Virtual reality has myriad applications in education, professional training, travel, and health care. However, the biggest and most popular sector of the VR world is the gaming industry. More technology and video game companies are dipping their toes into the virtual world every day, and increasing numbers of gamers are following suit. VR headsets are easy to use in the comfort of your own home, but depending on the system you purchase, you may need to clear some space in your home to use it. Due to this, it can be a great idea to set up a specific VR room at home that’s always ready no matter when you plan to play.
A room for virtual reality doesn’t usually have to be particularly large. Every VR model comes with its own space requirements, but as long as you have a fully cleared area where you won’t be bumping into anything that could break or hurt you, you have enough space for virtual reality. If this means you only have a small corner of your home or apartment to use your headset, then that’s OK, as long as you’re safe while you play.
Depending on the system you choose, the VR room size will vary, as they all have different space requirements. The HTC Vive suggests the movement space should have a diagonal area of up to 5 meters, while the PS VR suggests a total space of 10 feet by 10 feet. The Oculus Quest 2, on the other hand, suggests an unobstructed play area of at least 6.5 feet by 6.5 feet. These are just a few examples of how much space may be necessary for a virtual reality room at home, but some systems offer the option to stay in one spot, which eliminates the need for a lot of space.
Coming up with your own VR room setup doesn’t have to be a difficult task. In fact, the less stuff in the room, the better off you are! The only important thing is that you should have a space that is safe and free of obstacles that could cause you injury or affect the sensor tracking on your headset. Don’t forget to look up: Your virtual reality room layout should not include a ceiling fan if you have a low ceiling, as some games may require you to raise your hands and wave them around.
The most important VR room equipment to have is a good network connection, such as an Ethernet connection or a strong Wi-Fi signal. Many VR systems also require a connection to a PC, so you should keep your VR system in the same room as your PC.
There are no specific VR room requirements that dictate how much you should be expected to pay. At a bare minimum, it will cost a couple of hundred dollars to buy a VR headset for your space, but your equipment cost could run into the thousands if you choose a headset that requires a powerful PC to work properly. Luckily for your wallet, those are the only expensive things that are absolutely necessary to make your VR room ideas a reality. Beyond that, creating a good VR space mostly requires removing things, like furniture that could be an obstacle while you play, rather than buying new things.
If you have the opportunity to personally design your virtual reality room, decorating it appropriately can help you stay safe and comfortable. Since some games will require activities like crawling, jumping, and/or running in place, you will want a carpet with thick padding underneath or interlocking foam tiles so you can perform these actions safely. You might also consider adding a warning track similar to those on baseball fields: If you surround your play area with a different type of flooring (like tile instead of carpet or vice versa), it will help you realize when you’re moving outside of your safe play area without ruining the immersion.
Another important part of a good VR room plan is covering any windows and mirrors in the room, as light reflecting off of them can cause tracking interference. Obviously, you can’t remove the windows, but covering them with blackout curtains can keep sunlight from getting in when you don’t want it. Mirrors can be covered with a thick blanket or towel. Not every window or mirror will cause issues if it’s outside of the tracking area, so there might be some trial and error involved, but once you figure it out, you will have a much less intrusive gaming experience.