PSVR 2 is finally here and for those of you lucky enough to get your hands on Sony’s newest VR headset, here’s some essential tips and tricks you’ll want to know.

Updated – March 31, 2023

PSVR 2 is a pretty straightforward headset thanks to the fact that once you plug it into the console you’ll see the usual PS5 menu that you’re already used to. However, the headset does have a few less obvious capabilities that you’ll want to know about.

1. Voice Input

PSVR 2 supports the same voice commands as PS5, and thanks to a microphone that’s mounted right next to your mouth, they work very well! Voice commands through PSVR 2 can be used to easily launch games and apps (instead of digging through the game library) or to open certain settings pages (instead of digging through the settings menu). All you have to do to get the console to listen is say “Hey PlayStation.”

If you’ve never used voice commands on PS5 before, you’ll need to enable them first. To do so go to Settings > Voice Command (Preview) and enable the option.

2. Quick Menu

PSVR 2 has a quick menu that makes it easy to access frequently used settings. To open the PSVR 2 quick menu, just double-tap the PlayStation button on your controller.

3. Lens Calibration

Since PSVR 2 has such a small sweet spot (the area of the lens where everything is at its clearest), it’s important to get the lenses dialed in just right to your specific IPD.

Luckily PSVR 2 has a built-in lens calibration that’s easy to run at any time, even in the middle of a game.

You’ll be prompted to run the calibration initially when you set up your headset for the first time, but since you put the headset on a bit differently every time (and sometimes the lenses can get bumped which adjusts their spacing) it’s worth running the calibration every few sessions to make sure you’re seeing the clearest image through the headset. You should also run the calibration step any time a new person puts on the headset so they can get the ideal fit.

To run lens calibration on PSVR 2, double-tap the PlayStation button on the controller, then select Adjust Visibility from the quick settings menu.

The calibration will help you not only adjust the headset to the ideal IPD (distance between the lenses), but also tell you if the headset is sitting too high, low, or crooked on your head. Having the best fit will also increase the accuracy of the headset’s eye-tracking function.

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4. Use PSVR 2 Without a Display Connected

Though PSVR 2 mirrors its display onto whatever TV you’re connected to so spectators can see what you’re up to, you can also use the headset while your TV is turned off, doing something else, or disconnected entirely.

Just note that to set up your PSVR 2 for the first time you’ll need a connected display, but once you have it set up you can turn off the display or unplug it entirely and your headset should continue to work just fine.

5. Where to Find PSVR 2 Volume Control

This one really shouldn’t be a tip or a trick, but it’s not entirely intuitive where to find the volume control for PSVR 2.

Instead of being in the quick settings menu, you can find the volume adjustment for PSVR 2 by pressing the PlayStation button to bring up the bottom menu, then selecting Sound (speaker icon). In the Sound menu you’ll see PSVR 2; click on it to find the volume adjustment.

6. Use Headset Button to Mute Microphone

The button on the bottom of PSVR 2 gives you one-click access to the headset’s passthrough view, which is very handy. However you have the option to rebind this button to act as a microphone mute toggle instead, which might be useful if you find yourself playing multiplayer VR games regularly.

To make the button on PSVR 2 mute the microphone, go to Settings > Accessories > PlayStation VR2 > VR Headset section > Function Button Assignment, then switch it to Mute Microphone.

Even if you change the button’s function, you can still quickly access the passthrough view by double-clicking the PlayStation button on the controller to open PSVR 2 quick settings, then click ‘View Surroundings’.

7. Use PSVR 2 as a 120Hz HDR Display for Playing Flat PS5 Games

While PSVR 2 is undoubtedly an impressive VR headset, you can also use it to play regular PS5 games and watch video content—Sony calls this ‘Cinematic Mode’ for PSVR 2.

To do that, all you need to do is launch a non-VR game or app on PS5, then use a standard PS5 controller to play (unfortunately the Sense controllers won’t work for regular content because they don’t have all of the same buttons and controls as a regular controller). Some non-game apps may work with the Sense controllers for simple navigation however.

And technically speaking, PSVR 2 can function like a regular high refresh rate (120Hz) HDR TV, which means it will be able to play flat PS5 games that support a 120Hz performance mode and it can correctly display any HDR content that an HDR TV could.

While PSVR 2 automatically runs at 120Hz and HDR mode for VR games, you need to enable both 120Hz and HDR for flat PS5 games and content.

To do so, go to Settings > Accessories > PlayStation VR2 > Cinematic Mode. Then select Video Output for Cinematic Mode. There you’ll find the option for both 120Hz output and HDR.

8. Change the Size of the PSVR 2 Cinematic Mode Screen

So you’re playing PS5 games using your headset like a high performance TV, but maybe you wish your screen was a little bigger or smaller?

Luckily you can easily adjust this by double tapping the PlayStation button on the controller to access the PSVR 2 quick settings, then use the Screen Size slider to adjust the size.

