Quick-Start Wastelands Game Guide

“The Game” as it is commonly referred to in The Wastelands, is our own home-brew mini-MMO in Second Life.  It is completely free to play, it only costs you your time and interest.  It has been live since 2007, and has had many changes and improvements over the years.  At its core, it is very easy to play; but peel back a layer, and you’ll discover complex features and game mechanics.  Those topics won’t be covered here, but instead we’ll cover what you need to know to get going and live longer than a day.  The first step is to…

Get The HUD

The Game HUD is the core of our system, and allows you to interact with everything and other players.  It is a temporary attachment which means it will never appear in your inventory.  Every time you wish to play, just click one of the “Arcade Masheens” on the estate.  There’s one someplace in every region.

Before a HUD can be equipped, there are a few practical limitations.  The first is a hard script limit of wearing less than 75 scripts worth of attached content – such as bodies, HUDs, Hair, etc.  This limit is in place because the more scripts you have the longer it takes to cross region borders and teleport.  As an example if you lag and rubber-band over The Great Fissure, you may fall in.  Because our game has falling damage, you may die.

The second limitation is avatar size – particularly being too short.  This creates bounding box issues for any sort of combat you may encounter, and is typically unfair to those who’re normal-ish size.  Avatars shorter than 1.32 meters, or 4.33 feet are unable to equip a HUD, and instead should choose a shape that meets these minimum requirements.

Flying, teleporting, speed assists, and flight assists are strictly forbidden; and will automatically and temporarily suspend your HUD.

Once you’re ready, you can get the HUD here, by clicking on the Arcade Masheen.  If this is the first time you’ve gotten a HUD ever, you’ll get a wall of text.  If you want to know a great deal about the game, you can read out wiki articles about it.

Inworld Tutorial

While not mandatory, there is an inworld tutorial that’ll teach you much of the basics of playing the game.  It takes at most 15 minutes to complete.  If you complete the tutorial, you’ll get your first weapon: The Cloth Fist Wraps.  Next to each “Arcade Masheen” is a white sign with red text that says “Game Tutorial”.  Stand next to it, click it, and you’ll be teleported there.

Opt-In Danger

The Wastelands by its nature is a dangerous place.  Playing the game opts you in to potential combat with other players.  However, most folks are more worried about their own hides.  The environment itself has many dangers, and damage to health is something to be avoided.  Just to reiterate, if you wear the HUD, you’re fair game to others.  At the same time folks are willing to help each other.  Death isn’t permanent, and is mostly just an inconvenience.  You’ll be teleported someplace safe if you do fall though.

Scavenging & Crafting

Now that you’ve got the HUD, you’re going to probably want other STUFF.  You can find this stuff in crates that spawn on the estate, in critters that you defeat, and since 99% of all game content has transfer permissions, you can buy it (and sell it) from others.

Once you have a hoard of items, you can combine them in to other things.  However, recipes are secretive knowledge guarded by those that discover or trade for it.  Sure there’s a public list of recipes to help you get started, but knowing more will help you craft more.  You can learn this through experimentation on the Crafting Masheens or Doktor Aeg, through the Tattered Papers system (see below), or by role-playing with others.


Most normal actions in the game will reward you with EXPerience (EXP for short).  EXP is consumed as part of several nice perks, like trading with NPCs, doing daily quests, or even participating with seasonal content.  A list of typical EXP rewards and costs can be found here.


Food is the primary method of healing in The Wastelands.  You can find it in varying degrees in crates that normally spawn across the estate.  If you’re hurting for a meal, you can bank up some EXP and do a task for Doktor Aeg, he always rewards food, and his tasks are considered easy.

If you start to starve, you’ll begin to take penalties to your maximum health.  While cold-hard numbers beyond a % of health is not a thing in The Wastelands, you’ll notice that the damage seems stronger when you get hit; and that is because your maximum health has been reduced.

Finally, if the community has worked together to create some Cinderblock Stew, you can get some free food there.

Ruined Papers

Occasionally you may find some ruined papers as part of your loot.  If you bring these to Henry, and rez them on the table he’ll decipher them for you.  These will give you word-puzzle hints about various game crafting recipes.