More than 300 valid responses came in for the 13th Annual OpenSim Grid Survey, and Wyldwood Bayou and Littlefield, two write-in grids, received perfect scores from their residents. Craft World and Terra Nova, also write-ins, were close behind.
Meanwhile, Alternate Metaverse deserves a mention at the top of this story. It wasn’t the highest-rated grid, or the grid with the most respondents — it was in second place after AviTron — but it did have the most effusive comments from its residents. Scroll to the bottom of this article to read just some of the praise its residents have heaped on this grid and its owners.
Most years, there’s at least one smaller grid that does well in this user survey, because small startup grids typically have close-knit and supportive communities. Plus, on smaller grids, it’s easier for the grid owners to provide support. On larger grids, support can start lagging behind, people can feel lost in the crowd, and there might be challenges scaling the technology.
Where do OpenSimmers live and visit?
Between them, the respondents had visited 93 different grids and named 40 different grids as their primary homes.
AviTron was the grid that was home to the most respondents, followed by Alternate Metaverse, Kitely, and OSgrid.
We also asked our readers about the grids that they had visited, other than their own home grid.
OSgrid, OpenSim’s largest and oldest grid, was the most visited — 68 percent of our readers had been to that grid, not counting the 8 percent who make it their permanent home. The next most visited was DigiWorldz with 38 percent, followed by Kitely, with 37 percent.
The numbers add up to more than 100 percent because most people have visited more than one grid. In fact, the average OpenSim users has been to three other grids. At least, they could immediately recall the names of three other grids. Several respondents said that the number of grids they visited was “too high to count.”
Most residents said they were very happy with their grids — 93 percent would “absolutely” recommend them to others. Just 5 percent said “maybe” and fewer than 2 percent said they would not recommend.
Technology, support, community, and content
I did not ask people to compare different grids and tell me which one is better. After all, nobody out there has visited all the grids and tried them all out. Instead, what I do every year is ask people what they think about the grid that they spend the most time on.
Typically, people rate their home grid highly. And that makes sense — after all, that’s the grid where they decided to spend their time. That’s why most grids score as 4 and 5, in every category. If people don’t like a grid, they leave and go live somewhere else.
As grids get larger, however, they also get more people who are generally discontented. In addition, larger grids may have problems maintaining their technology or support. As a result, smaller grids often do very well in these annual surveys.
You’ll notice that the difference between grids is often a fraction of a percent, so please do not take these results as pure gospel. Plus, with the relatively small number of users we have in OpenSim, the margin of error is high — one highly dissatisfied resident can skew the results quite a bit.
This year, when our readers were asked how they would grade their grid’s technology. Littlefield and Wyldwood Bayou had perfect scores, while Utopia Skye was close behind.
Wyldwood Bayou was also the top-scoring grid in last year’s survey, with Utopia Skye in second place.
OSgrid had the lowest for technology. OSgrid is the largest OpenSim grid, allows people to connect regions that they host at home, for free, on their own computers, and all of its management is by a team of volunteers. OSgrid is also the testing ground for new OpenSim features and releases. All these factors combined mean that any particular region might be running slowly on a home Internet connection, or be using an older version of OpenSim.
These survey results also only show how users feel about the technology — not about the effort that the grids have put into their platform. Kitely, for example, has done a great deal of work on custom code, in addition to contributing code fixes back to the community. And OSgrid is where the OpenSim developers do their testing. Neither of these contributions are necessarily reflected in the poll numbers.
In support, three grids received perfect scores from their residents — Littlefield, Wyldwood Bayou, and Craft World.
OSgrid scored lowest, but, again, the grid is all volunteer-run and regions are hosted on home computers. And there’s only so much that volunteers can do to help since everybody’s home computer and networking configuration is different.
For community, Littlefield, Wyldwood Bayou, and Terra Nova had perfect scores, followed closely by Utopia Skye.
In content, Littlefield and Wyldwood Bayou received perfect scores, followed closely by Craft World and Terra Nova.
For the latest list of all grids on the OpenSim platform — or some fork of it — check out our Active Grids List.
If you would like to see a full list of results — minus any identifiable information — please email me at [email protected].
