AltspaceVR Beginner’s Guide

Hello! Welcome to AltspaceVR.

As the premier platform for live, mixed reality events and experiences, AltspaceVR contains infinite opportunities for human connection and collaboration. With this app, you can create or attend a seemingly endless array of virtual events. Live concerts, conferences, comedy shows, festivals, tech talks, team meetings, remote collaborations, we’ve got it all! And thanks to our expressive avatars, spatial sound, and immersive virtual environments, AltspaceVR allows people to feel like they’re together even when oceans apart.

Though AltspaceVR is easy to use, this guide is designed to help newbies get up and running and exploring our platform as quickly as possible.

What’s Inside

Get Started

  • Gear you Need
  • Installation
  • Account Creation

Get Your Bearings

  • Tutorials: Move Around, Interact with Objects, Customize your Avatar, and more!
  • The Title Screen
  • The Main Menu
  • The Radial Menu

Get Going

  • Finding and Attending Events
  • Entry Codes
  • Exploring Worlds
  • Exploring Hubs

Get Social

  • Finding and Making Friends
  • Taking and Sharing Selfies and Snapshots
  • Community Standards

Build Events

  • Create your own Event

Build Worlds

  • Build your own World

Get Help

A group of four colorful avatars smiling and waving.

Get Started

Download and Installation

AltspaceVR is available for free on all major 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.
Download AltspaceVR

Once you’ve done that, it’s time to install. Please visit our documentation for detailed installation instructions for WMR and Oculus devices.

Creating Accounts

Now that you’ve installed the app, it’s time to create an account. You’ll need a Microsoft Account (MSA) to sign into AltspaceVR, so if you don’t have one please create an MSA. Not only does this give you access to powerful features and functionality, but MSA-integration also ensures unparalleled account security.

NOTE: 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:

  1. Launch the app
  2. Accept the Terms & Conditions
  3. Select the “Sign In” button and then “Sign in with Microsoft”
  4. Follow prompts to activate your headset (unless on 2D)
  5. Choose a Display Name and Username
  6. Select “Register”

After your accounts are linked, you’re good to go!

NOTE: If you’re an existing AltspaceVR user and haven’t linked your account to an MSA, this video tutorial will help. (Don’t worry, you won’t lose your existing profile and avatar after linking.)

Get Your Bearings

We created two quick tutorials to help you get you up to speed on the basics. They’re totally optional, but they’re a fun way to find your footing in AltspaceVR.

Interface in Altspace showing Tutorial Panel

You can access both tutorials from the Tutorial tab on the Title Screen sidebar.

AltspaceVR Tutorial

This rooftop adventure is essentially designed to teach you how 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 Occulus 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 your own special spin on your avatar. After all, social VR is all about connection, and self-expression is a great way to connect with strangers.

User interface in AltspaceVR for customizing the avatar

By the end of this journey, you should feel comfortable moving around, and have a good grip on your input controls.

AltspaceVR Info Zone (Tutorial #2)

This tutorial focuses on some of the key features of the platform and shows you how to easily create your own 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 how you interact 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 easily create your own awesome events!

Once you complete the tour, you can explore The Campfire, return to the teleporter or use the Radial Menu in your lower left corner to exit to the Title Screen or Main Menu.

Title Screen

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.

Title screen interface highlighted in AltspaceVR

Here’s a quick rundown of its key tabs and functions:

  • DESTINATIONS – Quickly navigate to popular events, hubs, or your Homespace.
  • ENTRY CODE – Alphanumeric codes that allow you to teleport directly to Events or Worlds.
  • TUTORIAL – A great 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.

Main Menu

The Main Menu is like Mission Control for AltspaceVR. It offers speedy access to all the app’s core content and capabilities.

Main Menu bar from AltspaceVR interface.

Here’s a quick rundown of its various tabs:

  • DISCOVER – Find popular events and featured hub spaces.
  • EVENTS – Take a look at events by date and category. See what events you’ve attended in the past or RSVP’d to for the future. Or create and manage your own 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, and more.
  • 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. Like a good Swiss Army knife, it’s always by your side. The lower left side, to be exact.

Radial Menu interface in AltspaceVR
NOTE: 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. Simply right click to access Cursor Mode, and it will appear.

Here’s what it can do:

  • MICROPHONE – Click to mute or unmute yourself. Or hover over it to bring up mic volume controls. (If the icon is red, you are muted.)
  • 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? Click to find out! The Discover tab will open, offering key info – or an easy out to another experience.
  • MAIN MENU – Click the blue AltspaceVR icon to access your control center.

Get Going

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.
The Events panel interface in AltspaceVR.

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 our website, where you can filter by name, date, and tags.

Event panel interface in Altspace

See something you like?

  1. Tap the event image for more info.
  2. If the event is live, you’ll have the option to Enter.
  3. 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 click Interested in 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.

Entry Codes

Close up of entry code on an Altspace event.
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. Entry Codes can be found in the descriptions of each Event or World.

Exploring Worlds

While the main draw of AltspaceVR may be our wide range of live virtual events, it’s definitely 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 are user generated. Whether you want to hang out by a firepit 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. Note: If you don’t see the Worlds tab, go to Settings → General → Enable Worlds Beta.
A view of the Zen Zone in AltspaceVR

Exploring Hubs

Hubs are public spaces where users can meet and connect.

The Campfire is our original hub space. We like to think of it as the friendliest place in AltspaceVR. It’s open 24/7, and in addition to being a delightful place to play cornhole or roast marshmallows, you can also chat with AltspaceVR staffers and Community Helpers. They’re almost always on hand to answer questions and point you toward fun events and activities.

Other hubs bring users together around shared interests:

Trending News – A great place to talk about news, sports, travel and more.
Trending Entertainment – Share your love for all things entertainment!

Get Social

Finding and Making Friends

An avatar in Altspace with his Nametag displayedAltspaceVR is all about community and connection. It’s a place where people from all around the world can come together for enriching shared experiences. Whether you’re attending an event, exploring Worlds, or chilling at The Campfire, you’re most likely going to be with other people. And 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 you 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 easily identify your people.
  • Mute: Click to silence another user. To unmute them, just click 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

The tab can be accessed by going to Main Menu → People.
People Panel user Interface in AltspaceVR

Taking and Sharing Selfies and Snapshots

Close up of radial menu with bottom selfie and snapshot icons highlighted.

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 are kitted out 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


Community Standards

Avatar silhouettes with pink hearts. Text: Respect is Paramount. Everyone you see is another living, breathing human in a headset. Please treat them with respect.
Everyone deserves a place where they can 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 that’s 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. Please take a few moments to familiarize yourself with our Community Standards.

Build Events

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 now with the “Enter Now” option.
    • Advanced Options give you additional control over your event.
  • Find Your Event under My Events
    • Edit your upcoming event by going to its info page.

Create event panel User Interface in Altspace.
For the nitty gritty on event creation, hosting, and management, check out this article.

Build Worlds

Build Your Own World

landscape view of an Altspace World with aurora borealis in the sky.
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, aka users like you!

Yes, 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 that allow you to easily drag and drop objects into pre-built environments or empty spaces.

If you’re ready to get started, check out these articles:

Get Help

As you explore the platform, you may have questions that need answers and problems that need solutions. Fortunately, there are many avenues for help – in VR and otherwise. Here are some of the best resources:

We are here to support and assist you, so please don’t hesitate to reach out!