Gather 102

User Roles

There are 4 levels of User Roles inside of your Space: 

  • Owners have full controls of this space, including the roles below.
  • Moderators have all controls in the Space Preferences and Space Access tab, and can also add other moderators.
  • Builders are allowed to modify the maps of this space.
  • Visitors are the default role for anyone who enters your space. Visitors have no special permissions

By default, when you create a space, you are automatically added to all of the role types.  

Note: Moderators do not have the same permissions as Builders and vice-versa. If you would like someone to have both moderator and builder privileges, you will need to add them to both lists. 

You can add someone to a role inside of your Space through your Premium Dashboard or, if you are inside of your space, through your Space Settings by clicking the gear icon on the left side panel, under the "User Roles" category as shown below:

You can grant roles to others through your Space Settings under the User Roles Category

If you can an error saying their emails are not recognized, that means they have not created an account with gather yet. Please ask them to head to to sign up. Once they have logged in, you will be able to 

Once users are added, your settings menu will look like this:

Your Space Settings will list all users who are added under different roles with large "Remove" buttons next to each userAlthough Moderators do have have the capabilities of Builders, they can add other Builders including themselves. Builders can add other builders, but they cannot add other moderators. 

Owners can remove other Owners So be careful when you grant others User Roles in your Spaces. 

Please note that if you add multiple builders, you cannot have the builders working on the same map at the same time. If one person clicks the save button, it will override any concurrent map edits created by other map builders.

Alternatively, you can also head to your premium dashboard to add owners and builders to your space. Here's a walk through of your dashboard - If you get an error saying their emails are not recognized, that means they have not created an account with Gather yet. Please ask them to head to to sign up. 

Please note that if you add multiple builders, you cannot have the builders working on the same map at the same time. If one person clicks the save button, it will override any concurrent map edits created by other map builders.

Screen Sharing

You can share your screen with all of the people you are connected to on Gather if it is enabled in the space that you are in (Screen Sharing can be disabled in Metropolis Spaces).

To do so, click on the Screen Sharing icon in the center Control Bar at the bottom of your screen.

The icon to share your screen is found in the Control Bar at the bottom of your screen between the Mini-Map and Emotes  icons.

In Chrome, you will get the option to either share your entire screen, only an application window, or a specific Chrome tab.

The Share Your Screen dialogue box in Chrome offers you the option of sharing your entire screen, only a specific application window, or only a specific Chrome tab.

In Firefox, you will see a drop down menu in the upper left.

In Firefox, you will need to choose which application window you would like to share from a drop down menu. The option to share your entire screen is at the very bottom of the list. 

Note that you will only be able to share your screen, not your computer's audio. If you are sharing videos, we recommend you use an embedded video object.

If you would still like to share your output audio as an input, you will need to install a 3rd-party software to reroute your sound.

Troubleshooting Screen Sharing

If you are having trouble sharing your screen on Gather, start by checking your browser's permissions. If Gather does not have permission within your browser, you may not be able to share, or may only be able to share a blank black screen. If your browser does not have permission within your system, similar issues may occur.

Browser Permissions


In Chrome, whenever you screen share, Chrome will prompt you to select what to share.

This is a screenshot of Chrome screen sharing permissions window. The options along the top row are for sharing Your Entire Screen, the Application Window, or a single Chrome Tab.


In Firefox, you can click the lock on the left side of the address bar to check which permissions your browser has. Firefox will also prompt you for Screen Sharing; you must click the drop down window and 'Allow' Firefox to share what you select.

A screenshot of Firefox's screen sharing permission dialogue box. There is a dropdown menu in the middle of the box with a list of things you can share. 

Safari (Desktop Beta) 

When you click the 'screen share' button in Gather.Town, Safari will prompt you to allow access.

User prompt from Safari, which reads 'Allow to observe your screen?' with three options, Allow, Never for This Website, and Don't Allow

Clicking 'Allow' will let you screen share for that session. If you accidentally clicked 'Don't Allow', refresh the page to be prompted again.

If you accidentally clicked 'Never for This Website', or if you want to have Safari automatically authorize Gather, open your Safari preferences and click 'Websites'. 

Safari's preferences window, with the 'Websites' tab selected. On the left is a list of available permissions, Screen Sharing is selected. On the right is a list of currently open websites. is one of them, and the permission is set to 'Ask'.

On the left, select 'Screen Sharing'.  On the right, you can grant Gather access by clicking the drop down window and making sure it says 'Ask'.

You will be prompted every time you wish to screen share in Gather; there is no option to automatically authorize a website for screen sharing.

System Permissions

On a Mac , you may need to enable screen sharing or screen recording through your Apple security and privacy  settings.

1. Open up your Apple System Preferences by clicking on the icon in the upper left corner of your screen.

2. Select your Apple  Security and Privacy Settings

3. Selecting "Screen Recording" from the left side menu and clicking the box next to Chrome or Firefox.
Note: You may need to  click the lock on the bottom left corner and enter your password to make changes.

