Best VR Tutorials for Beginners

Virtual Reality (VR) is a part of an emerging multibillion-dollar market – with hundreds of millions of users worldwide, endless possibilities, high projected growth, and significant opportunities for developers! Once thought of in terms of science fiction and then games, today VR is an essential tool of modern life powering experiences in every industry including medicine, education, travel, retail, architecture, engineering, real estate, and the military to name a few.

With such exciting opportunities, developers willing to learn can gain a distinct advantage in the market! Below, we’ve compiled some of the best VR tutorials for beginners to get you started developing your own VR experiences as a fun hobby or professional pursuit. The future is exciting and VR is here to stay… so let’s get started!

What is VR?

So what is VR and how is it different from Augmented Reality (AR)? Essentially, VR is a technology paradigm for replacing the “real world” with an immersive digital environment that is artificially constructed and therefore completely void of naturally enforced limitations (gravity, oxygen, and proximity to name a few). While AR is a technology paradigm for bringing the virtual and “real world” together by adding digital layers (data, sound, video, graphics, GPS overlays, and more) on top of “real world” objects, then interacting and responding, in real-time, to changes in the user’s environment, VR is about replacing the user’s environment entirely.

There is, of course, a lot to VR development, so the VR tutorials below will help further cement these concepts!

Learn VR Game Development in 2 Hours with Unity – COMPLETE COURSE!

This VR course from Zenva provides a complete introduction to VR game development with Unity across various platforms, including Google Cardboard (Android and iOS), Gear VR, Oculus, and HTC Vive.

This series is great for anyone interested in creating VR games with Unity but doesn’t know where to start! Assuming no prior experience, the tutorial starts by answering the question: What is VR? Next, foundational concepts such as tracked objects, degrees of freedom, and the reality-virtuality continuum are explained.

You’ll build a flying platform demo during the course where the player is transported to different destinations in a low-poly world. This simple example covers the building process in Unity for all the main VR platforms.

Key Topics Covered:

  • What is VR
  • Models and platform movement
  • Tracked objects
  • Degrees of freedom
  • Reality-virtuality continuum
  • Circuit implementation with arrays
  • SDK and phone setup
  • Google Cardboard for iOS and Android
  • Gear VR
  • Oculus Right
  • HTC Vive
  • OpenVR

Duration: 2 hours of video training

Access Now: Learn VR Game Development in 2 Hours with Unity – COMPLETE COURSE!

Introduction to VR in Unity

Created by Valem, this 11-part VR tutorials series starts with setting up a VR project in Unity from scratch. The series then delves into VR in Unity beginning with basic input and hand presence. Next, you’ll learn popular VR movement concepts including teleportation and continuous movement.

The series continues making use of the XR Interaction Toolkit to grab and use objects, deal with faraway objects using ray interactions to grab, interact with the UI and trigger any behavior. From there you’ll explore popular Unity XR Toolkit concepts such as using a lever, door, and drawer type interactions, using drop zones that snap objects to predefined positions, and trigger custom behavior. Learn how to incorporate physics and allow players to climb in your scene as well as use two-hand grab techniques including the C# scripting code required. Finally, explore Unity’s new input system and OpenXR support.

Key Topics Covered:

  • VR Setup in Unity
  • Input and hand presence
  • Teleportation
  • Continuous smooth movement
  • Grab interaction
  • Ray interaction
  • Door, lever, drawer interaction
  • Snap or drop zones
  • Trigger custom behaviours
  • Climbing with physics
  • Two hand grab technique
  • Unity’s new input system and OpenXR support

Duration: 3.5 hours of video training

Access Now: Introduction to VR in Unity

How to Make a VR Game: Beginner’s Guide

In this 14-part VR tutorials series from Justin P Barnett, you begin with an introduction to making a VR game using Unity, OpenXR, and Unity’s XR Plugin and XR Interaction Toolkit. After a beginner-friendly introduction, explore Unity’s action-based input system and new Interaction System.

Next, you’ll learn popular VR movement concepts including VR teleportation and natural-looking continuous movement to avoid possible VR-induced motion sickness.

