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BoardGameGeek FAQ

Use this area to answer all of the questions a new BGG user might have. The Guide to BoardGameGeek has more in-depth instructions on how to use the site. Users may also wish to consult the FAQ: New Users Want to Know...

Additionally, if a question asked and/or answered in the Forums seems appropriate for inclusion here, please include it.

Board Game Geek

Do I Need to Register to Use This Site?

Yes and No. You don't need to register to look at anything on this site. You can browse all of the BGG pages anonymously if you want to. However, if you want to add anything, or change anything, such as asking a question in a forum, replying to a question, adding a game to the database or creating your own Geek List, then you will need to register. Registration is free and your details are not passed on to other organisations. You will need an email address but, other than that, no other details need be factual.
When registering, you will be asked to choose a user name. This cannot be changed at a later date, so think carefully about what you want to use. You can change the description that goes with your user name, but the user name itself cannot be changed. For example, my user name is "dipdragon" and the description is "J R". I can change "J R" to anything I choose, but "dipdragon" is fixed for all time.BGG Registration

Is BGG a Work and Family Friendly Site?

BGG is a database, and as an information resource we prioritized accuracy when it comes to database entries. There are several games with adult or morbid content featured on BGG. We do not censor the titles, images, or other material associated with these games. Additionally, there is some user submitted content we cannot enforce rules on, such as videos, that may contain obscene material. You view BGG at your own risk.

Can I Have More Than One Account?

Yes, so long as it is not used for nefarious purposes or to break any of our community/site rules. Several of the site admins use "sock puppet" accounts to browse the site undercover and undisturbed. Most of our user base who utilize multiple accounts, use one as a personal account and the other as a business account. Who you let access your account(s) is entirely up to you, but you remain wholly responsible for any and all activity that occurs on said account(s).

How do I find other games similar to the games I already know and like?

If you have added some games to your Collection and rated them, then Personal Recommendations might guide you to other games you'd like.
If there is a specific game you like a lot, go to that game's Game Page.
  • There are descriptive tags added to the game by users (e.g. "zombies", "solitaire", etc.); these can guide you to games that people think are similar.
  • There are forums specific to that game, which are usually worth reading. Fans of a game often mention similar games.
  • There is a section of GeekLists which the game appears in. Some GeekLists are actually useful for collecting games which have something interesting in common (e.g. "List of games with zombies", "List of solitaire games", etc.)
  • There is a section "You Might Also Enjoy..." which is an automatically generated set of other games that the BGG software thinks are popular with users who like this game.
If you decide to post in a forum asking for recommendations, be sure to clearly explain what kinds of games you like, or what you are looking for specifically.

What is a BGG Patron?

A BGG Patron is someone who has given money to support BGG. Such donations are not mandatory - despite what some users may say - and the money is used to support the running of the site in a general way - buying hardware, paying support costs, etc.

What is GeekGold?

GeekGold is a playful virtual currency at BGG. You can acquire it and spend it in various ways. See the wiki page GeekGold for details.

How can I financially support Board Game Geek?

To become a supporter simply go to the bottom of any page and click on the 'Support BGG' mini-menu item, or click any user's "Patron" badge. If you donate $15 or more you will receive your own Patron badge and if you donate at least $25 you can disable the advertisements on BGG.

What is the Difference Between BGG Rating and User Rating?

If you look at a list of games within BGG you may see a BGG Rating number between 1 and 10. If you then click on that game and go to the game's main page you will see a User Rating and an Average Rating. Most of the time, the BGG Rating number will be different from the User and Average Ratings. Why is this?
The User Rating of a game is the Average Rating rounded down to 1 decimal point. The Average Rating for a game is the average of all ratings from registered BGG users that the game has received, calculated by adding up all individual ratings and dividing by the number of ratings.
The BGG Rating is based on the Average Rating, but the number is altered. BoardGameGeek's ranking charts are ordered using the BGG Rating. To prevent games with relatively few votes climbing to the top of the BGG Ranks, artificial "dummy" votes are added to the User Ratings. These votes are currently thought to be 100 votes equal to the mid range of the voting scale: 5.5, but the actual algorithm is kept secret to avoid manipulation. The effect of adding these dummy votes is to pull BGG Ratings toward the mid range. Games with a large number of votes see their BGG Rating alter very little from their Average Rating, but games with relatively few user ratings will see their BGG Rating move considerably toward 5.5. This is known as "Bayesian averaging" and a quick search of both BGG and/or the Web will reveal much discussion on the topic.
In effect, usually the games with many votes will Rank higher than those games with the same Average Rating but fewer votes.

