This is a quick and easy set of steps to take if you just want to dive right in to Opensimulator and the Hypergrid. If you’re looking for an in-depth overview, check out the Learn section. For a quick and easy cheat-sheet on some of the terms, use the Quick Term Cheat Sheet.
Note! In the interest of getting you up and running as fast as possible, this guide is going to make some opinionated choices. They will be marked, and you are free to make a different choice based on your own preferences.
Step 1: Get signed up on a Grid.
This will be your “home base”, and choosing one is sort of like choosing a email provider. For this guide I am going to recommend you make an account on the Digiworldz Grid. I’m a bit biased, but they have a good community and are great for connecting to the Hypergrid. If you want to see some of your other options, check out this list of active Grids on Hypergrid Business.
Step 2: Download and Install a Viewer.
The Viewer is sort of like the mashup of a web browser (like Chrome, Firefox, etc) and a 3D game. It’s how you’ll connect and interact with the virtual world. For this guide I recommend downloading Firestorm. It’s one of the most actively maintained Viewers, and it has a good feature set. Make sure you download the viewer meant for your operating system and specifically make sure you download the viewer meant for Opensim.
Step 3: Launch the Viewer and Set It to Your Grid.
We now have all the pieces you’ll need to get online, it’s just a matter of putting them together. Launch the viewer (it may take a few seconds to get fully set up), and you should get a login screen. At the bottom of this screen (again, assuming you’re using Firestorm), there will be a drop-down menu called “Grid.” If you’re following along and created your account on Digiworldz, pick it from the menu. You should see the main top image change to show an image from Digiworldz.
Step 4: Log In.
Use the login information from when you signed up and enter it into the login screen. If it’s correct, you’ll be logged into the Grid and will materialize (rez) in your Grid’s welcome area. This area will have often resources for learning the basics of how to use to use your Viewer, places to go, free items for your Avatar, and often mentors on staff to help.
Step 5: Learn and Explore
From here, your journey is up to you! Grids like Digiworldz have plenty of locations to visit and communities to be a part of, and the Hypergrid has even more. To check out some of the places on the Hypergrid (and to find where other people are), check out live listing sites like OpensimWorld.
See you out there!