Developer Update - 28 September 2023

Welcome to the Developer Update for 28 September 2023!

The featured world for this Dev Update is Archipelago | アーキペラゴー, by Artsy Glitch. Global warming hit kinda hard didn’t it

If you’d like to catch up, you can read our previous Developer Update from 14 September.

Important Info / Announcements

Spookality 2023!

Spookality is upon us! Submissions for both avatars and worlds are already open, and will close on October 16th at 12PM PT. Make sure you get yours in before submissions close!

Avatars and Worlds will be showcased between October 20th and November 11th. Avatars will be shown in the default VRChat Home with a special additional section, and worlds will have their own World Category where you can browse through.

VRChat 2023.3.3 Open Beta

The latest version of VRChat, 2023.3.3, is currently in Open Beta! Check out the full patchnotes here.

If you’d rather wait, our Patchnote Video will make a return alongside the Live release!

Unity 2022 Open Beta

Our Open Beta is currently testing a version of VRChat running on Unity 2022! This is a change from our current version, which is on Unity 2019.

No reuploads are required. All content from Live VRChat works in this build.

A 2022 SDK isn’t available yet. Stay on 2019.

Open Beta will remain on Unity 2022 going forward. This will allow users to use and test Unity 2022 while playing VRChat normally, so you can easily find and then report bugs.

If you have content you’ve uploaded to VRChat that you want to make sure works fine after a Unity upgrade, test it NOW. We want to minimize the number of people who say “wtf my stuff is broken!! nobody told me this was happening!!!” on Live release day… :smiling_face_with_tear: Tell your friends, tell everyone.

Submit a bug report if something’s broken. If you don’t report it, it won’t be fixed.

Rough Roadmap

Here’s an approximate plan of what you should expect.

  1. Unity 2022 VRChat is in Open Beta right now, and will stay on Unity 2022 even if future test builds need to go out.
  2. At some point during the 2022 Open Beta, we’ll push a Beta 2022 SDK and provide migration steps. It should be fairly straightforward, especially with the Creator Companion handling it!
  3. Eventually, once we’re OK with the state of Open Beta, we’ll push to Live.

New Web Profiles

In our previous Dev Update, we talked about new web profiles on the VRChat Home site.

It’s live now! Go check it out, it’s very clean :ok_hand:

Ongoing Development

New Search Algorithm

Search is now using a different algorithm, which is already live! You hopefully are seeing more relevant results in your worlds searches.

In particular, we’ve worked on improving exact matches, multi-word searches, and tweaked the overall balancing of text matching with popularity. Search is still under ongoing development right now, so things may continue to change!

You’ll also be seeing a small UI update coming soon to make it easier to search for worlds, avatar worlds, and users in one place:


That’s it for this Dev Update! A little leaner than usual, but we’ve got our heads down hard at work on lots of big projects like the Creator Economy and VRChat Mobile.

Our next update is scheduled for October 12th, 2023. See you then!


I’m sad that search does not work for User IDs yet! That would be really helpful…


full resolution thumbnails

VRChat throws around uncompressed PNGs like beads at Mardi Gras. :smile:

I would say, call it “avatar WORLD search” but it would be better to keep it that way to incentivize exploration and not cut into VRC+'s biggest selling feature


Search has needed an upgrade for a bit, glad to see it.

Little UI nitpick, the search result screen is a little misleading at first glance without reading context. The “Avatars” tab should probably be “Avatar Worlds” or else someone will think it’s actual avatars in the results. (Though they’ll understand after making that mistake once)


Is this still happening? We pushed a fix for this recently.

Oo, yeah it seems like it got fixed in the past 24h after the last time I checked this


Thanks for making the canny!

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Separating avatar worlds from other worlds was an awful idea. Lots of avatar worlds are not just about avatars but now they don’t show up in the world search at all.


I think the intention of Avatar Worlds is worlds where avatars are 100% the focus. Some worlds would just have one or two avatars and throw the Avatar tag to get SEO.


looks like we’re one step closer to consistent thumbnail rendering!

in my testing, almost every instance of thumbnail rendering is uniquely wrong. Most menus use inconsistent, nonstandard aspect ratios, and it drives me crazy.

on top of that, the group banners are technically centered ingame, but they don’t look centered because of the way the bottom it covered by the name plate, which makes it impossible to put a centered logo in a group banner. I wish this would be fixed as well.

