Third Party Viewers for Second Life – An updated look

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It has been a while since we wrote about third-party viewers here on The Torch. A lot of old ones have been updated and a few new ones have popped up. Here’s what’s on the menu at the moment.


Alchemy viewer has been around for about 2 years now. Its goal is to provide a stable high-performance experience while using the very latest technologies in Second Life. It is a cross-platform viewer, available for Windows, MacOS and Linux.

The development is led by Drake Arconis (also known inworld as Sovreign Engineer), with a small team of 4 people.

Black Dragon

Formerly known as Niran’s Viewer, this one has been around for a while. Black Dragon is aimed to bring you the most stunning and beautiful visuals Second Life can offer and does so by tweaking the graphics a removing mostly unused features. Even with the removed features, it can be a bit of a resource hog, so a good computer is recommended. This viewer is ideal for photography and machinima.

Black Dragon is developed by NiranV Dean and is currently available for Windows only.


Phoenix  Firestorm was one of the first third-party viewers to gain mainstream traction. Firestorm is an updated version of that. Firestorm is rich in features and aims to make the Second Life experience as customizable as possible. It is available on Windows, MacOs and Linux.

Firestorm is developed by a large team of over 80 people, with 24/7 customer support available.


This is one of the new viewers on the list. Originally created for a small group of friends to use on a different grid, it has now been modified to work with Second Life. UKanDo is a light-weight viewer, with all the features of the standard viewers, but without most features that other third party viewer has. They have added a lot of features on their own (like a camera akin to those of third person shooters), to make the Second Life experience very different from the other viewers.

Developed by Connor Monaron, UKanDo is available on Windows only.


Based on the Firestorm viewer, CtrlAltStudio aims to add the (then) latest in features and technologies, such as Kinect control, stereoscopic 3D and Oculus Rift support. CtrlAltStudio is available on Windows, MacOs and Linux.

Originally maintained by Strachan Ofarrel, development on CtrlAltStudio stopped in October 2015 but is still usable.


(edit: This viewer is no longer available and the site has been taken down)

This viewer aims to bring you a highly customizable UI and new features, developed by the community. Kokua was formerly known as Imprudence.

Kokua’s development is lead by Nicky Perian and it’s available on Windows, MacOs and Linux.


Another one of the classics, Catznip has been around for quite some time. Focusing on stability, performance and a big directory of homegrown features, this viewer was long rumoured to be discontinued. With a recent update bridging a 20-month gap in differences between Catznip and the standard viewer, those rumours were put to rest.

Catznip is developed by a small team and is available on Windows and Linux.

Restrained Love Viewer

Aimed towards pleasure seekers, Restrained Love Viewer revolutionized the way we interact with Second Life. So much so that we decided to dedicate an entire article to it.

RLV is available on Windows and MacOs.

Subset viewers

Subset viewers are viewers that omit certain aspects of the full viewer, often to fit a specific purpose. The current subset viewers are:

  • RadegastText-based viewer for Windows and Linux
  • Lumiya: 3D viewer for Android devices
  • Mobile Grid Viewer: Text-based viewer for Android devices
  • Pocket Metaverse: 3D viewer for iOS devices
  • LittleSight: 3D viewer for Android devices
  • GroupToolsText-based viewer for Windows

All these viewers can be found in the Third Party Directory.

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