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
What is Board Game Geek?
- Board Game Geek (BGG) is a board game database - a collection or catalog of data and information on traditional board games. The game information recorded here is intended for posterity, historical research, and user-contributed ratings. All the information within our database was meticulously and voluntarily entered on a game-by-game basis by our user base - You. This information is freely offered through flexible queries and "data mining".
Is BGG a work and family friendly site?
- No. There are many games featured on the site that contain uncensored adult or morbid content. As a database and information resource we prioritized accuracy when it comes to database entries and never censor game titles, images, videos, or other material associated with these games. You must be at least 18 years of age to create an account and anyone under the age of 16 is not permitted to use the site. You view BGG at your own risk.
Do I need to register to use BGG?
- 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
Can I have more than one account?
- Yes, so long as it is not used for nefarious purposes or to violate our Terms of Service and Community Rules. Most of our user base who utilize multiple accounts use one as a personal account and the other as a business account. You are responsible for what happens through your account and we may hold you liable for losses resulting from any improper use.
Can I delete my account?
- You can delete your account at any time. However, this action is permanent and cannot be undone. Any content you submitted in the form of images, videos, and the like will persist with a "Submitted by N/A" unless you manually delete it. Any threads you started will not disappear, but your contributions to them will. All unspent GeekGold will vanish; it is recommended that you donate it to someone or the No Geek Left Behind... thread before initiating account deletion.
Why is the site layout inconsistent?
- In 2015, BGG initiated a site redesign that is still on-going. The game pages are currently the primary focus, but the redesign will eventually make its way to the rest of the site.
How do I ask for help?
- You can ask our friendly community to lend you a hand by posting questions in the Help and How-to Forums. If you need to talk to an admin, you can GeekMail any of the BGG Admins. We will be more than happy to help.
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. 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 (abbreviated GG) is the virtual currency used on the site. You can use it to tip contributions, buy an avatar, microbadges or other things. GG is awarded for adding content to the site like games, reviews, images, files, and so on. The amount awarded is dependent upon the content type and quality.
What is GeekMod?
- GeekMod is a community driven system where users pass judgement on images, reviews, session reports and representative images. GeekMod was made public on January 12, 2006 to speed up the verdict on content submissions while lessening the load on the admins. GeekMod is NOT handled by the admins, but by our user base. You can help out and earn GeekGold by participating in GeekMod yourself.
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.
What do the game ratings mean?
- There are three rating systems you will see on the site:
- User Rating (aka Your Rating): The rating you gave to the game. When viewing the ratings section of a game page you can see the individual ratings each user gave that particular game. You will see this rating listed in advanced searches and your game collection.
- Average Rating: The average of all the ratings from registered BGG users, calculated by adding up the individual ratings and dividing by the number of ratings. You will see this rating listed in advanced searches and near the top of game pages.
- BGG Rating (aka Geek Rating): BoardGameGeek's ranking charts are ordered using the BGG Rating, which is based on the Average Rating, but with some alterations. 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 will 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. You will see this rating listed in advanced searches, your game collection, and near the top, most right corner of game pages.
- The "User Rating" is arguably the one you will use the most, and the "Average Rating" will be the most helpful when looking for a good, well received game. With both of these rating systems you will see a number between 1 and 10. Each user is encouraged to rate games based on their own opinion of the game. As such, different users may assign different meanings to the 1-10 scale. There is no official or set algorithm in place by which users are expected to follow.
Why is the average rating not shown?
- An average rating is only displayed once the game has received over 30 ratings. This feature was implemented in May 2017 in response to complaints about exceptionally high or low early game scores. It also didn't make sense to show the average before there was a sizable pool of ratings.
Can I report a user's game rating?
- No. Ratings on games are opinion based and intended for personal use. BGG will never force someone to change their game ratings or dictate what criteria they use for ratings. This includes potentially biased opinions from playtesters, bad Kickstarters, review copies, etc. There are some measures in place to prevent or minimize game score manipulation - for example: users with a history of certain rating patterns will have their ratings omitted from the game's average score. The Average Score is nothing more than the median of the ratings given by the BGG community for that product. Potential consumers can exercise due diligence by examining the individual user scores, reading reviews, watching videos or partaking in forum discussion.