4. Quit and restart your browser to enable the new screen share settings to take effect.


Being spotlighted means having your video and audio broadcasted to up to 100 users in the same room. The spotlight feature is restricted to the first 100 users in that room, and any additional users over 100 will disturb the server connection and degrade everyone's performance. 

For presentations with more than 100 users, we recommend that you create a live stream and embed the live stream into a video object. For more information, click here to learn more about video objects.
 Use an External Call Object to open any external link to a video calling platform. Using this object and clicking on the link button will automatically mute your microphone, disable your video, and open the link in a new tab.  For more information on how this works, click here to learn more about external call objects.

When you are spotlighted, you will be able to see the other users you are broadcasting to, however, their audio will be muted for you unless they are in the typical connection range to see and interact with you. It can be helpful to think of spotlighting as a microphone - if you have a microphone, you can be heard by people in the room, but you can only hear them back if  they walk up to you or if they also have a microphone (i.e. are also spotlighted).

Spotlight broadcasts override private areas meaning you will still receive spotlighted video broadcasts if you are in a private area. Attendees in private areas, playing games, or interacting with objects will be able to hear the spotlighted speaker.  

Spotlighting can be accomplished by standing on a spotlight tile or by being spotlighted by a moderator.  You can create multiple spotlight tiles in a room or you can have a moderator 'spotlight' multiple users using the menu option - both methods will allow the same functionality.  
A moderator can spotlight participants by right clicking their name in the participant list and clicking the 'Spotlight' option.

Manual spotlighting using moderator controls within your Gather Space

We recommend that the number of spotlighted users stay under 20 per room, but you can have multiple rooms in the same space with multiple users that add up to more than 20 users, as long as they are not in the same room.  For example, you could run multiple panel discussions with panelists, moderators, and audience members asking questions in the same Space, just not all in one giant room.

Here is what the spotlight looks like in action: 

You can see the global icon on the top left nest to their name to distinguish that they are spotlighted.

When you are spotlighted, the global icon will appear in the top left of your personal video preview.

When you are spotlighted, you will be able to view the participants in the current room through your video carousel at the top. However, non spotlighted users will see your video first on the left, and then can only see the videos of the people in their current conversation interaction distance/private areas. 

If you were manually spotlighted by a moderator and you no longer wish to be, you can unspotlighted yourself by clicking on your name from the Participants List.

You can un-spotlight yourself by clicking your own name in the Participants List.


You can make your Avatar dance by pressing "Z" on your keyboard.

You will get a heart over your head when you hold the Z key to dance!

Ghost Mode

If you are 'blocked in' by other people, you can use ghost mode to pass through them by holding down the "G" key on your keyboard as you move.  This allows you to pass through tiles that are occupied by other people. Consequently, this means you can use Ghost Mode to have multiple people 'stack up' on the same tile.

Note that while in ghost mode you will be disconnected from everyone  and unable to make new audio or video connections until you leave ghost mode. 

iCal Calendar Integration

To display the events from  a specific calendar inside of your Space, paste the public iCal link under the Calendar heading in your Space's Settings  inside of the Space Preferences and click the "Save" 

You must click the Save button after you paste your iCal link into the calendar field inside of your Space Settings. 

 Anyone who enters your Space will see the events listed on the calendar when they open the Calendar Panel on the left side.

Example of what an event will look like in the side Calendar Panel

Note: Only publicly listed events from the current day on a public facing calendar will be displayed.

Unfortunately, the calendar integration is something we have not been able to dedicate as much time to as it deserves - and as such,  there are several known issues such as:  
  • Events with titles longer than 15 characters don't scroll correctly, so event titles can be truncated.
  • Events do not show time zones.
  • Sometimes all events are shown with the same start time.
  • Sometimes start times will appear in the wrong time zone. 
  • Outlook iCal will occasionally not integrate due to formatting issues. 

We apologize for any issues or confusion this might have caused, but we are working to improve the calendar feature because we know how important and useful that can be in certain situations. Updating and improving the calendar's functionality is on our medium-long-term priority list. You can keep an eye on our changelog for more information about those and other changes.  

Build Mode

Build Mode is a great way to live edit your Gather Space while directly inside of your space. Enter Build Mode by clicking the Hammer Image on the left menu. You can then open the object picker to select objects you want to throw into your space. 

Select Builder Mode by clicking the Hammer Image 

You can choose from a variety of objects in our Object Picker.

Once you've selected the item, you  will see a highlighted object appear in your map. You can then click the space bar on your keyboard to finalize and place the object down in your space. 

Click the space bar on your keyboard to place the item. 

Objects placed will be solid and colored. To close the panel and exist Build Mode, simply click the arrow on the upper right corner of the Build Panel.

You can collapse and close the Build Panel by clicking the arrow in the upper right. 

Global Build

You can allow all visitors to your space to collaboratively place and remove objects. To do so, open your Space's settings and toggle the "Global Build" setting.  This will enable Build Mode for all visitors in your space rather than only specified Builders.

