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Rec Room vs VRChat – Which Is Better?

Virtual reality (VR) is set to change the world by introducing people to different worlds. Although they’ve been around since the mid-1900s, the technology has garnered far more attention in recent years as it becomes commercially available.

You can experience anything with VR, most of which you can never experience in real life. You can skydive, take a car ride, play games, watch movies, socialize, explore locations, and much more.

Before you can do all these, however, you need a good VR platform. Rec Room and VRChat rank among the top VR platforms available today.

If you plan to opt for either of the two, this post – comparing Rec Room vs. VRChat – will help you decide which is the better choice for you.

Also ReadBest VR-Ready Laptops

What is Rec Room?

Rec Room is a popular VR platform among gamers. It’s available as an application for Android, iOS, PC, game console, and VR devices. Notably, you don’t pay to use Rec Room on these devices.

The game platform first reached the internet in 2016. Currently, it features shooter, racing, fighting, sports adventure, and simulation video games, to name a few.

Thousands of gamers from all over the world use Rec Room. Hence, you become part of a global community if you opt for this VR platform.

The platform allows you to build your own VR games and game elements using a unique Maker Pen. Similarly, you’ll find millions of games made by other creators on Rec Room.

Rec Room features player-created rooms with built-in chat and hangout options. Hence, it also works as a social media platform.

What Is VRChat?

Initially released in 2014, VRChat lets you create, share, and experience virtual worlds. You can do all of these with or without an exclusive VR device.

Your virtual world can be anything, although most users mainly create games. You can readily build yours from scratch with the Unity SDK. Likewise, you can create full-body avatars using different compatible creation systems.

When you sign up, you’ll find thousands of existing VR worlds made by other users. VRChat places the number to be over 25,000.

You can use VRChat on different compatible VR devices, including Quest, Viveport, and Rift.

Furthermore, the platform lets you chat and interact with other users, allowing you to create long-lasting relationships.

Now, let’s show you a side-by-side comparison of VRChat vs Rec Room features.

Getting Started

Rec Room

Typically, you need an account to use Rec Room. The VR platform isn’t available via the web, so you must first download and install the app on a compatible device.

Supported devices include Windows, iOS, Android, Oculus Rift, PlayStation, Steam, Xbox, and Oculus Quest.

The installation process depends on your device. For example, for Android and iOS, you can install from the Apple Store or Google Play Store, respectively.

Afterward, launch the app and create an account following the simple registration guide. Once your account is live, Rec Room presents you with an in-game tutorial.

The in-game tutorial will walk you through the basic features you’ll use on the app. After completing the tutorial, you can access the thousands of games on Rec Room.

VRChat

VRChat lets you create an account via the web directly from your browser. You can also create an account by first downloading the app on your preferred VR platform.

You only need a username, email, date of birth, and password to create a VRChat account. Date of birth is necessary because only users over the age of 13 years can sign up on the platform.

After creating your account, you’ll need to link it with your preferred VR platform. For example, if you want to use VRChat with Steam, you’ll need to connect your VRChat account with your Steam account.

Alternatively, you can simply sign into VRChat using your Steam account.

Verdict

You can create a VRChat account on the web before downloading any app, which makes it a little simpler than Rec Room.

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Supported Creations

Rec Room

Rec Room is primarily for games. As a result, you can’t create anything other than VR games using the platform.

However, Rec Room lets you build different types of games with distinct game elements. You can create fighting, shooter, racing, simulation, sports, or adventure games.

Furthermore, you can constantly improve your games by creating and adding new elements at any time. It’s possible to build game components for other users as well.

Aside from games, you can create player rooms with Rec Room. This is where the VR platform is most popular; it lets users play together with others in multiplayer mode.

VRChat

VRChat lets you create different types of virtual reality worlds. It could be gaming worlds, animation, or somewhere to socialize. As a result, you can do more than play with VRChat.

For example, one of the most popular worlds on VRChat is The Black Cat. As a user, you can visit the bar to meet other people and get to know them. The VR avatars you meet at the bar are other users like yourself.

With such versatility, it’s no surprise that the platform already has over 25,000 VR worlds. Hence, you may not need to create a new one.

Verdict

VRChat lets you create different virtual worlds, while Rec Room is limited to games. Hence, VRChat wins.

Creating Process

Rec Room

Creating games and elements with Rec Room is simple, and you’ll only need one tool – the built-in Maker Pen. You’ll find the pen in the Backpack Menu from your Rec Room dashboard.

You can create games using the Marker Pen in VR or screen mode, depending on which is easier for you. While the tool is simple to use, it may take a bit to get used to it as a new user.

To assist you, Rec Room provides an in-depth tutorial on the support page. You’ll also find many helpful videos on their official YouTube channel.

VRChat

To build worlds on VRChat, you need to install a software development kit (SDK). In particular, you’ll need the Unity SDK, which you can download for free from the Unity 3D website.

The Unity SDK is a versatile development kit. Hence, it’s suitable for a platform like VRChat for creating different VR worlds.

