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Can I Play VRChat Without VR?

VRChat is a strange, surreal, and often entertaining experience.

The app allows you to interact with friends and strangers around the globe, changing avatars to become basically anyone or anything you want.

One of the major questions I’ve seen asked about the app is whether or not you can play VRChat without VR.

In this article, I’m going to explain if you can play without an expensive headset, and what you need to do it.

So, Can You Play VRChat Without a VR Headset?

This is probably the easiest question I’ve ever answered on this website.

The answer is a resounding: Yes!

VRChat does not require a headset in order to be played. You can access the full game using just a standard gaming PC.

When you start the VRChat app, the game will launch in a standard window if you don’t have a VR headset for VRChat connected. If you do have one hooked in, the game will automatically start in VR mode.

VRChat System Requirements

While you don’t have to have a VR headset, you do need a decent PC in order to play.

Most systems that you find at a normal retailer won’t be powerful enough to play the game.

These are the minimum system requirements for those looking to play VRChat:

  • OS: Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel i5-4590 or AMD FX 8350 or better
  • Memory: 4GB RAM
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 or AMD Radeon R9 290
  • Hard Disk Space: 1GB or more
  • DirectX Version 11

Is Playing VRChat Without a Headset Good?

The good thing with VRChat is that the experience doesn’t really make it necessary to get the most out of the game. I’ve been able to play the game with a headset and without, and can tell you that I actually prefer playing without a headset. The main issue I have is that when I play with a headset on, the little brat kids playing end up getting in my face too often, making it hard for me to see anything.

Playing the game without VR alleviates almost all of this.

So, if you’re not the type of person who likes having avatars shoved right in your face, going without a headset is probably the best way to go.

Prepare for Insanity

VRChat is the best and worst of the internet. The app essentially stands as a way for players around the world to communicate, with different rooms and characters being made available. You can be dressed up like Homer Simpson and chatting with Barney the Dinosaur. You can hear someone dressed up like Lambchop swearing at someone dressed like Jesus. The possibilities are endless.

This game is not for the weak of heart. You have to understand that basically anything goes, at least until you block a player. I’ve heard what sounds like children saying some of the most vulgar and racist things in this game, and it does ruin the experience a bit. Conversely, I’ve also had enlightening conversations with people from Japan and Egypt, and I can’t help but think that I’d never have talked to them if not for the app.

Here’s an example of some of the weird conversations that you can find in VRChat:

The Best VRChat Avatars

One of the real highlights in VRChat is the chance to adopt the avatar of your choice.

As the game’s developer says: “It’s like cosplay, but in VR!” These avatars are offered by users in different worlds, where you’ll see a bunch of different costume options, often in long hallways with dozens of options.

I’ve combed through way more VR avatars than I’d like to admit, and I think these are the best ones:

  • Barney Gumble (The Simpsons)
  • Goku (Dragon Ball Z)
  • BB8 (Star Wars)
  • Naruto (Naruto)
  • Darth Maul (Star Wars)

If you want to see an example of the array of different avatars available in VRChat, you can check out the video below:

Conclusion

VRChat is certainly a strange experience and its one that you don’t need to have a VR headset for.

I actually prefer to play the game without a headset, experiencing the zany avatars and having conversations without a ton of kids jumping in your face.

If you’re planning on playing, make sure that you have a powerful enough PC and be prepared for just about anything to happen.

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