VRChat Implements Avatar Performance Blocking to Provide a Better Experience for Oculus Quest Users: Recent Changes Have Led to Some Complaints

VRChat’s Move to Cross-Platform Content Has Led to Some Discontent

VRChat is making more changes to its social VR platform to better accommodate users of the wireless Oculus Quest VR headset, and some VRChat users are less than happy with the overall direction of VRChat, complaining that wired VR headset users are suffering at the expense of wireless users.

In an official blogpost dated June 11th, VRChat announced a new minimum displayed performance rank was added to the platform, mainly to improve performance for Quest users of the platform:

You can choose to block avatars based on their Avatar Performance Rank. This option is available in the “Performance Options” menu, accessible as a button in the top-right of the Safety tab in the main menu.

When you choose a Performance Rank in this menu, all avatars that are below that rank will be blocked by default and replaced with a placeholder avatar. You can choose between “Medium”, “Poor”, or “Very Poor”.

On VRChat for PC, the Minimum Displayed Performance Rank is set to “Very Poor” by default. This means that no avatars are hidden by default on PC. You can choose between “Medium”, “Poor”, or “Very Poor” options.

On VRChat for the Oculus Quest, the Minimum Displayed Performance Rank is set to “Medium” by default. You can choose to change this to “Poor” to permit showing avatars of that rank, but you may encounter performance issues. In addition, you cannot select the “Very Poor” level on VRChat for Quest. In other words, avatars that are ranked as “Very Poor” will never display on VRChat for the Oculus Quest. 

(This is essentially a version of the Avatar Rendering Complexity system which was implemented a couple of years ago in Second Life, where you could “turn off” other people’s avatars which placed a heavier burden on the graphics card of your computer.)

Over on the VRChat subReddit, some users are not happy about all the recent changes:

I am no developer nor a programmer but i can feel if, things get better or worst, and VRChat is 100% getting worse and worse every update and i hate to see it going that way. I have spent 1300+ hour in this game and i loved every minute of it except the crashers. With the resent update I felt like VIVE and Oculus users were pulled down to the sake of Oculus quest users, no hate on them I dont blame them they just want to experience the fun that we had, the only problem that bothers me is the drawing with a pen, it [is] so bad. Hope VRChat team can figure out the best solution for us.

Another user writes:

After reading through some threads, in particular FloppiiiVR’s thread: Thanks Devs to f*** all of us Animators over, I decided to make a thread to clarify a few things and share some thoughts about VRChat’s current state… I’m usually not the type to speak up in public, but I feel like a few things need to be said. The latest patch has brought a lot of mixed feelings in the community and it’s been reflected throughout VRChat, the subReddit and many Discord channels dedicated to the game. Obviously the direction and changes that the devs are going to with the game are unhealthy for the game, whether you agree or disagree with said changes doesn’t change the fact that it’s leading to a lot of drama within the community.

I feel like a lot of this also has to do with the Oculus Quest as it’s far less capable then PC VR. Trying to mix a mobile platform with a PC platform is possible, but it shouldn’t cripple the higher end of the spectrum as it should still be the majority and your main target audiance.

And I have to say, based on the time that I have spent so far in VRChat in my Oculus Quest, that it now feels as if that VRChat has been split into two separate platforms, with very little overlap between them. Perhaps this situation will improve over time as more people create worlds and avatars that can be seen by both groups of users, but it is clear that the most recent changes made to VRChat have not been universally appreciated by its much larger wired VR headset userbase. I predict that VRChat is going to face some signifcant challenges trying to keep both wired and wireless headset users happy.

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2 thoughts on “VRChat Implements Avatar Performance Blocking to Provide a Better Experience for Oculus Quest Users: Recent Changes Have Led to Some Complaints”

  1. Do I count as wired if I’m using Vive wireless with full body tracking? As far as the divide goes, I can’t optimize my Avatar for the quest because I just don’t have enough time to do so. I have to remake the entire Avatar from scratch.

  2. Right now, I think things will be shaky as it’s effectively trying to balance new technology that has some different rules. At start, things were buggy for the new Oculus Quest, so the developers shift some things to help it out. However, this may have been too harsh of a push and that could easily be tweaked in the future, until we no longer have the rocking boat that is the introduction of the Oculus Quest for VRChat.

    At the same time, VRChat is based on user content, and developing content for the Oculus Quest isn’t as easy and is also very new. Some users also may not have made the avatar they enjoy or the world they hang out in, so optimizing their stuff for the Quest may not be possible, and thus bring to question if the support is even needed. For those who can optimize their stuff, it’s a different story, and one that will unfold as tools get better to help with that.

    As for the elephant in the room regarding the animator’s complaints… to be fair, you have to have known that was coming and you also know the solution: just make two different avatars; one with your effects and one without. Honestly, this was something Second Life faced and… we didn’t have any problems.

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