Virtual Reality App Developers (2024)

Updated: June 11, 2024

This guide will cover the best virtual reality app development services, how much it costs, top app development features, and how you stand to benefit from using virtual reality app development companies.

Virtual reality (VR) apps can transport you anywhere. From computer-generated environments to the real world, VR apps offer something a bit different.

They can be used for data visualization and product interactions, too–for example, in retail, customers can view and interact with product samples in VR before deciding on their purchase.

There are a number of top VR app developers available for you to hire. In our directory, we’ve listed the best of them, allowing you to choose the right one for the job.

This guide will cover everything you need to know about virtual reality app development.

What is a virtual reality app?

A virtual reality app is a mobile app that uses the impressive power of virtual reality to alter or otherwise enhance the interactive experience.

There are many types of virtual reality apps and differing target platforms, but mobile VR apps are the primary focus of this guide.

Capable VR headsets are able to provide realistic sounds, images and other sensations and compatible mobile apps split into gaming and non-gaming variants.

Top VR App Developers

There is a plethora of exciting virtual reality apps available on both the Android and Apple app marketplaces today, so your VR app will need to provide an excellent experience to truly stand out.

Types of virtual reality apps

Examples of mobile apps that feature virtual reality support include the following:

  • Healthcare apps
  • Education apps
  • Gaming apps
  • Social apps
  • Video player apps
  • Employee training apps
  • Travel and virtual tour apps
  • Meditation apps

VR app developer example

Source: Octal IT Solution

Social VR mobile apps provide user-generated worlds that double as social platforms for users.

Virtual tour VR apps are increasing in popularity and offer users the ability to learn historical and interesting facts about specific locations around the world.

More straightforward VR apps include video players, PC streamers, web browsers, and image viewers–all of which are bolstered by the power of virtual reality.

Think carefully about your company and the type of VR app that would work best.

Why should I develop a virtual reality app?

There’s huge potential in the space for one, and VR affords companies the opportunity to create a sense of engagement and authenticity between their brand and their mobile users.

The VR industry is growing at a fast pace, too; it’s projected to increase from 6.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2019 to more than 16 billion U.S. dollars by 2022.

Virtual reality provides businesses with a chance to connect with customers with real-life products–this enables them to interact virtually with a product and assess it before they can touch it for themselves in the real world.

VR applications allow businesses to engage their customers in ways they may not have considered and tell new stories in different places altogether.

Businesses that focus on creating real-life products can also take advantage of virtual rooms.

These rooms can be used to maximize a team’s effectiveness–for example, developers, engineers, and designers can become more productive and collaborative when using VR.

VR can additionally be used for team meetings, boosting relations between members and showing stakeholders expected results inside a virtual world.

VR app developer example

Source: Jelvix

Ultimately, the best virtual reality mobile apps have a huge impact on customers and how they interact with products in general.

A virtual travel app, for instance, can provide users with new and exciting world experiences and enables unique advertisement and entertainment experiences at the same time.

The best VR apps inspire, educate, and enhance traditional experiences, enriching the overall product for everyone. Virtual reality is now mainstream.

What is the virtual reality app development process?

You need to develop the best VR app possible. One that loads quickly, focuses on user comfort and runs smoothly.

Building a VR app is about following a specific process that ensures nothing on a critical level gets missed during the app’s development.

An outline of the VR app development process can be found below.

1. VR strategy and research

The first step in developing a VR app is defining your strategy and direction. For instance, you can use VR technology in various creative ways, but how can you boost your overall brand awareness and make it fun for users at the same time?

Researching VR functionality beforehand is key to finding the answer, and the initial approach in your strategy lays the foundation for the next steps. For your VR app development to truly prosper, it’s all about understanding your customer’s needs first and foremost.

2. The design phase

The next step is about creating the ideal user interface. When it comes to the user experience, think about what sort of design would be suitable for the app itself–it needs to blend function with purpose.

While developing your app, the readability of text should be high, and the interface must be intuitive and make sense. Your app developer should take the necessary steps to ensure proper viewing angles and zones.

3. Asset creation 

Your assets make your VR app–the user must connect and engage with it, so it needs to be immersive at all times. Creating a storyboard helps to make this possible and is especially important if your chosen app is a VR game.

Think about your visual elements and how they would translate to a 3D interface. The use of camera techniques and angles is key to success here.

4. The development phase

The VR app’s development phase combines everything from the previous steps. This stage includes the development of a working prototype before the final testing of the app.

The app development process may involve further steps after a prototype is completed, and you’ll need to create 3D simulations that allow you to test out different variables.

VR app developer example

Source: ValueCoders

5. Additional testing and deployment

Once the app development finishes, the last stage is testing and deployment. It’s essential to test your VR app with simulation exercises as well as further prototype testing.

Your app developer may test the final product or the prototype several times to identify any bugs. The installation of your VR mobile app onto hardware is the final part of this stage.

6. Launching the app

Once you’re satisfied that all other stages have been completed, you’ll need to launch your mobile app.

Crucially, a mobile app’s release across the app stores requires you to prepare key metadata, including the following:

  • Your app’s title
  • A description
  • Category
  • Keywords
  • Launch icon
  • Screenshots for the chosen app store

From there, the VR app will need to be continually updated to ensure it meets users’ needs.

VR app development guide

Virtual reality apps are driving revenue and will be a critical industry for mobile apps, so you’ll need the best developers for the job. You can find our app developer guide here.