The series continues with techniques to animate hands in your VR scene in a way that connects your player to the game in a realistic way, make VR buttons using joints and physics-based actions, use inverse kinematics to simulate accurate joints for upper and lower body movements, and implement physic-based two hand grab techniques with the help of C# scripting.

Key Topics Covered:

  • Introduction to Unity VR development
  • Beginner-friendly VR games and Unity’s XR Plugin
  • Unity’s action-based input system and how it works in VR
  • Unity’s XR Interaction Toolkit
  • OpenXR
  • Jumping in Unity VR
  • Continuous movement in Unity VR with OpenXR Locomotion and FPS
  • VR Teleportation using Unity’s input system and XR Interaction Toolkit
  • Hand animation using Unity’s input system, XR Plugin, and physics-based animation
  • VR buttons using configurable joints and physics-based actions
  • Inverse kinematics to create realistic joint movements for upper and lower body movement
  • Physics-based two hand grab technique with C# scripting

Duration: 4 hours of video training

Access Now: How to Make a VR Game: Beginner’s Guide

Unity XR Interaction Toolkit

Get acquainted with Unity’s XR Interaction Toolkit, including installation and setup, in this VR tutorial by Zenva. After setting up your basic VR project in Unity, this tutorial covers an overview of Unity’s XR Interaction Toolkit including what it’s used for. You’re then walked step-by-step through the installation process.

With the XR Interaction Toolkit successfully installed, the tutorial walks you through creating a project to demonstrate its functionality including interacting with objects, as well using hands to grab objects.

Key Topics Covered:

  • VR project setup in Unity
  • Overview of Unity’s XR Interaction Toolkit
  • Installation of Unity’s XR Interaction Toolkit
  • VR lighting and color in Unity
  • Setup VR camera to reflect a VR headset
  • Setup Oculus Quest support in Unity
  • Interactable objects
  • Hand grabbing

Duration: 32 minutes of video training

Access Now: Unity XR Interaction Toolkit

Unity XR Toolkit for VR Series

This 6-part VR tutorials series from VR with Andrew introduces you to the Unity XR Interaction Toolkit – including an overview and setup within Unity. The series then takes you through key features and basic examples including interactions, teleporting, canvas pointer, snap rotation, socket interactions, and creating realistic VR button presses.

Key Topics Covered:

  • XR Interaction Toolkit setup in Unity
  • Interactions
  • Teleporting
  • Canvas pointer
  • Snap rotation
  • Socket interactions
  • Realistic VR button press

Duration: 50 minutes of video training

Access Now: Unity XR Toolkit for VR Series

VR Rhythm Game BASICS – Note Breaking Tutorial

In this VR tutorial from Zenva, you’ll learn techniques for creating VR experiences by building a block-breaking rhythm game for Oculus Quest, Oculus Quest 2, and Oculus Rift S using Unity’s XR Interaction Toolkit systems and C#.

Through building this game, you’ll master techniques for creating interactive blocks that can be placed along a moving track and sliced with VR controllers to the beats of a song. You’ll learn both how to utilize Unity’s XR Interaction Toolkit for games and how to create systems for rhythm games that can be expanded with additional songs, different block types, and more. You will learn how to set up interactable objects, create animations, detect collisions, and more.

Key Topics Covered:

  • VR Project setup in Unity
  • Overview of Unity’s XR Interaction Toolkit
  • Installation of Unity’s XR Interaction Toolkit
  • VR camera
  • VR controllers
  • Interactive objects
  • Animations
  • Collision detection

Duration: 37 minutes of video training

Access Now: VR Rhythm Game BASICS – Note Breaking Tutorial

WebXR APIs and Examples

This informational and official VR tutorial from WebXR and W3C Immersive Web Chair, Ada Rose Cannon, provides a comprehensive look at the exciting and emerging world of WebXR – including technology overview, key device APIs, important features, complementary technologies, current ecosystem, and a wide range of examples.

