How to Access the Metaverse: A Step-by-Step Guide

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Explore the metaverse and what you need to access its worlds. Learn what the metaverse offers and where to learn more skills.

[Featured image] A software engineer working at a desktop is learning how to access the Metaverse.

The metaverse is a relatively new and expanding collection of virtual worlds where users can do many of the activities in the physical world. For example, users can attend concerts, visit family and friends, shop, and play games alone or with others. Although a complete metaverse is in the future, users can find plenty to do now with a minimum investment to start. 

This article will guide you through the metaverse, how to access it and what you can do.

What is the metaverse?

Like the universe with planets that aren’t connected yet are interconnected to a universal system, the metaverse functions similarly. The metaverse is a collection of virtual worlds that mimic the physical world. Users need avatars to socialize, play, attend concerts, and shop. 

The primary difference between the metaverse and online worlds is that rather than being an outsider looking at a screen, the metaverse brings you inside for a more realistic experience. You’ll need special equipment for the best experience.

Read more: What Is Facebook Metaverse?

Equipment you need to enter the metaverse

Accessing the metaverse doesn’t require a lot of technical equipment. You can access the metaverse with a smartphone, although you may have limited features. Other devices you will need, include the following: 

  • A computer: If you want to expand beyond the capabilities of a smartphone, a computer with good graphics and memory will enhance your experience. You can check with the metaverse worlds you intend to use to see if they have specific PC requirements.

  • Gaming console: A gaming console isn’t necessary for accessing the metaverse, but they are beneficial if you would like to connect other equipment such as a microphone and virtual reality (VR) headset. If you’re interested in socializing in real-time with additional equipment, a gaming console can provide an immersive experience.

  • Virtual reality headset: To enter the three-dimensional metaverse world, you'll need a virtual reality headset and hand-operated controllers. The headsets have two screens and speakers for audio. 

  • Augmented reality (AR) glasses: Augmented reality glasses are similar to goggles, and you can use them to enhance the virtual reality experience. The glasses present digital overlays to real-world objects. 

While you don’t need more than a computer or smartphone, the additional equipment can enhance your virtual experience. As the metaverse expands, new equipment could become available.

Types of avatars in the metaverse

An avatar is one of the most important things to access the metaverse. The avatar can be similar to you or something you choose that represents you. The avatar is your digital identity, which can be static or animated. Not all metaverse worlds use the same avatar, so it’s good to know the different types:

  • 2D: The 2D avatar is flat and is used within 2D environments. You'll find them used on social media and other platforms.  

  • 3D: A 3D avatar is viewable from different angles. It is more lifelike and intended to be a replica of the user.

  • VR: The VR avatar is not a full-body rendition. The avatar lacks lower limbs. Your avatar will have hand use but only include the upper body.

  • Full-body: The full-body avatar moves both the upper and lower body. While not currently used in many metaverse worlds, they may have broader uses in the future.

You can customize your avatar and change your features anytime. For the type, you might need to change your avatar for the various metaverse worlds. Some may only be adaptable for half-body or 2D avatars. 

How to create an avatar

Several options exist for avatar creation. Some metaverse worlds let you create your avatar within their platforms. Many apps are available or in development for avatar customization, and be sure to select an app that will meet your needs and the requirements of the metaverse worlds.

You’ll find avatar applications that create gaming avatars and others for business or social worlds. Prices vary depending on the application and feature offered. 

What can you do in the metaverse?

Although the metaverse is still in development, many options are available today. From gaming to concerts and even working in the metaverse, you’ll find opportunities to explore existing worlds. 

Work in the metaverse.

As the metaverse expands, more jobs will be available. Most new jobs will require technical knowledge; however, some don’t. Here are some jobs that are available in the metaverse: 

  • Virtual tour guide

  • Virtual fashion designer

  • Community managers

  • Software engineers

  • Storytellers

  • 3D modelers

  • Event directors

As the metaverse continues to grow, so will the type of jobs available in the virtual space. 

Play games.

Metaverse gaming has grown in popularity. Some popular games in the metaverse include the following:

  • Fortnite: This game offers digital events like concerts along with battle royale gaming. 

  • Minecraft: This game allows users to build worlds and fend off monsters and intruders.

  • Roblox: This game offers a variety of interactive multiplayer games. The platform uses a digital currency called Robux that you can convert into real currency if you meet certain requirements, such as age and Robux earnings.

Attend events.

The metaverse offers concerts, trade shows, and corporate events. You can find job fairs, virtual graduations, and gaming events.

Virtual events can be convenient since they don’t require a large space or attendance limitations. You can attend virtual events or host them.

Buy and sell digital assets. 

The metaverse offers the opportunity to buy and sell assets, including:

  • Art

  • Trading cards

  • Films

  • Music

  • Real estate

You can buy or sell these assets with non-fungible tokens, a digital currency used in the virtual world. 

Ready to take on the metaverse?

As the metaverse expands, start building the knowledge and skills you need for a potential virtual reality career or as a hobby. Learn more with the Meta course, What is the Metaverse? or with the Virtual Reality Specialization course offered by the University of London, both on Coursera.   

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