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What Is Social VR, and How Does it Work?

Social VR brings new meaning to the phrase “it’s a small world” by bringing people together from all around the world into one place where they can interact with one another. Humans are social creatures by nature, and VR social interaction allows people to hang out with friends or make new ones without leaving home. Best of all, there’s no cover charge for these virtual spaces: Most of the top social VR apps are free.

a picture of a social VR app

What Is Social VR?

Social VR, by definition, is a type of virtual reality experience that’s primarily about socializing with other people. Virtual reality social experiences are at the intersection between real-life gatherings and the chat rooms of yesteryear, offering a way to chat with people all over the world without leaving home.

How to Get Social VR

In order to join in the social VR trend, all you need to do is download the specific social VR app you would like to use and jump in. Most of these apps are free, and you don’t always even need a VR headset: Many social VR apps can be used on a PC. This also means that you can use these apps with just about any brand of headset. Popular social VR apps include VRChatMozilla HubsAltspaceVR, and Rec Room.

How Does Social VR Work?

In most social VR apps, you’ll want to start by creating or choosing an avatar, your “character” in this virtual world. Avatar possibilities are endless: You could choose to look like your real self, a cartoon or video game character, an animal, or something completely unexpected, like a stick of butter or a cactus. Once you’ve chosen how you want to look, you can create a room for yourself and your friends or enter a public room and meet new people from all over the world. You can also enter themed rooms where you can play games, join a dance party, or do yoga.

In virtual reality, social interaction can take many forms, and people’s comfort levels may vary. You might jump right in and start making friends, or you might hang back and ease into this new environment. There’s no wrong way to have VR social experiences, as long as you’re having fun and treating others with respect.

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