Last Updated on December 29, 2023

VTubing – abbreviated from “Virtual YouTuber” – is a relatively new niche in the world of streaming.  It’s been exploding in popularity over the past few years, with a “boom” around 2020 that doesn’t seem to be fading any time soon.

Indeed, I was exposed to the phenomena in the summer of 2020 and was working on getting an avatar created before the year ended.  If you’d like to get your start as a VTuber, the articles you’ll find here should give you some valuable know-how!

Despite the name, Virtual YouTubers are people, not artificial intelligence.  They control virtual avatars through a variety of motion-capture or facial-tracking technology. In most cases, VTubers use facial tracking software with something as simple as their webcam or iPhone, though more complex products are available to track a fuller range of motion.

Facial tracking programs are usually free, and the more thorough VR systems have rapidly improved, becoming well worth the investment.  (I remember when FaceRig was up-and-coming, ready to be everyone’s default, before VTube Studio took the world by storm!)

With the barrier to entry lowered considerably, as well as the increased popularity of VTubers as a whole, more people than ever are able to experiment with the hobby.

All you need to start as a VTuber is a computer, the internet, and the character you want to stream as. 

But how do you actually make a VTuber avatar?  There are a variety of methods, both simple and complex, free and expensive, and I’m happy to outline them for you.

Personally, I opted for a custom model. I found an artist on Twitter, communicated via DMs, paid via a PayPal invoice, and received the greatest thing I’d ever seen just a short few weeks later. This was rash and impulsive, and it could have backfired in dozens of ways – but I got lucky.

You see, I had to rely on an artist because there was very little “VTuber maker software” available. 

Even now, with the advent of a few more, it’s a very customized, almost premium pursuit. 

Still, there are ways to become a VTuber without spending a dime – or at least to experiment with your character concepts before you’re ready to shell out a proper price.

What is a VTuber maker software?

There is no singular “VTuber maker software” that exists, but a variety of programs and services that work in tandem to help create your character, and then to help it move.

There are two kinds of VTubers: 2D and 3D.

No software alone makes a 2D VTuber avatar, though there are still free and pay-to-use customizable models that you can work with, and sometimes even edit in a program like Photoshop.  3D models, on the other hand, have a variety of options. Plus, there are always more advanced options for the artistically-inclined to take it to the next level.

To make things a little simpler for you, I’ve compiled a list of the top ways to create your VTuber model.

What is the best VTuber maker software?

The label “best” is misleading, because it implies there is a particular quality above the rest. There simply aren’t enough options for that to be the case. 

These are the primary choices that lay before you:

1. Fiverr – Our top choice for custom VTuber models

Best VTuber maker software

If you you are looking for a fully custom VTuber avatar model to start your new VTubing career but don’t have the skills to design one yourself – then Fiverr is the perfect option for you.

They have hundreds of sellers and services for VTubers, all ready and eager to fulfil your orders.

While Fiverr may not be a maker software in the sense that you can’t control the whole process by yourself – it’s still undoubtedly the best place to get custom VTuber models made, both in terms of design quality and price and we had to put it very high on this list.

2. VRoidBest for 3D VTuber avatars software

VRoid is one of the most essential and foremost software needed to start your journey as a VTuber.

The first thing you need is a graphic avatar or anime character to star in all your videos. This software enables you to create a 3D avatar or anime with advanced but easy to use tools and features.

You can use sample characters or start from scratch. It has all the key features needed to customize a character according to your liking and desire. Some of the features are free while others require you to pay.

Whether you are a starter or pro, having access to this avatar crating software is a must. It lets you go wild on your imagination and work on even the minutest of the details and customizations of your virtual characters.

Compatible for usage on windows as well as Mac systems, the VRoid studio is a great option for all type of VTubers.

There are many distinctive features of Vroid Studio that make it stand out among other options. The procedure hair design is one such feature which allows the users to create and edit hairdos. The texture editing is powered by pen like tools that are supported with layering and sensitivity.

3. VSeeFaceBest for 2D VTuber avatars

Available through its official website for free, VSeeFace is a latest addition to the VTuber maker software industry.

One of the key advantages that makes it superior to other software is its unmatched high tracking accuracy and the Leap Motion accessorized hand tracking system.

Another innovative addition is its advanced expression recognition feature. While most of the competitor software require manual shortcuts to initiate expressional changes, the VSeeFace software has a beta service feature that allows automatic detection of the essential facial expressions.

It is best for new starters who might find other manually operated systems a little too complicated. In VSeeFace all you need to do its record your essential expression and let the software recognize and display them automatically without manual stimulation.

4. Wakaru

A popular name in the VTubing industry, Wakaru is an innovative and advanced VTuber software available for computers powered by Windows operating systems. This multi-featured program allows you to create VTuber content without the need for a virtual reality component.

