Planning a VR get-together? The here’s everything you need to make sure your party runs smoothly.
While some group of friends prefer the company of drunken strangers in bars, others prefer equally intoxicating activities with people they know. Some groups like working out, others like movie nights. Occasionally, some people even indulge in some board game role play.
When the world is dark and full of terrors, a temporary escape to a different life seems like a breath of fresh air. Thankfully, you can now do this from the comfort of your home using virtual reality.
Here are some quick tips on how to nail that perfect VR party set up and bring everyone else for the ride.
Choosing the Right VR Console
If you already have your console, you don’t have to worry about finding one anymore. But, if you are planning to rent one for a party, then there are a few things that you should consider. As of writing, the leading virtual reality systems are PSVR and Oculus. Here’s how to decide which one is right for your VR party.
Should You Get a PSVR?
Best for those who already own a PlayStation console, the PSVR is a straightforward option that you can connect to your PSN account, store, and games easily. The PSVR acts like an extension for the PlayStation 4 or 5, so this means that it cannot stand alone without a console.
If you don’t own a PlayStation Camera yet, you will also need to purchase or borrow one for the PSVR system to work. As it as an external add-on, you can expect to fiddle with several wires when setting up.
Undoubtedly, the PSVR is a bulky device that is not fit for portability. However, this will not matter if your party is just home. Although, these wires can be annoying for games that require a lot of movement and can put you at risk for tripping.
The PSVR Move controllers are also not as comfortable or intuitive to use as the Oculus controllers. Because of their light-based capabilities, they’re prone to having a variety of detection issues.
Despite not being wireless, the PSVR headset is a known for comfort. With its constant power supply, you will never have to worry about running out of battery. For these reasons, the PSVR is a great pick for games with long playing times.
Should You Get an Oculus Quest 2?
Oculus Quest 2 is a cheaper alternative to the PSVR. Oculus Quest 2 also works as a standalone VR console that is compatible with any PC which meets its minimum requirements. In fact, Oculus Quest 2 even has a larger library of existing games than the PSVR, which you can access through platforms like Steam.
The Oculus Quest 2 controllers are also a step above the PSVR Move controllers, which along with the headset are completely wireless. The Oculus Quest 2 headset even has a nifty feature wherein you can tap its side to see the room through its sensors and camera. Unlike the PSVR, you don’t have to remove your headset to see your friends’ reaction when you top their scores.
Although, because the Oculus Quest 2 is a wireless device, it becomes a double-edged sword when it comes to party use. While the wireless set up lets Oculus users move around more freely, its short battery life of 2-3 hours limits the device in terms of keeping the party going.
Unlike the PSVR, the Oculus Quest is a plug-and-play device. It’s lightweight, easy-to-use, and portable for all those parties where plugs may be scarce. If you’re planning a VR party under the stars, the Oculus Quest 2 might be for you.
Mount Your Screens
While the person with the VR headset will get remarkable 360-degree views, the people watching them can also have an enjoyable experience. Instead of just a TV, you can usefor a wider view. If you decide to go down the projector route, don’t forget to mount external speakers as well, as most projectors don’t have this included.
In addition, commercial VR consoles are often single player only. Unless you have multiple VR headsets for multi-player gamers, you should also consider mounting additional screens and gaming consoles for other people to use when waiting for their turn.
Clear Your Space
When it comes to VR, it’s easy to get lost in a virtual world and forget about everything and everyone around you in the real world. Unfortunately, this can also lead to various injuries and accidents. For this reason, a certain amount of space is necessary to play each game.
If possible, choose a wide open space with few obstructions that you can hit or trip on while playing. Before your guests even arrive, make sure to test your VR gaming space for all the games that you need. While you’re at it, make sure that the room is cool enough to keep things comfortable, too.
Use Accessibility Tools
For VR parties with older guests or those with physical disabilities, virtual reality can be intimidating. Regardless of age, many first time VR users also have problems with. Thankfully, there are several things that you can do to make it more accessible for everyone.
It’s possible to use various external hardware and software devices that can assist and enhance their playing experience. Whether it is a treadmill, steering wheel, or shoes, the right hardware can help people unfamiliar with VR more comfortable.