Key platforms for VR apps include the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Sony’s PlayStation VR.

Virtual reality app development best practices and features

Here are some of the main aspects to consider when developing a VR app, including best practices as well as essential and advanced features.

Think carefully about your VR app idea

You need to think carefully about the type of experience you want to design. When you’re in an immersive 360 space, what you can do is close to limitless. That said, you need to nail down the basics before jumping in too quickly.

For example, do you want to create a first-person game or an educational VR app? Whatever you decide, start simple, take it slow, and go from there.

Don’t complicate your UI

VR apps need intuitive user interfaces. Outside-of-the-box interactions are fun to come up with, but they increase the user’s learning curve and can turn people off.

VR designers use size, contrast and colour to denote the overall hierarchy in your app. In virtual reality, size is based on the distance between the user and a piece of content–keep that in mind.

VR app developer example

Source: Mutual Mobile

User comfort is critical

Most of us have experienced the strange sensation that comes from putting on a VR headset for the first time; it can be off-putting, to say the least.

Designing an experience that’s comfortable for people is the most important consideration for your mobile app overall. If you plan to have a lot of movement in your app, ensure that users can directly control it.

Essential features

Your VR app will need to offer a lineup of essential features.

The MVP is the minimum standard to showcase your product to your target audience, and the features must meet the most essential functions of VR apps.

These are some of the key features your mobile app needs to have:

1. High level of comfort

2. Push notifications

3. Compatible with different platforms

4. Fast-loading content

5. Location-based services

6. Intuitive UI

7. 360-degree video functionality

8. Easy to locate exit button

9. Transcoding feature 

10. Secure VR assets

Focus on app features that provide the greatest value to your customers. Gather feedback, let users tell you what features make sense to them, and then implement the changes when possible.

VR app developer example

Source: Indiespring

Advanced features

Advanced features are optional, but they allow your app to offer value to users. Advanced VR app features include the following:

1. NFC

2. AR

3. Voice input

4. Spatial audio

5. Geo-tracking

6. Monoscopic and stereoscopic video

7. AI support

8. Chatbots

9. Smart data

10. IoT integration

Of course, the more advanced features you add, the higher the cost of the mobile VR app’s developmentWhen deciding your budget, be sure to keep track of your overall costs.

How much does it cost to develop a virtual reality mobile app?

Development costs of VR apps vary. Below are the average estimates, as well as a few other things to keep in mind:

  • VR mobile apps cost between $30,000 and $150,000 to develop
  • The cost largely depends on the size and complexity of the mobile app
  • A simple VR app takes about 3 to 5 weeks to develop on average
  • VR apps of medium complexity will require 4 to 6 months of development

Depending on your business, you’ll need to have access to a few different teams that can assist you during the VR app development process. Developing a cross-platform mobile app that targets both platforms with a shared codebase is economical and highly recommended.

The good news is that it’s a flexible model where you can adjust the budget according to your need. That said, it’s best to contact a VR app development company for an estimate before doing anything else.

Number of VR users

Here’s the number of VR users going up to 2021, both with a headset and without one, as shown in the table below.

Year VR Users (no headset) VR Users (headset)
2017 11.5 million 11 million
2018 19 million 15.7 million
2019 23.3 million 19.6 million
2020 27.9 million 23.9 million
2021 30.6 million 26.5 million

Source: eMarketer

As you can see, there are few signs the industry is slowing down.

How can I benefit from virtual reality app development services?

Partnering with virtual reality app development companies allows you to create apps that enable customers to connect with you on a completely new level.

These expert app developers let you take advantage of the significant opportunity available while keeping things as stress-free as possible.

Virtual reality app developers build highly-scalable apps, whether they’re your first app or tenth. These development companies create beautiful apps that use the latest VR tech while meeting expectations.

VR app developer example

Source: Pixelfield

Some of the key benefits of VR app development companies include the following:

  • Affordable app development costs — VR apps typically get designed using different frameworks, which allow developers to reuse the code for multiple different apps.
  • Superior functionality — VR app development companies provide excellent functionality and usability with top-notch features.
  • Bespoke plans — Custom VR app development plans that are designed to fit all needs and typically come with leading scalability.
  • Better security — VR apps get built with increased security for your employees using the latest mobile app encryption technology.
  • Efficient data management — Efficient data management solutions that protect employee and company data and help you stay compliant.
  • Reliable communication — Communication at every key stage of your VR development journey.

If you’re planning to design a VR app, getting a free quote from mobile app development professionals is usually a smart move–this is especially true if you’re a beginner or just starting out.

Get started with the best virtual reality app developers

The most critical reasons for having a virtual reality app are the following:

  • You can boost collaboration and productivity across projects
  • You can enhance the mobile customer service
  • You can increase sales and retention rates
  • VR apps are cost-effective and reduce the cost of creating different prototypes
  • You can provide a 3D vision of your products
  • You can save time and money and reduce travel expenses
  • You can simulate environments to train people and test products in real-time
  • You can emerge and connect with users in new and exciting ways

There are a number of app development companies that take on virtual reality app development projects and have app developers with experience specifically catered to these apps. Here we’ve put together for you a list of the best.

List of virtual reality mobile app development companies

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How it works

Do you need a mobile app for your business?

Chances are either you’re on a quest to find a professional team that will craft a great app to facilitate your business or you’ve got one already and aren’t quite happy about it.

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It works really simple:

  • You fill in the form with requirements for your app
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