I am briefly wondering what an interesting VR setup would cost me. Let's say a baseline of "play Beat Sabre" and "watch myself dance around in VRChat wearing a cool avatar that I might have made myself".

I've only got a Mac so any PC involved would be part of the setup cost along with the headset/controls/trackers.

Thanks to all the replies, it is starting to look like the hardware buy-in cost for this is ranging from $1-3k. Kinda sounds like full-body tracking is not available at the low end yet.

It is feeling like my budget for this is in the low end of this at best, $1.5k is pushing it. Used hardware from a more cutting-edge friend who wants to buy the absolute newest hotness and cover half of it by selling me the old stuff might be doable too.

I just summarized this "hey how much would a magic mirror that lets me tf into my dragonsona and dance around" thread into a blog post. Mostly for my own reference. Thanks again to everyone who chimed in with their opinions!

@anthracite unfortunately VRChat has no Mac client so you'd need whatever software they've got now to let you run Windows on it, or similar. A Quest 2 costs about $400 brand new but requires a Facebook account. my advice for these is to start with a second hand HTC Vive set.


huh, tbh the $1100 XR Elite sounds pretty close to the amount of money I was vaguely thinking felt like the hardest limit I'd want to pay for the whole computer/headset/trackers deal.

@anthracite oh dang i thought your budget was way lower. if you wanna buy new the Valve Index is probably the way to go. It's got the best controllers and you'd be surprised just how important that becomes in something like VRChat. it's also cheaper at $1000 for a full set including lighthouses for positional tracking.

if you want Full Body Tracking, apparently using a Kinect is a viable way of doing it.


I haven't really defined a budget yet, though $1k is definitely feeling like it's close to the max. $2k is right out, and 1.5 is pushing it.

I wonder if the Leap Motion I have sitting around unused could be pressed into service for tracking.


...and adding in a couple k to the $1k Valve Index for a Serious Gamer Rig is definitely over the line, yipes.

@anthracite In that case starting out with a Quest 2 and some software is probably the best way to go.

@anthracite @PsyChuan couple k? We built our desktop for, maybe $600ish?, all new parts except for the GPU which is an old RX 580 that we got off eBay.

And entry-level new GPUs are in the $200 range I think – no idea whether they can do VR, but our RX 580 can supposedly do low-end VR and newer cards are faster.

@anthracite @PsyChuan afaik the leap motion is designed for close-up tracking, not room tracking.

eg, vtubing often uses it to track hands.

@PsyChuan @anthracite I've done some amount of the faux-fullbody alongside my Quest 2 (kinect 1 rather than kinect 2) and while it works surprisingly well, that's not the same as working well.

@PsyChuan @anthracite (there are, however, a bunch of small companies working on cheap, reasonable FBT based on dead reckoning or hybrid systems that should be reaching workability in the next year or so.

I use a Quest 2 streaming wirelessly from my Windows laptop for most of my VR and it works surprisingly well.)

@PsyChuan @anthracite

Seconding a secondhand Vive as a reasonable budget option. Especially since you can upgrade to Index controllers without having to buy the whole Index set.

The Index is a definite upgrade, but my Vive served me quite well for a while (barring some controller issues.) It's a good, solid headset.

@anthracite Cheapest would be a Quest which is standalone at a couple hundred bucks. but involves Facebook.

VRChat Quest limitations and PC specs 

@Doephin @anthracite

Note that relatively few furry VRChat avatars are designed to work on the Quest standalone client, although the number is increasing. The Quest (with PC link) is probably still the most reasonable option for a cheap headset but, yeah, the cost of a PC is waiting behind it.

VRChat is not very good at using multiple cores, so prioritize a CPU with single-core speed over a high core count. You probably want an NVidia GTX 1080 or better. suggests that the cheapest card in this category is the AMD RX6600-XT. The NVidia GTX 1080-TI is a reasonable upgrade pick (about 25% higher performance). Nothing else is in a similar price tier according to the listings on userbenchark; top-end graphics cards can outperform the 1080 by 3:1 but this honestly won't help much in VRChat, you'll get a reasonable resolution at 90fps with dips to 45fps (with reasonably good frame interpolation covering over it) with the 1080 (base).

