PlayStation Virtual Reality can be a fiddly thing, but the immersion when it works is so great that you should certainly take the time to optimise it. Here’s where to put the Sony PSVR camera for the best possible experience.
Where should I put the PSVR camera?
The most important thing for improving PSVR tracking is the placement of the camera. Surprisingly, Sony’s advice on this is pretty vague: “Set up your PlayStation camera where it will have a good view of the entire play area. On top of the television is usually best, but you can also set it up at the base of your TV.”
Suffice it to say, the wide consensus is that putting it at the base of your TV isn’t really an option. Reddit and developers argue that it needs to be high up, especially if you’re playing a game that involves standing. This is the setup recommended by Owlchemy Labs, developer of the excellent Job Simulator:
In my setup, the camera is actually stuck to the wall, as high as the cable will stretch from the PS4. It’s pointing downwards, so it takes in as much of the play area as possible.
However, I can’t ignore the fact that I – at 6ft 4in – am taller than average, and that may play a part. Indeed, Android Central found that the height of the player had a direct impact on optimal placement of the camera. You need the camera to be a little above your head, no matter what your height.
This seems to work best, but the consensus – unfortunately – is that optimum performance varies from game to game. So much so, in fact, that one Redditor has sought to keep an active Google Doc listing the best place for the camera in each title.
One final thing to note: you don’t actually have to have the camera facing the same way as your TV at all. It may make intuitive sense that the TV is in front of you when you’re playing, but given you can’t see it anyway, the output is more for spectators than for you. If you can’t find a sweet spot by putting it above your TV, you could try attaching it to a tripod off to one side.
Any other tips for preventing PSVR tracking issues?
It’s not all about the placement of the PSVR camera, of course. It’s also about where you stand relative to the camera. Sony recommends a room space of at least 9.8ft by 6.2ft, and you need a bit of distance between you and the camera so it can take in the headset and your gamepad/Move controllers.
How far you are from the camera varies from game to game too. It’s not an exact science, but one redditor reckons the sweet spot is 4ft for cockpit games, 4-5ft for seated gameplay, and 6-9ft for standing games.
The biggest issue for tracking, though, is ambient lighting. Basically: the darker the better, so if you’re playing in summer, you may need to draw the curtains and block out any light you can. Look for other lights which can confuse the PSVR camera too: charging lights, lamps and so on.
Even reflective surfaces can throw off the tracking if light bounces off them. If you have any mirrors in view of the camera, it may be best to cover them if you can.
To be clear, I still get tracking issues, even by following these rules to the letter. With only one camera for tracking, PSVR is never going to be as accurate as a Vive or an Oculus Rift. But given the low price of admission and the great game library Sony has pulled together, it’s a small price to pay overall.
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