VR is better with a rug!
A decent rug is the most cost effective VR upgrade you can make.
A sparsely marked high-contrast rug is recommended, but not required. Any colour that differs from your floor is a good start.
The rug is the only piece of furniture that you can interact with in current VR systems. It makes sense to give it serious consideration.
The Oculus Quest intro focuses on the rug as the starting point for adventure.
Rug too much? Try a mat.
Mats help tracking, but lack some of the benefits that rugs offer.
- Cheaper than a rug.
- Easy to transport and store.
- Zero playspace intuition.
- Reduced safety/comfort.
- Potential slip hazard on smooth floors.
One mat will improve tracking. Add more as required.
Mats are better suited to strategic placement in larger spaces.
Rugs with benefits
1. Improve tracking
Inside-out tracking cameras in modern headsets benefit from clear points of visual interest.
A patterned rug provides the ground features necessary for better tracking when looking down or picking anything up.
Rugs cover up shiny, reflective floors.
It makes sense when you see how Oculus Insight works.
2. Increase comfort
A rug helps every experience feel better,
- Enjoy reliable, predictable traction.
- Soft landing if you lose your balance.
- Comfortable to sit or lie on.
- Avoid damaging controllers if dropped.
- Hide wires and other trip hazards.
- Soften your footfall, reduce noise.
3. Playspace intuition
Feel your available space, especially in socks or barefoot.
Avoid bumping into nearby objects.
Consider setting up your virtual play space definition by tracing the perimeter of your rug.
Going the extra pile
A heavier, non-slip rug is advised for vigorous play. Ensure that the corners have enough weight to stay flat.
Avoid excessively thick pile. Rough contact will subtly change the surface and potentially affect tracking.
Don't fear ugly. Rugs can be rolled up and stored.
If you have been trying to avoid inheriting an old persian rug, maybe now is the time to accept.