The video is accompanied by a long list of timestamped topics that allow you to get the full WebXR overview or jump between topics that catch your attention. A small sample of topics is listed below.

Key Topics Covered:

  • WebXR features and device APIs
  • Immersive devices and VR headsets
  • WebXR with mobile devices
  • VR on the web
  • Demos
  • Related technologies including WebGL, Three.js, A-Frame, React360, and more
  • Anchors, layers, and hand interactions
  • WebXR resources

Duration: 31 minutes of video training

Access Now: WebXR APIs and Examples

Basics of Cardboard VR Game in Unity – Google VR Tutorial

For this VR tutorial, created by The Game Guy, you’ll learn the basics of making a Cardboard VR game in Unity using the Google VR SDK. The tutorial teaches you how to create a beginner-friendly game that allows you to look around and interact with your environment.

Key Topics Covered:

  • Basic game creation
  • Google VR Cardboard
  • Google VR SDK

Duration: 18 minutes of video training

Access Now: Basics of Cardboard VR Game in Unity – Google VR Tutorial

Virtual Reality Development

In this 34-part VR tutorials series from Zenva, you’ll find some of the most important VR techniques required to develop any VR games, apps, and experiences that you can imagine!

Learn the basics of VR in Unity such as environment setups, managing assets, teleportation, grabbing and throwing objects, scaling, modular level design, UI screens, and working with components.

Or, expand your knowledge with a specific game and app concepts like 360 photos, adapting existing 3D games to VR, space and underwater experiences, RPG and FPS games, piloting a ship, developing a fitness app, and much more.

Key Topics Covered:

  • Environment setups
  • Draggable components
  • Adapting 3D games to VR
  • FPS mechanics
  • RPG mechanics
  • Room-scale experiences
  • Tracked controllers
  • Mobile VR
  • Grabbing and throwing objects
  • Modular level design
  • Oculus apps
  • Working with 360° photos and videos
  • Game design documents

Duration: 6 hours of video training

Access Now: Virtual Reality Development

Virtual Reality Mini-Degree

Banner for Zenva's Virtual Reality Mini-Degree

Take your VR education to the next level with the Virtual Reality Mini-Degree from Zenva. This complete curriculum was developed by industry experts with certifications from Unity Technologies, CompTIA, and more.

The Virtual Reality Mini-Degree is designed to give you everything you need to build VR games and applications for all modern VR platforms. You’ll learn by building real projects – including a space station app, a 360° video quiz, a first-person shooter, a platformer game, and more. Whether your goal is to build VR experiences as a hobby or launch a career in this exciting, fast-growing field, this curriculum will give you everything you need to reach your goals.

After completing this project-based Mini-Degree you’ll have the experience to take on real VR projects and have 22 professional VR games and apps to enhance your portfolio.

Key Topics Covered:

  • Coding basics with C# and Unity
  • Teleportation
  • VR-optimized UI design
  • Hand-tracked controllers
  • Working with 360° media (photos and video)
  • Preventing simulator sickness
  • Industry best-practices for mobile and desktop VR

Duration: 56 hours of video training

Access Now: Virtual Reality Mini-Degree

Extra Resources

For those new to VR development, we recommend reading our Introduction to Virtual Reality and How to Code a Virtual Reality Game: A Beginner’s Guide articles to get you started!

If you enjoy learning from books, then the free eBook – VR Game Development with Unity for Human Beings is a good next step.

Alternatively, if you’re just ready to dive deep into VR tutorials, you can check out some of the tutorials here on this VR Game Development blog.

Ending Words

Virtual reality is an expansive topic, so this list of VR tutorials is just the beginning! However, particularly for beginners, this list will help you take your first steps and establish a good baseline foundation before diving into more advanced topics. Regardless, though, with VR enabling immersive experiences in every industry, there is an extremely bright future for anyone ready to learn this awesome and emerging technology!

We wish you all the best on this exciting journey!

Did you come across any errors in this tutorial? Please let us know by completing this form and we’ll look into it!

Python Blog Image

FINAL DAYS: Unlock coding courses in Unity, Godot, Unreal, Python and more.