User Settings Overview

This article covers all of the available settings for controlling your Gather experience. Your first opportunity to set your audio and video on what we call the Check Your Hair screen. Once in a Space, you can fine tune your experience on Gather by opening Settings (Ctrl/⌘+P). Use these links to skip to the section you're interested in:

Check Your Hair

Every time you enter a Gather Space, you see what we call the Check Your Hair screen (because you get to see your video preview and check your hair!). This modal shows a preview of your Gather character, a preview of your video feed, and the A/V selections for your camera, mic, and speakers. 

A screenshot of the Check Your Hair screen. The text reads Each time you enter a Gather Space, you see the "Check Your Hair" screen, which shows a preview of your Gather character, your video feed, and your A/V selections.

You can edit your name and character on the Check Your Hair screen by selecting Edit Character, which will open the character picker. Select the mic and camera icons on the video preview to turn your mic and camera feed on or off prior to entering the Space. You can also change your input for camera and mic and output for speakers using the three drop-down fields. When you're ready to join, select Join the Gathering

Note: When you're in a Space, you can see your video preview on the left of your toolbar. Select the mic and camera icons in the toolbar to turn your mic and camera on or off. Select your video in the toolbar to enlarge or pin your video feed.

Audio / Video Settings

To manage your audio and video settings while in the Space, open Settings. Select the User tab, then select Audio / Video.

To manage your devices and other A/V settings, select the User tab in Settings, then select Audio / Video.

Devices

Open the drop-down fields to change your camera, mic, or speaker selections. 

Note: If you do not see any options in the drop-down fields for Devices, check your browser settings. If you're on a Mac, you may need to check your system settings as well.

Warning: Firefox does not allow you to select your speaker output. 

Audio Level

Select Start playback to test your microphone. When you are finished testing, select Stop playback.

A screenshot of the fancy office template with the Settings modal open. The User tab is selected with the Audio & Video category active. A red outline displays around the Audio Level settings. A noise indicator is lit up with green bars about halfway. A Stop playback button displays. From User Settings, select Start playback to test your audio. Select Stop playback when you're finished.

Large Grid

By default, large grid is turned on to display up to 16 videos at a time. Toggle this off to view no more than 9 videos at a time, which may improve your performance.

Note: Read more about the video carousel for different video viewing options.

Auto Idle Muting

By default, auto idle muting is turned on so that your audio and video feed turn off whenever you are tabbed away from the Gather window and not connected to others. When you return to your Gather window by clicking in the Space, you will automatically be unmuted and your camera will turn back on. If you turn auto idle muting off, your camera and video will remain on unless you manually turn your mic and camera on or off, even while you use other windows or applications.

A modal reads You were auto muted while away. Gather will automatically turn off video and mute your audio when you're tabbed away. A Got it button displays below, with a link to change settings. When you are tabbed away from Gather, auto idle muting automatically turns off your mic and camera. You see this message on your return.

Tip: If you want to hear any time someone walks up to you in your Gather Space, turn Auto idle muting off.

Note: When you are inside of an iframe (interacting with an interactive object such as an embedded video or website) and not connected to others, you may be automatically muted. This is because the iframe is in "focus," as opposed to the Gather app itself, which has a similar effect to being tabbed away. When you close the embedded object or click in the Gather Space, Gather should automatically unmute you.

Use HD Video Quality

By default, you will see HD videos if the people you are connected with are transmitting an HD video stream. You can turn this feature off to connect to SD video quality instead, which may improve your performance.

Chat Sounds

By default, chat sounds are turned on. Toggle off this setting to mute the notification noise for new chat messages.

Space Notifications

By default, Space notifications are off. Toggle on to receive a notification from your browser when the number of guests in the Space goes from zero to one.

Note: This setting is currently in beta, so it will only display if beta features are enabled in the Space.

Warning:  You may need to allow notifications from Gather in your browser to receive the alert.

SFX Volume

Drag the SFX volume slider to adjust the audio level of any sounds in the Map (such as ambient noises or embedded media).

