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Meta's Horizon Worlds Avatars Finally Have Legs

Meta's Horizon Worlds Avatars Finally Have Legs
Group selfie from Jose Ramos Moreno

Meta Avatars in Horizon Worlds now have virtual legs.

If you launch Horizon Worlds and look in the mirror in the menu space, you'll see your avatar's full body, and you'll see it for other people too when you enter a world. The company's virtual avatars had previously faced widespread ridicule for their upper-body-only appearance.

If you look down however you still won't see your own legs. This legs update only applies to third person avatars - other people and yourself in the mirror - not in first person.

UploadVR staff David Heaney (left) and Kyle Riesenbeck (right) in Horizon Worlds

Many VR apps & games already give you virtual legs in both first and third person. But no shipping VR system has built-in leg tracking, so virtual legs don’t match the actual movement of your real legs. Further, there's not really a graceful way to handle the transition between sitting and standing, nor to make the legs look natural when moving around with the thumbstick. Some people don’t mind these issues with fake virtual legs, but it feels disconcerting to others.

Legs had already arrived in the Quest home space (branded Horizon Home) two weeks ago for Quest firmware Public Test Channel users, but this is the first time they've arrived in a VR app.

Third party apps using Meta Avatars (such as GOLF+) can't yet add legs though, as the SDK hasn't been updated. Horizon's developers seem to have early access to a new version.

Meta may be waiting to release the SDK update at its yearly Connect conference though, where it announces and releases many of its Quest VR features. This year it's scheduled for September 27, just under two weeks from now.

Meta Avatars Are Getting Legs, Then A Graphics Overhaul
Meta Avatars are getting third-person legs soon, and a major graphics overhaul next year. They will also get support for Quest Pro’s eye tracking and face tracking later this month so your gaze, blinking, and facial expressions are mapped to your avatar in real-time. Legs will arrive in Horiz…

Last year Meta also announced its avatars would be getting a full graphics overhaul this year with a more realistic style. But there's been no word on that since, and the company said the demo it showed was made with motion capture technology, not VR.

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