How do I contribute to the website?
- There is a flood of new game releases everyday. As you can imagine, keeping up with them all is a huge undertaking and any help entering new game releases is always welcome! Please read our in-depth guides before starting:
- We also accept content like images, videos or reviews:
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 or titled.
Why was my submission sent back for revision?
- When an entry is missing details or important information we may send it back for you to revise. A link to revise your submission will be at the bottom of the revise message you received along with an explanation of what needs to be changed. Games sent back for revision are "held" in a separate queue from the pending ones. As soon as you revise your game submission it will be sent back into the "pending" queues. Games that go unrevised for months may be declined.
Why can't the admins fix my submission for me?
- The admins may elect to fix small mistakes every now and then, but they rarely clean up an entire submission themselves. BGG is flooded with new submissions and corrections every day for every item type in the database. It frees up an immense amount of admin time if you fix your own submissions and serves as a learning opportunity to familiarize yourself BGG's submission form. With literally thousands of games across multiple categories and play styles there is also a good chance that you know more about the game than the admins.
- It is also important to note that all the admins on BGG are volunteers. They are not compensated for any of the time and work they put into the site; They have real lives, families, obligations and paying jobs that require their limited time. It is unethical of us and an impractical use of their time, to ask them [the admins] to fix everyone's mistakes.
How long does it take for my submission to be approved?
- Board game approvals typically take between a few days to a week. However, the board game queues will 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 W Eric Martin (head of BGG database management) and he will take a look at your submission; be sure to include the name of the game submission you want approved.
I submitted an image. Why hasn't it been approved yet?
- Images pass through GeekMod (a community driven system) and are not handled by the admins. How quickly an item passes through GeekMod is dependent upon how many users choose to take part in the voting process. Please be patient and do not re-submit your images again. Duplicates will be declined and the ones you have pending will not move any faster. If an image is approved or declined you will receive a GeekMail message notification. If one has not been received then the item is still pending.
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.
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)
Why do submissions require so much work?
- As a database our goal is to archive information about games. We also aim for quality and completeness; A bunch of barren "stub" pages aren't of much use to anyone. Even so, only the most basic of information about a game is marked as a mandatory field. If you can't find this information then the game probably isn't ready for inclusion in the database yet, or maybe it is just an obscure title in which case we will be a bit more lenient.
- On the management side of things a lack information will inevitably lead to bad corrections and poor merges. Some items such as companies will need to be linked to a game or they will become "orphaned". Orphaned entries are ghost pages that cannot be found in a search and accumulate in a sort of limbo. This useless clutter serves no purpose and just creates more work for the admins who have to clean it up.
- Understandably the steps and research required will simply be too much for some people. There are other ways in which you can contribute to the site though. We are always in need of new images or more community discussions.
Why do reviews have to go through GeekMod?
It was originally the GG system (and still is to some extent), but is used more for spam control these days. Many articles sent through are too short and lacking in substance to be considered a proper review; oftentimes just a link to an external site is provided.
Report infringing content on BoardGameGeek
- If you are a copyright owner or an agent thereof and believe that any user submission or other content infringes upon your copyrights, you may submit a notification pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act ("DMCA") by providing our Copyright Agent with the information specified in section 11-A of our Terms of Service.
How do I report offensive content?
- BGG is not a family friendly. There are games that contain adult or morbid content on the site and we do not censor the game titles, images, videos and so forth. If an individual is acting inappropriately on the forums you may report them to Octavian.
How do I report user comments?
- If an individual is acting inappropriately on the forums, or is posting threatening messages in a game's ratings/comment section, you may report them to Octavian.
- Please note that any user opinions about the game itself or the trademark/IP, whether positive or negative, are allowed on the site and will not be moderated. We are not responsible for any of the content our users post to the site. Each user owns all of his/her own content and is solely responsible for it. As such, this is not something we are in a position to get involved in.