How Do I Add a Game to My Collection?

Go to the game's entry in the database. Expand the "User Information" section, if it isn't already, by clicking the plus sign. Then click "Add a copy to your collection". More options will appear that you can change as needed.
A game will also appear in your collection if you have rated it, commented about it, logged plays of it, or chosen to be notified of new content about it. This gives an easy way to see all the games you care about on one page.
Note that your "Collection" does not necessarily mean games you own in real life. It is a virtual collection of games you are interested in due to owning them, playing them, rating them, commenting on them, wanting to be notified of new content, whatever.
You can add several copies of the same game to your collection, e.g. because you own several copies, or because you have played several different versions and want to rate/comment them individually. If you rate a game multiple times in this way, then only your highest rating for the game is used.

How Do I Log Plays and Delete Logged Plays?

If you have an account you can log plays of games via My Geek or the collection section of the individual game's article.
You can delete logged plays if you go to any of the pages that show your logged plays (e.g. My Geek | Games Played | All) and click on the X next to the entry you want to delete.

What are the "Journal Entries" that appear in my profile?

"Journal Entries" are a legacy feature that have been replaced by the forums. The "Journal Entries" statistic that appears on user profiles between "GeekList Items" and "Forum Threads" serves no function for new users; it should always equal 0. (Ref:Journal Entries)

Submitting Content

I Submitted a Game. Why Hasn't it Been Approved Yet?

Board game approvals typically take between a few days to a week. However, the board game queues can often swell in excess of 500 pending games and 1,000 pending corrections, with more flooding in daily. It is worst during the holidays and conventions. When this happens it may take one to two or even three months before your submission is approved. If you are a publisher or an independent developer looking to get your game into the database by a certain date, please take the average approval time and delays into account. If it is urgent, you can contact admin W Eric Martin (head of database management); be sure to include the name of the game submission you want approved.

How Do I Submit a Game Award?

Contact admin Purple about awards. Do not submit them yourself. Award entries are not straightforward like games or versions. They are VERY easy to mess up and continuously require new sets, categories, and honor submissions every year. 99% of user submitted awards are done incorrectly and are not properly linked.

I Submitted XYZ Ages Ago, But It's Still Not Showing Up. What's Happening?

Certain submissions to BGG go through a vetting process - Images, Session Reports, Reviews and Representative Images are all subject to GeekMod where fellow members of BGG review the submissions and either pass them (possibly with the award of GeekGold) or decline them. When this happens you will be sent a GeekMail in either case. Usually this happens within 48 hours.
For other submissions, such as a new game entry on the database, this is subject to scrutiny by the Geek Admins. This is primarily to ensure that the quality of the entry is sufficient for inclusion and that the entry is not a duplicate of an existing game - many games have been published with different titles and artwork over the years whilst still being the same game inside the box. This vetting process can take anything from a few days to a few weeks depending on the length of the queue and the quality of each submission. To hasten the approval process, make your entry as full and accurate as possible. Quality entries are passed much more quickly than vague or incomplete entries.
Full list of admin queues: BGG Pending Queues for Users

How do I find an answer to a question about a game's rules?

Go to the page for the game. You can find a game's page by typing its title in the search box at the top of BGG pages. Perhaps the Description has the answer. Perhaps the Rules forum for the game has the answer. Perhaps the Files section has a FAQ or Errata file for the game.
If you don't find the answer, you can post your question in the Rules forum for the game. (To post in a forum, you must be a registered user. See BGG Registration.) New users often make the mistake of posting game-specific posts in an inappropriate forum (e.g. a general forum). It is better to post rules questions in the Rules forum for the game, for 2 reasons:
  • The Rules forum of each game is specifically intended to be the obvious place to look for questions/answers and discussions about a game's rules. So you help other people find the answer later.
  • Many of the most serious players of a particular game set the option to receive email notification about new content (like forum posts) about the game. So if you post in the forum for that game, instead of a general forum, the very people you most want to reach will be more likely to see your question. So you help yourself get your question answered by experienced players. (Don't worry if that game's forum doesn't have recent posts! All posts to Rules forum will still be visible on the front page, like posts to other forums, and the people who want to be notified of new content about the game will be email-notified about your post.)