Additional comments from the respondents
The following are representative comments about the grids. There were more than 130 comments in all, much higher than last year, some of them quite lengthy, and if anyone wants to see them, or use them on their websites, just email me. Again, I won’t include any personally identifiable information.
In addition to leaving out some of the repetitive comments, I’ve also skipped those that had negative personal attacks or that seemed libelous. And, of course, I also edited out any personally identifying information. The comments have also been very lightly edited for spelling and grammar.
“Alternate Metaverse has the nicest people and there seems to always be someone on to chat with. They are also very helpful when you run into a problem. Love being there.”
“Alternate Metaverse is far and away the most fun, supportive, and fair-minded grid I’ve ever been a part of.”
“Alternate Metaverse is the most caring and helpful place that anyone could come to.”
“Alternative Metaverse is home for me.. I am from Second Life, I’ve tried other grids, and AMV is by far the most relaxed… peaceful.. fun.. friendly.. supportive grid I’ve yet to experience… will I invite others to AMV? Yes! I have been — I take my family and friends to the best.”
“AMV is likely the best run grid I’ve been on thus far. When my Sir and I arrived here, it was like we had found where we were meant to be. We have one word for Alternate Metaverse — home.”
“Cliff and Cat make the grid welcoming and fun for everyone!”
“Excellent grid management, very good support and a very active community.”
“Great work — keep doing what you do, guys, you’re better then OSgrid. They lose their assets and try to fix it now for a year. I’m happy in AMV and it’s my preferred location for almost everything OpenSim.”
“I have moved six times in the past six years. AMV has been there when the others fail and crash.”
“I spend almost all of my time here at AMV. I was astounded by the way the grid owners — Cat and Cliff — get involved in all the events here. I am also amazed at the way both Cat and Cliff take a sincere interest in the well-being of their residents and on a one-to-one basis. They sincerely show how much they care for each of their residents by going that extra mile to ensure their happiness, contentment, well-being and utmost safety.They ensure a no-tolerance harassment policy and take us, residents, at face value! Thank you both Cat and Cliff for being the best of the best grid owners around!”
“I have been to other grids and to be honest with you, I have found nothing worthy to even compare with Alternate Metaverse’s quality of virtual life. I see this grid growing in leaps and bounds and I don’t think that will stop anytime soon or at all.”
“I would recommend Alternate Metaverse Grid for having the best service and no grid issues and the grid owner knows his stuff from behind the scenes, also the team are friendly and also its community has fun and outgoing people to hang out with. Plus — the Dinkies have arrived on the Alternate Metaverse Grid so now it is more fun and many new activities for all Dinkies to check out and hangout and feel safe at.”
“I tried a couple of other grids and they were nothing compared to Alternate Metaverse. I have visited a lot too when I hypergrid but nothing compares to AMV. It’s the best by far.”
“Every grid we’ve visited has something to recommend it, but when we landed at Alternate Metaverse Grid we knew we had struck gold.”
“The tech is on par with Second Life — and better, in most cases — the residents are comfortable with themselves and each other and the helpfulness, consideration and camaraderie is real, not just something stated by grid owners who hope it’s going to be that way just because they said so.”
“This is a grid worth visiting because it epitomizes everything good about OpenSim. Superior tech, terrific residents, great events and entertainment and exceptional educational opportunities.”
“The owners, Clifford Hanger and Cataplexia Numbers, have done a first- rate job here and the grid reflects who they are and the care they take with it. To say ‘we’re happy here’ is such an understatement. To say ‘we’re finally home’ sums it up so much better.”
“One of the best parts about AMV is that the owners of the grid live here with us. They are part of the entertainment, the building, the event coordination, everything. The friendly community adds to its charm, there are people here ready to participate in every type of activity you can imagine! Clan’s Band makes our home here, and we have been — almost — everywhere in the metaverse!”
“The grid owners and the community itself truly cares about each other on AMV. No better place to be.”
“They have some good learning opportunities at Koryphon Academy.”
“Alternate Metaverse and Wyldwood Bayou are by far the two very best grids in OpenSim. Aesthetically, technically, community, entertainment.”
“Alternate Metaverse Grid is technical 10/10. For builders and scripters. Entertainment for everybody, amazing regions to visit and amazing staff and residents.”