A screenshot of the fancy office template with the Settings modal open. The User tab is selected with the Audio & Video category active. A red outline displays around SFX volume, auto idle muting, use hd video quality, and use original audio. Auto idle muting and Use HD video quality are toggled on, and Use Original Audio is toggled off. The SFX volume slide is at the maximum end.You can manage in-Space sounds using the SFX volume slider.

Use Original Audio

By default, original audio is turned off so that Gather can reduce echoes and suppress background noises. You can enable original audio to gain full control over your audio, which may also improve your performance.

Debug Mode

By default, debug mode is turned off. Turn this mode on if you would like to see info on incoming/outgoing audio and video. This feature is generally helpful when working with Gather staff to troubleshoot. You can also toggle this on/off with the keyboard shortcut Ctrl/⌘+D.

Appearance

To manage your settings related to what you see while in the Space, open Settings. Select the User tab, then select Appearance.

The User Settings modal with Appearance active. Navigation 2.0, beta features, use smart zoom, and reduce motion are features with toggles to turn on or off. You can manage settings related to what you see in Gather in the Appearance section of User Settings.

Beta Features

If you want to be first to experience features we're developing and testing, turn on beta features. 

Use Smart Zoom

By default, Smart Zoom is turned on to provide you the best view of your Space based on the size of your browser window. You can turn off Smart Zoom to manually control your view of the Space. 

Warning: When you turn off Smart Zoom, scroll to zoom is enabled. Use the scroll wheel to zoom in or out of the Space.

Manual Map Zoom

When Smart Zoom is turned off, you can manually adjust the view of the Map. You can select a percentage or a point on the slider (or use scroll to zoom with your mouse while in the Space). 

The Settings modal open with the User tab selected and the General category active. A red outline displays around the Smart Zoom and Manual Canvas Zoom features. Smart Zoom is toggled off, and a line displays under Manual Canvas Zoom with dots every increment of 50%. The max zoom is 400%. You can turn off Smart Zoom to manually control the view of the Space, up to 400%. Changing the canvas zoom affects the view of the Map, not the size of the interface. 

Note: Using the browser zoom function enlarges or shrinks the entire window, including the navigation menus and windows, whereas Manual Zoom just enlarges or shrinks the view of the Space.

Reduce Motion

By default, reduce motion is turned off. Toggle this setting on to limit the amount of animation displayed on the screen. (This may improve your performance, as well.)

Name Label Size

By default, name label size is set at 12 px. You can manually adjust the font size by dragging the slider or selecting one of the font sizes specified on the slider. 

Constant Name Sizes

By default, constant name sizes is on so that your avatar's name label displays the same size regardless of the Map zoom level. Toggle this setting off to allow the name label to dynamically size with the Map zoom level.

Tooltip Label Size

By default, tooltip label size is set at 13 px. (Tooltips are the messages that display for interactive objects.) You can manually adjust the tooltip font size by dragging the slider or selecting one of the font sizes specified on the slider. 

Constant Tooltip Sizes

By default, constant tooltip sizes is on so that the tooltip font displays the same size regardless of the Map zoom level. Toggle this setting off to allow the tooltip labels to dynamically size with the Map zoom level.

Graphics Settings

To manage graphics settings while in the Space, open Settings in the Left Nav Menu. Select the User tab, then select Graphics

The Settings modal open with the User tab selected and the Graphics category active. Hardware Acceleration can be toggled on or off, and you can adjust your frame rate with a slider.To manage graphics settings, which may improve your performance, select Settings in the Left Nav Menu. Select the User tab, then select Graphics.

Hardware Acceleration

By default, hardware acceleration is turned on to use your computer's graphics card when rendering Gather. Toggle this setting off if you are experiencing issues with graphics loading on your screen.

Limit Frame Rate

By default, your frames per second (fps) display at the highest level to provide the best video experience of Gather. Drag the slider to lower fps, which may improve your performance.