I tried becoming a VTuber with this new tech & it went terribly

Joel Loynds
author being sucked into an ai generated wormhole super imposed on a photo of their laptop & screenshot of OBSKUR character creator in the background

I tried becoming a VTuber using the OBSKUR motion capture system, which is an impressive bit of hardware, but there’s one thing that stands in its way: its own software.

It is 8:29 pm on a Saturday. I’m standing in my kitchen with the table pushed to the back corner of the room. Across my head, underneath the OBSKUR bandana, is my furrowed brow. This hardware excites me, but at every corner, there seem to be roadblocks.

VTubing became known to me after some unfortunate videos went viral of Akai Haato playing Grand Theft Auto 5. From there it’s been a cycle of watching highlights on YouTube, keeping up with drama through Reddit, and of course, purchasing merch.

What also interests me a lot is home motion capture, and it’s something I’ve attempted to stay on top of as time allows. That’s why when OBSKUR reached out to check out their new motion capture hardware, I jumped at the chance to live the dream and become a bona fide VTuber myself.

Setup & Hardware

The OBSKUR suit costs $2000, or technically $1995, but the additional five dollars could have been allocated for improved strap material. The suit uses optional velcro, as the straps do not feel secure in a belt-like loop. You’ll also find sensors also use Velcro for secure attachment.

Putting on the OBSKUR suit is relatively straightforward, although it can be slightly annoying if you’re alone. As someone who is slightly overweight, fitting the various straps wasn’t a problem, but trying to secure everything tightly around my body was a bit of a challenge.

After struggling for several minutes, my partner helped me strap in. It’s not a process you want to go through without someone else’s assistance. It’s best to leave embarrassment at the door.

The box includes six straps, four for the wrist and upper arms, and two for the chest and pelvis. These can be tightened using the provided velcro patches, but these should be applied after you’ve put on the suit. Attempting to use the velcro before strapping in will likely lead to complications.

Even after strapping in and putting on the gloves, the OBSKUR suit isn’t immediately ready to use. I had to attach all the sensors, plug in two different dongles, and then pair them to the software.

Sensors, dongles & cables

The sensors all use micro USB, one of the worst connectors of all time, presumably, to keep costs down. The gloves feature USB-C, and it’d have been much easier to manage cables without micro USB entirely. However, OBSKUR has seen through this and included three different three-headed micro USB cables for charging and updating purposes.

When you are strapped in, the battery life of the sensors is remarkable, totaling a claimed 12 hours, but accounting for standby time, it ends up being a lot more. However, once I booted up the software, it was here that I ran into headaches.

When I originally used the software several months ago, there was no real support for tracking the movement of your legs. Now, it appears that OBSKUR has introduced support for trackers like what comes with the Vive VR headset. Seeing these iterations slowly get added gives me a bit of hope for the software, as right now, it’s the biggest thing holding OBSKUR back.


It’s been just under an hour since I strapped in again, and the OBSKUR software will no longer load up for me. This would make it the sixth or seventh time this week this has happened. The fun of testing new equipment has been tossed out the window, as my VTubing dreams have come to a halt – again.

At every interval, my brow becomes more furrowed the more I try to use OBSKUR. Routinely it would break, freak out, or simply never load.

I understand it’s in beta, but it’s also tied to the $2000 piece of hardware strapped to me, and by design, it’s not supported outside of its own proprietary software.

VTubing isn’t easy. Creating a model, learning software or hardware, and having to add on extra stresses like face-tracking, it quickly becomes complex. Vtubing is not a quick thing to start with. You rarely catch a “short stream” at random most of the time unless the streamer also embraces their non-virtual, more fleshy side.

However, it’s commendable how robust the options are for those already invested in VTubing. You can connect to popular apps, like a face tracking one from your phone. There’s also support for further tracking of your body through things like VIVE sensors.

Already got a model set up? OBSKUR has seen to that and lets you import through the standard VMF file format. This gets around one of the stranger problems with the built-in character creator, in that you can’t present as anything but a feminine avatar.

Limited character creator

VTubing is a female or female-presenting-dominated industry. That’s excellent until you’re neither and trying to make a character in the character creator.

OBSKUR has launched its character generator without any male-presenting options. This is a major issue, as it forces people to rely on the limited alternative method of pulling in a custom character, which can be much more complex.

There’s also no way to import something quick like Epic’s MetaHumans. You can import a character made in the VMF file format, but the issues remains with the software’s built-in character creator.

