Metaverse has been a hot topic around the tech world ever since Facebook changed its name to Meta because this change of name was done to announce to the world a new thing coming, bigger than ever. Bigger than Facebook, Twitter, or Youtube.
It was the announcement of a new universe: The Metaverse.
But there has been a lot of talk about Metaverse, yet nothing practical seen around us- at least not right now.
Does that mean the metaverse is not accessible right now? No!
The Metaverse isn’t widely practical and accessible right now only because, as of yet, it is in the making.
However, with just a VR headset, a crypto wallet, and a Metaverse client like Sandbox, you can easily make way into the Metaverse!
In this guide, we’ll explain what metaverse is and the steps to enter it.
What Is The Metaverse?
The metaverse is basically a virtual universe. This universe will be interactive, immersive, hyper-realistic, and shared by everyone. Just like the physical universe we live in.
The concept is not too complex to understand if you broaden your horizon enough. Because, in some ways, the social media apps we use right now aren’t too different from the metaverse we one day hope to enter.
Just like before with Facebook and Whatsapp, people could do things virtually by being in the same place physically e.g. gossipping about the new Minecraft update with your friend in another country while sitting in your bed, the metaverse just aims to broaden this horizon.
And by broadening the horizon, I mean to an extent that there will be almost no difference between the universe we live in with the metaverse.
How Will Life Be In The Metaverse?
So what the forecast is, life in the metaverse will be pretty much similar to our normal lives, however, many things will just be more accessible.
Have you watched something in VR? If yes, then you can get a pretty good idea of what the Metaverse will be like.
What VR did was to help bring POV visuals to you. This means if you want to feel like riding a rollercoaster, you can simply Youtube a VR video of a rollercoaster, put on your headset, and enjoy the ride.
However, in the metaverse, things will be a bit enhanced.
So the basic structure till now is that the universe will be a single domain shared by users. Like, you know in GTA online, how everyone shares the same map? Exactly like that.
When we put our headsets on, we will be in a shared universe and will be in the presence of a character/avatar that we design. The other players who have joined will be seen by us in their avatar/character form as well.
The metaverse, right now, is restricted to only visual freedom i.e. you can see the world through your eyes in a 360-degree view, however, it is not as realistic or immersive yet. You still can’t feel anything, interact with most things, or even compare the graphics with reality.
Once you enter the metaverse, you will have the freedom to do anything that you want. You can go on a rollercoaster ride, swim beneath the oceans, skydive from a plane, or just sit by the lakeside and have a good time with friends.
For educational purposes, you can visit virtual classrooms where a teacher (in the form of an avatar) can teach you. So instead of watching a screen and taking guitar lessons, you can sit in a grassy field and have a one-on-one lesson.
Additionally, the use of cryptocurrency is highly emphasized in the metaverse. Decentralized currencies will be used to access or purchase metaverse items.
This means, in the metaverse, you can purchase your own land, build yourself a house, buy a cat to keep you company, and so much more.
The only difference from real life would be that building a house would probably just take a few clicks.
Sounds pretty exciting, doesn’t it?
How Do You Enter The Metaverse? Is There An App?
Let’s now move on to the big questions. You know enough about the metaverse and you must be extremely intrigued to discover it yourself.
So how do you access the metaverse?
Well, there are metaverse domains right now that can offer you a glimpse of the metaverse, but the truth is the metaverse is far from completion right now.
It will probably take around 5-10 years for us to see a metaverse that could feel real enough to be classified as a universe.
However, up until that process, there are a couple of ‘metaverse’ platforms that can help you be part of the metaverse, play vr games, trade, and explore different worlds.
Step 1: Using A Metaverse Platform (Client)
The most popular metaverse platforms are Sandbox, Decantraland, and Oculus Quest 2 applications.
Sandbox is one of the older and more popular platforms of the metaverse experience.
Basically, the Sandbox world is made of limited LAND or blocks, like in Minecraft? These LANDs can be acquired by the players using SAND currency (cryptocurrency) and then can be owned by the players, where further monetization or trade is possible.
In the world of Sandbox, people create their own avatars and NFTs, join a shared platform that is made up of LANDs, play games and have fun with each other.
Sandbox works on seasons. Currently, season 2 has just ended, so if you want to register for season 3, be sure to visit their site.
Similar to the Sandbox metaverse, Decentraland is also a shared platform built on the Ethereum blockchain where users can create avatars and join the shared metaverse to take part in activities of socializing, trading, building, and more.
However, there are 2 main differences between Decentraland and other metaverse platforms.
Decetnraland is now owned by any centralized organization. Instead, the world and its behavior are governed by Decentralized Autonomous Organization.
Metaverse Oculus Apps
Alternative to Decentraland and Sandbox, Oculus has many applications that you can use to have a metaverse experience.
