SL for Nowt

Living a digital life with empty pockets

The fast-track guide to non-newbieness for boys (1 of 3)

EDIT #1 (January 2009) – OK, well since writing this post the new default ‘newbie’ avatars have got a lot better. You don’t start out with the ‘newbie guy’ avatar that I did, in this post! But despite those much better-looking avatars, you still are a newbie, and I’m afraid that people will still regard you as one when you’re wearing any of those avatars. However, one of the things I am always harping on about (*g*) is ‘mixing and matching’. There are a few nice items of clothing in the default newbie avatars (you actually have all the avatars in the Library folder of your inventory, so take a look around there) and the shoes are good basics. So don’t be afraid to use mix some of those items with the items you’ll be grabbing in the course of reading this post.

EDIT #2 (February 2009) – Guys, I’m going to be re-doing this post at sometime in the near future. Several of the places featured here have moved or been completely re-designed, and the post needs to be updated. I’ll put a link here to the new post when it’s done :)

OK, it took a long time to put together, but here – at last! – is the boy’s version of my fast-track guide to non-newbieness.

In this first post, as with the girls’ series, we’re going on a whistlestop tour of the Second Life Grid, only this time it’s purely for the lads.

So, boys. You’ve finished wandering around Orientation Island. You have learned how to walk, fly, and squash medium-sized rodents under the wheels of a car or motorbike. And now you’ve found out how to get into Second Life proper; away from all that newbie learning stuff and into where all the other people are.

All the other beautiful people, that is. How come those guys have a slow, meandering walk when you’re stuttering forward like a toddler that’s only just found its feet? Where did the bloke in front of you get that awesome haircut? Hey, I want a pair of jeans like that, not these horrible newbie things. And argh! Get these flipflops off my feet!

Guys? Breathe. Go make a coffee or grab a beer, then hop behind the cut. In this post we’re going to grab some of the basic stuff you need in order to stop looking so newbish.

So what do you need? Well, the basics are: a shape, a skin, prim hair, clothes, shoes, and an AO (animation override, to get rid of that silly walk). You can find all of this for free in-world, and once I’m done with you, you will at least be able to hold your head up and laugh at those other dorks in the white t-shirts, newbie jeans and flipflops. Just… don’t forget you, too, were wearing those just a few hours ago, eh? *g*

OK, first I’m going to explain the mini-map to you, because I’m going to be asking you to get specific outfits in some cases, and for that you need to have a way of understanding directions. Because I know you guys don’t like asking for directions :P

The mini-map is a small map that sits in the top-right corner of your Second Life client. If you don’t have it showing, then click the Mini-Map button at the bottom of the client. It will look something like this:

The grey shapes will be different, you might see green blobs and the like around you, but this is the general mini-map. Most people will give you directions using the compass points you can see there. The yellow blob is you, and the pale white cone is your field of vision. NOTE: this is the field of vision of your camera, not your avatar. If you use camera controls to move out and away from your avatar, then your field of vision cone will also move. The cone always fans out in the direction you’re facing, and the camera is always (unless you’ve moved it using its controls) behind you. So in the above image, I’m facing South. If I’m in a store and facing that way, and I want to find something on the East wall, I need to turn left and keep walking. Simple, non?

With that in mind, we’re going to visit our first freebie store: Fabulously Free, in MC East River. Click on the boxes that I’ve highlighted and/or arrowed (sometimes boxes require you to right-click and select ‘buy’ from the pie menu: you’re buying for zero money, so don’t worry that you can’t afford it!).

On the shelves to your left, get the Jack In A Box starter avatar kit:

(You can grab other stuff if you want, while you’re at any of these places. I’m just showing you some basics you’ll need. You can always create a landmark here [like a bookmark to a place] and return: just go to the World menu of your client and Create Landmark Here.)

On the shelves to your right, get the Jem Men skins:

In front of you, and starting to the left, grab the boxed vouchers for free hair from Diversity and Gurl6, the businessman avatar, and the two packs of animations (flight and stand) from ANIMAH:

Staying on those shelves in front of you, move a little to the right and get the free samples of hair from Bewitched:

Moving to the right again, get the two guy’s t-shirts from S.Y.D., and (if you’re feeling in the mood to yee-haw) the cowboy hat:

Now we move on to another store. We’re going to Style Your Destiny, in Granymyr, and we’re going to get you a shape there. We’ll be grabbing a few shapes, so you can have a choice of build, from slender to muscular, average height to pretty tall.

