Firestorm Viewer [2024] | Download & Frequently Asked Questions

Firestorm Viewer [2024] | Download & Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated on: 22nd June 2024, 03:39 am

If you’ve been walking through Second Life, you know how the experience hinges on having a good viewer. When it comes to Second Life viewers, the Firestorm Viewer is a highly popular choice with Second Life residents, and for good reason. It is filled with things that other viewers miss out on. So it’s always good to have a guide to figure out how to use it best. It is only one of the many viewers available and you can find the rest in my guide to all viewers.

Release Updates

June 20th 2024 – Firestorm released their 7.1.9 update which includes support for Emojis, PBR and mirrors. They did not provide release notes this time but instead gave a timeline. You can find that here.

December 14th 2023 – Version 6.6.17 is released with multiple fixes for bugs that came with version 6.6.16.

November 29th 2023 – Version 6.6.16 is released which deprecates use of 32-bit viewers.

Why Choose the Firestorm Viewer?

Second Life is more than a game. It’s a digital extension of our lives, filled with social interactions, creativity, business ventures, and learning opportunities. Going through this world with the right tools is essential to fully experiencing what it has to offer.

One of those tools is your viewer. In fact, your viewer is the main thing that you need. One of those is the Firestorm viewer. Firestorm has been meticulously tailored by a team of developers who are not just coders, they’re Second Life residents just like you and me.

So, if you already have it downloaded then lets get started. If you haven’t yet downloaded it then click here to go straight to the download section.

Firestorm Viewer | Second Life Need to Know Tips

Is the Firestorm Viewer Safe?

Simply put, yes. For many in Second Life, the Firestorm viewer is the top choice. That is in part due to its robust security features. It has a great reputation for safeguarding user information. Before we get into the Firestorm Viewer tips, I’ll tell you why it’s safe.

Why Firestorm Viewer Wins on Safety:

  1. Adherence to Third-Party Viewer Policy: Firestorm Viewer follows strictly the Third-Party Viewer Policy set by Linden Lab.
  2. Development by a Devoted Team: The credibility of Firestorm Viewer is heightened by its developers, The Phoenix Firestorm Project.
  3. Strong Ties with Linden Lab: The Firestorm team guarantees that their viewer remains compatible with the platform while proactively addressing security challenges.
  4. Consistent Updates and Refinements: The Phoenix Firestorm Project team is committed to upgrading their viewer regularly.
  5. Commitment to User Privacy: Above all, user privacy is a priority for the Firestorm Viewer, which adheres strictly to privacy regulations and laws.

Key Features of the Firestorm Viewer

Customizable Graphics Settings

Part of the beauty of Second Life lies in its visuals, and Firestorm understands that. Detailed graphics settings in the Firestorm viewer means your avatar can strut their stuff with every sequin glinting under the sun. To begin, open the “Preferences” window by clicking on the bottom toolbar button that resembles a gear, or by pressing Ctrl+P on your keyboard. Navigate to the “Graphics” tab.

Quality Slider

The first tool in your arsenal is the “Quality” slider. This control allows you to quickly adjust the overall graphics settings based on your computer’s capabilities and your current activity in Second Life. Sliding towards “Low” improves performance at the expense of visual fidelity, which can be ideal for crowded events or older systems. Moving towards “High” enhances the visual experience, perfect for when you’re exploring scenic landscapes or taking high-quality snapshots.

Draw Distance

Next is the ever-important “Draw Distance” slider, which determines how far you can see objects and textures in the world. Lower settings reduce the load on your system.

Advanced Graphics Controls

For those who want finer control, click the “Advanced” button. This is where you can individually tweak settings such as:

“View Distance”
“Texture Detail”
“Shadows”
“Water Reflections”
and a host of other visual elements.


Adjusting the Texture Detail slider will determine the clarity and accuracy of 3D models and surfaces. This level of detail can improve the realism of everything from accessories to buildings.

With “Shadows” and “Reflections,” you can introduce dynamic lighting effects that add depth and realism to the environment, though keep in mind these effects are more demanding on your system.

Firestorm Viewer | Second Life Need to Know Tips
This pic was taken with the Firestorm viewer. A few simple tweaks to the graphics settings and this is what I ended up with.

Advanced Features and Settings of the Firestorm Viewer

Scripting Support

To the builders, creators, and scripters—Firestorm speaks your language. Creativity in Second Life often means getting down to the script level. Firestorm respects that by offering extensive scripting support.

