VTubing, or the art of streaming with a virtual avatar, is full of unique culture and slang. One popular term in the VTuber community is “debuting.” While you might have a general idea of what a debut is, those wanting to try VTubing may be confused about how best to debut. In this guide, we talked with kawaii VTuber and Twitch Partner ALittleSugoi to get a behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to debut. We’ll also give you some useful tips for how to start planning your own VTuber debut.
ALittleSugoi as illustrated by 3756c
What Is Debuting?
Essentially, a debut is when you stream with your VTuber avatar for the very first time—officially. While most streamers go live for the first time to a very small or (even non-existent) audience, VTubers wishing for a grand debut will try to amass followers on other social media platforms. The idea is to build hype around your VTuber model and your streams in general so that when you hit that “go live” button for the first time, there’s a crowd of followers ready to support you.
Do I Have to Debut to Be a VTuber?
Absolutely not. The beauty about VTubing (and streaming in general) is that you can do things your way. Your channel is your space, so you can follow or ignore whatever trends you wish. While many VTubers feel that debuting can help grow their following (and potentially monetize faster), others dislike the pressure and prefer to start smaller. Take some time to decide if debuting is right for you.
About ALittleSugoi’s Debut
ALittleSugoi as illustrated by Yampaham
Sugoi is a kawaii, bunny VTuber who recently relocated to Japan from her native home of Australia. When she isn’t attending Japanese class or strolling around the streets of Sendai, you can find her playing games like Ace Attorney, Papers, Please, and Ark: Survival Evolved over on her Twitch channel. Before Sugoi officially debuted in her current, 2D form, she streamed for a year and a half with a 3D model that she created and rigged herself via Blender and Unity 3D. With the help of her community, she raised the funds to commission a Live2D model.
How did you debut?
I live streamed my VTuber debut over on Twitch! I started with showing my model from foot to head and all the new assets such as overlays, "Starting Soon" and "BRB" screens, new BGM, new design, new logo, etc. that came along with the debut! I also showed a series of slides that introduced myself to anyone new with details such as height, favourite foods and colours, lore and more!
ALittleSugoi’s character sheet as illustrated by da3iann
Is there anything you would do differently if you could debut again?
Hmm, if I were to change anything it would be to tell myself to relax and go with the flow. I had such a tightly packed stream with certain things needing to happen at certain times or for me to explain things at a specific part of the debut stream but I was so nervous I messed up the order and felt that I had ruined it. Not every debut stream will go perfectly (if any) but I was so sad that I had messed up on certain aspects of the stream that I felt I may have ruined or dulled the experience to the people watching by taking it so hard. Sometimes you need to just go with it!
What are some steps you recommend new VTubers take when debuting?
You just gotta go with it sometimes, flaws, glitches, scuffs and all! The VTubing space is sort of known for having a lot of "scuff" (parts of the stream that don't work as intended) due to the massive amount that we need to rely on technology to run smoothly and simultaneously (a much higher amount than an IRL streamer would). Which in turn, naturally, causes programs to crash, stop working, glitch, etc. all the time.
Absolutely double and triple check all your gear is ready and can handle everything you're trying to throw at it! If it comes down to it and something goes wrong, if you laugh it off and go with it, your audience will see that, and see you're able to roll with the punches and put on an entertaining stream regardless of how crazy or broken it becomes, and I think that's invaluable.
ALittleSugoi as illustrated by Itporl
How to Plan Your VTuber Debut
Now that we’ve had an insider’s peek at debuting thanks to our friend Sugoi, let’s take a look at how you can go about debuting your own VTuber model.
Step 1: Create Your Accounts
First, you’ll want to create an account wherever you plan to stream (Twitch, YouTube Live, Facebook Gaming, Trovo, etc.). Even though you aren’t streaming yet, you can still direct people to follow you as you try and build your viewer base before your debut. Next, you should create social media accounts on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, or Twitter. Don’t spread yourself too thin: even just one account on your preferred platform is enough.
