This study investigates the effect of update rate on the quality of haptic virtual textures, with the goal to develop a guideline for choosing an optimal update rate for haptic texture rendering. Two metrics, control stability and perceived quality of the virtual haptic texture, were used. For control stability, we examined the effect of update rate on the “buzzing” of virtual haptic textures. For perceived quality, we measured the discriminability of virtual haptic textures rendered at different update rates. Our study indicates that update rates much higher than the conventional 1 kHz are needed in order to achieve a stable rendering of “clean and hard” textured surfaces. We also found that our ability to distinguish textures rendered with different update rates depends on whether the virtual textures contain perceived instability. Based on these results, we provide a general guideline for selecting an optimal update rate for rendering virtual textured surfaces.

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