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Locomotion are ways to move through the virtual worlds of VR.

Locomotion Methods

See also: Locomotion Methods
MethodTypeRequired DevicesDescriptionProsConsCreatorExamples
Motion-tracked controllersPlayers move by swinging their arms as if they are running but do not move their legs.Works in most types of games and experiences
More immersive than teleportation
Cannot use weapons or perform actions with hands while moving.Http://electricnightowl.com/
Astral bodySeated
NoneFirst person when you need to interact with the environment, Third person when you need to run around in the environmentEasy to navigate and interact
Immersion breaking for some??????
Motion-tracked controllersBuilds upon Teleportation to create 3 more types of movement techniques called Cinematic Blink, Precision Blink and Volume BlinkReduce simulator sickness
Allows for the scaling of play space sizes
???Cloudhead GamesThe Gallery - Episode 1: Call of the Starseed
Head-mounted displayBob or shake the HMD to move, you'll need to run or bounce in place to activate the mechanism,??????Http://cubic9.com/ cubic9
Motion-tracked controllersPlayers climb up walls, mounts and other objects by swinging their hands and pulling triggers to grab.No VR sicknessCan pretty much only travel verticallyClimbey
The Climb
CloudstepSeatedGamepadUsing the analog stick from a gamepad, players will move in that direction in discreet steps, similar to miniature teleportations. This method removes all vection, hence eliminating simulator sickness with first person locomotion.Reduces simulator sickness and improve player comfort???IrisVR
VR Bits
Cockpit / VehicleSeated
NoneHave a cockpit around the player prevents VR sickness, it allows most players feel they are within a stable environmentReduces VR sicknessOnly applicable in certain situations such as Driving, Spacecraft and Mech games.???Elite Dangerous
EVE: Valkyrie
Environmental RedirectionRoom-scaleNoneDesign the game in a way to allow the player to move in circles in the play area. Players will never hit physical walls of the play area.No artificial locomotion or teleport
No VR sickness
Requires meticulous game design, large play area requirementTriangular PixelsUnseen Diplomacy
NoneFly through the air with gaze as directional input.??????Eagle FlightEagle Flight
Focal Point VRSeated
Motion-tracked controllersTo move small distances, Grip and drag the environment. To move large distances, place 2 focal points on the ground with the controllers then rotate, scale, and translate the world.No VR sickness???Albert Hwang
Freedom Locomotion SystemStanding
Motion-tracked controllersCollection of various standing and room-scale locomotion solutions with CAOTS as its fundation.Https://hugerobotvr.com/ HUGE ROBOT
HallwayRoom-scaleNonePlayer walks down a long hallway that rotates slightly with each step, forcing the player to turn to the right and leading them to walk in circles around the play area.???May cause simulator sickness/u/qwv4851
Motion-tracked controllersWhenever you move or rotate, a geodesic sphere appears around your entire view point and blurs everything else in the environment. The geodesic sphere disappears when you stop moving or rotating.No nauseaGeodesic sphere appears when moving / rotatingTomáš "Frooxius" MariančíkNeos: The Origin
Immersive MovementStanding
Motion-tracked controllersHold a button on one of the controllers then run in place to move in VR.Can use one of the hands to interact with environment while moving???Https://highsight.itch.io
Motion-tracked controllersPress a trigger on controller to record your origin, lean beyond the boundary threshold to move in game, return to origin to stopMitigates VR sickness
Frees up the hands while moving
Move for longer without being fatigued
Can drift from center of play area, difficult to turnHttps://github.com/Erupac/LeanToMove
Ninja Run VRSeated
Motion-tracked controllers in both handsStretch both arms in the opposite direction of your desired movement while lean in the same direction of desired movementNo nausea or motion sicknessTakes time to travel, can be tiring over long distancesSean HallShaolinja
Omnidirectional elevatorRoom-scaleNoneAn elevator that can go in All directionsFun
Not exhausting
Picky people will claim it makes them feel sick, Players are locked to their elevator.??????
SmartphoneRun PocketStrafe app on the smartphone, place the smartphone in your pocket, run in place to move.Unlike other running-in-place locomotion methods
PocketStrafe frees up the hands and the controllers.
Requires smartphoneHttp://www.coolfont.co/ Cool Font
Input DevicesPulling the environment around you with your hands.Makes you feel a bit like superman.Feels super awkward, does not work well in multiplayer.??????
Motion-tracked controllersPut hands at your hips, press a button on each controller and run in place to moveProprioceptive and vestibular engagement
Decouples head and body movement
VR sickness reduction
Cannot interact with object with hands while moving,Http://smirkingcat.software/ripmotion/ Ryan Sullivan
Real world spaceRoom-scaleNoneUsers move in real world spaces.Very realistic and immersiveCannot function with large movements, Spaces are often limiting, spaces have to be designed for physical movement??????
Room-scale vehicleRoom-scaleMotion-tracked controllersEntire play space becomes the inside of the vehicle, operate the controls in the vehicle to move the vehicle??????Hover JunkersHover Junkers
IronWolf VR
SkierRoom-scaleMotion-tracked controllersMoving the controllers backwards and below your waist causes the skier to propel himself forward.??????/u/qwv4851
Snap N'MotionRoom-scaleNoneWhen the player is about to hit a wall in real life, the character in VR instantly turns 180 degrees (face backwards). It forces the player to turn around in real life in order to move forward again.Room-scale VR experience with limited physical space.Constantly changing directions can be disorientating and unnatural.RetroPlayGamerTV???
Motion-tracked controllersHold the triggers on the controllers then stroke or peddle to move.???Only used for water and underwater environments.???Ocean Rift
NoneLook or point in the direction you want to go and click a button to warp.Intuitive
No VR sickness
Immersion breaking, Exhausting, confusing in move from point A-B puzzle games.???Budget Cuts
Vanishing Realms
The Lab
GamepadPlayer's POV trails comfortably behind their character, works for third-person games with gamepadsVery easy to implement
No need for motion-tracked controllers
Less immersive, can cause VR sicknessLucky's Tale
GamepadThe face-locked viewport ("tunnel") displays continuous motion and allows the user to steer the player like an FPS-style game. The peripheral view remains at the point of origin, so there is no controller-induced vection in the periphery.Reduces VR sickness when moving with controller / gamepad?????????
WalkAboutRoom-scaleMotion-tracked controllersAfter reaching edge of playable space', virtual world is blurred and grid appears. Virtual world shifts to encompass open play area, forcing player to turn and face it. At this point the virtual world comes back into focus and grid disappears.??????Tekton GamesThe Dark Within
World RotatorRoom-scaleNoneMoving to the edge of the play area causes time to freeze and locks the world to the player's rotation. A HUD appears and shows the amount of open space in front of the player.??????/u/qwv4851

Problems and Solutions




Locomotion in virtual reality presents many problems and many opportunities to innovate. Aside from traditional input devices like mouse, keyboard and gamepad, the most obvious method of locomotion is simply walking around within the range of the positional tracking devices. One problem presented by "walking" is the available space of the room. Physical obstacles such as walls and objects will prevent the user from advancing. One solution to this problem is a omni-directional treadmill such as Omni. Another option is to use teleportation or elevators to virtually transport the user to a new environment while keeping the physical space the same.

HTC Vive is the first consumer VR Device to offer a room-scale experience. Oculus Rift CV1 and PlayStation VR emphasize more of a seated experience.

Input Devices

3DRudder, Cyberith Virtualizer, KAT WALK, VRGO, VirZoom, Virtuix Omni