“Totally awesome grid, I love it!”
“Avitron, the best don’t miss it..”
“Avitron el mejor lugar.” [Google translate: “Avitron is the best place.”]
“Eu vim do Second Life e graças a um amigo conheci o AviTron, nunca estive tão feliz, em um mundo sem a ganância do dinheiro, sobra tempo para a fantasia a amizade desfrutando de lugares lindos com festas maravilhosas. Problemas tem uma vez ou outra, mas vale a pena por cada alegria de estar no Avitron. Fica meu agradecimento. Patricia Maia.” [Google translate: “I came from Second Life and thanks to a friend I found AviTron. I’ve never been so happy. In a world without the greed of money, there’s time left for fantasy, friendship, enjoying beautiful places with wonderful parties. Problems have one time or another , but it’s worth it for every joy of being at Avitron. I would like to thank you.”]
“I love AviTron.”
“I’m slowly leaving AviTron, due to the owner’s greed and mistreatment.”
“Todas las cuadriculas son buenas, cada una tiene su fantasía y su encanto, gracias a todas está personas que nos hacen una segunda vida mejor, son excelentes.” [Google translate: “All the grids are good, each one has its fantasy and its charm, thanks to all these people who give us a better second life, they are excellent.”]
“AviWorlds is not only managed by a great team but also has a awesome custom website.”
“Support and technology on AviWorlds is top notch! definitely the best!”
“Very attentive owners. Hugabug is on top of things. I feel safe here, no drama — a friendly group.”
“Bellissimo.” [Google translate: “Very beautiful.”]
“I am very happy to live on my favorite grid, Craft World.”
“I love my community in Craft World!”
“I found out that scripts are disabled when the items is taken off DigiWorldz unless they are full perm. That killed my business. Population on just DigiWorldz is too small to make any money. No ability to create OAR files like on Discovery Grid and Kitely. Very poor interface for land owners. This grid seems pretty stagnant. No meetings with owner to discuss needs and the grid direction like on Discovery and Kitely. No apparent growth in technology unlike Discovery and Kitely. I am probably going to leave.”
“Discovery Grid is one of only a select handful of grids I trust the grid owner and that can handle my high-end fireworks displays – support has always been top notch and very fast, extremely pro-active in the fight against the infestation of botted content, and I also consider grid owner, Balpien Hammerer, a friend.”
“Discovery is an up and coming grid that really goes all out to make their residents feel at home.”
“I really like Discovery Grid, I feel really welcomed there. Also they’re always improving things there to make the experience there even more enjoyable!”
“Small community, but very friendly and helpful. Good communication from the owner.”
“I love The Edge, it’s a peaceful grid with awesome people.”
“GBG World is the fastest grid with only 2 second sim restarts and zero lag.”
“I love living on GBG World. Great and fast service. GBG is the best.”
“Genesis is a new grid established 03/30/2022 by Metal Tango and Lavia Lavine, Tango’s mother in real life. Though it was meant to be primarily a role play grid, it has recently accepted a group of refugees from a grid that shut down, led by Thundergod Thor who secured them regions on Genesis.
“I am building or I should say, rebuilding, Land of Xzar on a large variable-sized region, which is a visual of a novel I am writing and when completed, visitors will be able to have an adventure, while learning the story. A huge shopping center is being built with original creations from grid members as well as quality stuff picked up from everywhere meant to be shared. From Viking villages to Starfleet Command Posts, the newly arrived builders are hammering away and we intend on making this exclusive grid — membership is strictly vetted — one of the best homes for people to spend time in, as it isn’t just a grid of random people. On this grid, we are family. Besides being unique in that there are two factions of people inhabiting this grid, some have become friends with the newcomers, and we will be having regular meetings to include both groups so we know who is who and belongs. We may be a small grid, but to us, we are a rising star, and I am so very thankful, I was invited to join.”
“There are some amazing creations, fun places, respectful people, and some really beautiful environments. HiddenDreams — growing slowly — has a nice balance of all those traits seen in glances as it develops. I am happy and excited to be at Hidden Dreams grid.”
“I like Kinky Haven because I know the content is legit, the owners are real and customer service is primary.”