Script errors can be a creator’s nightmare, but Firestorm includes great debugging tools to help iron out any kinks.

Keyword Alerts in the Firestorm Viewer

Ever stumbled into a busy place on Firestorm, only to find yourself lost in a sea of local chat? That’s where Keyword Alerts come in helpful.

Keyword alerts can help you get notified when the things you want to talk about are mentioned. Let me guide you through the setup.

Go to preferences > select ‘Chat’ > find ‘Keyword Alerts’ tab. See the ‘Enable Keyword Alerts’? Make sure it’s ticked. Now, you decide where you want alerts – local chat, IMS, groups, and such.

Plug in any keywords you need to locate quickly. Just remember, keep the words separated with a comma and space. Simple, right?

Firestorm Viewer | Second Life Need to Know Tips

Firestorm Viewer Guide | Command Line Shortcuts

The Firestorm viewer is hiding some powerful moves. These command line shortcuts, which you type into local chat, are those very powers. Each one has a different purpose but they all make life that little bit easier.

calc – This command turns your viewer into a quick calculator. Type ‘calc’ followed by your calculation to get an instant result. For instance, ‘calc 2+2’ = 4.

cpcampos – Ever wanted to save your current camera position? ‘cpcampos’ stores it onto the clipboard for you to paste it later. Useful for scripting.

dd – Draw Distance can be a hassle. With this command, type ‘dd’ and then a number (like ‘dd 64’) to fix your draw distance to that particular measure.

gth – Flying up into the sky has never been easier. ‘Go to Height’ command will take you to your desired height. For example, type ‘gth 1000’ to get up to 1000 meters.

rezplat – Need a platform under you on your land? ‘rezplat’ can create it just like magic, provided you have the Rez permissions.

rolld – Into roleplaying and need some dice? With ‘rolld’ you can roll as many dice as you wish. Just specify the number of dice and faces (like ‘rolld 2 20’).

tp2 User Name – Go ahead and teleport to any avatar in the same region with ‘tp2’, followed by their username.

tph – Feel like going home? Just type ‘tph’, and instantly teleport to your home setup.

For Hover Height adjustments, we have three specific commands:
zoffset_up – A slight move upward by 0.05 (or any preset value in the Advanced → Debug Settings → AvatarHoverOffsetStepSize).
zoffset_down – A slight descent also by 0.05 (or the preset value).
zoffset_reset – Resets your Hover Height back to 0.

You can find the entire list of commands by clicking here.

Firestorm Viewer | Second Life Need to Know Tips

Regular Updates and Support

In a world that’s constantly evolving, you need a viewer that keeps pace. Firestorm for Second Life has regular updates that enrich your experience with the latest and greatest innovations. Regular updates means new features, quality of life improvements and updates to security and stability. And if you ever hit a snag, there’s a whole legion of support from the Firestorm community ready to assist.

Firestorm Viewer | Second Life Need to Know Tips

How to Download and Install the Firestorm Viewer

If you’re ready to jump into Second Life with the Firestorm Viewer then it’s a straightforward process. Let’s walk through the steps to download and set up Firestorm on your computer.

Visit the Official Website: Open your preferred web browser and head to the Firestorm Viewer’s homepage by typing in their URL, firestormviewer.org, or simply search for “Firestorm Viewer” via any search engine. Or, since I’m super nice just click here for the official Firestorm website.

Select Your Version: Once you’re on the site, find the download section. You’ll find versions for different operating systems—Windows, macOS, and Linux. Choose the one that matches your setup.

Download the Installer: Click on the appropriate download link for your operating system. This will start the download of the Firestorm Viewer installer to your computer.

Install the Program: After the download completes, find the installer file, usually in your Downloads folder. Double-click this file to begin the installation.

Follow Installation Prompts: The installer will guide you through the setup. You’ll need to agree to the terms of service and might have to choose some installation options. Take your time to go through these steps carefully.

Launch Firestorm: With installation complete, you can find Firestorm in your computer’s applications or program list. Open it by double-clicking on the Firestorm icon.

Log In to Second Life: The first time you open Firestorm, it will ask for your Second Life login credentials. I would recommend selecting the box that asks you to save your details, it will save a bit of time in future. If you don’t already have a Second Life account, you’ll need to set one up before you can log in.

