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PlayStation VR: Common problems and how to fix them

There’s nothing better than pulling a PlayStation VR headset from its packaging, putting it on your head for the first time, and diving into the wonderful worlds that only virtual reality can deliver. Virtual reality is intense, surreal, and unlike anything we’ve seen in video games before.

At the same time, there’s nothing worse than plugging in your PSVR for the first time, only to discover that it isn’t working the way it’s supposed to. To help you iron out the kinks, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common problems plaguing Sony’s VR headset, as well as the steps you can take to rectify them. Not all of these will affect every user — particularly those pertaining to motion sickness — and not every solution we put forth is guaranteed to fix your problem. For more serious issues, you’ll likely have to contact Sony directly.

With the announcement that Sony is developing a successor to this VR headset, there’s never been a better time to dive into the world of virtual reality.

Further reading:

How to get in touch with Sony

Phone: 1-800-345-7669

Unofficial VR Reddit

Helpful Articles

Twitter: @AskPlayStation

Your headset has tracking issues

PlayStation VR
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

If your PlayStation VR headset isn’t tracking your movement properly, you might see an “outside of area” message appear or notice that your in-game avatar is moving without your direct input.


The problem could be related to lighting, as the PlayStation Camera is primarily tracking your headset via a number of blue lights on its surface. Tracking issues can happen for a variety of reasons, however, so don’t lose hope if the first few solutions don’t work for you.

  • Make sure that no other light source is interfering with the PlayStation VR headset or camera. Sony has noted that the tracking issue can stem from light reflecting off a window or mirror, so if possible, cover these up. After you’ve adjusted any nearby light sources, you’ll need to adjust the PlayStation Camera. To do this, go to Settings, select Devices, and choose PlayStation Camera.
  • If your lights don’t appear to be the problem, make sure you’re within the designated play area and that the PlayStation Camera can see you clearly. If possible, position yourself about six feet away from the camera, with your headset clearly displayed in the picture.
  • If the aforementioned steps don’t work, wipe both PlayStation Camera lenses with a cloth. The problem could be caused by a dirty lens.
  • A variety of Bluetooth devices can interfere with your headset’s signal. Make sure that all controllers — including any PlayStation Move controllers — are tied to the same user account as your headset and controllers.
  • If none of these steps solve your problem, then your tracking issues are likely caused by a hardware problem. Thankfully, you can easily set up a repair using Sony’s Online Service Tool.

Headset won’t power on or turns off

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Perhaps one of the issues you’re running into has to do with turning the headset on or off. There are several cables that must be plugged into your headset, processor box, and PlayStation 4 console in order for the system to work properly — including a USB cable, two HDMI cables, a power cable, and a cable running directly to the headset. Ensure these are correctly connected before you start troubleshooting your headset.


If your headset is plugged in correctly and won’t turn on, the problem could stem from either the PSVR system software or a piece of hardware.

  • Update the PSVR system software before you try any other steps, which can be done in a similar manner to the PlayStation Camera. To do so, go to Settings and select Devices. Then, select PlayStation VR system software.
  • If your headset still isn’t working, check and make sure that the processor unit’s light is white. If it’s red, turn off your system, unplug the processor unit, plug it back in, and try to turn on both your console and headset. If this doesn’t work, you’ll need to contact PlayStation Support directly, which you can do using the following phone number: 1-800-345-7669.
  • If the light on the processor box is white and you still can’t see your PS4’s display through the headset, make sure that all HDMI and USB cables are plugged in correctly, as well as the headset’s connection cable. Then, try all other additional cables to make sure they aren’t causing the problem.
  • If changing cables doesn’t fix your issue, try cleaning the “attachment sensor” — located in the front of the headset — with a cloth.
  • If these steps don’t work, your headset likely needs to be repaired. To set up a repair, contact Sony using the following number: 1-800-345-7669.

On-screen image is blurry

PlayStation VR
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

One of the most common PSVR problems is a blurry picture, but this can often be solved by simply adjusting the device to better fit your eye orientation and unique head measurements.


You should be able to eradicate any blurry images in just a few minutes by checking a few settings and properly adjusting the PSVR to fit your head. This will likely have to be done again if a different player wears the headset.

