Many virtual reality enthusiasts are often confused by how certain video game terminology is used to describe virtual reality. The purpose of this article is to provide definitions for 50 VR terms that will help you understand the virtual world better. Whether you’re an avid gamer or simply interested in virtual reality, these definitions can be very helpful!

The importance of understanding definitions in virtual reality is important because it helps you understand the virtual world better and can also help others who are interested or just trying to learn more about virtual reality. Understanding these terms will help you understand what’s happening on-screen, which could be especially helpful for first-time users. So, we have taken it upon ourselves to start a virtual reality dictionary.

1) Alpha Build: A stage in game development where you have a near-complete version of the game. Alpha builds are usually used to test for bugs, while beta versions are released when developers think they’re done refining their games before releasing them on PC or consoles.

2) Assets: A representation of any item you can use within a 3D project, be it a physical object, sound, or animation.

3) Baking: A technique used to consolidate a system of data into a more simplified and permanent nature for faster processing and a better frame rate.

4) Building Information Model (BIM): A type of computer-aided design (CAD) that includes intelligent information that gives professionals insight into the model construction and materiality.

5) Computer-Aided Drawing (CAD): Software used by architects, engineers, and artists to create technical illustrations of their designs.

6) Draw calls (also known as poly-budget): Refer to the number of vertices in a 3D model or environment. The more vertices, the more information the computer will need to process in real-time, and therefore the slower the frame rate.

7) Executables (.exe): A type of computer file that contains an encoded sequence of instructions that the system can execute directly when the user runs the program.

8) Frame Rate (FPS): A term used for video standards, as the frequency at which consecutive images are able to appear on a display.

9) GPU: A computer graphics processing unit (GPU) is a specialized electronic circuit designed for accelerating the rendering of images in video games or other complex applications by performing calculations on their behalf. VR developers need these because they accelerate graphical computations and can help virtual reality run much more smoothly.

10) Level Design: A technical and artistic game design discipline that involves the creation of 3D environments.

11) Real-Time: The rate at which a 3D rendered environment is processed instantaneously and without lag.

12) Scripts: Sets of coded instructions that determine how assets behave within a 3D environment.

13) Virtual Reality (VR): Refers to the computer technology used to create simulated environments. Users are immersed in and able to interact with 3D worlds by the simulation of sound and visuals.

14) User: An individual who is using virtual reality to interact with the virtual world.

15) User Interface (UI): A virtual representation of a user’s interaction with virtual reality. UI can include menus, windows, buttons, and other tools that enable users to interact with their environment or application.

16) Virtual Reality Headset: A device that is used for virtual reality simulation by immersing them in a virtual world.

Did we miss something? Please comment more definitions you think everyone should know and we will add it to the list!

Leah van der Walt

Leah van der Walt

Leah is a 3D Artist & VR / AR Developer with 8 years of experience. Based in South Africa, she is a passionate teacher and loves to listen to drum and bass in her spare time.

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