Motion Sickness when playing FPS Games and how to overcome it

Have you ever felt motion sickness while playing video games, especially the FPS type? It’s really unpleasant for some people in a way that leaves them with no option but to stop playing the popular FPS genre. 

stop motion sickness while playing FPS games

Few people talk about the motion sickness they feel while playing FPS games. For some, it may be perceived as a sign of weakness. Others probably don’t make the connection… But motion sickness exists and does affect some players, especially when they play FPS games. What is motion sickness? Why some people can’t play FPS games because of it and how to overcome this problem? 

Motion sickness 

Once associated with sea travel (seasickness) and other means of transport, Motion sickness or kinetosis is a type of cognitive dissonance which is also found generally in 3D games and mainly in FPS games. The brain receives several contradictory pieces of information from its senses and does not know how to resolve this inconsistency. 

In FPS games, this sickness occurs when the visual perception of movement does not correspond to the other senses.  

The symptoms of motion sickness 

Whether the motion sickness is caused when traveling by sea, air, or car travel or even when playing FPS games, the symptoms are the same: 

  • Headaches 
  • Dizziness
  • Heavy sweating 
  • Vomiting 
  • Excessive salivation 
  • Nausea 

What causes FPS games motion sickness? 

This problem is usually caused by several factors related to FPS games’ mechanics, effects, and features. Here is why some people suffer from motion sickness when they play first-person shooter games: 

  • The main cause of motion sickness is head bobbing. This effect is added by developers to bring more realism to FPS games. That is to say in the first person, where you look through the eyes of the character. During the game, when the character runs, shoots, or jumps, the screen reproduces the movements of his head. This makes the image very unstable. 
  • In games like Apex Legends, which is a first-person shooter, the player sees through his character’s eyes and when he runs or shoots, the image twitches and wiggles. This causes nausea and motion sickness for some players. 
  • Wrong Field Of View; very low or extremely high FOV is also one of the main causes of motion sickness. 
  • There are games that require you to look vertically; whether by looking in all directions at a realistic, but not perfect, environment, or by scrolling vertically in a way that makes you feel nauseous. 
  • The problem also comes from the graphics established with more and more realism. The brain can’t tell the difference between reality and computer-generated images. 
  • Activating Motion Blur and Mouse acceleration/mouse smoothing can also cause motion sickness for some players. Same thing when your frame rate is not properly adjusted. 
  • It is very common to suffer from motion sickness when using a virtual reality headset. The brain perceives a movement while the inner ear does not feel it because the user is motionless. 
  • Sitting very close to your monitor or playing FPS games in a dark and confined room can also be the reason behind motion sickness. 

How to stop motion sickness while playing FPS games

You are one of the people who suffer from motion sickness when playing FPS games, here is a list of tips on how to stop motion sickness when you’re playing FPS games: 

  • Disable or lower the head bobbing in the game settings 
  • Turn your FOV up (but not too high), just try to find the suitable FOV settings for you. 
  • Sit further away from the monitor (2 to 3 times the diagonal distance from your screen) 
  • Adjust the game settings: for example, try to disable motion blur and mouse acceleration/mouse smoothing… You can also try to modify them until you get a stable performance 
  • Turn off Depth of field effects to avoid the fake realism effect that can cause motion sickness 
  • Adjust the Frame rate according to your monitor, if you have a 60hz screen, then set the FPS to 60 
  • When you play first-person shooter games, avoid staring at moving objects. 
  • Try to change your environment (the place where you play, your surroundings). Light the room as much as possible. You can also increase the brightness of the game in the settings. 
  • Do not play on an empty stomach by eating a light meal (avoid alcohol and fatty foods). Drink regularly and, if possible, a sweetened drink. 
  • Chew gum and take ginger pills or drink fresh ginger tea. Breathe deeply and calmly. Do not smoke, especially while playing. 
  • Sleep at least 8 hours per night 

We hope these tips help you treat and overcome motion sickness when you play FPS games. You should never give up playing your favorite FPS games even when the symptoms appear because the optimal solution is to keep trying until you get used to the game that used to cause you motion sickness.  

You can also try to take regular breaks (every 15 to 30 minutes). There are many players who have managed to treat motion sickness and you too can do it. All you need is strong determination! 

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