  • Using the Quick Menu on your PS4 — which can be brought up by pressing the PlayStation button in the middle of your controller — select Adjust PlayStation VR and Adjust headset position. The “scope adjustment button” located at the bottom of your headset and the “headband release button” located on the back can both be used to give you an accurate, comfortable fit. After you put on the headset, use the rear dial to adjust the picture. This will likely fix any blur issues you might be experiencing.
  • If this doesn’t solve your problem, you may need to adjust the headset’s “eye-to-eye” distance. To do so, select Settings and choose Devices. Then, select PlayStation VR, choose eye-to-eye distance, and follow the on-screen instructions. The PlayStation Camera will then measure your face — just make sure you are about 70 centimeters away.
  • If these steps don’t clear up the blur issues, you’ll likely need to send in your PSVR for repairs. To set up a repair, contact Sony using the following number: 1-800-345-7669.

On-screen image is “drifting”

PlayStation VR Camera
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

While using the PSVR headset, either in “cinematic” mode or when playing VR-enabled games, you may notice your picture drifting to one side of the display.


This is a common issue that, in many cases, can be fixed simply by adjusting the camera or quickly re-calibrating your headset.

  • If you’re playing a standard PS4 game or watching a movie using PSVR and the picture has drifted to one side, Sony recommends simply pressing and holding the “options” button on your controller. This will re-position the screen and should fix the issue.
  • For PSVR-enabled games, drifting is more than likely caused by the PlayStation Camera rather than the headset. Make sure you’re positioned directly in front of the camera, with about 5 or 6 feet between you and the device. Also, make sure the camera isn’t on a vibrating or moving surface. If it is, this could be because of its proximity to your PS4. Consider reorganizing your consoles and equipment if this is the case.
  • Some users have also reported success when switching from the new, cylindrical PlayStation Camera to the older design, which is more stable and resistant to vibrations.
  • If these steps don’t work, Sony suggests placing the headset on a stable, vibration-free location for 10 seconds.

PlayStation VR is making you sick

PlayStation VR
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

VR sickness is a very common occurrence, particularly with people who experience motion sickness while on roller coasters and in high-speed vehicles. The caveat of immersive virtual reality is that it can affect your equilibrium and balance, causing you to feel queasy when you are, in fact, completely motionless.


No single solution is going to alleviate everyone’s VR-induced nausea, but there are a few steps you’ll want to try — detailed by PlayStation VR users — in order to make your PSVR experience as pleasant and vomit-free as possible.

  • Don’t play standing up. The vast majority of PSVR games are meant to be played sitting down. If you’re feeling nauseous and your sense of balance is already off, you risk not only exacerbating the sickness but also injuring yourself.
  • If you start to feel sick, we highly recommend that you don’t ignore those feelings. Try to close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to see if you can settle the nauseousness.
  • Test out a couple of natural remedies. Peppermint and ginger both have fantastic reputations for helping relieve nausea symptoms, and you can mix these spices in with teas or other foods pretty easily.
  • Dramamine is an effective and popular over-the-counter medication to assist with nausea relief and motion sickness. If your natural remedies aren’t helping, and the problem isn’t going away on its own, this medication could be useful. Manufacturers first created the product to ward off carsickness, seasickness, or airsickness, but it’s also useful in VR. This medication does often cause pretty significant drowsiness, so don’t take it if you have to drive or operate heavy machinery. Kids under 12 shouldn’t take the full adult dosage; To be safe, they can try the children’s formula.
  • Consider starting with less-intense virtual reality games or experiences. Below you’ll find a comprehensive chart of PSVR games that are pretty common for making payers sick, as well as alternatives to keep people from feeling queasy. VR should be a fun experience for players—if you find yourself getting sick often, consider sticking to more normal video games. 
Most likely to induce nausea Least likely to induce nausea
Rigs: Mechanized Combat League Job Simulator
EVE: Valkyrie Hustle Kings
Star Wars: Battlefront – Rogue One: X-Wing VR Mission Wayward Sky
Here They Lie Batman: Arkham VR
DriveClub VR Moss
PlayStation VR Worlds — “Scavenger’s Odyssey” game Blood & Truth
Resident Evil 7 in VR mode Rez Infinite
Battlezone Thumper
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim in VR Déraciné
Gran Turismo Sport Vacation Simulator
Borderlands 2 Beat Saber
No Man’s Sky Tetris Effect
Superhot Astro Bot Rescue Mission

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Joseph Yaden
Joseph Yaden is a freelance journalist who covers Nintendo, shooters, and horror games. He mostly covers game guides for…
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