What is GeekMod?

The primary purpose of GeekMod is to get content approved faster. Currently it is being used to approve Session Reports, Reviews, Images and Representative Images. Where once a moderator had to approve all of this content single-handedly, now the entire userbase of the Geek is asked to look at submitted content and vote on whether it is a worthy addition to the site.
Based on the votes of users, content either becomes approved for the game page it is submitted to or it is not approved. Additionally, approving Session Reports and Reviews gives the approvers the option of suggesting how much gg award goes to the author, thus encouraging better quality submissions. Defaults rewards for Session Reports are set at 1gg and default rewards for Reviews are 3gg. Content that receives above the default reward has been judged to be above average content.
Users who participate in GeekMod, in addition to the satisfaction that comes from helping improve the site they love so much are also paid in geekcents. Each vote they make that matches the final outcome of the content earns the user .01 gg (if the item is approved) or .05 gg (if not).
Participate in GeekMod yourself under the Misc option in the top menu.

What is a Wiki?

A wiki is a type of website that allows the visitors themselves to easily add, remove and otherwise edit and change some available content. For more information about what a wiki is have a look at this entry in Wikipedia. For more information about the BoardGameGeek wiki go to About the BoardGameGeek Wiki or go to the Wiki Main Index to start exploring.

Reporting Content

How do I report SPAM?

If you see obvious spam (e.g. advertisements for streaming movies, drugs, fake passports, etc), simply click the red-X next to the post or thread, then select the "spam" option. That notifies admins, who will delete it. There is no need to reply, or to start a new forum thread to report spam. If you want to get more involved in helping zap spam quickly at BGG, consider joining LASH and posting a comment at http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/821150/the-naughty-list/new when you see spam, which will notify some admins even faster.

I Want a Game Removed

Erasing an entire game entry from the database is not something we generally do or take lightly since it can impact user collections, ratings and other database items linked to it. Only a select few admins can merge or delete database items, and for good reason. It is a complex process, that done incorrectly can cause havoc and corrupt other data.

It is also worth noting that all information entered into the database is done so voluntarily for the purposes of posterity and historical research. Just because you want it gone doesn't mean that every trace of information on it should disappear into the aether. Copyrighted and trademarked material such as images and reviews can be removed. Listing general information about a product, such as the game name or number of players, on a website is not covered or affected by copyright and trademark.

How Do I Report Someone Rating Large Numbers of Games 1s?

The short answer: unless they are a bot, you don't. Everyone is allowed to rate games whatever they want for whatever reason.
We are aware of the nefarious practices some individuals employ as a way to tamper with the game ratings. Despite this, we do not police the user ratings, nor do we dictate what criteria someone uses to rate games. It is not our place. or anyone else's to tell you how to rate your game collection. If you are a small or independent developer and have concerns over poor ratings impacting your game before release, then we advise that you hold off submitting an entry until the game has been released and made its way into the hands of as many people as possible.


Where Can I Promote My Crowdfunding Project?

Due to how quickly the promoting of crowdfunded campaigns can get out of hand, Kickstarter links are only permitted in the following forums:

Posting or promoting crowdfunded projects anywhere else violates our Community Rules and may result in the termination of your account. Sending out promotional messages to our user base is also prohibited.

Where Can I Find/Add Mobile Board Games?

BoardGameGeek is purely for traditional board and card games; it was never adequately setup to handle electronic games. As stated in the BGG guidelines under "What is not a Game?", it states the following: "Electronic items -- Items that are purely electronic (e.g. DVD games, video games, handheld electronic games, apps) are not within the scope of BGG."

Mobile ports of board games and DVD games belong on Video Game Geek. You can use the "Adapted From" field to link board game and video game entries. VGG also has fields for the media type (Android/iPhone/iPad) and a field to link directly to the iOS page of the game. Alternatively you can create a Custom Version.

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