Imagine a platform where you can spend time with your friends, talk about anything under the sun, and play together— that’s exactly what made VRChat so popular.
Regardless of age, players from all over the world flock on the VR social platform which serves as a virtual meeting space. You won’t even have to leave your home as you partake in fun activities such as attending events, creating art, and exploring different virtual worlds.
What is VRChat?
Since its launch in 2017 by founders Graham Gaylor and Jesse Joudrey, VRChat has skyrocketed to mainstream popularity in the gaming and streaming industry. It’s also one of the most-streamed titles on leading live streaming platforms, such as Twitch and YouTube.
This immersive VR social platform allows users to interact with other 3D characters, or avatars, that are customizable to their likeness. With that in mind, players are given the freedom to customize their avatar and create a world of their own.
VRChat heavily relies on user-generated content, where players can opt to explore different virtual worlds built by others on the platform. True to its tagline, this Virtual Reality social platform allows its community to “Create, Share, Play.”
If you’re still struggling to understand what VRChat is all about, Steam Community best describes the title this way:
“Imagine a world where anything is possible. Join a game of capture the flag in outer space. Share stories around a campfire while roasting marshmallows, then moments later experience a retro game of bowling with an alien and robot. “
Virtual Reality (VR) is the next emerging technology to influence the way we communicate with other people. Since the game is all about “Virtual Reality,” VRChat serves as a social platform where you can befriend like-minded people and play cool games.
It’s a great game for those who adore meeting people from all walks of life across the world, and even to introverts who are slowly stepping out of their comfort zones. There is also a new world to explore everyday, which just makes it more exciting even if you have been playing for years!
Players have formed their own tight knit little communities on VRChat, and being able to create whatever you want on a game is always a nice feeling.
For instance if you’re a pretty huge Dragon Ball fan, you’ll most likely feel right at home with plenty of Dragon Call communities on VRChat. Enjoy spending quality time hanging out with people who can actually relate and talk about all stuff about Dragon Ball.
With a large variety of people playing the game, expect for random stuff happening all the time. This is one of the reasons why VRChat is definitely worth playing, even if only every now and then.
How to use VRChat
First, download the specific software that is unique to the type of hardware you have. Fortunately, VRChat has support on different VR hardware options, such as popular headsets Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Microsoft’s Mixed Reality gear.
The VR social game also supports hardware like keyboards, gamepads, and motion-tracking controllers.
VRChat System Requirements
Before jumping into the wild world of VRChat, you must first ensure that your PC is capable of running the program. Here are the minimum system requirements for VRChat:
- OS: Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
- Processor: Intel® i5-4590 / AMD FX 8350 equivalent or greater
- Memory: 4 GB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce® GTX 970 / AMD Radeon™ R9 290 equivalent or greater
- DirectX: Version 11
- Network: Broadband Internet connection
- Storage: 1 GB available space
There’s also a handy tool called VR performance testing tool from Steam, which will then assess your PC and recommend upgrades accordingly.
After a successful installation of VRChat, you may opt to either use your Steam account or create a VRChat account to log in.
Take note that having an official VRChat account is necessary if you’re planning to use their Software Development Kit (SDK) in uploading your own custom content such as avatars and worlds.
Creating Your Avatar
Choosing your avatar on VRChat is a fun process. First, you’ll have to “look up and down” to measure your height in this virtual world.
Next, you can choose from standard avatars ranging from robots, famous cartoon characters, or aliens to represent your likeness in the game.
To spice things up further, you can also go by unique custom characters as long as you have access to the SDK. This can include anime characters, Pokemon, Spongebob, Rick and Morty, The Simpsons family, and the like.
This particular freedom of expression remains to be one of the strongest points of VRChat. Players can take on the identity of their favorite characters (either from games, TV series, anime or movies) and represent them in a world of their own.
If you’ve always wanted to live as your favorite fictional character, VRChat gives you the perfect chance to virtually assume their persona within the comforts of your own home.
Communicating with other players in VRChat
Interaction is a crucial part to the whole VRChat experience. You can’t experience the VR social game to the fullest without interacting with the different people you meet in the game.
This is why you’ll typically need a headset for VRChat; with the microphone to pick up your voice and your headphones to play back the sounds made by the other players around you.
Another form of communication in the game are Emote, a set of physical actions that your avatar can perform, such as clapping or waving, and Emojis, which are a collection of emojis you may choose to project.
If another player is beginning to annoy you or becoming downright rude, you can always choose to exercise your right to mute someone.
Since socialization plays a big part on VRChat, you’re most likely going to want to add new friends so you can keep in touch and contact them again once you’re both on the game.
To do this, select “Quick Menu”, choose the specific player before hitting your trigger, then select “Friend”. This will add the fellow player to your list of friends.
With lots of rude players in every game community, you may also choose to “Block” a certain player especially if they are continuously harassing you.