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 will notify admins who will delete it. There is no need to reply or start up a new forum thread to report the 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
- BGG is a database; an archive of information. All information entered into the database is done so voluntarily for the purposes of posterity and historical research. Removing games from the database goes against that goal and purpose.
- Erasing an entire game entry from the database is not something we generally do or take lightly since it can impact user collections, ratings, reviews, images and other database items linked to the game. Only a select few admins can merge or delete game entries and for good reason. It is a complex process that done incorrectly can cause havoc and corrupt other data irreparably.
- Just because you want a game removed, regardless of the reason (i.g. something your not proud of, it's offensive, cancelled, etc), 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 fake game reviews?
- The short answer: you don't, unless they are a bot.
- We cannot and should not dictate how you rate your collection. Everyone is allowed to rate any game whatever they want for whatever reason. We are aware of the nefarious practices some individuals employ as a way to troll the site and ruffle the feathers of game devs. To combat this we have an algorithm in place that filters out ratings from individuals who rate large numbers of games very low/high. Overall ratings are also not displayed on a game page until there are at least 30 ratings.
Can I report a game designer for grievances related to Kickstarter?
- No. As a database we archive all info related to games and their creators without judgment. Any grievances between backers and a crowdfunded project must be resolved with either the project's creator or the crowdfunding website. We cannot police content or complaints unrelated to BGG itself. There is a popular BGGer hosted GeekList for discussion of Controversial or Fraudulent Kickstarters if you wish to share your experiences with a particular project.
Where can I promote my crowdfunding project?
- Due to how quickly game promotions can get out of hand, Kickstarter links are only permitted in the following 3 forums:
- * Press Releases Forum
- * Kickstarter forums
- * The game's own forum.
- * You can also advertise with us.
- Posting or promoting crowdfunded projects anywhere else violates our Community Rules and may result in the termination of your account. Our policy is to delete threads and comments with kickstarter links posted in other forums, not to move them to a correct forum. This policy is to discourage people continually posting them inappropriately with no penalty. Sending out promotional messages is also prohibited.
Where Can I Find/Add Digital Board Games?
- BoardGameGeek was made with traditional board and card games in mind. As a result, the site was never adequately designed or intended to support digital content. Per the BGG guidelines (under "What is not a Game?"), all electronic/digital games and related content should be submitted to VideoGameGeek. The same rules apply to board game versions of video games; Dark Souls: The Board Game for example is better suited on BGG than VGG.
- We understand that some of the BGG community would prefer this type of content on the BGG side, but digital media falls outside the intended scope of the BGG database. BGG's game entry rules and site layout were created with physical tabletop games in mind, and do not translate well to digital media.
You can use the "Adapted From" field to link board game and video game entries.
- UPDATE: May 2017: On the left hand side of a game's forum page you will see a section called "Board Game Forums", and beneath that a section called "Linked Forums". Under "Linked Forums" click "Video Game Forums". This will give you access to the VGG entry's forums without having to leave BGG.
- Note: Individual people have wildly different views on electronic board games and whether or not they fall within video game territory. Regardless, we want keep BGG dedicated to traditional, table-top media. Any app threads posted to BGG will be moved to VGG.
- • There are BGGers who approve of apps being moved to VGG; they came to BGG for the board games and have no interest in the electronic counterpart.
- • There are BGGers who disapprove of apps being moved to VGG; they don't want to have to look in two places - one for the board game and one for the app.
- • There are VGGers who approve of apps being moved to VGG; mobile games fall within the scope of VGG.
- • There are VGGers who disapprove of apps being moved to VGG because the apps smother out traditional video games.
- This has become a bit of a touchy subject. There are numerous threads where the matter has been discussed and debated at length; see forums:
- * Computer Based Board Gaming
- * BGG Suggestions
- * Complaint Department
- If you wish to discuss the subject see the forum links above... and please keep it civil. Be respectful to everyone, their views and their hobbies.
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