Room Scale VR Explained: The Most Important Concept in VR

Room scale VR gives users the ability to move around freely in a defined area. Their movements and gestures are reflected within the virtual world in real time.


In this blog, we’ll discuss how it works and why it’s required for a truly immersive VR experience.

Table of Contents

  • VR Tracking: The Importance of Degrees of Freedom (DoF)
  • 6DoF vs. 3DoF
  • Setting Up Room Scale VR
  • Room Scale VR for Gaming
  • Room Scale VR for Business
  • Tracking Analytics for Room Scale VR

VR Tracking: The Importance of Degrees of Freedom (DoF)

Users are tracked in VR by the position of their headset or controller. Their movements are converted into the virtual world by measuring how they move along degrees of freedom. (DoF) DoF refers to the number of ways an object can be tracked within a space.


VR headsets support either 6DoF or 3DoF.


3 Degrees of Freedom (3DoF)

room scale vr 3dof

Image via Virtual Speech


Room scale VR isn’t provided by 3DoF tracking because only rotational movements of the head is tracked. As they tilt and turn their head, the device can sense and alter its display accordingly.


Changes in user position are not tracked.


3DoF VR Headsets:

  • Samsung Gear
  • PSVR
  • Google Cardboard

6 Degrees of Freedom (6DoF)

A Room scale VR experience can only be provided in 6DoF. This is done by combining 3DoF rotational head movement with translational tracking.


Translational movements are when users move from one place to another. The device uses both of these movements together to understand how users move in a 3D space.

room scale vr 6dof

Image via: Virtual Speec

6DoF VR Headsets

  • Oculus Rift
  • Oculus Quest
  • HTC Vive

Difference between 3DoF and 6DoF

3DoF severely limits how users can interact with the environment around them. It’s the difference between passively observing their surroundings and being able to move through the simulation.


The feeling of exploring a virtual world and picking up objects provides users with an extra level of immersion. We call this the feeling of “presence” users often suspend disbelief due to how real everything feels.


It’s this feeling that creates unforgettable VR experiences.

Setting Up Room Scale VR

Room scale VR tracking is done through internal or external sensors.


Internal Sensors: The Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S were released in 2019 with “inside-out tracking.” This means they have built-in sensors and cameras.


These sensors help the headset track the surrounding area and user position to adjust accordingly in the virtual world.


External Sensors: The HTC Vive and Oculus Rift use external sensors set up around the room to track users.


Space Required for Room Scale VR: The minimum area required is 2m x 1.5m (6.6ft x 5ft) for a comfortable experience.

Room Scale VR for Gaming

room scale vr gaming

Image via: Daily Mail


Room scale VR is made for gaming.


Whether you’re dodging bullets, swimming through an abandoned ship or slicing cubes with a lightsaber. The ability to move around the room is much more engaging than a seated experience.


It also provides game developers with new ways to tell stories and design environments. They have to be mindful of any details that may break the immersion. Every year there are new games that are testing the limits of what’s possible.

Room Scale VR for Business

room scale vr business

Static experiences don’t provide the depth required to capture insights into user behavior. Content without room scale feels very artificial. This makes it difficult for users to develop the sense of “presence” needed to act like they would in the real world.


Room scale VR is crucial for businesses looking to implement VR to train, develop better products and make strategic decisions.


Business Use Cases:

  • Prepare workers for dangerous scenarios in VR by testing how they react and make decisions under pressure.
  • Conduct consumer research to see how shoppers purchase products in-store.
  • Test product features by inviting customers to step into a virtual vehicle. Observe how they interact with the dashboards and whether they have any issues.

Tracking Analytics for Room Scale VR

Implementing VR into your business is not enough. Companies must be able to prove and measure success through analytics. Read our full article about VR analytics.


This is where Cognitive3D comes in.


Get insights into:


We make it easy for you to start capturing Virtual Reality specific metrics.


Our platform is headset agnostic and it supports a number of software engines including Unity, Unreal, C++ and JS.


This means you can simply install our SDK and connect your headset to receive analytics.

VR Industry Use Cases

4 Enterprise Uses for VR in the Automotive Industry

5 Creative Uses of VR in the Medical Industry

How The Fortune 500 Are Using Virtual Reality In Education & Training

Why VR Analytics Is Critical To Prove ROI

← Back to the blog.