If you want more power than you need with the expectation that demands will grow and you'd like to keep meeting them, Nvidia RTX 4070 costs slightly less than twice as much and pushes slightly less than twice as many frames per second (holding all else constant). There's nothing between that and the absurd tier of pricing, with marginal improvements in performance; with two outliers at the stupidly top end. the RTX 4070 appears to be the best price:FPS ratio right now.

uh, summary:
* VRChat Quest is very limited compared to VRChat PC
* VRChat's primary performance bottleneck is single core CPU; graphical performance is a surprisingly distant second. Performance is fine on a several-year-old used-to-be-top-end graphics card, which is now solidly in the "budget" range, although you can get a higher rendering resolution (with stable framerate) out of a better card.
* suggests the only real options are AMD RX6600-XT (cheapest adequate), NVidia GTX 1080-TI (similar price-to-performance ratio, about 25% faster), and Nvidia RTX 4070 (similar price-to-performance ratio, double performance). Nothing in the "expensive" tier has an even remotely similar price:performance ratio; the only thing that's close is literally the most expensive card on the market.
* Because VRChat is single-core-performance constrained and sustained CPU performance is heat-constrained, get a liquid cooling block.

VRChat Quest limitations and PC specs 

@kistaro @Doephin

holy crap thank you for that infodump <3

man heat-constrained performance is gonna be FUN for someone who lives in the tropics

VRChat Quest limitations and PC specs 

@anthracite @kistaro @Doephin watercool all the things

@anthracite Oh, the social VR experience can be so very worth it. Like, the Gender Feels alone!


After about 20y on hormones I pretty much get the gender feels on a regular basis, but I have also had some very interesting Dragon Feels when wearing a full-head mask, and being able to have a magic mirror that shows me as a dragon lady sounds *pretty interesting*.

@anthracite 🌱 Oh, the species euphoria can be out of this world!


Hmm... What I'm using is a used Windows Mixed Reality headset I was able to get for ~250 USD, but that doesn't include the cost of my computer setup (which, being a laptop, is probably a lot more expensive than a comparable desktop would be). It's a decent low-budget option, and doesn't require the use of base stations, but it does have some major downsides (primarily the rather small hand-tracking field and the lack of upgradability if you want to get full-body tracking at some point).


If you need to do content creation on the PC, I'd expect $906.53

If not, The PC will be around $629.90

Then for the Vr part. Dancing is actually a fairly demanding use case for tracking. In some full body setups I can recomend slimevr, but not dancing. So, We're looking at 1000 USD for the INdex setup bundle plus at least 3 trackers (~300USD).

So the range to get into the hobby with new components is $1,929.90-$2,206.53

We could possibly get that down to $1,179.53-1,456.53 with the Frankenstein combo of a quest 2 and slimevr tracking, but the IMU based stuff gets really bad with as much motion as dancing introduces and the limited range of motion with the quest 2 controllers will frustrate in that application.


Oh man thanks for roughing it out in detail for me, I don't even begin to know where to look into this stuff as a long-time Macs-for-work, consoles-for-games person!

Honestly: a pretty good spot to be in.
The only issue there is when we are talking about the furry experience of being your character in vr, because consoles just don't have that.
You could, technically, do it with just the quest 2 and a mac. There is a stand-alone client for the quest 2 for both beat saber and vrchat, but you will need to do some optimization for the quest and there is a bit of a social stigma thing in vrchat for 'questies' which can ruin the experience.

Plus every vr furry i know of wants to mod beat saber to put their avatar in and get more tracks :P


plus, well, facebook, ew

but yeah "playing beat sabre as my fursona" is pretty much a requirement for me here.

It's still basically the most accessible entry into vr though. :<
Meta is the unfortunate 900 pound gorilla in the room, and everyone in the space has to deal with them or dry up.
Valve might alleviate some of that pressure, but they seem to have moved on to their next shiny thing (the Steam Deck).


Feels like right now I may want to wait a little longer. One or two hardware generations. Or a friend who's been on the bleeding edge and has excess stuff to sell cheap.

