Visitor FAQs

What do I need to get started?

All you need to join a Space and interact with others is a web browser, mic, and camera! 

Note: Gather works best on a desktop using Chrome or Firefox!

Tip: You can also download and share this Guest Guide to Gather.

Are there any keyboard shortcuts?

Why yes, we do have shortcuts!

  • (g) - Enter ghost mode and walk through other participants.
  • (x) - Interact with an object.
  • (z) - Make your avatar dance.
  • (f) - Shoot confetti in the air. (Note: This mode is in testing and is only available to a limited number of users.)
  • (Esc) - Close interaction (e.g., close minimap, close object interaction)
  • (Ctrl/⌘ + P) - Open Settings.
  • (Ctrl/⌘ + Shift + A) - Turn personal mic on/off.
  • (Ctrl/⌘ + Shift + V) - Turn personal video on/off.
  • (Ctrl/⌘ + U) - Turn on/off quiet mode (events Spaces) or do not disturb mode (remote work Spaces).
  • (Ctrl/⌘ + Shift + D) - Turn on/off debug mode.
  • (Windows key/Control + N) - Turn on network diagnostics.
  • Alt/Option + mouse drag - Look around the Space.

While you are in a Space, you can press the keys 1-6 to emote! (You can also customize Emotes 1-5.)

  • (1) - Wave
  • (2) - Heart
  • (3) - Party popper
  • (4) - Thumbs up
  • (5) - Question mark
  • (6) - Raised hand
  • (0) - Clear emote

Troubleshooting Checklist

We have a plethora of FAQs and articles that will walk you through detailed troubleshooting steps if you need help connecting to or using Gather. The following is a checklist of steps to try:


  • Refresh your browser.
  • Switch to Chrome if you are not using it already.
  • Close any other applications or browser tabs.
  • Disable any unnecessary browser extensions (or use Incognito/Private mode in your browser).
  • Disable VPN/firewall or ask your IT to whitelist Gather.

Performance Issues

  • Turn on Do Not Disturb Mode (Ctrl/⌘+U) to limit your a/v connections.
  • Test User Settings (Ctrl/⌘+P):
    • Reduce Limit Frame Rate to fewer fps. (Graphics)
    • Turn on SmartZoom or use a large zoom for Manual Canvas Zoom. (Appearance)
    • Turn on Reduce Motion. (Appearance)
    • Turn on Auto Idle Mute. (Audio / Video)
    • Turn off HD Video Quality. (Audio / Video)
    • Turn off Hardware Acceleration (Graphics)

Audio/Video Issues

  • Check browser settings and permissions to allow microphone and camera.
  • Close any other applications that use your mic or camera.
  • Check system settings and permissions (Macs) to allow screen recording, microphone, and camera.
  • Disconnect from external monitors.
  • Turn on Original Audio (Settings > User > Audio & Video) to turn off Gather’s audio processing, which includes echo reduction, automatic gain control, and noise filtering.
  • Review A/V Troubleshooting FAQs

Black or White Screen Issues

  • Respawn into the Space.
  • Hard refresh your browser (hold Shift key and press refresh button on browser).
  • Check the Mapmaker to make sure the background has not been deleted or resized. (If the background is white in Mapmaker, your original background has likely been deleted.)
  • Check if you are banned.
  • Clear your browser cache.
  • If you are embedding objects:
    • White screen = the website does not allow embedding
    • Black screen = the URL needs to be https
  • See All I see is a black screen—what do I do? for screenshots of black screen issues. 

Still having issues?

  • Check out our Gather Status site to see if Gather is having any issues site-wide. 
  • Report a bug by clicking on the Gather menu and selecting Report an Issue. (Read more on reporting issues.) 
  • If all else fails, there's always the ol' turn-it-off-and-back-on-again (restart your computer).

All I see is a black screen—what do I do?

There are several reasons why you may see a black screen or black background. Here are some quick troubleshooting tricks you can try to resolve your issue.

Reset Your Location

Occasionally there may be an issue with your current position due to map edits or other situations. The quickest way to resolve this is to try and respawn to a default spawn location in the Space. Select your name (the personal menu) in the toolbar, then select Respawn.

