5 Online Virtual World Games Like Second Life

Live the life of your dreams in these highly customizable online virtual worlds similar to Second Life!

Online Virtual World Games Like Second Life Games Similar to Second Life

We live in a pretty chaotic (and oftentimes depressing) 21st century ‘reality’. So there’s never been a better time to jump into an alternate online world and start afresh there. In such respects, you’ve probably already heard of Second Life – one of the best online virtual world games around that offers you a vast sandbox realm to run amok in. Popular since the mid 2000s, the game (of sorts) is widely known for its huge player base, in-game profiteering schemes, and the many weird and wonderful shenanigans occurring inside. Thanks to this popularity, many online virtual world games like Second Life have since been released, with many older titles also adapting to newer player demands. Here are 5 of them!

 

Selection Criteria of Our List

  • Each game has to allow for exploration of a 3D world. There’s a few 2D virtual worlds out there, like Habbo Hotel. However, we’ll be mostly sticking to games that are closer to Second Life, perspective-wise (note: we made a few exceptions in the Honorable Mentions list at the end).
  • Games like Second Life listed here must offer lots of customization options (e.g. avatar tweaks, self-designed homes, etc.). These are what make online virtual world games fun to play!

 

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1. IMVU

Online Virtual World Games Like Second Life IMVU 2

Why it’s Similar: 3D environments, 3D avatars and (almost) everything is fully customisable. IMVU is a great alternative to Second Life with much of the same online virtual world features. This of course includes a huge array of clothing options for the fashion-conscious. There’s also a sizable community of emotionally invested players to interact with.

Why it’s Different: IMVU’s avatars are slightly more exaggerated in their proportions compared to Second Life’s defaults. This means you sometimes end up with characters looking more like anime characters than ‘realistic’ humans. An ad by IMVU even invites you to ‘Create Your Own Anime”! IMVU also has less customised modding options than Second Life. This can be a good thing since it means the game’s far less prone to crashes. 

Overall: IMVU is one of a few online virtual world games like Second Life in the most important ways. It has a slightly different look to it and has fairly restricted modding tools. However, this can be beneficial to your overall gaming experience.

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IMVU Official Gameplay Trailer

Join IMVU’s online virtual world community.

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2. Twinity

Online Virtual World Games Like Second Life Twinity

Why it’s Similar: Like Second Life, there are a ton of different locations to visit in Twinity. Some of these were created by the makers of the game whilst others are fan-made. This online virtual world also targets a more mature audience, judging by what many of the avatars are wearing. 

Why it’s Different: Like some other games like Second Life, Twinity doesn’t offer a lot of modding capabilities. Again, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing since Second Life’s mods can sometimes lead to in-game breakage. Regardless, there’s still plenty of customization options available in Twinity that’ll appease most players. The game also does not have the biggest user-base around. Yet, those who do play it remain committed to developing this online virtual world community. 

Overall: A solid – albeit less populated – alternative for people looking for more online virtual world games like Second Life. Twinity partly thrives on its ‘mature’ themes with lots of friendly social areas to wander through. 

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Twinity - Official Trailer

Join Twinity’s online virtual world community.

 

3. Entropia Universe

Online Virtual World Games Like Second Life Planet Calypso

Why it’s Similar: Entropia Universe has quite a lot in common with Second Life, hitting all the right checkboxes. As you’d expect, there’s plenty of shopping, socialising, and avatar / house customising to do. There’s also a decent number of active players to interact with at most given times.

Why it’s Different: The neat thing about Entropia Universe is its range of different virtual worlds catered to specific interests. For example, there’s the sci-fi inspired Planet Calypso, which is a much more ‘traditional’ game than Second Life that’s filled with dangerous creatures and MMORPG-like quests. Treasure-chasers can also enjoy Planet Arkadia, which allows players to hunt and mine as well as explore breathtaking virtual world scenery. Rocktropia, Next island, Planet Cyrene, and Planet Toulan complete the list. All of these worlds share a common theme, namely, encouraging you to interact with others in truly immersive online virtual world environments. 

Overall: Entropia Universe unique thematic approach helps this online virtual world franchise stand out from other games like Second Life. The addition of more ‘traditional’ gaming mechanics will also appeal to those wanting more danger and action amidst their friendly avator interactions. 

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Entropia Universe Short Trailer

Join Entropia Universe’s online virtual world community.

 

4. Kitely

Online Virtual World Games Like Second Life Kitely

Why it’s Similar: Kitely is strikingly similar to Second Life in many respects. Customization options are plentiful, and there are tons of interesting places to explore. There’s also great support for users to create and sell their own content. Like in Second Life, you can actually earn a small living from participating in the trading system of this online virtual world. 