“I love Kitely, not only because of it’s amazing and kind community but also because the grid owners are so involved and helpful. I also like that it has a marketplace because I’m a creator and a merchant. I recommend Kitely to everyone.”
“I like Kitely for the marketplace and the friendly, welcoming residents, admins, and owner. The only reason I only gave it 4 out of 5 for “Concurrency, stability, & feature set” is because you can’t have a single 256×256 region and put it next to another 256×256 region, and if you do get the advertised single, two-week-trial region, it’s $15 per month for 15,000 prims, while for $5 more, you get 60,000 prims but have to accept a 2×2. A 1×1 is enough to terraform — I don’t like dealing with variable-sized regions, not being able to put individual OARs on it all at once, and the way you can only texture the ground in the southwest corner. At least, that’s been my negative experience with VAR regions. But I’m renting from someone else who deals with all that stuff for me at a very affordable price.”
“I’ve been represented by the same avatar in OpenSim since 2008. I chose Kitely early on for the same reasons I returned to Kitely this past year after taking a long vacation from Second Life or OpenSim. While I was gone I used Unity and UnReal platforms and I spent time completely off the grids relearning watercolor, acrylics, textiles and the brush. While other grids in OpenSim offered this or that, my foremost reason for choosing Kitely — after experimenting with other OpenSim grids — is convenience, consistency, service and price.”
“Ilan Tochner went above and beyond helping me get established and welcomed in the community. It’s because of his assistance I have a private world in Kitely.”
“From being gifted Fluttering Wings by Shandon Loring and told where I can can buy fifties memorabilia, Koshari Mahana and the possibility of having a micro avatar built, Veritas McMaster.”
“I owe Kitely and those who live there my loyalties and support….thank you, thank you! I never thought at fifty one, this old girl could be taught new tricks but thanks to Blender’s Buddies, Mike Lorrey, Kayaker Magic, Original Ruth, Webby Merlin and Clan, I’m in school and learning something new. Its mind blowing just how big the grid really is.”
“Kitely is run with exceptional professionalism.”
“Kitely is the best by far for its moral climate and safety given to families with children. I enjoy not being treated like a piece of meat, but rather treated with respect . I wont trade this community for any other. Now as far as content , its good but always room for improvements. Smiles over all Kitely is the best.”
“Love Kitely great people lotz of fun.”
“Most reliable so far.”
“Super good to test constructions, support can’t be better, most important if copied stuff is found, this is handled in a extremely short period of time.”
“Great friendly place to hang out with friends great music.”
“Littlefield has the best infrastructure of any grid. The admins are attentive, supportive and professional. They make sure that the community is the best. Littlefield Grid rocks!”
“Littlefield is the best for community and is amazingly well run.”
“No other grid has the BDSM content and community that Littlefield has. The admin staff is outstanding and it’s the best running grid out there. No lag, great content, great support, and a great community!”
“The people here are absolutely the best! I can get help immediately when I ask for it, and they are always there when I need them! Great group of people who are always having fun and really care about their communtity!”
“This grid has the best community and support! They bend over backward to assist their users and now that they have upgraded to 9.2 the speed of the grid is unbelievable! I couldn’t be happier to call Littlefield my home!”
“Walter has done a great job with Littlefield.”
“I like the aesthetic and also enjoy helping create various audio content for Mobius Grid. It’d be great if more people tried the place out.”
“Mobius Grid is the best grid for content, with it’s stylish Sonic-styled regions and free cartoon avatars, and the community is friendly, but I think OpenSim in general needs a content overhaul.”
My personal grid
“I chose to start my own grid and now I have my server, I can build as much as I want and I still save money. I have never been happier. Now that’s true freedom on the grid for creativity.”
“This grid is a hobby. I’m thrilled when people stop by and look around.”
“Different grids have different settings, they come and go so it’s hard to define which you spend most time on. I run my own mini grid too, but it gets taken down just as easily. The hypergrid would benefit from landmarks working like in Second Life and being able to hop from one grid to another no matter what.”
“This is a good grid but there are a lot of nasty people who spread lies and rumors because they have no lives and nothing better to do with their time. Other than this, the grid is good.”
