The spatial cognitive element of virtual reality (VR) mobile navigation map is an important factor that affects navigation efficiency. Based on the analysis in the real environment, this paper divides spatial cognitive elements of mobile city navigation map into two kinds, with and without value.Then, it introduces the analysis conclusion into VR environment to explore the influence of spatial cognitive elements of mobile map design on navigation efficiency in different search tasks. This paper also analyzes the gender differences and the space cognitive ability differences of the effect to verify the applicability of the conclusions in the VR environment. Finally, we proposed the design principles of mobile navigation map in the VR environment. The result shows that:Consistent with the real environment, there are differences in spatial cognitive element with and without spatial cognitive value, and the elements with cognitive value can significantly improve the navigation efficiency. In the target search task, there are differences in gender. Men's navigation efficiency is significantly higher than women's when using the element without spatial cognitive value; there is no difference in spatial cognitive ability. The results of this study can provide the basis for the interface design of VR mobile navigation map.