You have three SDK versions to choose from, but developers recommended the VRChat SDK3, the latest version.

Furthermore, note that the SDKs are of different versions. There’s an exclusive VRChat SDK3 version for creating avatars and another for worlds.

Verdict

Rec Room has a more uncomplicated creation process, as the Marker Pen is less technical when compared to the VRChat SDK tool.

Avatars

Rec Room

As a Rec Room user, you can create and customize avatars with the built-in avatar system. Notably, the platform recently improved the system by adding more functionalities.

You can create Rec Room avatars using different face shapes, which ensures they don’t look the same.

Likewise, you can customize your avatar with different hairstyles, eye and mouth positions, skin colors, and hair colors.

Furthermore, Rec Room features hundreds of costumes to give your avatar the perfect appearance. The feature to add and customize full-body costumes is one of the newest additions on the platform.

Note that most avatar costumes are not free, and you’ll need in-game currencies to buy them.

VRChat

VRChat lets you create avatars using different avatar creation systems. Primarily, you can use the VRChat SDK3 avatars.

Alternatively, you can use third-party platforms like Ready Player Me, MakeAvatar, and Tafi. You can directly upload avatars you create on these platforms to VRChat.

With these options, you can create almost any type of avatar for your VRChat account. However, your avatars must be in a format Unity accepts since you’ll import them to the Unity SDK.

To make things easier, you can purchase an Avatar 3D Model from the Unity Asset Store.

Verdict

Both VRChat and Rec Room feature versatile avatar-creating systems. However, VRChat wins as it supports different avatar creation systems.

Community Interactions

Rec Room

Rec Room users can interact with each other in real time using text or voice chats. However, many of the interactions are available as comfort features.

Since thousands of people use the platform, Rec Room has comfort features, so you can control who contacts you.

When in a player room, for example, you can mute individual players using simple gestures. You can mute all players as well if you want.

Rec Room gives you the option to block and report any user. The platform has a vote-kick feature for player rooms to keep things fair. It allows multiple players to vote if a particular player should leave the room.

VRChat

As a VR platform popular for its socializing options, VRChat maintains a vibrant user community. Like on any social media platform, you can add users as friends to chat and collaborate.

When in a virtual world with other users – like the bar, for example – you can express yourself using simple gestures. VRChat also supports emojis and emoticons.

Furthermore, your avatar will react as it interacts with others with facial expressions and others. Note that VRChat gives you control over how you react, but you can control other people.

Verdict

You can interact safely with other users on VRChat and Rec Room. Both platforms are inseparable in this case.

Events And Contests

Rec Room

With Rec Room, you get contests and other events from time to time.

You can participate in various contests and challenges, from building competitions to social gatherings and even creative endeavors like video, photo, and art exhibitions.

Many events and contests on the platform – like the RecCon event, for example – are recurring. They’re usually free to join, and you can win various rewards. Rec Room events and contests rewards are typically in-game items, which you can redeem afterward.

Nevertheless, you get a virtual trophy when you win a contest. You can display your trophy on your avatar to show you’re a pro player.

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VRChat

VRChat has an events calendar. The calendar features a series of past and upcoming events, making sure you never miss anyone.

Interestingly, the calendar features upcoming events years ahead. For example, you’ll find upcoming events that’ll take place in 2023 and 2024.

However, most of these events are regular, like community meetups, improv adventures, Saturday squats, and open mic night.

If you need more, you can partake in VRChat contests. So far, Spookality is the most popular contest on the platform, and it rewards first, second, and third-place users.

Verdict

Once again, it’s a tie between Rec Room and VRChat. You won’t lack engaging contests and events, irrespective of which of the two you choose.

Compatibility

Rec Room

To use Rec Room efficiently, you need a compatible device that meets the minimum required specifications.

Currently, the platform supports six device types, including Windows PC, iOS, Android, PlayStation, Xbox, and Oculus/Meta. Hence, Mac is the only major device Rec Room doesn’t support.

You can install Rec Room on Windows 7 and the latest versions. The platform will work with PlayStation 4 and higher with or without PlayStation VR. For Xbox, you need Xbox One, One S, Series S, or Series X.

Finally, Rec Room requires Oculus Rift, Rift S with PC, and Meta Quest 2 versions.

Also Read: Best VR-Ready Laptops

VRChat

VRChat primarily requires VR headset devices to work. Consequently, the platform has native support for eight VR headsets.

The headsets include Oculus Rift S, HTC Vive, Oculus Quest Link, HTC Vive Pro, Oculus Quest, Oculus Quest 2, Oculus Rift, and Valve Index.

Furthermore, VRChat is available on SteamVR. As a result, you can use the platform with any VR headset compatible with Stream, even if it’s not natively supported.

Notably, it doesn’t have applications for mobile and desktop devices. Nevertheless, you can use it in desktop mode on your PC without a headset.

Verdict

The winner here is Rec Room, as the platform supports mobile, desktop, and VR headset devices.

Third-Party Integrations

Rec Room

Rec Room comes with all the tools and functions you’ll need to build VR game worlds and avatars. As a result, the platform has no third-party integrations.

