Create crowd

I need to create a completely crowd-filled plaza in a vr game, how do you recommend I do it without destroying fps?
I would have thought of lowpoly static mesh character with use as foliage in the center and outside some animation… or is there better?

One Single alembic geometry cache will outperform most other things.

Clustering them in a HISMC may work well.

Static mesh and an animated material.

Because of the variety of VR setups, and the probability of lowering FPS based on quantiy…
You should really make the system react to however much MS count is avaliable in a scalar way.

Generally speaking, you don’t do crowds at all.
Which is why the Paris Assassins creed (unity?) was somewhat ground breaking.
Perhaps you can also refer to some of their optimization talks, but they mostly deal with skeletal meshes.