AltspaceVR beginner's guide
AltspaceVR is the leading platform for live mixed reality experiences. AltspaceVR allows artists, creators, brands, and businesses to create virtual events easily. People from all over the world can use this social app to connect and collaborate in real time with a true sense of presence. Expressive avatars, engaging eye contact, spatial sound, and immersive virtual environments allow people to feel like they're together even when oceans apart. AltspaceVR is sitting at the intersection of experience, content, and community. It is the premier place for live concerts, conferences, comedy shows, festivals, tech talks, team meetings, remote collaboration, and more.
If you're new to AltspaceVR
Though AltspaceVR is easy to use, this guide can help newbies get up and running and explore our platform as quickly as possible. You must first complete some learning to set up the app on your devices and understand how to navigate and interact with your surroundings. The essential awareness of the app and VR space itself can significantly enhance your overall experience.
Take a look at our list of section headings. Each link goes to an easy-to-digest section of this page below.
Get your bearings
Download and installation
AltspaceVR is available for free on all major VR headsets: Oculus devices, HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality (WMR).
It's also available in 2D mode on PC. We are currently piloting macOS support for AltspaceVR.
Ready to get going? Get the app from your preferred store or library.
Now that you've downloaded and installed the app, it's time to create an account. You'll need a Microsoft Account (MSA) to sign into AltspaceVR, so set up an MSA if you don't have one. Not only does this give you access to powerful features and functionality, but MSA integration also ensures unparalleled account security.
If you have a Hotmail or Outlook account, you already have an MSA. Feel free to use it, so long as it's a personal account and not associated with Work or School. Otherwise, you can sign up for an MSA using your email address of choice, or you can create a new Hotmail or Outlook account.
Got your MSA handy? Great! Here's what's next:
- Launch the app
- Accept the Terms & Conditions
- Select the Sign In button and then Sign in with Microsoft
- Follow prompts to activate your headset (unless on 2D)
- Choose a Display Name and Username
- Select Register
After your accounts are linked, you're good to go!
If you're an existing AltspaceVR user and haven't linked your account to an MSA, the video tutorial below will help. (Don't worry, you won't lose your existing profile and avatar after linking your account.)
Get your bearings
We created two quick tutorials to help you get up to speed on the basics. They're optional, but they're a fun way to find your footing in AltspaceVR.
You can access both tutorials from the Tutorial tab on the Title Screen sidebar.
This rooftop adventure is to teach you to become one with your avatar. New users can learn how to:
MOVE AROUND – Walk, run, turn, shuffle, look around! Though movement itself feels similar in any VR headset, how you walk, run, turn, or throw a ball is device-specific. To learn how to control your avatar on your device or platform, please visit our documentation for Oculus Quest, Windows Mixed Reality, and 2D PC.
INTERACT WITH OBJECTS – Grip, grab, throw, and shoot things! And by shoot things, we don't just mean basketballs in a hoop (though you can do that). We also mean ROCKETS. Yes, rockets. At skyscrapers. Or a blimp. (Fun, right??)
CUSTOMIZE YOUR AVATAR – You do you! While you can technically explore the platform without personalizing your appearance, we encourage you to put a unique spin on your avatar. After all, social VR is all about connection, and self-expression is a great way to connect with strangers.
By the end of this journey, you should feel comfortable moving around and gain a good grip on your input controls.
AltspaceVR Info Zone (Tutorial #2)
This tutorial focuses on some of the platform's key features and shows you how to create your events. It unfolds at an outdoor expo in an urban park, where you'll encounter a series of info booths, each dedicated to a different element of AltspaceVR:
- SOCIAL FEATURES – Learn how to add friends and manage interacting with people around you.
- COMMUNITY GUIDELINES – See some of the standards and values that help ensure AltspaceVR is fun and awesome for all.
- EVENTS – Discover all the different types of events happening in AltspaceVR.
- HOSTING EVENTS – Need a studio for your new talk show? A stage for your stand-up routine? We've got a template for you! Learn how to create your awesome events easily!
Once you complete the tour, you can use the Radial Menu in your lower-left corner to exit the Title Screen or Main Menu.
The title screen is your entry point to AltspaceVR. From here, you can sign in, access the tutorials, customize your avatar, discover content, quickly teleport to Events/Worlds, and more.
Here's a quick rundown of its key tabs and functions:
- DESTINATIONS – Quickly navigate to popular events or your Homespace.