The used market isn't too bad in terms of price, though also a bit of a minefield. Make sure you look at the price of replacement components, especially the tether. Some of the earlier headsets had custom cables that now are as expensive as the headsets themselves.


Hope I'm not too late, I just saw the thread. My VR rig is an HP Omen 30L and I had a custom build done that cost me just over $2k. Then I added in an HP Reverb VR headset for about $500. I use my setup to play VR minigolf and it's absolute aces at it.
HTC is probably your best bet for full body tracking VR, a lot of the cheaper headsets, like mine, don't do full body tracking. Mine just does half body. Great for games, not so good for VRChat.
If you have a PS5, Sony is doing a really slick VR headset for it, might be something else to consider.


nah you're good, I am not gonna be buying any of this right now, I'm just trying to get a general sense of the market!

This thread happened because I was contemplating *not* getting a PS5 to replace the PS4 Pro, so Sony's stuff is kind of very much an open question. Also I doubt they're gonna be too open to my primary use-case of "use VR to dance around and see myself as a horny dragon". :)


I will admit, my primary motivation on getting all this was similar, bouncing around as a busty skunk Djinn in VRChat, or possibly as my noodle dragon. And I really needed a new PC as well, so it all fit together nicely.

@anthracite full body tracking is probably better with the Valve system because you're more likely to have a line of sight between the lighthouses and the foot trackers than between the headset and the foot trackers.

Finger movement can be captured with a Leap Motion, @ExpiredPopsicle knows a bit about that.

@anthracite It seems like the tech is still immature? At least wait and see what Apple announces at WWDC in early June—looks like they're getting ready to release their AR/VR headset, which is usually an indicator that they feel the field is mature enough it won't cause reputational damage to dip a toe in it, and it might flush cheaper copycat/me too releases out of the undergrowth.


Yeah, I think there being solid rumors of an an Apple entry in the field (complete with an eye-watering price tag, and a cheaper one and a higher-spec one in the pipe for the next version) is a sign that it's CLOSE to ready for people who are not tinkerers. Which really jibes with what I'm seeing in terms of currently-available stuff, too; I feel like one enthusiast deciding to sell off last generation's gear for half the price of the latest stuff would be within my budget for utterly frivolous bullshit.

@anthracite Full-body tracking can be achieved on a PC with a Kinect, with less work and expense (but also lower accuracy) than SteamVR full body tracking. So that’s relatively cheaper, but only relative to a full SteamVR setup. Kinect tracking requires more space due to its focal range than SteamVR.

@anthracite I confess that I am currently mulling over the possibility of upgrading my current machine, as it's a little long in the tooth.

Still does VR things really well, though. If I follow through with the upgrade eventually, I will let you know! Better the old stuff go to you than a landfill.

@anthracite PSVR2 might allow it eventually; there are projects to try and get it working on PC but no idea if they'll be successful and I would not buy one now with the expectation.

There are phone based tracker apps as well (either using the phone's accelerometers in the same way as the Slimes, or the depth sensor in the same way as the Kinect) - I do need to get a stand to try the latter with mine.
Some are only usable with VRChat though, without a PC app that can translate OSC to SteamVR

@anthracite I don't think Mac OS supports any usable VR on the Mac at this point in time. I guess you could run Windows on one, but that's kind of suboptimal.


Doesn’t look like it, nah. Maybe once Apple’s rumored headset come out. With a rumored price tag of $3k, rather a bit more than I’m probably willing to pay for this kind of nonsense!

@anthracite I spent less than that on my wintendo (including the video card) plus headset.

@anthracite afaik, the Quest is the only VR system in its price and accessibility category. (It's a stand alone unit with no room setup necessary, and less than half the price of other headsets.)

@anthracite I have an original Vive and a 980Ti, and it's fully sufficient for that.

For newer headsets with better resolution you probably need more GPU as well, especially if you want to go 144Hz — but 90 seems to be good enough, and I'm a person who can't read in a moving car without getting sick.

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Dragon Style

I'm a grumpy queer dragon lady and this is my quiet cave for me and some friends.