If you want to visit Decentraland for the first time, you first need to navigate to the official website and click "Start Exploring" in the top right corner. Connect a crypto wallet you already own or simply sign up as a guest.
You will need to do this on a desktop computer, as Decentraland is not yet supported on mobile devices.
Now, for the first time, you have the opportunity to get creative and relive your Sims childhood by creating a human likeness that will serve as your avatar: your personal emissary in the virtual world.
If at some point you get bored of mixing mustaches and tiaras (you can and should give your character an eye patch), all you have to do is choose a name and you're ready to go.
Don't forget that you can change your appearance at any time in the game by going to the start menu and looking in your backpack. So don't worry too much about your shoe color.
You start off in Genesis Plaza - a sort of town square. You'll immediately be surrounded by other people's avatars, but don't panic. A floating mentor named Alice will jump in and give you advice on how best to start your journey through the virtual world.
Keyboard control in Decentraland
The system is very familiar to most computer-based games:
- Direct your gaze with the mouse.
- Move around using the arrow keys or the W-A-S-D keys.
- Press V to switch between first and third person.
- Spacebar to jump.
- If you are not familiar with the controls or have forgotten them, just press C to get a reminder.
- You can talk to other users using the chat feature, or by pressing T and speaking into your microphone.
Now you have an avatar to assist you in Decentraland, and you can start making waves.
But what waves should you make? And how? Here are some tips to help you out.
What to do in Decentraland
The two central elements of Decentraland are LAND and MANA. LAND is the name of the non-fungible asset associated with the virtual space in the environment you are exploring.
When you buy a "parcel" of LAND, you buy a specific piece of the virtual environment. It has coordinates to identify it. You can take your avatar there. You can build virtual things there. You can connect it to other users' plots to create "districts" and design structures or experiences together. In theory, the value of the plots should increase as more users join the platform: The number of parcels is set at 90,000.
How to buy LAND?
To buy LAND on Decentraland, you need MANA - Decentraland's own cryptocurrency.
The general idea is to acquire MANA in various ways and then go to the marketplace and buy things with MANA.
The easiest way to get MANA is to buy it. Go to your profile, click on the plus icon, and you can either buy MANA with traditional currency or exchange another cryptocurrency for it.
You'll notice that you can buy MANA on the Ethereum or Polygon blockchain - which is easier than it sounds. Decentraland was built on Ethereum, but has integrated with the Polygon chain because of the potential savings in transaction costs. You can transfer MANA from Ethereum to Polygon at any time.
The next easiest way to obtain MANA is through play-to-earn games. There are casinos and mini-games in the Decentraland virtual environment. There are even quests. If you don't want to invest money in Decentraland, you can invest your time instead.
Perhaps the most difficult way to earn MANA is to work seriously for it. If you have the right skills, you can offer your services to other users and get paid in MANA. However, you can also design items yourself to sell on the marketplace, although you'll have to invest a small amount of MANA first.
Buy and sell items on the Decentraland marketplace
Once you have some MANA, you need to visit the official Decentraland marketplace. Here you can buy LAND.
If you've heard of people making money from Decentraland, they've probably done it this way: by selling plots of LAND. If you're smart and/or lucky, you'll get land in convenient locations that will become more valuable over time. If you are successful, you can sell, take a profit, and try to repeat the process.
On the market you can buy not only LAND. There are also all kinds of collectibles offered, all tied to non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Just like LAND, these are endlessly tradable. This means potential profit - but only if you select the coveted pieces.
You can access the map at any time from the Start menu (top right), and you can click anywhere to teleport there instantly. There are nine squares in total. The center of the Genesis square has coordinates 0,0 and every other place is defined in relation to it.
You'll see all sorts of things on the map, such as "Dinosaur Hunt," "Fantasy World of Endless Time," and "Crypto Valley Art Gallery." Go on a journey of discovery!