Its intuitive interface requires only the installation of a web camera on your PC. You can even substitute this camera with a smart phone camera and you are ready to use the VTuber tools.

Although the movements are not as smooth as they would be in case of a VR powered system, this is a great option for newbies or starters.

Some of its key features include facial control, mouth shape capture, eye capture, real-time gesture tracking, head pose capture and much more.

Real-time gesture and body control can be managed without importing pre-recording motions and is best suited for live videos.

Wakaru is suitable for Vtubers looking for a live streaming software at a low cost. Although it may not be perfect in motion like a VR device, it still helps generate some of the best live performances.

5. Vtube Studio

A comprehensive and fully powered VTuber software available for Windows and Mac systems, Vtube Studio employs a smart phone connection for tracking your face and animation movements. Compatible with both android and iOS, you can control your Live2D Cubism Character with easy to use interface and multi-featured software options.

It is one of the most simple and user friendly VTuber maker software that can make your virtual journey smooth and innovative. With some limitation of not been able to track your eye movements, winking and minute expressions, for starters it is great.

Vtube Studio has a safer Face tracking program and is best suited for Live2D VTubing. The supporting feature that allows it to control your Live 2D model through advanced tracking inputs, includes audio based Lipsync.

6. VMagic Mirror

This is an advanced VTuber software mostly used by the gaming VTubes of the world. Although the basic software is free to use, it is fully packed with cutting-edge and innovative features that include mouse and keyboard control options and animation simulation through controllers for more realistic results.

With a little paid upgrade you can further enhance streaming quality and output by improving your avatar’s tracking accuracy with Leap Motion System.

Another important feature that makes it different from other VTuber software is its ability to operate without the need of a webcam or mobile camera. However, in such a case the videos will not be fully controlled by your own movements but by an artificial intelligence-based technology.

The facial expressions are controlled and created by manual shortcut commands or a manual controller. You can also link them with key phrases for automatic stimulation.

VMagic Mirror is just like mirror reflecting you as a graphic model. It supports Gamepad input to character motion, Web camera based face tracking and Lipsync.

It is best used for recording videos and streaming PC game plays, writing work streaming, presentation streaming and as a desktop mascot. It can also be beneficial for software events where you need to code live.

7. FaceRig

As the name implies, this is a software used by VTubers who do not want to show their entire body on the screen. It offers simple to use but advanced features that are suitable to control the facial movements and expressions of the avatar or VTuber overlay in an effective and creative manner.

Ideally suited for making YouTube virtual reality videos without using the VR devices or components, the software is fully packed with a variety of technology-driven features and applications.

Available at an affordable cost, some of the notable and distinctive features of Facerig include instant digital cosplay, outstanding rendering quality, real-time voice processing, and state of the art customization tools for every user.

Supporting Live 2D Cubism 3 technology, this software empower VTubes the capability of creating a variety of different types of virtual videos depending upon their needs and requirements.

What Software Does VTubers Use?

VTubers require more than just one software to launch their career as professional VTubers.

Here are the types of software that they commonly use:

  • Character Creator Software

The first and foremost software they require is a 3D or 2D character creator program. This multi-featured software should help them design and create a virtual avatar or character that will appear on the screen instead of the real person.

  • Facial and Physical Movement Tracking Software

Once the customized virtual avatar or character is ready, the next software required is a facial expression and physical movement tracking and detection program.

  • VTuber Software and Video Editor

There are a number of different types of software available in the market for free or for a small amount of price that can help you animate and move your avatar or virtual character and create graphically superior video with it.

These virtual video making software provide the VTubes user friendly tools to create, edit and stream virtually powered live videos for their audience on their YouTube Channels.’

How Do I Make My Own VTuber?

If you’re a new player in the VTubing industry and want to create a model all your own, there are a ton of options!  You can buy premade avatars directly from creators on sites like Booth, or draw or commission something on your own. 

Platforms like Fiverr are hit-or-miss for VTuber commissions because creators aren’t always vetted for trustworthiness, so please do your research before you decide to buy something! One of my best friends got her model on Fiverr, though, so you can definitely find diamonds in the rough.

Since commissioning someone one-on-one can be a nerve-wracking process, I’d probably recommend VGen, a platform by VTubers and for VTubers, which has far better moderation.

Based on your wants, needs, goals, and budget, it’s possible to spend weeks trying to hunt down the perfect VTuber “parent” (or “mama”, as the artist is colloquially called). Being a good communicator is essential for both the commissioner and the artist to guarantee a good mutual experience.

Commissions are a convenient way to break into the hobby if you don’t have artistic skills yourself, or if you feel that someone else is better suited to making your vision a reality.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

Getting your start as a VTuber can feel intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be hard, I promise! Go forth and become the anime character you’ve always dreamed of being!