Comprehensive List of Social VR Platforms and Virtual Worlds

My avatar at the Nexus in Sansar, wearing a T-shirt I made for myself
using Marvelous Designer (picture taken Oct. 10th, 2019)

I realize that this very long list (with now over 160 entries!) can be a little overwhelming, and I do apologize for its current state. This year, I do plan to reorganize it by category to make it easier to navigate, but it is a time-consuming task, like herding cats.

The following spreadsheet covers what I consider the “Top 16” most popular social VR platforms (and yes, “popular” is subjective):

For an updated and expanded comparison chart of the features of sixteen social VR platforms, please click here (November 2019).

UPDATE March 6th, 2021: If you are looking for a searchable directory of VR/AR/MR/XR products for corporate collaboration, have you checked out the Directory of Collaborative XR Platforms, which aims to be a central repository of detailed information about XR collaboration products and platforms? I aspire to organize and categorize this list to such an extent as the XR Collaboration website!

I will be keeping this list of virtual worlds, social VR apps, and metaverse platforms up-to-date as I cover both old and new products, as a sort of comprehensive index to my website (you can find definitions of these terms here).

Please note that there are two categories of metaverse platforms which I will not endeavour to cover on this list:

  • Products aimed at the teen/tween market (mostly on mobile devices, e.g. IMVU); and
  • Purely sexually oriented or “adult” virtual worlds and social VR

Why? Well, I’m not interested in either category, and I will the herding of those particular categories of cats to other people 😉 I’ve got my hands full as it is!

You might also be interested in my new list of non-combat, open-world exploration and/or puzzle and/or life simulation games. For example, Fortnite recently launched Party Royale Island, an open-ended, non-combat extension to the phenomenally popular online game, as a means for gamers to socialize and a venue for concerts.

Platforms marked with an asterisk (*) support users in VR headsets. In some cases, VR support is experimental or still in beta.

Platforms marked with a dagger (†) support users in augmented reality (AR) headsets, such as the Microsoft Hololens or the Magic Leap One. Please note that I do not consider cellphone-based “AR” (e.g. Pokémon Go) to be true augmented reality.

UPDATE August 18th, 2020: In response to this press release, I will be personally boycotting Facebook/Oculus products and services, including the forthcoming Facebook Horizon social VR platform, which is expected to be launched in beta sometime in late 2020. However, I will still write about them on this blog—just not from a first-person perspective. More information here.

Well, I figure this is pretty much the canonical listing of social VR/virtual world platforms. Have I missed any? It’s like Pokémon, “gotta catch ’em all”…if you have heard of one that I haven’t covered yet, please let me know via the Contact page of my blog, thanks!

AW 2 11 May 2018
A scene from Active Worlds, one of the first 3D virtual worlds, now 25 years old!