A View of the game room template, with a red outline around Riley's name in the Bottom Bar. A red line connects from the name to the expanded Bottom Bar menu, where Respawn is outlined in red.In the toolbar, select your name, then select Respawn.

Try a Hard Refresh

A hard refresh in your browser is different from a regular refresh in that it also clears the webpage's cache. Doing this will not log you out of Gather or forget your position in the space, and cached files for other sites will not be affected. 

First, go to the Gather space that's having the problem. Then use the following key combination to refresh the page:

  • Chrome or Firefox for Windows: Press Ctrl+F5. If that doesn’t work, try Shift+F5 or Ctrl+Shift+R.
  • Chrome or Firefox for Mac: Press Shift+Command+R.
  • Other Browsers: Try pressing the browser's refresh button while holding down shift, or manually clear the website cache in the browser's settings.

Add a Background

If you see a black background, but you can still see objects, the background may have been accidentally deleted (or not saved, if you were using the Walls and Floors Painter tool in the Mapmaker). If you own the Space and you have a copy of the background, you can try uploading it again. 

Open the Mapmaker. Click the hamburger menu in the top left corner. Click Background & Foreground, then Upload a Background. If you used the Walls and Floors Painter tool (drew your own background), you will need to recreate the background. When you are finished drawing or uploading your background, click Done in the Top Nav Menu of the Mapmaker, and then click Save before reloading the Space. 

A view of a blank map in the Mapmaker. The hamburger menu is outlined in red, and the menu is expanded. Background & Foreground is selected, and another expanded menu has Upload Background, Upload Foreground, Download Background, and Download Foreground.Open the Mapmaker. To draw or upload a new background, select the hamburger menu, then select Background & Foreground, then select Upload Background

Note: Check out our article on adding and managing Backgrounds and Foregrounds for more details.

Check If You Are Banned

If your entire screen is black and you do not see any objects, there is a high possibility that you were banned from the Space. Bans are done by IP address. This means if you tested the ban function on yourself or a member of your household, you may have banned yourself from your Space. For more information and available options moving forward, please see our page on Block, Kick, & Ban.

Clear Your Cache

Occasionally there may be issues with stored cookies or other information in your browser's cache. Try clearing your browser's cache to help resolve these issues.

Can I use a virtual background?

Are you interested in hiding your background or adding your own personal touch to your video view on Gather? Great news - we now have Virtual Backgrounds! You can blur your background, choose from a background image that we provide, or upload your own image. 

Please note: The Virtual Background feature is only available on the following browsers; Chrome, Edge, and Opera. The Virtual Background feature is not supported on Firefox or Safari. 

To try Virtual Backgrounds out, click on the arrow next to your video icon and then select Background & Effects located under the Video Effects category.

Choose a Background Image:

You can also choose from one of the five preset options that we provide.

Upload Your Own:

You can also upload your own image for your background. Select the Upload option, choose your image, and select it from the list to enable your new custom background image.

Background Blur: 

If you do not want to use an image as your video background, you may prefer the Background Blur option.


Enjoy exploring virtual backgrounds! Reach out to Gather Support if you have any questions.

My email code doesn't work!

If you haven't done so already, please try the following steps: 

  1. Go to and select Sign In
  2. Enter your email address and select Sign in with email. Keep your browser window open. You will receive a 6-digit code at the email you signed in with. 
  3. Enter the 6-digit code from the most recent email into the browser. 


  • If the email does not arrive immediately, wait at least 5 minutes before requesting another one.
  • The 6-digit code is valid for 10 minutes.
  • Each time you request a new code, the previous code is invalidated. 
  • If you are logging into Gather with your work email, you may want to check your spam folder or ask your IT help desk if is blocked. 

Help! I'm stuck (or lost)!

Are you stuck and cannot move? Lost in the Map and don't know where you are? Just select your name in the toolbar and choose Respawn. You'll reload into the Space at the default Spawn location

The Game Space template in Gather, with Riley's name outlined in red in the Bottom Bar, with a red outline around Respawn in the Bottom Bar menu.To return to the Space's default Spawn location, select your name in the toolbar, then select Respawn.