Want to be the best VR gamer? You need lots of room to move around

vr roomscale playspace big score best vive games space pirate trainer
The amount of space you have for your room-scale virtual reality play space may be a big factor in how well you perform in VR games. Accounts by top-scoring VR gamers suggest that if you increase the size of your available play area, you stand a much better chance of surviving and gunning down your virtual enemies.

One of the biggest reasons we originally recommended the HTC Vive over the Oculus Rift was its improved support of what is known as room-scale play: The ability to physically walk around in virtual reality, as opposed to simply sitting in one place. While both headsets now offer solid support for it, room scale is still a major part of VR play as it increases immersion by leaps and bounds. But now it seems like it might make you a better gamer too.

This claim initially appeared in the Vive subreddit, where one of the top-scoring players of high-speed VR shooter, Space Pirate Trainer, suggested that they saw a huge increase in their score when transitioning to a larger play space. A 4-meter-by-3-meter play space enabled them to move around more, giving them more room to dodge projectiles — much more so than they could ever do in a 2-by-2.5-meter space.

Other users with larger play spaces also suggested they had seen improvements or drop-offs in their perceived skill when moving to and from bigger room-scale setups.

This anecdotal evidence is backed up by data from that same game. A look at the current and recent high scores for both HTC Vive and Oculus Rift users shows a significant difference in favor of the Vive. While there is always a chance that is due to improved tracking, the room-scale support for the Vive has been around longer and offers larger space tracking support than the Rift, especially if you are only using two Rift sensor setups.

This evidence is circumstantial and likely dependent on the game but it makes sense that when it comes to dodging enemies, if you have more real-world space to move in, you will have more virtual space too. Similarly, there must be increased confidence that comes from jumping around in a larger space, knowing you are not at risk of hitting walls or precious objects in your home.

However, it is worth pointing out that Space Pirate Trainer was playable on the Vive first, so it may be that Rift users do not play it as much because there was increased competition by the time it was ported over.

Mobile

Google One subscriptions offer more cloud storage for low prices, other perks

Can't get enough storage on Google Drive, Photos, or Gmail? Google One is the new way to boost your cloud storage. But it's not just about more space -- Google One comes with a loads of benefits.
Computing

Steam survey shows PC gamers are still mostly playing in 1080p and lower

Valve Software’s latest hardware and software survey for July 2reveals that 63.72 percent of Steam’s registered members still play games with a 1080p resolution. Even more, only 1.14 percent are playing at a 4K resolution.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Smart Home

How to descale a Keurig and enjoy full cups of coffee again

Here's how to descale a Keurig in your home or office. When scale builds up inside a Keurig, the coffeemaker might start more slowly and struggle to properly pour a cup. Use these tips to fix it.
Gaming

The ‘Fortnite’ sky rift is closing and rumored to disappear next week

Fortnite's giant sky rift that has lit up the sky for the entirety of season 5 is slowly closing and is rumored to completely disappear next week. Find out what's happening and why it is here.
Gaming

‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ gets battle royale ‘Blackout’ beta September 10

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will hold a beta for its battle royale Blackout mode in September, and it will be available first to those who pre-ordered the game on PlayStation 4. The game releases October 12.
Product Review

Brutal and emotional, 'God of War' is everything a blockbuster game should be

In a new land, on a new journey, God of War evolves beyond the button-mashing action of its youth into an action game with engaging combat and an engrossing story.
Product Review

'NBA 2K19' will dunk on you, but don’t worry. You’re going to like it.

NBA 2K19 makes smart changes that force you to dig deep into your bag of tricks to succeed. This might be the most accurate virtual version of NBA basketball yet.
Mobile

How to get ‘Fortnite: Battle Royale’ on an Android device

'Fortnite: Battle Royale' is one of the biggest games in the world right now, and it's finally on Android, even if getting set up is a bit long-winded. Here's how to play 'Fortnite: Battle Royale' on an Android device.
Gaming

Storytelling masterpiece ‘Gone Home’ is headed to the Nintendo Switch

Fullbright's acclaimed first-person adventure game Gone Home will arrive to Nintendo Switch later this month. The game is available now on PC, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Gaming

‘Battlefield V’ pre-order numbers have been underwhelming, analysts say

Market analysts at Cowen have said that the early pre-order numbers for Electronic Arts' upcoming shooter Battlefield V have been disappointing. The game is scheduled to arrive this October.
Computing

Gaming on a laptop has never been better. These are your best options

Gaming desktops are powerful, but they tie you down to your desk. For those of us who prefer a more mobile experience, here are the best gaming laptops on the market, ranging from budget machines to maxed-out, wallet-emptying PCs.
Computing

Asus claims ‘world’s thinnest’ title with its new Zephyrus S gaming laptop

The Republic of Gamers arm at Asus is claiming “world’s thinnest” with the introduction of its new Zephyrus S gaming laptop measuring just 0.58 inches at its thinnest point. The company also revealed the Strix SCAR II.
Gaming

How to connect a Nintendo Switch controller to your PC

Nintendo's Switch controllers, including the Joy-Cons and the aptly titled Pro Controller, use Bluetooth, which makes them compatible with your PC. Here's how to start using them for PC gaming.