The metaverse is all over the news these days, so you’ve likely felt at least a little curious about it at some point.
And if you haven’t, that’s also understandable – it’s hard to care about something often described (rather misleadingly) as part of a distant future or only accessible to those with VR headsets.
But whether you’re fascinated by the idea of a virtual universe or a total metaverse skeptic, the best way to form a clearer opinion about the metaverse is to experience it for yourself.
Which begs the question: How do you get into the metaverse?
Worry not – VIVERSE has the answers for you! Read on to learn everything you need to know about joining the metaverse.
What is the metaverse?
Before making any attempt to enter the metaverse, you need to understand what the metaverse is. That can prove a serious challenge when everyone’s got a slightly different idea of what the term “metaverse” refers to.
Let’s start with a simplified explanation, then: The metaverse is a network of virtual worlds.
Some people think of the metaverse as one large, continuous 3D digital space, but most understand it to encompass several individual platforms or environments.
What sets the metaverse apart from the virtual worlds of, say, a video game is its permanence. Metaverse virtual worlds are always online, and everything in them continues to exist even when you’re not there.
You can think of the metaverse as an extension of the internet. Since many worlds in the metaverse incorporate blockchain technology to allow for ownership and transfer of digital property, the metaverse is also closely aligned with the goals of Web3.
At present, several distinct metaverse platforms exist, with each offering its own virtual environments, digital assets, and features. But total integration and connectivity between these platforms is a vision for the future of the metaverse that is shared by many.
Is the metaverse open to the public?
Just like the internet, much of the metaverse is publicly accessible. The degree to which the metaverse can be freely entered and explored varies by platform (which could be a website, an app, or a whole software suite). Each platform sets its own restrictions on who can use its services and how.
For example, you may be required to create an account or link an existing account to sign in to some metaverse platforms like VRChat. This process is typically quite easy and not much different than starting up any other program that requires a login.
Other access points into the metaverse require no account at all, although it’s often still more beneficial to make one. You can enter any of the publicly listed Worlds at viverse.com as a guest and look around the 3D virtual environments contained within. To save an avatar or create your own World, however, you’ll need an account.
Not every part of the metaverse is open to the public. Just as your home in the real world may require a key to get in and a company’s internal webpages may be viewable only to its employees, some metaverse virtual worlds are private. Access to these may be limited to a select group of people or even one individual – perhaps the world owner.
What do I need to join the metaverse?
A vast variety of electronics can access the metaverse, but all of them will require you to have a stable internet connection.
What you need to get into the metaverse also depends on how you want to enter and what you want to do. Different metaverse platforms are accessible on different devices, and even among those, the features you can enjoy on each device may vary.
As a multiverse of three-dimensional virtual spaces, the metaverse is best enjoyed using virtual reality. VR offers an immersive experience that lets you look around digital worlds in 360°, as if you were physically present in them.
You might benefit from a powerful PC-VR headset like the VIVE Pro 2 if you want to explore visually complex environments or enjoy intense VR gaming experiences.
On the other hand, there’s a lot in the metaverse you can discover with a simpler device like the VIVE Flow VR glasses, which are designed for easy-going virtual exploration.
Can I join the metaverse without VR?
Yes! Although VR offers the best metaverse experience by far, other kinds of devices can get you into its virtual worlds, too – albeit with a more two-dimensional view.
PCs, phones, tablets, and even some video game consoles may all be able to connect you to the metaverse. Once again, this depends on the particular platform you enter the metaverse from.
VIVERSE, of course, is accessible on virtually any device with internet access. You can step into Worlds from your web browser and attend any of our ongoing metaverse events.
Other platforms may have a dedicated metaverse app available on different operating systems. In many such cases, you can still interact with others who are logged in through VR even while you’re on your computer or mobile device.
VIVE Sync, the virtual collaboration solution for enterprise, is one prime example. Someone on a VR headset will be able to move around its conference rooms in a fully immersive way while also seeing and hearing the avatars of people using a phone or PC.
