View Full Version : Videogames and motion sickness/migraines..

Creeping Death
18-01-2012, 01:54 AM
Hey folks. So I've seen quite a few people on these forums mentioning that certain games cause them to get headaches or suffer from motion sickness and recently, for the first time ever, I've had it happen to me too. The culprit in my case is Skyrim. Even if I play for less than an hour I'm left with a terrible migraine that'll linger for the next 24 hours or so. It's a real shame as it seems to be a great game but I doubt I'll ever finish it now :/

Anyway, I thought I'd create this thread out of curiosity for people to discuss what other games they've been having problems with? Or perhaps tips that some long suffering gamers could share to lessen the symptons or delay their onset.

18-01-2012, 02:37 AM
You might consider adjusting your FOV (field of view) setting in the .ini files. FOV is often a cause of nausea or headaches while playing games. Here's a mod that does it (http://www.skyrimnexus.com/downloads/file.php?id=3737) if you're not sure about messing with ini files. The default is 80, 90 seems to make it more comfortable for many people.

18-01-2012, 02:41 AM
I've suffered migraines for 30+ years - so that really eliminates games as a main trigger as they'd barely been invented and I'd certainly not played one! ;)

I've not really had motion sickness either but some games do have a weird effect on me. Worst case ever was "The Ball" - I don't know if it was the FoV, the "brownery" or the fact you're focussed on this massive ball a lot of the time, but 30 mins of it would leave my head spinning/me feeling a bit sick.

18-01-2012, 03:16 AM
Yeah, as a fellow sufferer I can assure you that FOV is almost certainly the culprit. Good thing about Bethesda games is they're fairly easy to tinker with, so it won't take you long to Google exactly what you need to alter to fix it.

As for games that are likely to give you problems - basically every first-person game that was released on console and PC will have a default FOV that's suitable for consoles not PCs, ie sitting way back on the couch a few metres away from the screen. Rarely, the game will let you alter the FOV within the game (Deus Ex: HR is a recent example), some will let you fix it in a config program outside the game, some will only work if you alter ini files manually. Some games won't work in any reasonable fashion at all, like with Borderlands you have to bind the FOV change to a key as some actions (such as entering/leaving vehicles) will reset the FOV to the nausea-inducing default, and personally I found the constant changing between FOVs to be worse than just a shitty but constant one.

I think with third-person games it might not be as bad, but is still an issue.

Another idea that will work for many first and third person games is to use a controller and sit back from your computer a bit. Hardly a great solution, but it works to some extent. I found myself playing Darksiders like this, as it was the kind of game that works great on controller anyway.

18-01-2012, 03:42 AM
The first couple of Splinter Cell games. Chaos Theory is alright, but the other two gave me splitting headaches after half an hour. No clue why it's localised to those games, best guess is that you switch a lot between normal and high-contrast night vision view. Not a single other game has ever had this effect on me.

18-01-2012, 06:22 AM
FOV is the main culprit, but don't forget about framerate. Lower the settings until you can get a steady-ish 60 fps and see if you can feel a difference.

18-01-2012, 08:53 AM
I find view bop (or at least a lot of it) can really affect me. Try turning that down, the adjust the FOV and FPS and see if it helps. :)

18-01-2012, 10:10 AM
There are only two games that have ever given me motion sickness. One is Anarchy Online in first-person, which, as Lightbulb said, was fixed by turning off view bob.

The other was inMomentum. I can't figure out whether it's supposed to look like that (which would be a stupid decision) or if it just doesn't like 16:9 resolutions. In any case, I haven't found a fix for that yet. Given the nature of the game, it not only causes motion sickness, but also makes actually playing pretty much impossible because it's impossible to judge distances properly. But that leads me to a point: don't forget that your ideal FOV is dependent on the aspect ratio of your screen. I'm sceptical of any FOV that "works for most people".

Edit: If you know the aspect ratio the game was made for, and the default FOV, you can calculate what the FOV for your aspect ratio should be on this page (http://empire.ispeeds.net/~delphi/wsgf/ARC/fov.html). You might want to play with the numbers a bit, though, because I think it can also depend on how far away you sit from your screen (I think sitting further away should have a smaller FOV, which is why it's ok for console games to have low FOVs while that is unpleasant on PCs - although I may just be making that up).

18-01-2012, 10:24 AM
Half Life is my favourite game ever but I still haven't completed HL2 because of the motion sickness it gave me. I'd feel really ill for a couple of hours after playing it. A damn shame as I was really enjoying what I could play of it.

Never did try changing the FoV though. I'll give that a go some day.