How to become a VTuber

"No one cared who I was until I put on the mask."
Screengrab via [Twitch.tv/pokimane](https://www.twitch.tv/videos/740247417)

Originating from Japan, virtual YouTubers (VTubers) aren’t exactly new to the content-creation scene. They’ve been around since 2010 and their popularity has been gaining traction since 2016 when the pioneers of the genre entered the YouTube scene.

While it may not be some viewer’s preference, the exponentially growing style seems to be preferable due to the interesting anime art style. It also gives people the opportunity to create a character completely separate from their identity.

Despite the chance to create a character, some VTubers use the technology to just have fun while being themselves. These designs and backgrounds give VTubers a lot of room to be creative and make an experience that can be changed often and easily. Sometimes watching a VTuber feels like an anime itself.

Technically, becoming a VTuber isn’t that much different than being a regular one. It’d help if you still had a decent idea of what you want to do on your channel, though. Despite being theoretically similar, VTubing has a slightly higher barrier of entry due to equipment requirements.

Here’s everything you need to know about becoming a VTuber.

Get a decent gaming PC

Image via Oman

PCs are a lot stronger than they used to be. You can get away with using an office desktop, but if you’re looking to be the real deal, you’ll need to come out swinging the big guns. The more powerful your gaming rig is, the stronger your quality will be. Don’t forget you’ll also have to have a strong camera presence, to begin with.

Rendering your avatar will take a chunk of your PC resources. Buying a high-tier gaming PC will ensure a stable performance while you stream. Plus broadcasting any game will make a strong PC struggle at times, so buying an S-tier PC will definitely keep your programs running smoothly.

A smooth viewing experience will be key to retain most of your viewers. You aren’t out of options if you don’t have a rig that can do both, however. You can try turning off your avatar when you’re playing a game and turning it back on when you pause or take a break to interact with the chat.

Invest in a decent webcam and microphone

You might think your webcam isn’t that important when you’re an anime character, but it definitely is. You’ll need a strong webcam to breathe life into your avatar. To reflect small gestures and movements in your character, you’ll need to have a solid webcam.

A little smirk as a reaction can make the difference between making a moment on your stream memorable. Combining your webcam with a high-end microphone will also allow you to captivate your audience with your silky voice. Aside from making you sound clearer, a decent microphone will also eliminate most of the background noise and allow you to tinker with voice-changing settings while still sounding somewhat natural. Upping your equipment game will also be beneficial when it comes to the business side of VTubing. 

Do your thing, and do it right. If you’re building an audience and meet some goals, eventually, you’ll be spotted by sponsors and agencies. Having all the necessary and solid equipment can make an excellent first impression, bringing you every so close to that partnership you’ve dreamed of.

Create or acquire an avatar

Image via Live2D

Before you kick off your first recording as a VTuber, you’ll need an avatar that will be the face of your channel. If you’re handy with graphic design, you can attempt to create one yourself through programs like Live2D. Though there are more alternatives on the market, Live2D is still one of the most accessible options among the more advanced avatar-creating software.

If you’re not showing a face on stream, you’ll need an avatar. Keeping the same avatar for a an extender period of time is a great way of maintaining a persona, while switching it up down the line when your name is a valuable asset is something to plan for. You can hire professional avatars through freelancing channels if you’re unaware of how to create one. Inform them about what you’d like to see in your avatar and even share some basic sketches that you may have on hand.

These professionals can show you how to use your avatars to the best of their capabilities while recording, but asking for assistance during the setup process can also be charged separately. 

You can still get an avatar done within hours with more user-friendly programs like VDroid. The quality of your avatar will be noticeably different than the ones created on more sophisticated programs, though. They won’t be worse per se, they’ll just look more default or basic.

VDroid mostly functions with templates, allowing you to do further customization if needed. Despite being more straightforward, you can still make advanced adjustments, like a hair redo, with the program.

YouTube is your friend. There’ll be countless avatar-creation program guides hidden in the algorithm. Keep searching, if you don’t find anything, come back in a few weeks. Someone will likely upload a guide often.

Use a facial cam software to transition your expressions into your avatar

Image via Facerig

If your avatar were to stand still without doing anything while streaming or in a video, it’d result in a boring experience for your viewers. You’ll need to bring your avatars to life like Pinnochio, and there are multiple alternatives you can try out to do this.

FaceRig, Wakaru, VTube Studio, and Luppet are some of the well-known facial cam software among VTubers. If you went ahead and created an avatar with VDroid, you can also try out VSeeFace.

Test out each program, and you’ll find what suits you best. They all work differently, so when you’ve found one suitable to your skill level and needs, you’re as right as rain.

You can also turn which program you should be using into an event with your audience and create a piece of content with each of them to let your viewers decide which program you should be using in the future.

Fans love to be included, ask them what they prefer and how to improve.

Different facial cam software all come with its own tutorials and you’ll need to add your avatar to the program yourself alongside configuring your webcam and microphone. You’ll also be able to adjust your avatar’s posture and other similar settings through your facial cam software.

Set up your recording/streaming tool with your avatar

Once you create your avatar, you’re basically done with all the essentials of VTubing. The rest is basically the same as regular content creation and you’ll just need to start recording with your avatar on the screen.

Depending on the streaming software of your choice, doing this may be slightly different. Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is one of the more popular streaming tools on the market and you’ll just need to add your facial cam software’s output on top of the screen you want to capture.

This will basically work as a picture-in-picture situation where you’ll be streaming two screens from your computer: the game or content you’d like to share and your avatar. If you can’t seem to figure out how to do this on your preferred recording platform, you can simply search for guides with keywords like “X recording program VTubing tutorial” or “How to stream two screens at once on X recording program?”


While the technology might’ve progressed in recent history, let’s be real. Technology always finds a way to break when you need it most. Some behave in unexpected ways when you’re off screen. They can detect an empty frame, leaving your avatar motionless, revealing that it is in fact, not real. Don’t ruin the illusion, do tests and make sure it’s near perfect.

Don’t beat yourself up though, if it doesn’t work perfectly, you can fix it. It can also be quite funny when things go wrong, use it to your advantage.

Consider shooting test clips and streams after you have everything set up and run different scenarios to see how your avatar behaves once you’re in front of your audience. Ironing out all the bugs before you actually get busy creating content will help you look more professional.

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Author
Gökhan Çakır
Strategical Content Writer and Fortnite Lead for Dot Esports. Gökhan Çakır graduated as an industrial engineer in 2020 and has since applied his analytical and strategic thinking to many endeavors. As a natural-born gamer, he honed his skills to a professional level in Dota 2. Upon giving up on the Aegis of Champions in 2019, Gökhan started his writing career, covering all things gaming while his heart remains a lifetime defender of the Ancients.
Author
Harrison Thomas
CS:GO, Overwatch, and Valorant Staff Writer - Played CS:GO since 2012 and keep a close eye on other titles. Give me a game and I'll write about it. Ranks are private information. Contact harry@dotesports.com