RLV in Firestorm

RLV, or Restrained Love Viewer, is a system within Second Life that extends the control over your viewer capabilities through scripts. Essentially, RLV enables scripts to manage various aspects such as your attachments, clothing layers, visual and auditory experiences, and even your ability to move.

The Firestorm viewer comes equipped with built-in RLV functionality.

While RLV is widely recognized for its applications in the BDSM community, allowing for controlled experiences such as clothing management by others or immobilization (commonly known as capturing), its utility stretches far beyond.

To activate the control capabilities of RLV, you’ll require an RLV relay. This could be any scripted device—often a collar, sometimes a HUD, or other forms. The relay intercepts broadcast chat commands and translates them into llOwnerSay commands directed at your viewer.

Enable RLV on Firestorm Viewer

To turn on RLV in your Firestorm Viewer, simply follow these steps:

  1. Go to the top menu and click on ‘Avatar’.
  2. From the dropdown menu, select ‘Preferences’.
  3. In the Preferences window, click on ‘Firestorm’ located on the sidebar to the left.
  4. Under the ‘Firestorm’ preferences, find and switch to the ‘Firestorm’ tab.
  5. Here, you’ll find a checkbox labeled “Allow Remote Scripted Viewer Controls (RLVa).” Check this box.
  6. Click ‘OK’ to confirm your changes.

Remember, for the changes to take effect, you need to restart your Firestorm Viewer. Make sure to close and reopen it for your new settings to activate.

Quick Tips to Enhance your Experience

Now here are some super quick tips that will help you throughout your use of firestorm.

Ditch the Snapshot Sound – Activate the ‘Advanced menu’. Preferences>Advanced>Show Advanced Menu. Next, click on the Advanced menu on top and give ‘Quiet Snapshots’ a tick. Here’s a bonus – you can boost your snapshots to high-resolution too.

Fix your Avatar – Sometimes, your avatar might seem like a puppet with a life of its own, limbs all over the place or deformed. Recover control by performing an ‘underform’. Just go to Avatar>Avatar Health>Underform Avatar.

No-show Avatar? Here’s a tip for Legacy body users. Sometimes, on entering a new sim, your body might not show to other residents but show to you. To reveal yourself, head to Advanced>Refresh Attachments.

Finding Lost Objects – When objects play the vanishing act, ‘Area Search’ comes to your rescue. This tool sits under the ‘World’ menu in the Firestorm viewer. It searches for objects by name, reveals their distance from you, and even puts a beacon on them for easy spotting.

Firestorm Viewer | Second Life Need to Know Tips - Area Search

What is the Firestorm Social Island?

Firestorm Social Island is a unique spot. Designed as a social hub, it brings residents together to chat, hangout and learn.

Firestorm Social Island is made up of different regions, or as we like to call them, sims. Among these, the walkthrough area. It’s basically a welcome mat for those who’ve just joined Second Life, walking them through the what’s and how’s of not only Firestorm but also the basic blueprint of Second Life.

The walkthrough is laid out like a hiking trail. As you follow along, you come across signs with helpful info and practical tasks. It starts with learning simple moves like walking your avatar with arrow keys. Next, you learn the other moves – jumping and flying, plus how to sit and camming like a true perv.

There’s a whole section on making friends, sending messages, and even basic etiquette rules. After that, the walkthrough helps you get an understanding of lands and managing your inventory. Lastly, it tackles your appearance and how to adapt it.

Another region has a few beach huts. They’re stuffed full with free stuff – clothes, shoes, hair, and more. While most items are made for the old system avatars, if you look hard enough you can find a few things for Maitreya Lara.

In the middle of Firestorm Social Island is the network portal, a circle of rocks. Each one takes you to a different destination. Walk into your chosen rock and they will take you to roleplay sims, art sims, or adventures, fantasy, and yes, even adult sims.

Become a Firestorm Mentor

Firestorm Social Island provides an opportunity for experienced residents to give back by becoming mentors. Mentors play an important role in guiding newcomers through their initial journey in Second Life.

Interestingly, the process of becoming a mentor on Firestorm Social Island isn’t straightforward.

If you’re keen on lending a hand to new residents, you’ll need to get in touch with Flossy Andrews inworld—just send a notecard.

For those who have a knack for teaching and want to teach classes for rookies, reaching out to Ed Merryman in the same way. Drop a notecard to express your interest and detail your experience.

