VR doesn't have to tie you to a room. Use these tips to move around and share the virtual love.
While phone-based VR systems — Gear VR, Daydream View, Google Cardboard — are by nature quite portable, the PC-based systems and PlayStation VR aren't as easy to tote around. It's fun to stay at home and slip into a virtual world, but it's the season of sharing! That's why the 10th day of VR tech tips is all about making your setup as portable as possible. Use this guide to easily move your setup around, and enjoy the awe you bring to friends and family.
The beauty of the phone-based VR systems is that you're most likely already carrying around a phone in your pocket. That means, other than an optional controller that can no doubt also slip into a pocket, you're left to contend with the headset.
A carrying case is always a good idea, as it will keep the headset and lenses from collecting dirt, smudges, or scratches. Have a look at our accessory guides for some great case options, as well as other goodies you'll want to bring along.
If you're traveling a long distance, you might want to use your VR headset along the way. In that case, you should pre-load a few essential apps to help pass the time.
The PSVR, with its camera, Move controllers, headset, and cables, isn't as easy to carry around with you, and that's without factoring in the size of the actual PlayStation 4. This isn't something you can take out and use while en route, but there are solutions for getting it to a fixed location. This is delicate hardware, so you always want to make sure it's protected. Lots of padding and a dust cover should be used at all times, and care should be taken to avoid any serious bumps.
Some savvy accessory companies have created carrying cases designed for PSVR, some of which actually fit both the VR system and the console. If you're looking for more great accessories, portable or not, also be sure to check out our accessory guide.
HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows Mixed Reality
PC-based VR systems are tied to, well, a PC, but you don't have to be stuck hauling around your 30-pound gaming rig, monitor, and peripherals. Gaming laptops have come a long way in catching up to tower PCs, and we've seen some satisfying performance in our testing. If you foresee a future that holds a lot of traveling with your VR setup, a laptop will definitely come in handy.
- Exclusively using a laptop for VR is downright awesome
- Now this is how you make a portable VR-ready desktop!
- These are the best laptops for VR
- Best laptops for Windows Mixed Reality
- How to build your own VR backpack
As for the actual VR system, you're going to want to invest in some protection for the headset, controllers, and external sensors (in the case of the Vive and Rift). Like the PSVR, there are some great options when it comes to carrying cases. Options for both the Vive and Rift translate well to Windows Mixed Reality.
Once you arrive at your destination, VR system in tow, there are some things to keep in mind.
- Your laptop's battery will not be enough to keep everything running. Bring your charging cable.
- Run through the initial setup in every new area. Boundaries are important and will prevent a TV or controller from getting smashed.
- Don't bother with VR outdoors. Sunlight will mess with tracking.