Getting Started With "Second Life": The Basics - LevelSkip - Video Games
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Getting Started With "Second Life": The Basics

Cleo Addams is an indie author. In her free time, she enjoys researching and writing articles on a wide variety of topics.

Learn about the fundamental controls you need to know to get started in "Second Life."

Learn about the fundamental controls you need to know to get started in "Second Life."

A lot of people sign up for Second Life (SL) but then quit after a couple hours of trying to figure out how to move the avatar and use the site.

At first glance, SL does look complicated, but it's really not.

I'm going to assume at this point that you've signed up, downloaded the SL Client, and completed the in-world Tutorial when you log in for the very first time.

Basic Controls for New Players

Here is a list of the Basic controls that you'll need to know to get started in Second Life. (If it helps, print this page for quick reference.)

  • Moving Your Avatar
  • Looking Around
  • Friending Someone
  • Blocking Someone
  • Filling Out Your Profile
  • Changing the Shape of Your Avatar
  • Dealing With the Darkness
  • Communicating

1. Moving Your Avatar (Using the Mouse and Keyboard)

  • To Move your Avatar: Use the Arrow Keys
  • To Fly: Hold down the “E” key for a few seconds, then release
  • To Gain Altitude when flying: Hold down the “E” key
  • To Land when flying: Hold down the “C” key
  • To Jump: Tap the “E” key once
  • To Sit on a chair or other object: Right click and Select “Sit Here” (To stand up, click “Stand” at the bottom of the screen)

2. Looking Around

  • To change the Camera View: Hold down “Ctrl+Alt” and use your mouse to click on the screen wherever you want to look and drag the camera to that location. Use the scroll wheel on your mouse to Zoom in and Out. (This takes a little time to get used to, so don't give up! Practice makes perfect.)
  • To reset your Camera View: Hit the "Escape" key

3. Friending Someone

Friending a Nearby Player

  • Right click on the person's name and select “Add Friend”.

Friending a Player Who Is Not Near You

  1. Click the magnifying glass on the Tool Bar (Image 1). A box will open.
  2. Change the drop down to "People". Type the person's Second Life name, then click "Search" (Image 2).
  3. If the person has their profile as public, their name will populate. Then, click on "Profile" (Image 3). Then the box will expand.
  4. Click on "Profile" again (Image 4). A new box will open.
  5. Click "Add Friend".

Photo Guide to Friending a Player

Image 1: Magnifying Glass

Image 1: Magnifying Glass

Image 2: Searching for Someone

Image 2: Searching for Someone

Image 3: Click on "Profile"

Image 3: Click on "Profile"

Image 4: Click the "Profile" button

Image 4: Click the "Profile" button

4. Blocking Someone

Is someone harassing you? You can Block them by right clicking on their name and select “Block”.

5. Filling Out Your Profile

  1. Right click on your name and select "My Profile".
  2. A box will open, then click "Edit Profile".

6. Changing the Shape of Your Avatar

  1. Right click on your name and select "Edit My Shape".
  2. A sidebar will pop-out from the left side of your screen
  3. You can click any body part listed, i.e. "Body", "Head", "Eyes", etc and use the sliders to change the shape.
  4. When you are done, click on the green "Save" button at the top (Image 1).
Image 1: Click the Green "Save" Button

Image 1: Click the Green "Save" Button

7. Dealing With the Darkness

Is it too dark outside and you can't see? A Second Life day is only 3 hours long and the night is only 1 hour long. So, if it gets dark and you can't see, click on "World" at the top of the screen, then "Sun", and then "Midday". Now you can see again!

8. Communicating

Sending someone an Instant Message differs depending on if you want to chat with someone that is or isn't on your friends list. Well, no worries. Finding them to chat takes just a little bit of searching.

Someone Who Is Not on Your Friends List

  • Someone Near You: Right click on the person's name and select “Send IM”.
  • Someone Not Near You: Search for them just like you're going to add them to your friend's list, except click "IM". (See the "To Friend Someone" section above in this tutorial.)

Someone on Your Friends List

  • Someone Near You: Right click on the person's name and select “Send IM”.
  • Someone Not Near You:

    1. Click on the "People" button on the bottom toolbar (Image 1 below). A box will open.

    2. Then click on the "Friends" tab (Image 2).

    3. Right click on the person's name that you want to chat with and select "IM" (Image 3).

Chatting Publicly With Anyone

  • To chat out openly in Public, click the "Chat" button on the bottom toolbar (Image 4), type what you want to say, then hit "Enter" on your keyboard. Anyone within 20 steps (meters) of you will see what you are saying and can respond.

Photo Guide to Communicating

Image 1: Click the "People" Button

Image 1: Click the "People" Button

Image 2: Click the "Friends" Tab

Image 2: Click the "Friends" Tab

Image 3: Click "IM"

Image 3: Click "IM"

Image 4: Click the "Chat" Button

Image 4: Click the "Chat" Button

Note: This tutorial was written for use with the SL Viewer. This tutorial will not be accurate for 3rd party viewers.

© 2018 Cleo Addams