“Amo estar no Terra Nova Grid.” [Google translate: “I love being on Terra Nova Grid.”]
“Experiencia, amigos.” [Google translate: “Experience, friends.”]
“Gosto mais a opensim da terra nova grid porque tenho boas pessoas para fazer amizades e conversar brincar e fazer outra coisa de diversao.” [Google translate: “I like opensim from terra nova grid better because I have good people to make friends and talk to play and do something else for fun.”]
“I Go to many other places but the Terra Nova Grid is the best of the best for me. Very happy place and people.
“I love Terra Nova grid and I also love OSgrid, where I have an island.”
“It has varieties of things for fun and lots of parties.”
“Me sinto super bem em terra nova todos são bem amigos prontos a ajudar um ao outro todos empenhados e ajudar.” [Google translate: “I feel really good in Terra Nova. Everyone is very friendly ready to help each other, everyone committed and helping.”]
“Terra Nova e exelente lugar muito bom ,pessoal la sao maravilhosa começando pelos donos da grid sao 10, gosto muito de Terra nova eles estao de parabens.” [Google translate: “Terra Nova is an excellent place, very good, the people there are wonderful, starting with the owners of the grid are a 10. I really like Terra Nova, they are to be congratulated.”]
“The grid works 24 hours a day, every day of the week, with frequent backups to maintain the entire integrity of the islands and residents.”
“Terra Nova Grid the best at the moment.”
“Terra Nova Grid, o melhor em recepção, o melhor local de paz.” [Google translate: “Terra Nova Grid, the best in welcoming, the best place of peace.”]
“The activities we have, the parties, combat events among others… and the reception.”
“Trianon World is a new grid, but with Essensual McMahon at the helm, it surely will be great for entertainment and unique custom clothing.”
“Utopia Skye Grid is one of only a select handful of grids I trust the grid owner and that can handle my high-end fireworks displays – support is very prompt and professional, the grid is extremely pro-active in the fight against the infestation of botted content, and I also consider grid owners, Mike Chase and Calliope Andel, friends.”
“Anyone who used to be on InWorldz should check out Utopia Skye. Building a real community here.”
“At Utopia Skye, I found a home and friends. I found a place where i could let my creativity loose.”
“Really love their philosophy and ethical values.”
“The owners, Calli and Mike, have gone above and beyond to offer me friendship and a sincere sense of kindness. It seems clear that they care for their residents beyond the ‘Oh I love you cause I want my grid to grow.’ It’s a very comforting feeling when you know your grid owners are not there to use you. I feel at home.”
“Utopia Skye Grid is run by people that care about the community and its residents — full stop. At the technology helm is Mike Chase, leader of the NGC project which focuses on security and stability in the virtual world’s space which creates a trusted environment. Many grids now run the software he has fixed, or added enhancements to, which stems from the OpenSim core codebase. With the changes he’s made, Utopia Skye grid — and any other grid running this software — enjoys more security and increased functionality as well as a stable operating base. On top of that, as we’ve grown over the years, we’ve created a welcoming environment, increased the holistic offerings that we’ve had since inception and worked with special needs groups to create safe spaces. One of the biggest tenets of Utopia Skye Grid is the respect for content and the merchants who create it. And as far as our customers go, we are always available to them in several ways. We provide resources, compassion, technology and the result is community. I would not be anywhere else.”
“Great people, great community, great support. They say when you’re here you’re family and they mean it.”
“Wonderful group of people, great role players.”
“Wyldwood Bayou is an amazing grid with wonderful people, quality original builds, great role play, stellar support, and some of the best entertainment on the hypergrid.”
“Wyldwood Bayou Grid is a small community of friends dedicated to providing excellent music venues, roleplay venues, exploration and fun on a non-commercial grid. It’s a fantastic, welcoming place full of really good folks and a great destination if you are looking for hospitality and entertainment. They have a calendar of their events on their website so you don’t miss anything!”
“Wyldwood Bayou has a close knit and warm community, great music events and two active roleplay groups. There is lots to explore and great people to hang out with.”
“Wyldwood Bayou is a friendly place with great music, an adventure park, and fun roleplay.”
“OpenSim is better than Second Life!”