Introduction to Best Practices

The VR best practices are designed to help you create great VR content.

VR is awesome. VR opens a world of possibilities by creating the sensation of being entirely transported into a virtual (or real, but digitally reproduced) three-dimensional world. VR provides a visceral and immersive experience that traditional screen-based media cannot. These best practices will help you develop VR experiences that users will enjoy.

This guide contains some tips about how to make the best possible VR experiences for your users. We’ll make some specific recommendations about how to make comfortable experiences; however, VR is a young medium and all developers are responsible for ensuring that their content conforms to all standards and industry best practices for safety and comfort and to keep abreast of scientific research and industry standards.

The recommendations in this guide are starting points for designing a comfortable game or application. Your application or use case may have different requirements than the best practices identified in this guide. This guide will not offer performance optimization or technical development recommendations. Information about optimizing your app can be found in the Mobile Testing and Troubleshooting and the Rift Optimizing Your Application guides.

There are still aspects of VR that haven’t been studied enough to make definitive statements about how to make a comfortable experience for all users. Simply following the recommendations in this guide does not guarantee a comfortable or enjoyable experience. Iterative user testing of your content is critical. We count on you, the community of Oculus developers, to provide feedback and help us mature these VR best practices.

Safety First

If VR experiences ignore fundamental best practices, they can lead to simulator sickness in some people. Simulator sickness is a combination of symptoms clustered around eyestrain, disorientation, and nausea. Therefore, it is important that you follow these best practices or in the alternative, solutions that you have developed to minimize simulator sickness.

Certain types of images are believed to be capable of triggering photosensitive seizures in a small portion of the population. The International Standards Organization has published ISO 9241-391:2016 as a standard for image content to reduce the risk of photosensitive seizures. You are responsible for reviewing the standards and literature on photosensitive seizures and image safety and designing content that conforms to these standards.

Additionally, excessive use without breaks is not recommended for developers, end-users, or the device. Please review the Health and Safety Warnings at www.oculus.com/warnings. We encourage you to review all of the Health and Safety Warnings as they may impact the development of your content.

Technical and Content Requirements

Not covered in this guide are the technical and content requirements that you must follow for your app to be distributed in the Oculus Store. These are detailed in the Designing for Distribution guide.

If you plan to submit an application to the Store, it is important to familiarize yourself with our Store guidelines and design toward those metrics from the beginning. Even if you do not wish to ship an app through the Oculus Store, many of those guidelines reflect what we have found to be the basis for an enjoyable, immersive experience, and we recommend thoroughly reviewing them either way.

Experiment, Experiment, Experiment

The suggestions in this guide are by no means the only mechanisms that could work for specific applications. We encourage you to experiment and try different techniques. Maybe your app will benefit from doing the opposite of some things we’ve suggested. The only way to know is to experiment.

Wanted: Feedback

Find something interesting that you want to share about these topics? Post it to the Game Design forums, we (and the VR community) appreciate any input you’d like to share.