Keep tabs on any incoming friend by selecting “Social” located on the top row options on the Quick Menu.
Here’s a beginner-friendly tip: If a chat bubble with an exclamation mark appears, it means you’ve either received a new friend request or you’re currently being invited to join a friend who’s already in the game somewhere.
Visiting different worlds
On your first VRChat entrance, you’ll be situated in a Hub that serves as a central meeting lobby for all players.
Every Hub is only limited to hosting 16 people at a given time. Fortunately, a new Hub can be created in order to accomodate more players.
If you want to visit different, crazy worlds on VRChat, select the “Worlds” button on the Quick Menu. You may now choose to select a world you intend to visit next.
Once you’ve made your pick, a portal will open up in front of you. Simply walk through it to travel to your desired destination.
You don’t have to look far if you want to explore new worlds, as there are also world portals located around the Hub. Just pick whatever suits your fancy best!
VRChat vs VTubing?
Since both VRChat and VTubers feature 3D models or avatars, a number of people might assume they are the same thing. However, do keep in mind that they are two different things.
VTubing features a Virtual YouTuber or “VTuber,” who is basically an online entertainer who makes use of a digital avatar generated using computer graphics.
These 2D or 3D digital avatars are heavily influenced by anime characters— a stark contrast to VRChat avatars since there’s basically no limitation to it; from anime to cartoon characters.
The trend on Virtual YouTubers has been first observed as a growing trend in Japan during the mid-2010s, but now the popularity of VTubers has taken over even Western media.
For example, popular Twitch stars Pokimane and Lilypichu are known to have debuted VTuber avatars of their own.
With a common equation of having the appearance of a cute anime girl, a high-level of social interactivity (energy), and consistent online presence— these virtual celebrities are slated to soon shake up the influence of the real ones.
Cute facial expressions? Anime sing-song voice? These motion-tracked avatars have everything a typical YouTuber or livestreamer portrays, without exactly revealing their real faces.
On VRChat, however, these 3D models or avatars can come together to socialize with each other. This is opposed to VTubing where a digital avatar solely does an activity such as playing a game, hosting a livestream, and chatting with their audience.
The Appeal of VRChat
You might be wondering, what makes VRChat so popular among people from all walks of life? Here are some factors why the platform turned out to be one of everyone’s favorite online meeting place:
If you’re a self-dubbed otaku or a lover of anything Anime-inspired, VRChat is the place to be! Most likely, you’ll also meet people with the same interests as you. From Pokemon to Cosplaying— the platform is a great avenue to meet people with similar interests.
The game in itself is heavily anime-inspired. Better ready yourself for some mind altering graphics, anime-centric memes and jokes, and fun chaos.
No VR headset? No problem!
The good news is you don’t exactly need VR gear to play VRChat. Most VR headsets are priced around $300 – $500,000, and not everyone has spare money to be able to afford one. Even without the headgear, the free multiplayer online game is made accessible on computer via Steam or the VRChat website.
Even if you don’t own a VR headset at home, many players still have fun on PC. You’re not exactly missing out even if you don’t have the VR gear. However, the game is still best played with VR equipment of course— like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets.
The sky’s the limit
On VRChat, you can be anything or anyone you want to be! Talk about having a sweet way to escape the limitations and struggles of daily life, right?
This Virtual Reality world allows you to be just about anyone you want and go wherever your imagination ends. Players can choose from a wide range of characters, from Patrick Starfish to My Hero Academia’s Shoto Todoroki. In short, the possibilities are endless.
It’s what adds to the fun chaos on VRChat.
More than just a mere game, VRChat has turned into a popular influenced social media platform. Players from all walks of life can meet on VRChat to have a good time. The game also pushes some introverted people to go out of their shell and socialize with new people.
Of course, you can choose to play games in it, but what serves as the main activity is socializing with people from all over the world— and get this, it’s not just exclusive to English-speaking countries.
Stay connected outside of the game
VRChat’s socialization factor isn’t only limited to in-game interaction. Many players also stay connected on Twitter, Twitch, and Discord servers where you chat with new found friends and be a part of the community even when outside of the game.
It has also helped some players dealing with depression and other mental health issues, as staying connected with others forms a sense of strong bond with them.
Also, some players have been notably a whole lot more comfortable with talking to other people after being on VRChat. It has helped many who are dealing with social anxiety and inspired them to speak a lot more.
No age restriction
Although the median age of VRChat players ranges around 17-23 years old, anyone of any age can join in the fun without any judgment or prejudice!
Even if you’re in your late 30s or even 50s, the community will welcome you with open arms. VRChat’s friendly online community will easily accept anyone as a friend.
Generally, the community is described to be people-friendly, funny and quirky.
Meeting the right people
Keep in mind that the people you meet on VRChat aren’t exactly controlled by the platform.