Community Support for the Firestorm Viewer

Support in Second Life comes not only from the tools you get but also from the community. And the Firestorm community is a behemoth of knowledge. With forums, in-world groups, and tutorials, there’s always assistance available, be it for troubleshooting issues or carving out new ventures in-world.

The Firestorm Alpha Project

Firestorm also provides an alpha version. This version is basically the release before the release by the development team before they launch a full build. It’s a pretty important part of the development process, using community feedback to refine and perfect the viewer.

The alpha version of Firestorm is a testing ground. The development team releases this version to gather insights from users, identify bugs, and receive suggestions. This feedback is instrumental for the team as it allows them to make necessary adjustments to make sure that the final product is polished and user-friendly.

If you’re considering trying out the alpha version, remember that it’s not just early access to new features. Active participation is important. Providing feedback —if you notice bugs or think of potential improvements, communicating these to the Firestorm team helps increase the quality of the eventual release.

It’s important to note that when a new version of the Firestorm alpha is released, the previous version becomes obsolete. This means regularly reinstalling the viewer are a part of the alpha experience.

PBR – Physically Based Rendering

Second Life is going through a massive visual overhaul that is changing the appearance of it. Central to this transformation is the introduction of Physically Based Rendering (PBR).

What is Physically Based Rendering?

Physically Based Rendering differs from traditional rendering methods by simulating the actual interactions between light and materials. PBR uses realistic calculations to ensure that light behaves in a more lifelike manner when it hits various surfaces.

Currently, if you’re keen to experience PBR in Second Life with Firestorm, you’ll need to access it through the alpha version of the Firestorm Viewer.

It’s also important to note that the richness of PBR comes with its demands—specifically, a higher demand on computer resources. For those using the Firestorm Viewer, this might mean that the minimum PC specifications will be adjusted upwards to accommodate PBR capabilities.

Second Life Firestorm Commonly Asked Questions

I’ve explored the internet, scanned through Reddit, and drawn from my own experiences to bring you answers to the most common questions about Firestorm for Second Life. If you have any questions of your own, feel free to ask them in the comments below.

What Makes Firestorm One of the Best Viewers for Second Life?

Firestorm is know as one of, if not the, top viewer for Second Life, and it’s easy to see why. It provides advanced features and extensive customization options, enhancing every aspect of your virtual world.

Is Firestorm viewer free to use?

Yes, Firestorm is completely free to download and use.

Can Firestorm run on both Windows and Mac?

Yes, Firestorm is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.

How do I update to the latest version?

Check the Firestorm website for updates and download the latest version. Install it over your current version to update.

Can I use Firestorm for other virtual worlds?

Firestorm is primarily designed for Second Life but it does support other grids such as OpenSim and AvatarLife.

What are the best graphics settings for Firestorm?

The best settings depend on your system; start with high settings and adjust according to performance.

Can I use multiple accounts with Firestorm?

Yes, Firestorm supports multiple accounts. You can switch between them without logging out and opening multiple viewers if needed.

How Can I Manage Cache?

Need a cache sweep? Well, here’s the path. Head to Preferences, pick Network & Files, tap on Directories, and there’s your Clear Cache Button.

But, remember, cache clearing isn’t your one-stop solution. It’s a tool to be used sparingly. Why so? Unnoticeable cache cleaning can slow down rez times and can hike your bandwidth usage. Better to save the cache clearance for texture or inventory issues.

When Should I Clear Cache?

Contemplating a cache clearance? The right time would be if you’re stuck with distorted textures or a halfway inventory – clear signals for a cache reboot.

How to Modify Draw Distance in the Firestorm Viewer?

If you’re looking to adjust your draw distance, the drill is uncomplicated. Simply go to the Graphics tab in Preferences, pick General and work the slider to your liking.

How to Turn off ‘Look At’ Crosshair in the Firestorm Viewer?

Perving on someone? No judgment here! But let’s keep it quiet. To do this, hop over to Preferences, select Privacy and then LookAt. No more unwanted crosshairs on your drool targets head.

How do I Move My Avatar Using WASD Keys in the Firestorm Viewer?

Here’s a simple way – just go to Preferences, tap on Chat, followed by Pressing Letter Keys and tick on Affects Movement (i.e., WASD).

How do I Improve Graphics in the Firestorm Viewer?

