VR Remote Control Cars Are A Hit In ‘VRChat’

Race other VRChat players using hyper-realistic VR RC cars featuring real-world physics.

Digital artist and animator Chris Bradley has loved driving remote control cars since she was a kid. Years later, she developed a new love for hanging out with friends in VRChat, which has inadvertently lead to one of the biggest new trends on the social VR platform.

Bradley, who began animating on Blender at the age of 10, thought it would be a cool idea to combine her love of RC cars and social VR to create one unique VR racing game. She wasn’t going to settle for some run-of-the-mill interactive experience, however. Bradley’s RC cars feature real-world physics, offering a more realistic racing experience—and you can buy your own for just $4!

Your personal RC vehicle will bounce around almost uncontrollably as you speed over bumpy terrain, drift across the track, and launch your digital vehicle straight into the air using a ramp and hope your car lands safely on its wheels. Each car will behave exactly the same as it would as if you were actually driving one in your driveway or at your local track.

Bradley designed her expertly crafted VR cars using Udon, a programming language built in-house by VRChat. The system gave Bradley the ability to replicate the behavior of Triggers and Actions. She could also use this platform to create her own unique behaviors and add interactivity between the cars and the in-game world.

Image Credit: Chris Bradley

Bradley took a moment to talk to us more about building realistic RC cars in VR, saying, “VRChat is based on Unity, which has a great physics engine built-in. I haven’t done anything custom, Unity has a hinge joint, which has a motor feature built-in, and that’s how the wheels are attached and spun,” Bradley added, “I did tweak how the weight is distributed to make the car feel bouncier. My scripts just apply a speed value to the motor, play sound effects, and make sure nothing glitches out.”

Of course, you can’t control an RC car without an RC car controller. When you purchase one of Bradley’s RC cars, you’ll also receive an RC controller to navigate your virtual whip. They usually look like a small handheld device that has a steering wheel and trigger. The more you squeeze the trigger, the faster your car moves.

Image Credit: Chris Bradley

Just keep in mind that the faster you go, the bigger the risks. There’s always a chance you’ll land wrong and flip your vehicle. If this happens, you’ll need to run over and physically correct your vehicle before you can jump back into the action.

To help showcase this incredible game within a game, Bradley produced a hilarious Saturday morning style commercial complete with a hype-building voiceover touting how each car is “made of durable high-quality polygons!”

Image Credit: Chris Bradley

To help add a bit of diversity to the experience, each car can be customized to fit your own style. The most recent update introduced the ability to scale your car from a hyper-miniature vehicle to a comically-large RC tank. “The package is DRM free, VRChat has no DRM for assets like this, and I’ve included most of the files I used to create the cars including my UdonSharp code. I hope to see some fun variations over time,” said Bradley. 

When designing the vehicles for the game, Bradley pulled some inspiration from “Dr Grudge” from ReVolt. 

So far Bradley has seen some extremely positive feedback.

VRChat RC racing began as a passion project; that being said, she’s excited to see where the project goes in the future. “I’m really happy about the reception and I’m looking forward to seeing what people create with it.”

You can check out Bradley’s RC Test Lab in VRChat here. If you’re interested in buying a remote control car, you can pick one up on Gumroad for $4! 

Feature Image Credit: @taterthefurry

About the Scout

Bobby Carlton

Hello, my name is Bobby Carlton. When I'm not exploring the world of immersive technology, I'm writing rock songs about lost love. I'd also like to mention that I can do 25 push-ups in a row.

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