If you want to reposition the screen you can also press and hold the options button (on the right controller) which will move the screen directly in front of you regardless of where you’re looking.

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9. Tighten Your Sense Controller Straps the Easy Way

Nobody thinks they’re going to accidentally throw their controller until it happens. That’s why I personally always use my wrist straps when using a VR headset, and recommend others do too. After using VR headsets for more than 10 years, I have smashed 0 TVs and broken 0 controllers.

Luckily Sony has come up with a neat design for the wrist straps on the PS Sense controllers that allows you to tighten them with one hand.

To do so just pull the wrist strap so there’s tension on the band, then rotate your wrist to tighten the strap. If it doesn’t seem to be working, try rotating your wrist the other direction.

10. Dark Rooms Are No Longer Ideal

With the original PSVR, you’d get the best headset and controller tracking when playing in a dark room because of the way the tracking system on that headset worked. When everything else was dark, it was easier for the camera to pick up the glowing tracking markers on the headset.

With PSVR 2 now using an inside-out tracking system, playing in a dark room will actually hinder tracking performance rather than help it. In our testing we found the headset is quite good at tracking in low light, but even so it isn’t the ideal way to play.

While too much sunlight (ie: being completely outdoors) is also an issue, playing in a normally lit room will give you the best tracking performance on the headset.

11. Enable Tracking Support for Tough Tracking Conditions

Speaking of tracking performance, if you feel like your headset is having tracking issues, you can turn on an additional option which will use your TV as a tracking marker to make it easier for the headset to have something to lock onto.

To enable Tracking Support on PSVR 2, go to Settings > Accessories > PlayStation VR2 > Tracking Support and turn the option on.

In our testing we found that PSVR 2 tracking is really solid, and for most people this option shouldn’t be necessary. In some specific cases (ie: a room with lots of skylights letting in tons of bright sunlight), or a completely white room with no discernable features, it could be helpful.

Note that this option will only improve head-tracking; if you’re having tracking issues with only your PSVR 2 controllers, something else is likely to blame.

12. Enable Sidetone to Hear People Around You More Easily

This is one I wish I knew while I was reviewing PSVR 2 in the first place! While the earbuds included with the headset do a decent job with noise isolation, in cases where you do want to be able to hear what’s going on outside of your headset, you can use the ‘sidetone’ option which picks up sound from the headset’s microphone and sends it through the earbuds.

To enable Sidetone on PSVR 2, go to Settings > Sound > Audio Output > Sidetone and adjust the setting to the desired volume.

13. Find Every Free Demo Game for PSVR 2

If you don’t know what PSVR 2 game to buy next, it’s worth keeping an eye on the PSVR 2 demo store page. Most PSVR 2 games don’t have demos, but some do, including big ones like Resident Evil Village and Horizon Call of the Mountain.

For an always up-to-date list of PSVR 2 demos, see this section of the PlayStation Store.

Got any great PSVR 2 tips & tricks to share? Let us know in the comments below!

Thanks to our friends at Cas & Chary VR for tips 12 and 13! You can find a few more good tips not on our list in their PSVR 2 tips video.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • Good tips for newbies!

  • Herenamaste

    These are excellent tips for everyone. I bookmarked this page. Thank you.

  • Eb

    Psvr2 is my first vr so please excuse the ignorance, but do the games sometimes only use the regular controller? Trying to play gt7 or NMS and the sticks only work on the PS5, once I enter the game they no longer work and I have to use the controller.

    • Aad Bad

      Not all games will use the controllers. This is normal even for PC VR.

      • Eb

        That’s what I kind of figured but thanks for responding. I’m going to also assume that since my NMS game and gt7 weren’t built for psvr2 originally that that’s the reason for it being flat? It’s like I’m just playing on a really large TV when I put the headset on. Not the immersive experience I thought it was going to be.

        • Dougerz

          GT7 should be going to VR mode once you are in the race, but the menu screens are flat. Or at least they were for me.

          • Eb

            They were. I’d never played so didn’t know what to expect. Made it 5 minutes before the motion sickness kicked in lol

          • Alexisms

            Don’t play tracks that have hills and dips. I learn’t that when I tried Dirt Rally, horrible. Yet most real circuits were an absolute dream. I was using a steering wheel though which feels more natural.

        • Both those games should be fully immersive in VR during actual gameplay: 1:1 real-world scale, stereoscopic 3D, wrapped all around you, fully head tracking to look around, 3D positional audio, some room-scale movement if you have the space to physically move a little, etc.

          • Eb

            I wasn’t too bright in the beginning lol i thought i had the ps5 versions of the game installed. Once i got that figured out it was only 10 minutes before i got too sick to play the first time

          • You’d probably be better off starting with something like Moss 1 & 2 for now, so you can at least experience some of the cool stuff VR has to offer before playing titles that really do require you to have your “VR legs” at that point (as in, you’ve accustomed yourself to VR by slowly trying more movement-based titles as you go, and therefore avoiding instant motion sickness).