Edit: I did a quick test, and it looks like the new profile thumbnail might not actually be 16:9 like I thought it was. darn.


spooky time

It drives me a bit crazy too, but after 7 years of it…

They should have their UI/UX person lay down the law!

Checking the patch notes, that likely explains the new Open Beta Linux VR crashes I encountered with Proton Experimental (used to have AVPro volume control working):

I’m guessing some part of modifying the Quest code involved touching the Windows side as well, which might’ve run down a different path than Wine/Proton was previously using. Unity 2022 worked before this update, and Unity 2019 (stable) still works fine. Proton 8.x (stable) works fine on Unity 2022, but AVPro audio escapes VRChat at 100% like it used to months ago.

UPDATE 2023-9-30: This appears to impact VRChat desktop usage, too, and thus might impact the Steam Deck. If I have sufficient CPU load while a world with AVPro is active, e.g. Unity Editor bundling an avatar for upload, VRChat will crash with Proton Experimental. Worlds with Unity’s media player remain fine (e.g. the iY MMD world).

Original remarks follow:

I realize Linux VR is not officially supported, and unfortunately this works fine in desktop mode, so no impact to the officially-supported Steam Deck. Still, for anyone else that is on the Linux VR train, I commented on Valve’s issue tracker with my full range of tests, including VRChat and Proton debug logs:

(This links to my comment on the issue.)

Feel free to thumbs that up if you’re impacted on the Open Beta (also using Proton Experimental), too. All dozen of us Linux VR users :sweat_smile: (until the rumored Valve Deckard does for Linux VR gaming what Deck did for Linux desktop gaming).

I’ve made an Open Beta feedback report on the VRChat Canny, too. (I’ve heard we’re not supposed to publicly link those… and Canny isn’t loading for me right now, anyways.)


This is making me think about bios and then group descriptions… It would be nice if group and world descriptions could parse new lines. Having to space out stuff in world descriptions with hyphens or such is messy.

Having said that, once you have two sets of controllers, can you not play the game normally?
Since a certain steamVR update

Some grab-type games will be invalid, rhythm lightsaber swings will be invalid, and in some cases, room boundary determination will be inexplicably thrown back to the respawn point.

Is this a feature or a bug?

The problem usually lasts about a month and becomes more serious.

Even longer

It will also cause problems with some udon functions. Because I have not operated openXR in detail, I don’t understand why this problem occurs. However, users who need to mix and match different VR products will encounter these problems and can only log in to the game again or repeatedly. You have to restart steamVR many times to play normally.

Inching closer and closer to 2022 I’m foaming at the mouth for the editor change. Keep it up!

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When can we get more drastic performance improvements? I realize Unity 2022 will help a bit, and there are small efforts made along the way but they don’t have much perceivable impact on the end user most of the time (with exception of solving some severe hitches or other hotspot issues that appear along the way).

It is extremely well documented and every major company puts in extensive efforts to optimize their software, for very important reasons: it affects their success, profitability, and a lot of that comes down to how much people do in the software, and user retention.

There are indeed quasi-addictive properties of vr just by consequence of it’s nature which can make this seem not as bad because people stay on, but it causes a great deal of pain and fatigue to a great many users and reduces retention and returning as a result.

This matters now, not on the fantastical day vrchat may or may not release a non-early-access build.

Considering that most what you see and interact with is made by normal users who often have no idea on how to correctly optimize things it’s pretty unlikely that VRChat them self can really improve on this a lot.
Don’t get me wrong, they can 100% improve things in the background (e.g. like they did with Phys Bones), but the majority of performance “problems” will always be the result of poorly optimized user generated content.

Optimizing is a lot of work for most people. I myself spent maybe 2 weeks on a avatar I bought on booth getting it optimized, and adding things. It’s difficult figuring out the best way to do some things. I would merge low poly meshes and make blendshapes to hide them, and atlas textures that fit together. I was eventually able to make a fallback version too.

It does suck though when you buy an avatar and it’s the most kitbashed thing you’ve ever seen, and can’t even be uploaded on quest. With no help from the creator even though it’s suppose to be compatible on both.

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