At Style Your Destiny, head behind the furniture in the middle, to where you see a big red arrow pointing down. Below it is a circular disc. Right-click on it and select Teleport. A blue ‘flag’ will drop down in the top-right of your client. If the destination reads as it does in the screencap below (Second Floor – Freebies and Dollarbies) then click the ‘Energize!’ button. If it reads anything else, keep clicking the ‘Next’ button until you see that Freebies and Dollarbies bit. Then Scotty will beam you upstairs:

Head to the East wall, and get the free Jessica and Gregory shape pack. As an added bonus, this pack has (as well as a lot of good female skins) some great male skins:

Next, we’re heading to Free Union, in Chromex. It’s a big place, so this screencap will guide you where to go initially:

On the floor, against that wall, is this box of shapes. You can’t miss it (although unfortunately, there’s no Vin Diesel shape in there…) Grab it!

Now, look up. On the wall above you, is this skin, which is a great freebie skin for those that want a more rugged look instead of some of the ‘prettier’ free skins around. Grab it anyway. Might as well try it on, even if you’re not sure whether you want ‘rugged’ or ‘pretty’:

And on the wall, a little way over to the right, is some free male hair. By all means grab the lot, but the one I’ll definitely recommend to you is the black Dirty Biker hair (asterisked red):

(Sorry for the fuzzy screencap; those textures never fully rez!)

Now, fly over to the North of the store, until you see a place that looks something like this:

Head over there. If it’s packed and you seem to be bashing up against an invisible wall, keep trying to get in. As soon as one person leaves, you’ll be able to get in.

On the walls in here are hundreds of clothing items, and just about all of them are free. Use your camera controls (View > Camera Controls) and hold down ALT while you click on an image, then if you have a scrollwheel on your mouse, scroll to zoom in. You can examine the contents of each wall vendor. If you see even one item in the vendor that you like, click the vendor to get everything in it. You can always weed out the stuff you don’t like later. Some examples are:

A pack of various jackets:

Possibly not much to commend this set, but the beige lace-up shirt (top-right) would look good if you were thinking of going into a fantasy roleplay area:

At least three good shirts (depending on your personal style and taste, of course!) in this pack:

Various pants. Included in the left pack are some brownish pairs that would also look good in a fantasy RP setting. On the right are some smarter pants, black jeans and a couple of pairs of, er… other styles of pants (or almost-pants *g*):

Assorted pairs of jeans:

One bit of advice: steer clear of the jewellery and sneakers/trainers and shoes in most resell stores, They’re often badly-sized and loaded with blinding bling scripts. And if there’s one thing that will mark you out as a newbie, no matter how well-put-together the rest of your look is, it’s a pair of HUGE, blinging Nike sneakers, and a massive ‘PLAYA’ blinging belt buckle…

Moving on, we’re now heading to Sarah Nerd’s Freebie Paradise, in NineInchNerds. This is the place where directions matter, so pay attention to that mini-map! As always, grab anything you like the look of here, but definitely grab these must-haves:

West wall, up the ramp to the first level, these Basic Low Rider shoes:

North wall, these black jeans:

North wall again, the Leather Biker outfit (some of these wall ads say the items cost 1L, but they’re actually free):

North wall (but on the pillar to the left of it), this Gangsta AO. Don’t worry if you’re not into rapper-style poses; we’ll be pulling the best of the poses out of this AO to put together another one:

East wall, this male shape and skin (one of the best freebie male shapes I’ve found in Second Life):

Onto House of Zen, in Hinode Shima. When you rez, turn around and walk toward the red teleport board. Click the box that says Free Items, then when the map screen comes up, click Teleport:

Grab this pack of eyes from the freebie area that you land in:

Now we’re going to The Free Dove, in Galli. In the middle of the store is this table of free men’s shoes. Grab ’em all; they’re all good (much better than the blingy resell stuff, I promise!):

There’s a lot of other guy’s stuff in Free Dove, so look around if you want to grab some more. No trying on bits yet, though!

Next, we head to Loot at The Block. Inside here are some nice freebies. I’ve asterisked the free stuff (although from memory I can’t remember if it’s the two white bags on the floor or the two on the crate that have the guy’s stuff; you’ll have to hover over them to find out!). Other, unasterisked stuff in there is also free (the boots, for example); so take whatever you like. A couple of items cost 1L$, though:

Onto SF Designs in Lotus, where you’ll find three free pairs of creeper shoes. The black ones will go with most things, but grab the blue and the leopardskin ones if you like!

Onward, we go, to YadNi’s Junkyard, in Leda. Resist the temptation to grab everything here, please! You can come back and do all that later. For now, fly over to where you see this sign on the West side of the area, and get this box (the hovertext didn’t capture very well in the screencap: it reads “72 free animations 06/04”):

Next up, over to Evocative Free Designs, in Evocative. Walk across the bridge to the Teleport board and click the ‘Free Designs’ button. This will set you down outside the freebie store. Lots of great freebies in here, so grab whatever you like. Especially, though, get Eloh Eliot’s gorgeous free male skin:

Finally (“Thank God!” I hear you cry. I know, you men don’t have the stamina of us girls when it comes to shopping *g*) we head on over to The Gnubie Store, in Powder Mill. You’ll land at the bottom of a LOT of stairs. Up you go, lad. The goodies are at the top.