Is the metaverse free?
We mentioned that many, but not all, parts of the metaverse are open to the public. Similarly, the metaverse has plenty of virtual areas and content you can access for free.
You can meet up with others in the metaverse and discover new experiences like virtual watch parties without spending anything – provided you already have the necessary tools noted above.
That’s not to say that money has no place in the metaverse. Both fiat and cryptocurrencies are widely circulated across multiple metaverse platforms, where you can buy digital collectibles like NFTs, admission to exclusive events, and even virtual worlds of your own.
Whether you want to enjoy only free metaverse experiences or pay extra for something that has limited availability is up to you. And certainly, there’s money to be made in the metaverse if you’re the one selling a product or service!
How much does it cost to join the metaverse?
The only cost to joining the metaverse is whatever you normally pay to get yourself online. You could even take advantage of free computing resources at your local library and browse the metaverse at zero cost.
If you’re reading this article, chances are that you already have access to a device that can connect to the internet. That means you could dive into any number of Worlds at viverse.com with this same device!
There may be additional costs to using the metaverse if you want to enhance your virtual experience, but it’s better to think of these costs as investments.
Suppose, for example, that you’re browsing the metaverse on a phone and want a higher level of immersion. Switching to a VR headset could cost you money if you don’t already own one, but it would also open up new possibilities for you.
Or if you’re already in VR but want to unlock additional avatar functionality, you might consider purchasing VR headset accessories like eye trackers or facial trackers. These can give your avatar more realistic expressions that mirror your actual movements in the real world.
And then, of course, there are the costs associated with building the metaverse itself. Creating virtual worlds that are permanently online costs enterprises resources, which is why land and other property in the metaverse typically come at a price.
That said, owning such virtual assets is not at all necessary to join the metaverse or explore it.
Where can I join the metaverse?
Okay, so you’re ready to join the metaverse. But how do you actually get in?
Recall that there are several different paths into the metaverse, with each offering something unique. Below are just a few of the platforms you can use to enter the metaverse and what they offer:
VIVERSE VIVERSE.com is a great starting point for your metaverse journey. You can create multiple metaverse avatars for different occasions, meet up with others in 3D environments, link a crypto wallet to manage your inventory with, and purchase digital assets – all from your device’s web browser. For more graphically complex Worlds, a VR headset or PC is recommended, but there are still plenty of areas you can explore on your phone. It’s also possible to build a World of your own in VIVERSE and create a digital showcase with your art, music, documents, and more.
VIVE Sync Designed for enterprises but open to everyone, VIVE Sync is a virtual conference platform for meeting with others in the metaverse. It offers realistic avatars and virtual spaces for them to move around and interact in, effectively replicating real-world social situations. VIVE Sync collaboration tools include whiteboards, sticky notes, in-VR browser windows, 3D model visualizations, and more. The VIVE Sync app is available on all HTC VIVE headsets, popular VR devices like the Meta Quest 2, Windows PCs, Macs, Android phones and tablets, iPhones, and iPads.
Beatday Beatday is the world’s first holographic music platform. You can attend metaverse concerts with dazzling visuals in surreal 360° venues, freely controlling your avatar’s movements and perspective as you fly around the virtual performances. There are also mini games you can play with other concert attendees, sponsor booths in the lobby for you to browse, and a merchandise store for outfits and props. Beatday’s AR mode even lets you record music videos with holograms of the artist. It’s altogether an exhilarating way to join the metaverse from your phone, PC, or VR headset.
VRChat VRChat is all about socializing and self-expression. It’s home to thousands of metaverse worlds made by an active community of users that believes in having fun. In VRChat, you’ll cross paths with all kinds of unforgettable avatars and build friendships with the people behind them – people who come from all walks of life and who live everywhere. Play games built by users, create art with friends, try out a range of avatar movements, or create worlds of your own and invite others to come and explore them with you. VRChat is available on PC and select VR devices via app stores like Steam and VIVEPORT.
