.
- Give yourself a time limit. Try to notice when you start feeling sick and make a note of it. Play games in shorter increments to stave off the motion sickness.
- Sometimes, ginger candy, peppermint, or gum might help you feel better if you eat it while playing. The action and the flavor itself can help orient you and get rid of your nausea.
- Switch to third-person in games that support different viewpoints. As we’ve discussed abover, sometimes playing in first-person can trigger motion sickness in certain people. Playing in third-person can help you focus on the character instead of the landscape.
- Lower your motion sensitivity to help keep it from feeling like you’re moving very quickly. For some people, that can help you feel less like you’re moving.
- In VR games, try moving your body in the same way that your character is moving in the game. It can help you reduce the feeling of sickness by aligning your body with your senses.
Do Motion Sickness Glasses Work?
I couldn’t find any clinical proof that motion sickness glasses work — or that they don’t. Some people seem to find relief by trying them. If you decide to give them a shot, consider purchasing a pair that comes with a reasonable return policy so you can get your money back if they’re not practical for you.
Many reviewers did seem satisfied with their motion sickness glasses, while others didn’t see any change.