- ENTRY CODE – Alphanumeric codes allow you to teleport directly to Events or Worlds.
- TUTORIAL – An excellent place for new users to learn and practice the basics.
- NEWS – Find out what's new in AltspaceVR: updates, release notes, and more.
- ACCOUNT – Review your credentials, switch to another account, or sign out.
- MAIN MENU – Explore the events calendar, browse Worlds, manage Friends list, adjust your settings, and more!
- QUIT – Shuts down the AltspaceVR app. Once you confirm the exit dialogue, the app will close itself automatically.
The Main Menu is like Mission Control for AltspaceVR. It offers speedy access to all the app's core content and capabilities.
Here's a quick rundown of its various tabs:
- DISCOVER – Find popular events and featured hub spaces.
- EVENTS – See what events you've RSVP'd to for the future. Or create and manage your events!
- WORLDS – Browse the platform's many spectacular environments. (Note: If you don't see this tab, go to Settings → General → Enable Worlds Beta.)
- FESTIVALS – A new feature in beta. Stand by as we roll it out.
- PEOPLE – Access your Friends List, search for people. Send and respond to friend requests, find out who else is in a room with you, and manage your list of blocked users.
- ME – Customize your avatar, check out your photos, or choose your homespace environment.
- SETTINGS – Fine-tune your AltspaceVR experience with a slew of options ranging from turning speed to the volume of your environment and so much more.
The radial menu
The Radial Menu holds your go-to tools for adventuring in AltspaceVR. As a good Swiss Army knife, it's always by your side. The lower left side, to be exact.
The Radial Menu persists in 3D whenever you are in an Event, World, Hub, or your Homespace. If you are in 2D on a PC and don't see the Radial Menu, it's because you're in Look Mode. Right-click to access Cursor Mode, and it will appear.
Here's what it can do:
- MICROPHONE – select to mute or unmute yourself. Or hover over it to bring up mic volume controls. (A red icon indicates you are mute.)
- EMOJIS – Express yourself in AltspaceVR! This button opens a panel of emojis. Clicking on them releases floating icons above your head, adding emotion to any event, environment, or conversation.
- BUBBLE – Sometimes you need a little space. The Personal Space Bubble is here to help. It makes anyone who gets too close to you or blocks your view disappear.
- SELFIE – Capture the moment! Because obviously.
- CAMERA – See something you like! Take a snapshot!
- TITLE SCREEN – Takes you back to the app's starting point.
- YOU ARE HERE – Wondering where in the world you are? Select to find out! The Discover tab will open, offering key info – or an easy out to another experience.
- MAIN MENU – select the blue AltspaceVR icon to access your control center.
Finding and attending events
There's never a shortage of events and experiences unfolding in AltspaceVR. Live concerts, conferences, comedy shows, festivals, tech talks, and more are always on the calendar.
There are a few different ways to find events while in AltspaceVR. From the Main Menu, navigate to:
- EVENTS – Filter by date, category, and related events – or just search through them all. You can even see what events your friends are interested in.
- DISCOVER – See a handful of live or upcoming Popular Events.
Alternately, you can search for events online by logging into AltspaceVR website, where you can filter by name, date, and tags.
See something you like?
- Tap the event image for more info.
- If the event is live, you'll have the option to Enter.
- If it's upcoming, you can RSVP for it by selecting Interested.
ALTSPACEVR PRO TIP: Make sure you don't miss any "can't-miss" events by RSVPing. When you select Interested in the app (or RSVP online), we'll email you a reminder an hour before showtime. You can also find the events you've RSVP'd to by going to Events → Interested.
Every Event and World in AltspaceVR generates a six-character, alphanumeric "Entry Code." These codes allow you to teleport directly to an Event or World, straight from the Title Screen. You can find Entry Codes in the descriptions of each Event or World.
While the main draw of AltspaceVR may be our wide range of live virtual events, it's worth exploring the platform's many spectacular Worlds. Worlds are pre-built VR environments that can range in size and scope from underwater cities to intergalactic landscapes to public parks or mythical libraries. Some are built by our staff. Most of these Worlds are user-generated. Whether you want to hang out by a fire pit on the "Brooklyn Rooftop" or chill out with friends in the "Zen Zone," there's an awe-inspiring World waiting for you.
You can access Worlds from the Main Menu.