Engage As a professional metaverse platform for communications, events, and education, Engage is home to an array of virtual environments where realistic avatars can gather and interact with one another. You’ll find that there are ongoing public and private events hosted by corporations, schools, governments, and regular users, as well as a growing library of recorded virtual sessions. These are like 3D movies you can walk around in as they play! Engage can be enjoyed on many VIVE, Oculus, Pico, and Steam VR headsets, as well as on Macs, PCs, iPhones, iPads, and Android devices.
Museum of Other Realities The Museum of Other Realities (MOR) is more than just a virtual museum. It is an immersive social experience in which you’ll connect with VR art, other visitors, and yourself. Experimentation and imagination run wild in this digital space where artists and explorers come together to behold spectacular sights and sounds. The museum’s many exhibits are regularly updated, and some constitute worlds within themselves. At the time of this article’s writing, the MOR VR app could be downloaded via VIVEPORT, Steam VR, Oculus, and Google Play, with a beta version available on Apple’s App Store.
VIVEPORT Unlike the other platforms we’ve mentioned so far, VIVEPORT itself is not a virtual world or virtual world network. Rather, it is an entry point into a huge collection of virtual reality experiences, many of which can bring you closer to others in the metaverse. Indeed, most of the metaverse platforms on this list are also available on VIVEPORT, but there’s no reason your adventure should be limited to these. There are over a thousand titles waiting for you discover on this VR app store. Head to VIVEPORT on your preferred VR device and pave your own path into the metaverse.
How can I choose the right metaverse?
With so many options for joining the metaverse, you might be wondering which is the best one for you. Don’t let the choices overwhelm you – there’s actually no wrong way to go!
How you join the metaverse depends as much on what you want to see and do as on how you want to see and do it. Are you interested in entering the metaverse for work? Meeting your colleagues in VIVE Sync may be just what you need. Do you want to remotely teach a class with immersive visuals in a VR environment? Engage has the tools for you.
And if art or music is your thing, you’ll be in for a treat using MOR or Beatday. The point is that each metaverse platform has its own characteristics and advantages over others.
Here’s some more good news: You don’t actually have to choose one entry point into the metaverse. Use as many as you like, when you like, where you like. Just start by deciding what device (or devices) you want to go into the metaverse with.
If you’ve never tried virtual reality before and aren’t sure if it’s for you, we suggest you first discover the metaverse with technology you’re already familiar with. Try entering one of the Worlds of VIVERSE using the browser on your phone, tablet, or computer. The Lobby offers a quick tutorial for beginners.
And if you then decide you want to be able to look around the metaverse in 360° and really feel like you’re inside it, you can switch to using a pair of VR glasses or a VR headset instead.
Once you’ve made up your mind about joining the metaverse, all that’s left to do is make an avatar and dive in.
How do I create an avatar for the metaverse?
The metaverse is a three-dimensional space, and your avatar is the digital representation of you that occupies that space.
Since you’ll be taking your avatar into virtual worlds and events, you may want to spend some time and effort creating an avatar that you like. Thankfully, this process is relatively straightforward, but, like everything else we’ve covered, it varies from platform to platform.
In many cases, avatar creation is already a built-in step when you’re entering a metaverse world. VIVE Sync, Beatday, and Engage all include VR avatar makers that have you design a metaverse persona before you ever step into a virtual environment.
Other metaverse platforms let you bring in avatars designed on third-party 3D model generators. For example, avatars from Ready Player Me, Tafi, and MakeAvatar can all be uploaded to VRChat, while you can import any avatar with the VRM file format into VIVERSE.
How do I join the metaverse?
We hope that this question is now less of a mystery to you. There are myriad ways to get into the metaverse, but they can be summed up in these simple steps:
Decide on which device to use.
Connect it to the internet.
Pick a metaverse platform.
Make a compatible avatar.
Enter the world you want to see.
Pretty easy, right? The really challenging part will be deciding which kind of experience you want to try first. We recommend that you take your time and try them all!
Dive into the metaverse with an open mind and begin your journey of discovery!