Nevertheless, Rec Room features an API. With the API, you can connect the platform to other websites to access related files and information.

VRChat

The primary tool VRChat integrates with is Unity SDK, which is necessary to create worlds and avatars. By extension, the platform supports Udon, a custom-built VRChat SDK3 programming language.

The programming language is exclusive to the VRChat platform. It’s a node-based programming language and comes with an intuitive, powerful editor.

Also, as mentioned before, the platform works with Ready Player Me, Tafi, and Make Avatar. These are the few integrations you can access on VRChat. Nevertheless, the platform also has an API which is available on GitHub.

Verdict

While both platforms aren’t heavy on integrations, VRChat wins as it features a few useful ones.

Customer Support

Rec Room

As a gaming VR platform, Rec Room primarily offers customer support on social media platforms. In particular, Discord is the best platform to reach the platform’s developers.

Aside from Discord, Rec Room has official accounts on Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. Twitter and Reddit are the other recommended platforms for getting support.

You can also contact the platform’s developers by submitting a contact form from the website. The website has a blog and help center, which you can consult for self-help.

VRChat

You can submit a request to the VRChat developers if you have any issues or inquiries with using the platform. Otherwise, you can consult the blog, FAQ, or knowledge base.

The knowledge base features helpful articles on account management, content creation, feature requests, app issues, and SDK issues.

Another option you have is to make a post in the community forums. You can do this on the website or Discord. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Medium are other social platforms where you can get help.

Verdict

Customer support and resources are similar on VRChat and Rec Room, so it’s a draw.

Also Read: Best Cheap VR Headsets For PC Gaming

Rec Room vs VRChat: Pricing

Rec Room

Rec Room is free, but you can opt for the Plus Membership plan and get extra benefits. The Plus Membership plan costs $7.99 per month.

Benefits of subscribing to Rec Room Plus include:

  • Monthly 6,000 in-game tokens worth up to $10. You get 1,500 tokens per week.
  • Option to sell your creations (game worlds and avatars) to other users for real money or in-game tokens
  • A 10% discount when purchasing items on Rec Room stores with in-game tokens
  • Access to the Rec Room Plus item store section
  • Up to 100 saved outfit slots
  • A 4-star box per week

VRChat

You don’t need to pay to use VRChat. However, you can support the developers by subscribing to VRChat Plus. You also get enhanced features when you do.

VRChat Plus costs $9.99 per month and is only available on Steam and the Oculus Quest Store. The enhanced features it offers include:

  • Nameplate icon to personalize your nameplate
  • Option to send photos in messages
  • Up to 300 avatar slots
  • Early supporters benefits

VRChat vs Rec Room: Similarities And Differences

Similarities

  • Both are virtual reality (VR) platforms
  • Both Rec Room and VRChat will work with or without VR devices
  • Both support VR games with multiplayer functionality
  • Both platforms are compatible with VR headsets
  • Both platforms are free, but they feature Plus plans
  • Both VRChat and Rec Room let you create new VR worlds from scratch
  • Both support avatars with flexible customization options
  • Both platforms feature user communities with many interaction options
  • Both platforms feature events and contests to engage users
  • Both platforms feature an API

Differences

  • Rec Room only lets you register after installing the app, but with VRChat, you can create an account on the web.
  • VRChat lets you create games and other VR worlds, while Rec Room allows you to create only games.
  • VRChat uses the Unity SDK for creating worlds, while Rec Room uses a simple 3D Marker Pen.
  • Rec Room features a single avatar creation system, but VRChat supports multiple avatar creation systems.
  • VRChat only works with VR headsets except in desktop mode. However, you can use Rec Room with or without VR headsets with mobile and desktop apps.
  • Rec Room doesn’t support third-party integrations, but VRChat supports a few.

Rec Room vs VRChat: Pros And Cons

Rec Room Pros

  • Supports mobile, desktop, and VR headsets
  • Works with or without VR headsets
  • Simple Marker Pen for creating games
  • Simple interaction options in player rooms
  • Rewarding contests and events
  • Plus Plan with additional features

Rec Room Cons

  • Limited to VR games
  • No third-party integrations

VRChat Pros

  • Multiple options to create avatars
  • Many virtual rooms to socialize
  • Supports different types of VR worlds
  • Exclusive programming language
  • Plus Plan with enhanced features
  • Events and contests

VRChat Cons

  • Requires multiple SDKs
  • Limited to VR headsets

Rec Room vs VRChat – Which is Better?

From the above comparison, you’ll agree that VRChat has more features than Rec Room, and Rec Room is better in terms of compatibility.

However, both have one significant difference. While Rec Room is more about VR games, VRChat is for socializing in general. Therefore, the better platform depends on why you need a VR platform.

If you’re a gamer, you should opt for Rec Room. Of course, VRChat also features games, but you’ll find more options and variety with Rec Room.

On the other hand, if you need a VR platform to interact, try new identities, and make friends, VRChat should be your go-to.