Following a big spike in usage in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, social VR app VRChat has reached a new record of 24,000 concurrent users. Its creators say the surge was driven in part by the launch of Quest 2 and virtual Halloween festivities.

VRChat is a social VR app which lets VR and non-VR users connect to chat and explore worlds and experiences created by the game’s community. The app went viral back in 2018, bringing a huge rise in usership over the course of just a month, to a peak of 20,000 concurrent users on Steam. While that spike quickly faded, a surprising number of users stuck around, with the app continuing to grow since then.

VRChat has steadily grown from around 8,000 concurrent users on Steam in July 2019 to around 15,500 by the same time in 2020—and that doesn’t account for thousands of users using VRChat on Rift and Quest.

Indeed, with more users joining VRChat from Quest and now Quest 2, the app reached a new record of 24,000 concurrent users over the Halloween weekend, CEO Graham Gaylor tells Road to VR. This eclipses the previous record of 20,000 concurrent users in early 2018 when the app went viral on Twitch.

VRChat’s growth over time (does not include non-Steam platforms) | Chart courtesy SteamDB

And Twitch looks like it played a role once again, with several major recent peaks in viewership since September, all reaching higher than the big Twitch spike that drove the app’s initial virality. Gaylor tells us that VRChat recently reached 2 million followers on Twitch.

Chart courtesy SteamDB

Of course it’s worth noting that VRChat is not exclusively a VR game; it supports VR and non-VR modes. Interestingly, Gaylor indicates the app’s share of VR users has actually grown significantly in the last few months. Earlier this year in April around 30% of VRChat users were using VR; in October the share of VR users was up to 43%.

VRChat Lays off 30% of Company, Citing Growing Pains Following COVID Platform Boom

Among the 24,000 concurrent users specifically, Gaylor confirmed that an even larger share of users—52% or 12,500—were in VR.

Counting VR users alone, such numbers make VRChat likely the most active VR application on Steam—beyond the concurrent Steam usership of major titles like Beat SaberHalf-Life: AlyxStar Wars: Squadrons, and others (though of course Steam is only a portion of the overall usership for cross-platform apps).

Gaylor points to the launch of Quest 2 and virtual Halloween festivities during VRChat’s ‘Spookality’ event among the reasons for the record number of concurrent users.

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VRChat is one of many social VR apps—there’s plenty of options for hanging out with your friends and even working in a remote office in VR.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • We use VRChat to organize events as well: the fact that it has a big community is very important to have a big audience, and also to find help when you do not know how to implement a particular thing

  • crim3

    Meanwhile, in asocial land… I still haven’t dared to use the microphone during these years since Vive launch…

    It must feel great when you realize that suddenly what you’ve made has become gold. Congratulations to the developer(s).

    • kontis

      There is a vrchat streamer on twitch that hits 2000 viewers without using microphone, only full body tracking and 3d pen writing.

      There is even a whole adopting “personal mute” meme where extroverts hang out with shy people who don’t use mics, like some kind of pets or pokemons. HAHA.