Freebies on every floor here (although some stuff costs 1L$, so unless you’ve registered payment info with Linden Lab, the creators of second Life, you’ll need to hit the money trees to get some cash. See this post for how to do that, but be quick: you can only pick from money trees for the first 29 days of your Second Life).

Here are a few nice items to grab from The Gnubie Store. First up. Gritty Kitty have some great free t-shirts and a fun scarf:

Great jeans and t-shirt packs from Rebel Hope:

Bryce has a men’s hair pack, and a ‘Dood Pack’ of good-quality clothes:

Next, a couple of extras. Teleport over to Crystal Gadgets, in Babeli. Go inside and either walk up the stairs, or use your camera to zoom up. You’re looking to the far end of the displays up there, for the free Radar HUD:

And finally, you need a flight feather. This will enable you to fly higher than you can normally, which is good because there are a lot of places up in the sky in Second Life!

I searched for ‘flight feather’ and got several results, but the one I chose was Flag City, in Flammarion. On the floor where you land, there’s a big box with a butterfly on it. Inside that box is your flight feather:

Aaaaand… that’s it! In the next post (probably to come tomorrow, unless I get time later tonight to crop and upload the screencaps) I’ll show you how to put this all together.


May 29, 2008 - Posted by | AOs, avatars, for the guys, freebies, hair, hints and tips, newbies, second life, shapes, shoes, skins |


  1. What happened to parts 2 and 3. I’m anxiously waiting with all my free stuff. No really, this is great information. I have IMed your web address to many newbies in SL. Just last night I saw a girl who had done her best with all the default stuff but I felt sorry for her and told her politely that she needed to go shopping and gave her your url. She was delighted. Keep up the good work. Still waiting on the rest of the male version.

    Comment by Michael | June 19, 2008 | Reply

  2. Hi, Michael :)

    I’m afraid life (the Real one, not the Second one!) has been more than a bit hectic since I made the first boys’ post. I’m hoping to get the rest of the series online over this next weekend. I’ve hardly had time to log, except to pay my rent and make a start on doing the screencaps, but things are beginning to settle down now, so hopefully by this weekend you should be looking a million dollars.

    OK, it’ll be Linden dollars, but still.. *grins*

    Thanks for handing the URL out, by the way! I should create a group for the blog and have a custom title. Something like “Ambassador for Nowt-iness” LOL

    Comment by Mar | June 19, 2008 | Reply

  3. Thanks for the reply. I’m happy with my expensive avatar on my premium account but I have an alter ego that needs a major overhaul. So … until your next post he will continue to be monkey boy! Again, great job!

    Comment by Michael | June 19, 2008 | Reply

  4. Mar,

    Please please give us part 2. :) Your whole blog is great but as a male, I have a special interest in this series. Keep up the great work.

    Comment by Chris | June 23, 2008 | Reply

  5. Finally done, Chris. Sorry for the delay!

    Comment by Mar | June 25, 2008 | Reply

  6. Mar,

    I’m still at it. I have given your web address to dozens of girls. I tell them to come show me the “after”. One girl said to me, “I’m new to SL. I don’t know what ‘after’ means”. I laughed. I said, “I’ve seen the ‘before’ come back and show me the ‘after'”. Great work, Mar. You have made a lot of SL girls very happy. And thanks for part 2 of your blog for the guys. I will be giving out the site to the newbie guys now.

    Comment by Michael | June 25, 2008 | Reply

  7. Michael,

    I think I should be charging you commission if I’m providing you with an ice-breaker for the girls! ;)

    Seriously, I’m very happy to help (and yes, with the girls if needs be! LOL) – I’m planning a new series of posts aimed at absolute newbies too (the real basics: opening boxes, how to wear stuff, etc). All of those will be linked, as the non-newbiness guides currently are, on my new “Newbie? Start here” page, so there’ll be one URL to hand out for the quick newbie links, and the rest of the blog can be perused at leisure :)

    Comment by Mar | June 26, 2008 | Reply

  8. […] up in Sarah Nerd’s Freebie Paradise. If you’re not sure where to find it, read my original post and you’ll get directions and a SLurl (a direct link to where you can find it, […]

    Pingback by The fast-track guide to non-newbieness for boys (3 of 3) « SL for Nowt | June 29, 2008 | Reply

  9. To the Author: I suggest not updating this post but replacing it with a post that gives guidelines and general tips. Why don’t you make this post similar to your excellent article about Money Trees: That post gives the general idea and tricks without mentioning specific places and names. If you want to keep this article up to date it will take a lot of time and / or drive you crazy as stores and places always change in SL.

    PS: After reading your article on money trees I picked L$150 in about 4 hours.

    Comment by Astronet | January 23, 2010 | Reply

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