Be wary of people who scream death threats and slurs, like any other game out there. However, if you encounter mean or rude people, it doesn’t mean VRChat is bad. It’s just a sign to explore more by spending more time on the game to find people you like.
Trust us, once you meet the right people (preferably those who share the same interests as you)— you’ll have a whole lot of fun.
There’s so much to do on VRChat that the possibilities are virtually endless. Since the VR social platform relies on user-generated content, expect updates such as new games (Karaoke, Capture the Flag, and Bowling) and stages built similar to dance clubs and art studios.
You can also track VRChat’s calendar of events to keep tabs on upcoming public events in various virtual worlds.
Some fun events are as follows: open mic night, Japanese language for beginners, and Virtual Yoga. If you don’t want to stick to only one activity, you may choose to just roam around and interact with other players.
Best VRChat Content Creators
VRChat remains to be one of the leading most-streamed categories across different platforms, from YouTube to Twitch. If you’re looking for VRChat content creators to check out, you may start with this list:
With an average of 2,220 viewers on Twitch, Lolathon is a self-dubbed “scuffed clown that plays VR.”
In his VRChat streams, he tries to feature a new avatar to show off. His many meme avatars delight, scare, or confuse people. Sometimes, his avatars are enough to make those around him ponder their existence.
Most notably, his home is the VR Chat Circus: the asylum of laughter and screams. He is considered as one of the Great Meme Pillars of VRChat.
MurderCrumpet, aka Murder or Crumpet for short, portrays a crash test dummy robot and a handful of other characters in VRChat.
Murder spends a lot of time with his group of friends, called the Gator RP group, nearly on a daily basis. He’s noted to speak in very soft tones and may appear to have a very friendly demeanor, but as his fans say— don’t let that fool you.
Ryan is considered as everyone’s favorite tomato in VRChat. He is most known to be Joey Bagels’ partner-in-crime.
Although Ryan, aka Tomato God, hasn’t been active on YouTube recently — his previous VRChat videos serve as a content landmine for new VRChat enthusiasts to check out.
Overall, he developed a reputation over his profound love of playing video games and having fun with his friends.
Woops is a VRChat Youtuber slash Twitch Streamer who is affiliated with Team 5. He first appeared as a custom fox girl avatar in the Public Domains of VRChat.
A happy-go-lucky kitsune, he goes around spreading tales of his adventures to everyone. Woops is the happiest when he gets to show off his new outfits to everyone.
Though he has a very mischievous reputation, Woops is actually quite loyal and caring to people he considers as friends.
If you’ve been in the VRChat community for quite some time now, you’ll know exactly who Artsy is. He is a popular VRChat content creator who developed a reputation for his relaxing streams.
He’s usually found chilling with friends, talking about similar interests like anime, advice, and dates, and getting to know his community better. Artsy identifies as a femboy and is a self-dubbed “anime trap.”
Sean, a Twitch VRChat star, is best known for being the victim of self-inflicted bullying. This stems from his uncontrollable urge to say anything that comes into mind.
Sean’s VRChat streams feature a lot of misadventures with his friends, as they explore VRChat and show the viewers how to have fun on any map as long as you have your buddies.
It wasn’t until 2020 that Sean decided to become a full-time streamer. Now, he runs an active VRChat community and spends most of his time getting into trouble with his friends on VRChat.
Moon is considered as one of the many “memers” in VRChat, basically just gnoming people and joking around. There are a lot of VRChat streamers with blue haired school girl cat girl avatars, but Moon is considerably one of the most popular.
Though he is a Korean content creator, he notably produces many of his content in English to reach a wider audience.
Jadez is a full body VRChat streamer and roleplayer who made a name for herself over her impressive voice acting skills. She’s able to fluently speak with both male and female voices, as well as coming up with various accents for her characters.
As a regular at The Golden Gator 2020, she often partakes in game nights and is known for her punishment characters portrayals with great immersion.
Another popular full body dancer in VRChat, The Queen Jae is known for forming Team Kinetic— a squad composed of fellow skilled dancers. Aside from VRChat, she also does Just Chatting streams on Twitch.
She also regularly participates in various light roleplaying activities, such as visiting Roflgator’s bars, participating in various game shows, and performing on stage.
SugarCube is sugar, spice, and everything nice! She is one of the many lovable content creators who explore VRChat ever so earnestly.
Like the previous VRChat creators, she also does full body tracking. Notably, she loves to dance, sing and meme, even if it means meme-ing herself sometimes.
It can be difficult to truly describe what the entire VRChat experience is like, as it varies from one person to another. Just like the VR social game’s nature of endless possibilities— how one experiences VRChat might be entirely different to that of others.
One common factor is that most players are likely to have fun at some point. Perhaps the best way is to experience it for yourself to see how deep this rabbit hole goes!