There are lots of places to get a VRChat custom avatar. The obvious place is to find avatars that are in VRChat worlds. You can browse avatar worlds and favorite avatars you like. When players refer to a “custom avatar” they are talking about a totally unique avatar to them.
VRChat Avatar Maker
To get a custom avatar, you can use a VRChat Avatar Maker by ReadyPlayer.me or Tafi. These avatar makers allow you to customize an avatar and upload directly from their website to your VRChat account. The caveat is you are kind of stuck with the specific designs these platforms offer. So if you don’t like the art style or the character options, you’ll have to go somewhere else.
Using VRChat Avatar SDK
All other options for getting a custom VRChat avatar requires you to learn a bit about Unity, VRChat Avatar SDK, and VRChat’s creator upload process.
Once you login to VRChat you can navigate to the downloads page. Here you will find information about the current Unity version that VRChat is on and the download link for the avatar sdk.
Click on “setting up the SDK” to learn about the current Unity version VRChat uses. Download the proper Unity version and the SDK3-Avatars Package. Once you open Unity you can insert the avatar SDK into your project. To learn more about the avatar process, there are a ton of helpful tutorials on Youtube by people in the community.
Booth and Virtual Market
You can find many avatars on Booth and Virtual Market. These avatars are normally modeled from scratch by artist in the community. If you search for VRChat avatars specifically, you will normally find avatars that are ready to upload. This means you can purchase an avatar and open the package in your Unity Project with the SDK and upload it to VRChat, without making any changes. If you learn a bit about blender and unity you can even change these avatars to your liking.
Avatar creators usually sell their avatars from $30 – $80. Sometimes it can go even higher. I would recommend you make sure the avatars you are purchasing are uploaded by the original creators. Do not buy avatars that you find in discord servers because they are often stolen and have copyrighted content.
Finding an Artist
You can choose to find a 3D artist and pay them to make a completely custom character. There is a large price range for commissioning 3D art. From scratch avatar creation can be anywhere from $500 to $3000. It all depends on what you’re asking for and who you are commissioning. Often this price range can go even higher.
Finding an artist can be difficult. A good place to go is the official VRChat discord server. By being in this discord server you can start to meet people that are in the VRChat community. VRChat has a “community-servers” channel, which links to other VRChat related servers. Often these communities will have channels specific for people looking to commission artist.
Be careful of sites like Fiverr. While its possible to find a good 3D character artist on Fiverr and other freelance sites, often times people are repackaging assets for VRChat. If the cost for a from scratch character is under $100, they are most likely repackaging stolen assets.
Build one Yourself
If you’re someone who is interesting in modeling and character design, it may be worth watching tutorials and learn how to do it yourself. Learning Character modeling is time consuming. You will need to learn about 3D modeling, texturing, rigging, and game development. But it could lead the path to becoming a professional character designer! In Youtube, you can search things like “how to model a 3D character” to begin learning. Blender is a good 3D software and is free. Here is a good tutorial series that is specific to VRChat.