Step 2: Decide Your Debut Date
While there’s no exact formula for how long in advance you should schedule your debut, give yourself more time than you think you’ll need. “Set a date as early as you can so you have plenty of time to prepare and adjust if anything goes wrong or changes,” says Sugoi. The amount of time will differ from VTuber to VTuber but a few weeks to a couple of months seems to be the average.
Step 3: Build Your Following
Now it’s time for you to get creative. Start by posting fun content on your social media to show people what you’re all about. “Best thing is to start by showing what you have—your model, your assets, maybe a fun video of your model goofing around,” says Sugoi. She also recommends talking about your debut to give people an idea of what they can expect from your streams. Start building your own community by following and interacting with other VTubers who you like and admire. If you get stuck about what kind of content to create, scroll through VTuber related hashtags to check out what other people are posting for inspiration.
Step 4: Follow Trends or Create Your Own
If you’ve spent some time on VTuber Twitter, you’ll know that it’s common to see certain trends related to debuts. A popular one is where the VTuber will reveal parts of their model bit-by-bit depending on the amount of follow, likes, or retweets received. If you’re going to join in on that trend, just be realistic about the amount of engagement you’ll receive. “I’ve seen so many people that ask for a decently low number and get close but never make it past the first tier,” notes Sugoi. “Then they just reveal the whole thing anyway and it’s kind of awkward for the people who see it.”
It’s a good idea to have a back-up plan if your numbers don’t reach what you were hoping for. While jumping in on fun trends is perfectly fine and in some cases, can lead to a lot of engagement, Sugoi took things in her own direction, “I did a joke and tweeted like ‘5 likes and I reveal the entire thing.’ That was to take the piss out of that trend a little bit.”
ALittleSugoi’s infamous tweet
Sugoi’s cheeky tweet showed people exactly what they can expect from her streams. While she may be a cute, fluffy bun-bun, she often cracks jokes, swears, and doesn’t take things too seriously. Follow VTuber debut trends if you feel they align with you and your style. If not, take a page out of Sugoi’s book and put your own spin on things.
Step 5: Decide How You’ll Spend Your Debut Stream
Sugoi had her debut stream planned out almost minute by minute and she remembers the extreme pressure that put on her. Instead, try creating a rough schedule of your debut while allowing yourself time for answering questions and chatting. Many VTubers, like Sugoi, create slides about themselves with fun facts as well as lore and displaying assets. Check out our articles on how to write VTuber lore and how to commission artists for digital assets if you need guidance for either topic.
Step 6: Set up Your Gear, Test, and Practice
In order to make your debut as smooth and stress-free as possible, set up all of your gear and do test recordings. As Sugoi mentioned previously, VTubers especially need to rely on tech, so make sure everything is working as it should before you go live. You can set up all of your scenes and sources ahead of time in Streamlabs Desktop, including any VTuber software you’ll use (VSeeFace, VTube Studio, etc.). Sugoi also uses a variety of VTuber tools like T.I.T.S. (an app that lets viewers throw things at her) and a custom-made VTuber blankie. Our article on VTuber asset ideas can tell you more about the different tools you can use.
If you’ve never streamed before, you can practice by recording yourself, watching the footage, and checking what you need to improve. This will take time and it’s natural to feel nervous and awkward at first. Most streamers would die of cringe if they were asked to watch and critique their debut streams. Try recording yourself for a few minutes every day leading up to your stream so you’ll feel more comfortable. The important thing is to start: don’t worry, you’ll get there.
ALittleSugoi as illustrated by rinihimme
Now that you know more about how debuting works, will you plan a debut for your model? Remember, debuts are meant to be fun and are not required to become a VTuber. However, a well-planned debut can help you get to know more about the VTubing community and encourage more people to visit your stream. Check out our other articles on VTubing to learn more about this fascinating side of the streaming industry. And of course, don’t forget to follow ALittleSugoi on Twitch to see her cute model, enjoy her fun streams, and learn about her life as an Aussie in Japan.