VRChat is a popular social MMO, where players each use an avatar to interact with others in a virtual reality space. Players will often roleplay as their avatar character, which is a form of LARPing or live action role-playing. Players can also just use the game as a way of socialising with friends, or meeting and interacting with other users.
How to get avatars in VRChat
In order to play the game, you must have an avatar to use. Most players have their own custom avatars for the game, which can be obtained through various means. The avatars must then be imported to VRChat using Unity.
First, we’ll go through ways in which you can get your own avatar for VRChat.
How to get a VRChat avatar
There are ways to get your own custom avatars for VRChat. You can either create your own, or customise an existing model.
The most basic method, is to create your own avatar. You can do this by making a 3d model to act as your avatar, and importing it into the game.
There are several 3d-modelling software you can use for this task.
Blender is a popular 3d-modelling software. It is completely free to use, and is available for both Mac and Windows.
Due to its popularity, there are several tutorials for it across YouTube and other sites. This makes the program fairly easy to learn.
To download Blender, go to https://www.blender.org/ and click ‘download Blender’.
Another popular 3d-modelling software is Maya. Unlike Blender, Maya costs money to use. There is a free trial available for the program, but it requires a subscription for long-term access.
To download the free trial, go to https://www.autodesk.co.uk/products/maya/ and click ‘download free trial’.
To purchase the program, scroll down to see the subscription options. Click the one you want, and click ‘add to basket’. Then, follow the checkout instructions to finalise the purchase.
Ready Player Me
Another way to get a custom VRChat avatar is through Ready Player Me. The site allows you to create your own VRChat avatar by customising existing models.
Go to https://readyplayer.me/vrchat and click ‘create your avatar’.
This will send you to two multiple-choice questions, which will help determine what your avatar looks like. Answer the questions to move onto the next step.
Next, you’ll be given the option to take or upload a selfie. This is optional, and can be skipped by clicking ‘continue without a photo’.
Then, you’ll be asked to choose a base model to work off of. Scroll through the options, and click the one that best resembles the avatar you want. Click ‘next’ to move on.
Finally, you can customise the base model you chose. Go through the customisation options and edit the model to your liking.
When you’re done customising the model, click ‘enter hub’ to move on.
Click the download icon, and click ‘download as .glb file’ to download the avatar model.
Creating your own avatar can quite a bit of time to do, depending on your skill level. There are much quicker ways of getting a VRChat avatar, which don’t require 3d-modelling skills.
Unity Asset Store
One such method, is by using the Unity asset store. The Unity asset store has many ready-made avatars for VRChat. These avatars can be downloaded, and imported into the game through Unity.
Go to https://assetstore.unity.com/ to access the Unity asset store.
Search ‘vrchat avatars’ in the search bar to find ready-made VRChat avatars.
Click the avatar you want to use, and click ‘add to cart’ to add the item to your basket.
Click ‘checkout’ to start the checkout process.
If you’re not already signed in with your Unity ID, you will be prompted to sign in. Sign in to continue the checkout process and finalise your purchase.
If you don’t already have a Unity ID, click ‘create one’ to make an account.
Another method of downloading existing VRChat avatars, is through VRCMods. The site has a large collection of VRChat avatars and Unity models.
Go to https://vrcmods.com/ to access the VRCMods website.
Search for the avatar you want, or browse through the avatars on the home page.
You can expand each section by clicking either ‘browse trending avatars’, or ‘browse newest avatars’.
Click the avatar you want, and click ‘download’ to download the model.
How to import avatars in VRChat
You can manually import avatars you’ve made or downloaded into VRChat.
First, ensure that your have Unity VRChat SDK downloaded.
To download Unity, go to https://unity3d.com/get-unity/download and click ‘download unity hub’ to download Unity hub.
Next, go to https://unity3d.com/unity/qa/lts-releases and click the version of Unity you wish to download.
Click ‘unity hub’ to download Unity. This will open a prompt. Click ‘open unity hub’ to continue.
Click ‘install’ to download Unity.
Download VRChat SDK
To download VRChat SDK, go to https://vrchat.com/home/download and scroll down to see the SDK options. You must be logged into your VRChat account to access this page.
Next, click ‘download SDK3 – avatars’ to download it.
Then, open Unity hub. Click ‘new’ and click the version of Unity you wish to use.
Click ‘create’ to make a new Unity project.
Now, we must import the SDK into Unity. Right-click in the folders section, and click ‘import package’>’custom package’.
Double-click the SDK file to start importing it.
A pop-up will appear after some initial loading. Click ‘import’ to finalise the process.
Finally, go to VRChat SDK>Show Control Panel>Authentication. You will be prompted to sign in with your VRChat account. Sign in.
Now, you can import your avatar into Unity. You can do this by dragging your avatar file into Unity.
Alternatively, you can right-click in the folders section, and click ‘import new asset’.
Find your avatar file, and double-click it to import it into Unity.
Next, place the avatar model into a scene. You can do this by dragging the avatar from the folders section to the hierarchy.
Alternatively, you can drag the avatar right onto the scene itself.
Ensure the avatar model’s position is at (0, 0, 0). You can check this by selecting the avatar in the hierarchy, and looking at the inspector. Also ensure that the model’s scale is around 5x5x5. You can change these values by clicking on the numbers.
Next, add a VRChat avatar descriptor to your avatar model. You can do this by selecting your avatar in the hierarchy, and clicking ‘add component’ in the inspector. Search for the avatar descriptor, and click the result to add it.
Upload the Avatar
Go to VRChat SDK>Control Panel>Builder.
Click ‘build & publish for Windows’ to upload your avatar to VRChat.
Finally, open the VRChat game, and find your Avatar. Select the avatar to use it.
For more details on how to import your avatar model to VRChat, go to https://docs.vrchat.com/docs/creating-your-first-avatar.
In conclusion, importing an avatar into VRChat can be quite a complicated task. It requires downloading various assets, and can take quite some time to complete. Issues can also easily occur as Unity can be quite fickle in regards to compatibility issues, so ensure that you have the right version of Unity in accordance with the SDK you downloaded.