If you don't see the Worlds tab, go to Settings → General → Enable Worlds Beta.
Finding and making friends
AltspaceVR is all about community and connection. People from all around the world can come together for enriching shared experiences. Whether you're attending an event or exploring Worlds, you're most likely going to be with other people. Chances are, you'll want to stay in touch with some of the peeps you meet. Nametags are your key to connection.
Everyone in AltspaceVR has a Nametag. In addition to helping identify other users, its interface allows you to connect with people your vibe with and block or mute those you don't!
If you'd like to see another user's Nametag, select their avatar with your cursor/trigger, and it will display above their head. Here's a quick rundown of the tag's buttons and functions:
- Add Friend: Sends user a friend request. Once accepted, friends will have blue borders around their Nametags and a blue icon/badge within it, allowing you to identify your people quickly.
- Mute: Select to silence another user. To unmute them, select it once more. Note: If the user's mic icon is red, that means they've already muted themselves.
- Block: Select the Block button to remove a user from your experience. You won't see or hear them anymore, and they won't be able to see or hear you either. If you want to unblock a user, go to Main Menu → People → Blocked tab, and unblock the user.
The People tab
Human connection is at the center of the AltspaceVR experience, and the People tab is where you go to cultivate your community. It has the tools you need to foster your friendships and amplify your experiences. From here, you can:
- Scroll through your friends' list
- Send messages
- Join online friends in the World or Event they're in (if public)
- Invite friends to join you in whatever World or Event you're in
- Send and reply to friend requests
- See who else is in a World or Event with you
- Manage your Blocked Users
You can access the tab by going to Main Menu → People.
Taking and sharing selfies and snapshots
AltspaceVR is abuzz with electrifying events, fascinating people, and jaw-dropping environments. It's a staggering spectacle, and as you explore it, you may find yourself wishing you could capture the moment. Luckily, you can! All avatars come with a camera for selfies and snapshots. Here's how it works: The Camera and Selfie buttons are located on your Radial Menu. Camera captures the scene you see, while Selfie turns the lens back on you. Photos can be found by going to Main Menu → Me → Gallery.
Like what you see? Download and share! Sign in to our website, select Photos from the top menu, save your faves, and of course, share with your peeps! Oh, and don't forget to tag us on social! @AltspaceVR
Everyone deserves a place to be themselves, free from bullying, hatred, and harassment. And since every avatar represents a living, breathing human with real feelings and emotions, we are committed to creating an environment guided by the values we hold dear: kindness, inclusivity, compassion, and respect.
To ensure AltspaceVR remains a vibrant, diverse, and welcoming place for all, we created a set of guidelines that spell out our ethos. Take a few moments to familiarize yourself with our Community Standards.
Create an event
Whether you want to host a Happy Hour, perform stand-up on a stage, or collaborate with coworkers, AltspaceVR makes it easy to create your own events. Here's how to get started:
- Main Menu → Events → My Events → Create Event
- Choose an Event Category such as Presentation, Talk Show, Performance, Watch Party, Meetup, Gaming.
- Choose an environment for your event. You can use a pre-made template, customize a space for your needs, or even create a World from scratch. (More on that in the next section.)
- Add your Event Info.
- Make your event Public or Private.
- Schedule the event for later or start it with the Enter Now option.
- Advanced options give you more control over your event.
- Find Your Event under My Events
- Edit your upcoming event by going to its info page.
Check out this article for the nitty-gritty on event creation, hosting, and management.
Building your own World
While wandering around in AltspaceVR, you're likely to encounter spaces that are so surreal and surprising. They leave you slack-jawed and in awe. We totally get it. Our platform is home to myriad wondrous Worlds, many of which were created by our community of content creators, also known as users like you!
As intimidating as it may sound, building your own World – or customizing an event space – is shockingly simple with our World Editor. It has various tools to drag and drop objects into pre-built environments or empty spaces.
If you're ready to get started, check out these articles:
As you explore the platform, you may have questions and problems that need solutions. Fortunately, there are many avenues for help – in VR and otherwise. Here are some of the best resources:
- OUR WEBSITE – Reach out to tech support with any questions or concerns.
- DOCUMENTATION – Find detailed information on all things AltspaceVR.
- DISCORD – Chat with fellow Altspacers and staffers on this popular messaging app.
We are here to support and assist you, so please don't hesitate to reach out!
Troubleshooting and support
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