          • Eb

            Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll look into them. Need to get some use of of the system lol

    • bob

      its possible you dont have the up to date version of the game

    • Ben Lang

      Yes, normal PS5 games require a DualShock controller because the Sense controllers don’t have all the standard buttons as the gamepad.

      • Eb

        Thanks! I finally got gt7 working and had to stop because I got motion sickness 10 minutes in lol have to ease myself in but it was amazing.

  • Rome

    It’s a great piece of kit and had a lot of fun with last might, but visual quality is nowhere near a quest on pc with supersampling cranked up, still very soft and blurry. Though saying that I have a 1k gpu. FOV is not quite as immersive as I expected either. Finally foveated rendering makes things blurry for a split second before it kicks in which is distracting. Otherwise good bit of kit for the price. Hope no-one is too dissuaded from my comments, just keep expectations in check. It’s not a huge upgrade from psvr1, more an incremental one.

    • Vic

      I see what you’re saying but is it possible you’re a bit jaded? Just spent an hour in Horizon. Simply marvelous.

      • Rome

        Maybe? I’m going to try again tonight. Might have been a case of expectation hype? I’ll also have to make sure I’m calibrated properly. Was quite sick last night.

      • Rome

        Tested with moss on quest 2 back to back last night and difference was night and day. Detail, clarity, and sharpness on Q2 is league’s ahead, plus sweet spot is much better. Psvr 2 is blurry in peripheral, edges, and when you turn your head. I can handle the decrease overall clarity but not the tiny sweetspot. I think unless your coming from pc with good gpu you’ll enjoy it, otherwise it’s difficult to adapt to. I’ll give it one more weekend but will probably go back. Gutted as I was really looking forward to psvr2.

        • ps4Matt

          Regardless of what you are saying I have a 4080 with the Quest 2 at fully max resolution 1.9x (5408×2736 total not per eye). Used the Index the Pico4 and the Varjo and the PSVR2 come closer to the Varjo Aero than any other headset yet.
          (The Varjo Xr-3 is the best but its a 7K USD Device)

    • Czech4Life

      Visual quality is superior to PSVR1 and to any other headset at the moment on PC. Including Steam, Quest 1 and 2. User error on your part if you can’t adjust it properly for your eyes. FOV is fantastic coming from Steam and Quest 2. No delays that I saw.

      • Rome

        I mean I like the unit, but that’s simply not true. It’s not as clear as quest 2 on PC with scaling all the way up. I wish it was believe me, but it’s not. It’s very noticeable. I tested the exact same scenes in Moss back to back. The image just isn’t as sharp. PSVR 2 better FOV though.

      • shadow9d9

        I mean, the sdelike pixelly mura is insane.

      • Mike

        I know what the psvr2 spec is on paper and i own a psvr1. I also own a rift s so i know what a sweet spot is on a fresnel lense and how to dial in a IPD. the fact remains the psvr2 image is somewhat blurrier than what its spec would suggest and blurrier than my rift s that has a much lower resolution. just got done beating re8 and I’m currently playing half life 2 vr mod so I’m a experienced vr user. maybe the psvr2 games aren’t running native res but whatever it is it’s blurrier overall and not just user error.

  • Rupert Jung

    Volume adjustment is really a pain ATM, that shoudl be way, way easier.

    • Runesr2

      Using Sony Pulse 3D headphones, the volume takes a second to adjust – volume control is on the headphones. Some say PSVR2 really was made for Pulse 3D, not in-ear.

      • Alexisms

        “Some say…” you sound like Trump there :-)

        • Runesr2

          Lol, I can assure you, I’m not Trump nor related to him – not that I know of at least ;-)

  • ps4Matt

    Easiest way for Volume adjustment is to buy the 3D Pulse Headset, Guess Sony had that in Mind when they designed the PSVR2.

  • 13. Find Every Free Demo Game for PSVR 2

    Yeah, but do you need to have PlayStation Plus just to access and play these PSVR 2 demos?

    • ApocalypseShadow

      You are familiar with free demos right? No. You don’t need Plus.

      Just like PSVR had free demos not requiring Plus. Free means not connected to purchase or subscription.

  • STL

    I want Skyrim VR to run on PSVR2.

  • James Cobalt

    Surprised turning the brightness down to reduce persistence + motion sickness wasn’t listed

  • Vincent Jackson

    Another good tip is how the headset rests on our head. It’s on a steep angle. The rear headband dial fits at the back and lower part of the head. I’ve been playing BodyCombat a boxing class game. Pretty good workout and if you wear wrist weights you will take your exercise to a new level. Problem is with the headset is it moves around even when adjusted properly. My next crazy idea is to wear a rubber swim cap to lock the headset in place.