Here are some of the most popular ones:
VRChat is one of the most OG metaverse places that thousands of players have visited to have a good time.
In VRChat, there are thousands of pre-built places that offer great sceneries of the real world or animated ones. These create fun and entertaining environments to socialize with other people in the metaverse.
Horizon Worlds is one of the newer but the most loved meta-project there is. In Horizon Worlds, you can create avatars to not only socialize with other people but also play from the many games available in the world, including single-player and multiplayer support.
If you’re just heading in the metaverse, Horizon Worlds would be my recommendation to try out the first.
Contrary to the other two apps, Horizon Venues is a dedicated ‘theater-type’ application where users visit typically to view something from the comfort of their home.
This includes live concerts, documentaries, movies, and sports!
Horizon Venues is an extremely anticipated project which many predict will help people all around the world view their favorite entertainment activities from their homes in a 360-degree interactive environment.
Step 2: A STRONG Windows PC
To get a good experience of the metaverse, you will need a sturdy gaming PC. Even though, many shared MMO games work fine on laptops, metaverse needs immense processing power from your machine to generate a seamless and smooth 360-degree VR experience without facing any lags or buffers when loading assets or avatars.
Step 3: A VR Headset That Brings The 3D 360° Experience
If you wish to join in on the metaverse experience, you must prefer getting a VR. And an interactive VR with advanced technology. This helps you really ‘get lost’ in the meta-universe and dive into the immersive 360 alternate reality.
The best VR headset for the metaverse would be an Oculus Quest 2.
Step 4: A Crypto Wallet To Buy And Sell With
With a PC and VR, all that’s left is choosing a metaverse platform.
Visit Decentraland or Sandbox on your PC.
In both cases, you will need to create an avatar and a crypto wallet to join. For starters, there is a guest option that lets you enter without a wallet to just explore the metaverse.
To perform transactions and immerse in the metaverse, you should make a cryptowallet.
Metamask is a crypto wallet that is supported by both platforms.
In Metamask, you can buy cryptocurrency (Ethereum for Sandbox or Decentraland) that can be used to make transactions in the metaverse.
Step 5: Game, Trade, Socialize, and Enjoy!
Now all you need to do is wear your VR headset, connect it to a Metaverse client, and jump in the Metaverse!
The metaverse isn’t just an entertainment venue, but is a virtual universe that not only lets you play games, but also engage in business activities, do trading, socialize, and much more!
Let’s now look into what you can do in the metaverse.
What Can You Do In The Metaverse
Let’s list down everything you can do in the metaverse right now, or potentially in the near future:
The biggest anticipation of the metaverse has been gaming. Ever since the entry of VR gaming, people have been excited about a platform that is immersive and interactive enough to dive into for hours and the metaverse has fulfilled their wishes.
The best metaverse platforms to game in right now are Sandbox, Axie Infinity, and Decentraland.
Ever since the start of the internet, fewer and fewer people have been open to socializing in real life- because let’s be real, it takes up a lot of effort.
Socializing now has converted into Twitter mentions and Instagram requests. However, that is not as immersive or interactive as real life- but metaverse may have a solution for that.
The metaverse platforms that dedicate environments to socializing see thousands of users join in every day just to have a good chat in a bar or by the lakeside.
Metaverse not only makes socializing more comfortable and interactive but also provides more freedom for access to different locations and different appearances as avatars.
Horizon Venues showed us how entertaining the metaverse can be. And soon enough, more and more concerts will be expected to be performed digitally.
Imagine, being a football fan, not needing to go to the stadium or streaming on a 2D computer, but putting on a headset and viewing the derby game live in the same environment as in real life. Chilling, isn’t it?
Another big aspect of the metaverse is trading. Metaverse platforms work on the Ethereum blockchain and a cryptocurrency of their own, allowing for financial activities to take place in the metaverse.
With the help of this currency (SAND for Sandbox and MANA for Decantraland), users can buy their own digital assets such as NFTs or LANDs, and build their own creations e.g. a house on an acquired 16x16m LAND and then monetize from their creations by either trading or selling experiences.
5. Education / Work
Horizon Workrooms (beta) showed us a big possibility of shifting workspaces and classrooms to the metaverse as well.
We’ve seen in the past couple of years that working and studying from home has been productive for everyone. However, without the right environments, students weren’t as dedicated to studying and employees weren’t as focused on the work.
But with the metaverse, students and employees can put on a headset and join an environment of their offices/classes, interact with their colleagues, and work/study the same way from the comfort of their home
Well, then. Are you excited to join the metaverse?
I assume, very much so.
And the most exciting part is, while you can get a glimpse of the real experience right now, each day more and more updates create the metaverse experience better than before, bringing us one step closer to a perfectly real alternate reality, soon enough.
Until then, I think it’s best we get accustomed to the metaverse. So wait no more, get a VR headset, step into the metaverse, and have fun!