Note: When Global Build is toggled on, anyone in your space to create or erase objects. If you prefer to limit who can and can't build, you change the User Roles in Space Settings. 

Global Build Toggle in User Roles

Erase Mode

Erase Mode is similar to Build Mode, except to remove existing objects on a map while you are inside of your Space. To access Erase mode, open Build Mode and then click the word "Erase" in the top of the panel.

Using Erase Mode,  you can delete objects that are located under the red box directly in front of your character. If there are more than 2 objects on top of each other, a special menu will open to help you easily scroll between the objects in a stack to select the one you want to erase.

An animation showing Erase Mode in Action

Note: This menu will only appear if there are 2 or more objects on the square you are trying to erase.

To use the semi-secret individual object selection feature, simply press x when the object you would like to erase is highlighted!

Hotkeys and Shortcuts

Hotkeys are keyboard key presses that provide quick access to a particular function within Gather. 

Hotkeys and Shortcuts While in a Space:

  • (Ctrl/⌘ P)  - User/Video Preferences.
  • (Ctrl/⌘ U)  - Turn On/Off Quiet Mode.
  • (g)  - Enter ghost mode and walk through other participants.
  • (e) - teleport you to the nearest open area when you are trapped (Only available if you are trapped)
  • (x) - to interact with an object or to select a subset of objects in Erase Mode
  • (z)  - make your avatar dance

A screenshot of the avatar dancing


 While you are in a space you can press the keys 1-6 to emote! Note that all emotes will persist for 3 seconds before fading except for #6 (raised hand) which will stay raised until you press the #6 again to lower your hand or click the clear button in the emote bar.

A screenshot of the emote menu

Hotkeys while in Mapmaker:

  • (s) - Select Mode

A screenshot of the "Select Mode" tool

  • (t) - Tile Mode

A screenshot of the "Tile Mode" tool

  • (a) - Object Mode

A screenshot of the "Object Mode" tool

  • (e) - Eraser Mode for Tile or Object Mode (Which ever mode you are in before pressing e)

A screenshot of the "Eraser Mode" tool

  • (backspace) - delete the currently selected object from the object list on the upper right
  • (Ctrl/⌘ z) - undo
  • (Ctrl/⌘+Shift+ P) - redo an undo

Quiet Mode

If you wish to reduce the number of video call connections your device makes, you can turn on Quiet Mode by pressing CTRL / CMD + U or by selecting it from your user menu. 

You can turn on  Quiet Mode from your user menu, found by clicking on your name on the bottom, center control bar. 

When you're in Quiet Mode, you  will only be able to connect with and video chat with those who are immediately adjacent to you (diagonals included). People outside of this range will appear faded to you. Additionally, your status indicator will turn red in your control bar, next to your name in the Participant's List, and next to your avatar inside of your video window that others see. 

A screenshot from There are two users, standing one tile apart; one user has Quiet Mode off, and their video call is connected.A screenshot from There are the same two users, standing one tile apart; the user on the left has Quiet Mode on, and is not connected to the user on the right.

Notes on Quiet Mode

  • Quiet mode is overridden by private spaces - that is you will still be connected to everyone in a private space  regardless of distance. 
  • Some users use Quiet Mode to indicate when they are busy, or away from the keyboard.

Click Interactions

You can use your mouse to move around in Gather! Double-click on a tile to walk to it. Clicking to move will automatically try and avoid private spaces.

An animated gif of a person double-clicking the canvas to move. 

You can also right click (or two-finger click) on another participant to open a context menu. This menu lets you follow someone, send them a message, or start a bubble. Messages will appear as private messages in the chat panel.

An animated gif of a person right-clicking a participant and selecting "start bubble". The person walks towards the participant automatically and a brightly colored orange bubble appears under their feet to indicate they are in a separate conversation. 

A static image of the context menu. Options, in order, are "Move Here" "Start Bubble" "Follow" "Send chat..."

Note*: On Mobile, you can long-press to open and use the Context Menu, but the "send chat" function is not supported.*

Space Notifications

Space Notifications

Want to know when someone shows up in a particular Space? You can now subscribe to push notifications that tell you when a Space becomes active (aka when the participants list changes from zero to at least 1).

Notifications (Beta)

Untitled (14)Left Side Expanded Panel in Gather Space

To get these notifications you will need to:

  1. Ask the Space's owner to turn on Beta Features
  2. Opt-in using the "Notify Me" button or by clicking on the "Notifications" symbol on the left-side panel
  3. Double check that your browser settings allow to send you notifications
  4. Make sure that your computer is not auto-muting notifications (Looking at you, Windows Focus Assist!)

notifLeft Side Panel Bell Icon for Notifications


You will not receive additional notifications for additional participants. The only time you will get a notification is when your Space's online participants changes from zero to 1.

On a Windows machine, you will see the notification in the lower right corner of your screen.

Untitled (15)Windows Notification

On Mac OS, The notification will appear in the upper right corner of your screen.

Screen_Shot_2021-05-06_at_4MacOS Notification

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