If someone is using VTubing as an escape from their flesh, having nothing but generic female body sliders is a failing. This isn’t just about not having a male-presenting model, but that there are no options outside of female-presenting options, which can be a bit limiting, especially since it’s 2024.

If, for instance, you were a person – maybe non-binary – who didn’t want breasts on your character, this just isn’t an option without resorting to third-party software. There are still jiggle physics despite setting a slider to zero.

When I asked OSBKUR when the option would be implemented, we were told that the options would be implemented “within the next 3 months”.

A glimmer of hope for OBSKUR’s success

OBSKUR adds stresses that aren’t really found elsewhere. My time with the suit and software is always about trying to see what it could be. However, it never stops falling over itself.

The app is confounding. Instead of providing community integrations, OBSKUR wants you in their walled garden. However, the walled garden rarely works.

I’ve tested the software using four different machines, each with varying specs and operating systems, I was regularly unable to access OBSKUR. The issue seems to stem from an unnecessary Twitch integration.

So, if you don’t stream to Twitch, you could be locked out. However, the app is soon dropping its requirement, which is good news. An OBSKUR representative told us:

“For login, we will be allowing an email login soon as well as direct integrations with other platforms.”

“Direct Twitch login has allowed us to provide value to users by making the setup process automated and providing deeper insights and interactivity.”

OBS meets the Unreal Engine

I won’t lie, OBSKUR building their version of popular streaming software Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) is impressive.

If you’ve ever used OBS, you’ll immediately feel comfortable with the software at a base level. It’s fairly robust, with options for things like NDI (Network Device Interface), a method of using your network to create video sources. If I were to ever stream out of OBSKUR, it’d be a two-system situation, and having NDI baked in is perfect.

OBSKUR also seems incredibly ambitious. The main selling point isn’t the $2000 is that you can add Unreal Engine 5 (UE5) into your setup. On top of streaming, which is already taxing for many systems, you also have a fully editable UE5 scene running in the background. So, if you’re not equipped with anything but the highest-end hardware, you might begin to struggle.

The UE5 environment can be designed from scratch, or with one of the included options. It’s not just a stripped-back piece of the Unreal Engine. As an OBSKUR representative told us, integrates Twitch’s audience participation. This means you can have it so your viewers can set off different effects, and it’s fascinating how easy OBSKUR makes this.

There are incredible aspects of the app itself that regularly impress. It is cool that there’s a whole Unreal 5 environment for you to either superimpose a real-life version of yourself into or use a VTuber. When I gave this a go in a private stream, it worked flawlessly. This was a big win for OBSKUR, as all of the frustrations of setup melted away into a single, fist-pump-worthy moment where I screamed “It’s working!”.

Suddenly, it’s three hours later, the Twitch login won’t work and I can’t get the hardware to re-calibrate properly. The house of cards that OBSKUR’s software is built on came crashing down, seemingly all at once, all of those moments of getting a setup ready and working, with a perfectly functioning environment, suddenly amounting to nothing.

There were days when I was using the OBSKUR hardware where it simply didn’t work, and I had to resort to fully uninstalling the entire application. It’s such a shame that there are very promising glimmers of hope in what amounts to a fairly miserable software experience.

OBSKUR’s software is free, but the way it makes money is by offering assets from its marketplace – a spin on how Epic has developed Unreal. Running a paid-for store when the software is in such an early stage feels wrong.

OBSKUR is impressive, but very early

All I wanted to do was become a VTuber for a little while, and I feel that OBSKUR will one day be able to make it happen. However, things are still way too early with the software itself to call it anything other than a curio.

The motion capture elements are incredible. When it finally works, it is genuinely very impressive. In fact, every element around the actual production of being a VTuber is well thought out. It’s why it feels worse when things don’t work as intended, which just happens to be very often.

There’s heaps of potential in the hardware setup that OBSKUR has produced, and we’re just going to have to wait a little bit longer for the software to catch up with just how impressive, and technical this all is. For now, I have laid my VTubing dreams to rest. Maybe in a year or two, I’ll revisit OBSKUR’s software, and broadcast to millions on Twitch. But, right now, that’s not happening any time soon.

About The Author

E-Commerce Editor. You can get in touch with him over email: joel.loynds@dexerto.com. He's written extensively about video games and tech for over a decade for various sites. Previously seen on Scan, WePC, PCGuide, Eurogamer, Digital Foundry and Metro.co.uk. A deep love for old tech, bad games and even jankier MTG decks.