Why it’s Different: Kitely’s basic account actually gives you a free island to call your own. The game is also run by an exceedingly communicative professional team who, even more than Second Life, have built up a solid reputation for being very attentive to their fanbase. You can even host your own virtual kingdom on a private server.

Overall: Kitely is a definite must-try for anyone in search of online virtual world games like Second Life, with an added touch of yet-to-be-unleashed potential.

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Building a Castle in Virtual World Kitely

Join Kitely’s online virtual world community.

 

5. InWorldz

Online Virtual World Games Like Second Life inWorldz

Why it’s Similar: InWorldz is close to Second Life in its main features. Avatars have plenty of editing potential so you can get the unique look you’re after. Much like other games like Second Life, there are tons of locations to visit in InWorldz, along with plenty of group activities to take part in.

Why it’s Different: InWorldz’s community is notably smaller than that of Second Life. However, it has an exceptionally well-developed art community, with many users creating in-game sculptures that are incredibly detailed in both form and texture. Land is also much cheaper in InWorldz, partly due to a smaller player base. 

Overall: The small but lively community of inWorldz serves as a wonderful virtual world alternative to Second Life, particularly for those artistically inclined.

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Re-Introducing InWorldz

Join inWorldz’s online virtual world community.

 

Other Virtual World Games Worth Trying:

Chit Chat City

Socio Town

Onverse

Meez

ourWorld

Club Cooee

Smeet

 

Did we miss any online virtual world games like Second Life? Drop us your suggestions and we’ll include them in this list!

You might also want to read the comments section below for another great recommendation (OpenSimulator) from one of our readers. Thank you for your kind suggestions!

Matt is a programmer by trade although he spends most of his free time playing and writing about games. He rates Katamari Damacy as one of the greatest games since the beginning of forever.

8 Comments

  1. hanheld@yahoo.com'

    Kitely, and to a lesser degree, Inworldz are based on an second-life workalike called opensimulator. It’s the “libre office” to SL’s “microsoft office365” (same general idea, with implementation differences). There are other grids, such as the one at metropolis grid (hypergrid.org) which on top of offering region rentals, also allows more technical folks to connect their own simulators (using metro’s software) to the hypergrid.org servers -from their own desktop.

    Both Kitely and Metropolis use a network protocol called “the hypergrid” which allows folks with accounts on one to go back and forth to the other. (so you can see places in kitely without needing an account there, or see places in metropolis from kitely without needing an account on metropolis)

    Reply
    • Thanks for the info! You seem very well versed in this niche gaming area. Have you been playing Second Life — and other worlds like Kitely – for long? We’ve read quite a bit of feedback about SL players who gave IMVU a try too — most weren’t that impressed, to be honest, but it does have a decent user base to interact with (unlike Kitely, that can veer towards being fairly empty at times).

      Reply
  2. stevecook777@gmail.com'

    A next generation, well refined one is coming soon. Former PlayStation Home 3rd party developer Zaloc Studios is about to release one called Nebula Realms on the PS4 and PC. They have high hopes of a very realistic look and feel on the PS4 engine.

    Reply
    • Thanks for the suggestion! We will keep an eye out for this one and maybe add in a 6th entry! Hopefully it won’t be like Home that was a flop. 🙂 Sounds promising!!

      Reply
  3. watchersphone@gmail.com'

    Great article, but you are leaving out a TON of grids and the option of running your own world for free using Opensimulator ..

    Opensimulator , basically an open source version of “Second Life” , which it’s viewer is what it was “reverse” engineered from.

    You can not only visit multiple “grids” you can create your own personal worlds, for “free”.

    While Opensimulator runs different from SL , you can use pretty much the same viewer software, and it behaves pretty much the same except for the cost .. While there are some nice commercial grids based on Opensimulator, it’s strength lies in it’s opensource nature.

    For a listing of virtual worlds you can visit you can check out http://opensimworld.com/ .

    I am not affiliated with Opensimulator or opensimworld, just an enthusiast that has been around since both SL and Opensim came into being. You might stumble on to me if you are on the Hypergrid, but you will never know it is me .. HAHA

    Reply
    • watchersphone@gmail.com'

      Left out some links ..

      http://www.opensimulator.org
      http://www.osgrid.org

      While it might take a little bit of geekiness to setup your own world, it really is worth it in the long run if you are into creating your own stuff.

      Reply
      • Thank you for this! We’ve added a mention of your comment into the list!

        Reply
    • Wow, thank you for the detailed recommendations and explanation! You’re right – we did leave out a lot of grids, if only not to be too repetitive. Appreciate the heads up on OpenSimulator and we will most definitely write your suggestion into the article. Much appreciated!

      Reply

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