Is your Second Life appearing foggy? To adjust the visual quality, go to Preferences, select Graphics, and then Quality and Speed. Here you can move the slider to improve the detail.

Where do I Find a Sandbox?

In search for a sandbox? To locate the nearest sandbox, click on the Search button, type ‘sandbox’ in the All tab and apply the search. The nearest sandboxes to your location will populate the list.

How Do I Enable Voice in the Firestorm Viewer?

Want to verbally communicate with the residents? To enable voice in Firestorm, head to Preferences, choose Sound and Media, and toggle on Enable Voice.

Can I Alter Font Size?

Straining your eyes to read texts? Modifying the font size might be what you need. Go to Preferences, select User Interface, then 2D Overlay and adjust the slider in the UI Scaling section to fit your needs.

How Do I Change My Camera View?

Finding your camera view unsuitable? No sweat! Just navigate to Preferences, skim through to Move & Views, and select Camera Options. Adjust the settings here until you find your perfect view.

How Do I Add Friends in Second Life?

Want to add new friends? Piece of cake. Simply right-click on a potential friend’s avatar and select ‘Add Friend’ from the pie menu. Instant friendship!

How Do I Perform a Clean Install?

Heard the term ‘clean install’, but unsure of its meaning? It refers to starting fresh, uninstalling the viewer, scraping out all the residual files, and then reinstalling. But be warned, only go down this path when all your troubleshooting hasn’t solved the problem.

How Do I Fine-Tune the Sound Settings?

Can’t hear the sound of the in-world waterfall? Or, is the club music at your dance party too loud? To adjust the volume, head to Preferences, pick the Sound & Media tab, and move those volume sliders according to your needs.

How Do I Teleport Myself?

Need to get to your favourite Second Life location in a jiffy? Teleporting is your answer. All you have to do is open the Map, type in the location you want to reach, and hit Teleport. In a blink of an eye, you’re there!

How Do I Block Someone or Something in the Firestorm Viewer?

Tired of a Second Life resident or a persistent sound? Go to the Communicate menu, pick the Block List. Add the person or thing you want hushed. Immediate silence!

How Do I Take a Snapshot in the Firestorm Viewer?

Want to savor a beautiful Second Life moment with a snapshot? Select the Snapshot button on the right side of your screen, customize your picture, and hit Save. Easy as pie!

How Do I Set Up My Home Location in the Firestorm Viewer?

Want to establish a cozy corner as your home in Second Life? Go to the World menu, select Set Home To Here in a location you own or have permissions in. Your home is now a click away!

How Do I Report a Bug in Firestorm?

Experiencing a glitch in Firestorm? You can report it directly. Go to the Help menu, pick Report Problem, and fill out the form with all the details you can provide. Help is on its way!

Further Resources for Firestorm Viewer

The journey doesn’t end with downloading and setting up Firestorm. To fully use the viewer’s capabilities, explore the massive amount of resources at your disposal. Official tutorials take you step-by-step through various features, while community-generated content and guides provide a wealth of creative applications for Firestorm within Second Life.

Firestorm Social Island which is well worth a visit. Click here for the TP.

Don’t just take my word for it, though. Download Firestorm for Second Life today and see for yourself why it’s the most popular viewer for residents who demand the best in their adventures.

Further Reading

Official Firestorm Website Resources

Firestorm Wiki

How to Customize Your Firestorm Viewer

Caroline Takedas Firestorm Guide

My guide to the Second Life Alchemy Viewer. For those looking for a different Second Life viewer.

For more resources on RLV in Firestorm you can use the following;

How to set up Restrained Love (RLVa)

RLVa on Firestorm

RLV Folders, Outfits, and Inventory Setup

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5 Comments

  1. xXQueenCarmaXx

    this the most comprehensive guide i’ve found so far. most of the other ones have how to download or how to install or log in but nothing quite detailed like this one 😀

  2. Keanu Kaos

    there’s an inbuilt calculator? =/ I never realized how much I needed this in my life!

  3. kissthellamagirltwice

    I’m looking for information on when the PBR will be available in Firestorm. I know that Alchemy and the official Second Life viewer already have it available. Do you know when we can expect it to be available on Firestorm?

    • Jess

      PBR is available in the Firestorm Beta. You can sign up by joining their inworld group by clicking here. No idea when it’s going to be full release but hopefully soon cause it’s starting to irk me that with the PBR furniture I have some people see it all white XD

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