Credit to: HTC Vive

Maintaining your exercise equipment is as important as maintaining your schedule using it. Well maintained equipment runs its lifespan easily, and often doesn’t involve much more than a simple cleaning.

VR fitness equipment isn’t that different. A simple cleaning of your headset, your PC, a place for everything and you’re halfway there. As someone who has dealt with support a lot, and had to have my fair share of controllers replaced, I can tell you it’s a better idea to practice preventative maintenance with your VR headset. Treat it with love and it will love you back.

Here are some of the tips I use in my everyday life to ensure my setup is always ready when I need it.

Maintain your PC with Free Software and Regular Scans

Let’s step outside our fitness world for a second to talk basic PC maintenance. If you’re already performing regular virus scans, firewall setup, anti-malware, and regular maintenance of your drive and its contents then feel free to skip this section. For the rest of us, it’s crucial that your VR PC remain free of anything that hinders performance. A quick and dirty goal to shoot for looks like:

  • More than 30% of the hard drive that runs your operating system as free space
  • Regular (could be weekly or daily) virus and malware scans
  • Periodic file cleanup
  • Updated drivers for your GPU

I like MalwareBytes and Spybot for my personal use. I find both programs do a great job of finding files that consume resources unnecessarily, and that pose a potential risk to my PC. Behind the scenes I’m running Windows Defender with basic settings configured. Those settings include real-time protection, and automatic updates enabled for all of the above programs.

Automatic updates are important because you want up-to-date virus definitions so you’re always actively blocking the worst of any known threats.

I also like CCleaner for registry cleanup ever few months, and periodic file cleanup throughout my weekly or monthly use. CCleaner reminds you on startup how much space you can save by using it, and it often clears up entire gigs worth of unnecessary files to keep your hard drive running smooth.

Hang Your Headset and Your Wands

Whether you have animals, toddlers or you’re just clumsy, you’re eventually going to trip on your VR headset cord. I know, I don’t want to imagine the horror either but it happens to everyone who fails to secure their headset. There are a ton of perfectly excellent examples for use. The Snakebyte is a popular choice, but I find hooks from your local hardware store to be just as effective if you can use your wall.

The Snakebyte. Credit: Amazon

Hanging your headset isn’t just about keeping everything in its place, it prevents all those unintended spills that happen if you fumble around your PC or console. I was once vacuuming my living room when I nudged my controllers off my tower and onto the floor. These accidents are all too common occurrences, so protect your investment.

Practice Good Hygiene

We recommend the VR Cover PU cover for its ease of use and cleaning. Good hygiene is essential to keeping your headset in excellent working condition. If you try to use soap or soak your headset’s foam visor it will become stiff and uncomfortable quickly. Those who only wipe them will find them retaining an odor before too long. Trying to wash them is no better.

The VR Cover PU Leather Replacement
Credit: VR Cover

Good hygiene involves a decent cover for your headset, and routine maintenance for that cover. That’s it! Just like wiping down your gym equipment after use.

Clear Dedicated Space

I’ve seen a lot of sites selling the dream of portable VR, and maybe a standalone headset is what you want. That’s fine, but you still need a dedicated space to play with it. If you’re someone who likes to take your setup up and down to “hide it” then VR fitness will become laborious for you. A dedicated setup makes it easy to get into the swing of fitness quickly.

Put it this way, you don’t go to the gym and setup your equipment before hand. You expect to walk in and hit your workout hard. That’s the same experience you should aim for in your dedicated VR space. Minimize furniture moving and setup as much as possible so you can power on your PC or console, don your headset and dive into VR fitness.

Avoid Gear Damage

One of my personal discoveries in VR came when trying to troubleshoot myself banging my wands together when I played The Thrill of the Fight. I would sometimes hit my headset as well, and this is obviously NOT what you want to do. Ian added variations to how you hold your wand so you can adjust your grip the way you want, and I encourage more developers to do the same.

This simple accessibility mod completely removed the risk I had of banging my wands together.

Obviously, not every game has this feature. You can request the feature from the developer’s forum, or you can troubleshoot your own gameplay. What situations cause you to bang your gear, and how can you eliminate that? Sometimes the solution is space allocation, but every solution is different.

Keep Your Equipment in Top Shape

If you want to get fit, you need VR headsets and controllers to work with. Sitting out three weeks for support to mail you a replacement sucks and it kills your motivation to get back into the workout. Take the time to review your setup and eliminate anything that might cause damage to your gear. Invest in some extra protection, either by hanging your gear or properly storing it, and don’t forget hygiene for you and your PC. How do you keep your gear running its best?