PS VR: Setup, help, and cool tricks

PlayStation VR
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

If you picked up or ordered a PlayStation VR headset, you probably can’t wait to pull it over your head and enter your favorite virtual world (be it mechanized sports arenas, horrific amusement parks, or the bustling streets of London). But hold up! Your experience will be more enjoyable and far less frustrating if you know your way around Sony’s first foray into virtual reality. Here’s what you should know, whether you’re looking for the quickest way to jump right in, or for tips on preventing unwanted eyestrain.

Tips for setting up

PlayStation VR
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Choose and measure your space carefully

The PSVR has cables — lots of cables. These include a direct line to the headset, a cord for your earphones, a cord for the outlet power, a connection to the hub, and hub cables that connect to your TV and PlayStation 4. The PSVR also needs plenty of room, including a 6-by-10-foot space to play in (and that’s when you’re sitting down). We haven’t even gotten to the camera yet, which needs to be about 6 feet away, in a high location that’s not prone to vibrations or light. Just for the record, we find it much easier to play standing up, which makes the in-VR movement seem more natural, so plan your space with standing room if possible.

So, the bad news is that you may have to do some planning and rearranging to create the ideal spot for your PSVR. The good news is that you can this while waiting for your headset to arrive! Just remember, cords, people, pets, and walls can all be physical dangers. Practice your sixth sense, and devote at least a little attention to the real world no matter what you’re doing.

Get important accessories early on

Your PSVR experience can be easily improved with a few smart purchases. Your headset greatly benefits from a separate stand, and a microfiber cloth to use for regular cleaning. When putting the headset on, you may find that a new pair of headphones and a bandana for tying down errant hair are both very helpful. Even more traditional PlayStation accessories like a separate charging dock for your controllers can be an important asset. Consider accessories like these while you are buying the PSVR so you don’t have to worry about them later.

Practice taking the headset on and off

Do this before you try turning anything on. A tight fit is important, so this is the time to test the fit, make adjustments, and figure out how it should rest on your head. Thankfully, the round button on the underside of your device will allow you to quickly disengage the headset. When the fit is right, it should be comfortable and prevent any light coming inside — this is a tough goal, but get as close as you can.

Stay away from Bluetooth devices

The PSVR doesn’t play well with other Bluetooth devices. Yes, we found this to be an occasional problem with modern entertainment systems, which tend to involve at least a couple Bluetooth connections. But it’s a good idea to pick a spot without competing signals, or to at least turn off nearby Bluetooth devices before setting up your PSVR.

Use the Adjust settings

There is a customization segment during the setup process, but we suggest paying a visit to the Adjust settings once you’re officially out of the setup process. These options will help you position your Camera, adjust tracking lights, and adjust the lights on your headset and controllers. Go through all of these to create a more stable, reliable response.

Additionally, keep all lights and reflections away from the camera’s “eye.” The PSVR camera can be particularly testy about light and other distractions. If you’re having a problem with tracking, then look to the camera first. Make sure it hasn’t fallen out of alignment, or isn’t facing a window or screen of any kind. Try turning off any nearby lights, too.

If a particular game is giving you trouble, try making some very slight adjustments to the Camera, since the best angle/distance can differ from game to game. This is easier to do once you have a little experience in how the camera and general setup behave.

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