Sansar basics: Atlas, Desktop mode movement, chat and friends

(courtesy of Linden Lab)

Note, October 4th: interaction with objects when using Desktop Mode were introduced with the Sansar Discovery release. Read more about the release in this article.

Updated, September 8th: minor changes to reflect changes made to personal teleporting when in Desktop mode in the September release.

Note: this article covers using the Sansar client in Desktop mode. For information on creating a Sansar account, downloading the client, and creating and avatar, please refer to Sansar: getting started – the basics

The following is a basic guide to using Sansar when visiting / exploring experiences. As the majority of Second Life users do not have VR headsets and controllers, the focus on using Sansar in Desktop mode. Those using a VR headset and controllers, or who have a game controller, should refer to the following official Sansar help pages:

Some of the following notes have been drawn from my earlier articles on getting start with Sansar and pick and tips, and are included her for completeness

The Atlas


  • Use the menu to switch Atlas view between displaying all publicly available experiences, those produced by Sansar Studios (Linden Lab and partners), and those you have created.
  • Use the Create button to start creating an experience (if available), review your existing experiences or change your Sansar subscription.
  • Use the scroll wheel to scroll down / up through the Atlas when the mouse is hovered over the atlas tiles.
  • Feature Panel:
    • Click “<” or “>” to page through featured experiences.
    • Click the display experience image to open the experience floater (see image below).
    • Click the Visit button to visit the experience.
  • Experience tiles:
    • Click the display experience image to open the experience floater (see image below)
    • Click the Visit button to visit the experience.
  • Experience floater:
    • Click the Copy URL to the currently selected experience to your computer’s clipboard.
    • Use the “<” and “>” to page forward / backward through available experiences.
    • Use the X button to close the floater.
    • Click the Visit button to visit the currently displayed experience.
The experience floater: displayed when clicking the image for any experience listed in the Atlas


  • Use Search (top right of the Atlas page) to search experiences (e.g. by full / partial name, by full / partial creator name, etc.)
  • Feature Banner:
    • Click “<” or “>” to page through featured experiences.
    • Click the display experience image to open the experience floater (see image below).
    • Click the Visit button to visit the experience.
  • Experience tiles:
    • Click the display experience image to open the experience web page.
    • Click the Visit button to visit the experience.
  • Experience Web Page:
    • Click the creator’s name to list all experiences by the same creator & select any of them to visit it.
    • Click the Visit button to visit the experience.

UI Control Icons

Sansar UI buttons

The UI icons in Sansar’s run-time mode are relatively self-explanatory. Hovering the mouse over any of them will display additional hover text.

My Looks: takes you to the Avatar App, where you can change you appearance, swap avatars, create new avatars, add attachments, etc. On exiting the Avatar App, you will be returned to the starting point of the experience you were in.

Atlas: Opens the Atlas, allowing you to select and enter another experience. Closing the Atlas without making a selection returns you to the current experience.

My Experiences: opens a list of the experiences you have created (if any), which you can then jump to. Options to create a new experience (if you are able to) and / or change your subscription are also available.

Chat: opens the Chat window. A green circle displayed against this icon indicates awaiting direct messages / Friend requests.

Headset icon: (only available if a HMD is detected) toggle between Desktop and VR modes (can also be done via F1).

Microphone icon: (only available if a microphone is detected) toggle microphone on / off.

More Icon (…):  as per the notes in the image, above right.

Movement – Desktop Mode

Avatar and Camera Movement

Keys / Mouse actions
Toggle between third-person and 1st person (“Mouselook”) views.
Enter camera “free flight” mode (F3 to return camera to 3rd person view).
W A S D / ↑ ← ↓ →
Move your avatar / camera (free flight mode) forward, left, back and right. Press and hold the right mouse button to smooth your avatar when turning left/right turning.
Press and hold right mouse button & drag mouse around
  1. Orbit camera around avatar when in third-person view and standing still.
  2. Pan and tilt avatar’s field of view in first-person view.
  3. turn avatar smoothly when walking (1st or 3rd person view).
  4. Pan and tilt the camera when in “free flight” mode.
Mouse scroll wheel
3rd person view only:  adjust camera position relative to avatar.
E and C
Camera “free flight” mode only: increase / decrease camera vertical elevation.
Numeric Pad “-” & “+”
Camera “free flight” mode only: decrease / increase camera movement speed.

Personal Teleporting

You can increase your movement around experiences using your personal teleport option, which is available in both 1st and 3rd person modes.

  • Press and hold the SHIFT key display the blue teleport cylinder.
  • Use the mouse to position the cylinder at the point to which you wish to teleport.
  • Use the mouse scroll wheel to select the direction you wish to face on arrival (indicated by a blue arrow).
  • Click the left mouse button to teleport.
Teleporting in 3rd (left) and 1st (right) person views, with instructions on teleporting in Desktop mode. Note the image on the left has been intentionally foreshortened to more clearly show teleport icons

Continue reading “Sansar basics: Atlas, Desktop mode movement, chat and friends”

SL project updates 32/1: server, viewer

Follow Your Bliss, Sea Foam; Inara Pey, July 2017, on Flickr Banana Bayblog post

Server Deployments Week #32

Please refer to the deployment notice for the week for latest updates and news.

  • On Tuesday, August 8th, the Main (SLS) channel was updated with a new server maintenance package (#, comprising “additional internal fixes”,
  • The scheduled deployment to the RC channels for Wednesday, August 9th has been cancelled due to a back-end data issue which meant the region channel names weren’t being set correctly, so they didn’t start.

SL Viewer

There have been no viewer updates so far this week, leaving the various pipelines as follows:

  • Current Release version, released on May 26, promoted June 20 – formerly the AssetHTTP RC viewer – overviewdownload and release notes
  • Release channel cohorts (please see my notes on manually installing RC viewer versions if you wish to install any release candidate(s) yourself):
  • Project viewers:
  • Obsolete platform viewer version, dated May 8, 2015 – provided for users on Windows XP and OS X versions below 10.7. This viewer will remain available for as long as reasonable, but will not be updated with new features or bug fixes.

Other Items

Terrain Issues

For the last few months there have been intermittent reports of odd terrain changes occurring following scheduled restarts. These have been mostly seen around golf courses (see my week #26 update and BUG-100693). There have since been a number of what appear to be similar incidents see:  BUG-7922 and BUG-41609). Commenting on the problem during the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday, August 8th, Simon Linden said, “the reports of terrain shifting are totally mystifying to me … I believe it’s happening but really a mystery how and why”.

Feeds Issues

Issues with the feed ( appear to have been fixed, with many people reporting they can once again post images and comments.