FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Hello, everyone,
Some problems come up repeatedly every now and then. So if you have a problem try to check here first, maybe you will find a solution right below. If you did not find your issue here, feel free to start a new thread and ask for advice. :slight_smile:

Edit: BHydden split out the previously combined answers in this thread below so that each question could have its own unique hyperlink


How do I find/challenge/add my friend?

Click to find out

First you have to find him/her. You can search for people by clicking the upper left OGS logo and then typing into the search bar. Once you see his/her name click on it, a box will pop up. From here you can do many different actions such as challenging, sending friend request, or reporting. If you click on challenge the settings window that you know from random matches will appear.



The game was scored wrong!

Click to seek advice

Every game against another human player ends in a “remove dead stones phase”. The sole purpose of this phase is for both players to agree which groups are alive with points / alive in seki / dead. And while the computer predicts the result for convenience it can on occasion be wrong, and it is the responsibility of the players to check the result.

You can change the status of a group by clicking / shift+clicking on it. Only when everything is marked correct should you press the accept button. Moderators are not obligated to change a result of a game both players agreed on.

In a game against bots there is no “remove dead stones” phase, to prevent cheating, because our bots are not yet clever enough to be able to argue their case. If your game against a bot was scored wrong, feel free to contact a moderator, who will in time annul the result.


My opponent is cheating/escaping/being annoying!


Click to seek advice

First off, try not to get angry. Go is a wonderful game (but only a game still) and it would be a shame to ruin it for yourself by getting angry for one person being weird. We have many players from different cultures, different customs, and of different characters. Some are more passionate than others and can get frustrated when there is a sudden upset in the game.

First thing to do is to send the other player a PM. Be kind, ask nicely what’s up. Often times this solves the problem for both. Often there is just a misunderstanding.

If, however a PM does not help and you are still sure the other player is acting maliciously, let us know. We want this place as welcoming as possible and some people just do not have the self-control to be tolerated here. There is a “Call moderator” button on the right hand side slide out menu. Try to briefly but clearly describe the problem, so we do not have to ask and can act faster.


Be patient with us! The moderator team is run by volunteers and there is not someone present 24/7. Please do not spam the button several times. It will in fact make the reaction time slower for us. If no-one is showing up immediately and you are getting frustrated, just resign the game and play with someone nicer in the meantime. We will get to you eventually, annul the game, and punish the culprit. :slight_smile: Do not let one angry guy ruin your day.


I can’t / want to play an AI robot. d[ o_0 ]b

Can I?

To play a bot you have to select [computer] on the play page. But you probably figured that out.

However, robot games have restrictions. They usually only play certain board sizes / time settings / ranks. These restrictions are usually listed in the bot’s profile. If not you can try having a look here: (Also remember that not even robots can play a ranked game with more than 9 ranks difference)

Please note that OGS is not running those bots (they are ran by third parties). We cannot manage them / change their preferences in any way. For that the only option is contacting the bot’s administrator who is always listed in the profile.


What are the rules about pausing?

Click to find out

By accepting certain time-controls, you are also accepting that you will be able to abide by them. However, sometimes life can happen and you need to pause the game. There is the option to pause in the right hand side slide out menu. Note however, that your opponent is not obligated to accept it.

Try to explain yourself/apologize in chat, but if your opponent does not have time/patience to wait for you, do not be angry and resign the game.

Alternatively if your opponent paused, the decision is up to you. You can be polite and wait for her/him, or apologize that you do not have time to wait and click resume. If your opponent paused the game DO NOT LEAVE AS WELL. Without realizing it he/she will usually unpause on return and you may time out.

While the game is paused, you can both still play moves. This is useful if you run low on time in a friendly game and both want to continue without time-pressure.


I have trouble verifying my e-mail / I can’t access the chat

Click to seek council

Without a verified e-mail you are not allowed to chat with others. What a shame!

If you have not already, you can add your e-mail in settings. If you did not receive the validation e-mail you can click resend the e-mail in the same place.

Remember to check your spam folder
If nothing above helps, start a new thread here at the forums and a moderator will come and help you.


What is the :zap: lighting :zap: symbol that sometimes appears?

Click to find out

The lighting symbol appears over your opponent’s clock if he loses connection to the game (closes the tab, or loses connection altogether). It exists to make life with escapers a little easier.

When this happens a timer (separate from the game clock) starts counting down. If your opponent fails to return to the game in the given time, he will lose - regardless of time left on his game clock.

If you think your opponent is having honest trouble and want to give him more time to return, you can pause the game. This pauses the escaper clock as well.


I am not familiar with some go terminology, want to find out what are the differences between rule sets, etc…

Click to find out

Try looking here: https://senseis.xmp.net/ It is like a wikipedia, but only about Go :slight_smile:
Or just ask in a new thread.


Could you please adjust my rank / My rank says “?“

Click to find out

We cannot adjust your rank, but we do not need to! The system will take care of it very quickly on its own.
If you feel like your rank is way off from what it should be, all you need to do is play a few ranked games (preferably live, to make it quick) and it will quickly settle. If you really are in a hurry challenge a stronger player if you want your rank to grow quickly or a slightly weaker player to adjust in the opposite direction (use custom game to create a rank restricted challenge).

If your rank reads “?” instead of a number you just have not played enough games for our system to be able to rank you with any confidence. The solution is the same. Just play some ranked games (usually about 5 are needed).

But do not obsess too much about it! This is a problem that will solve itself.


My rank decreased after a win / My rank is behaving weird

Could there be a mistake? Click here to find out

Long story short - the rank calculation is a complicated process our developers spent a long time on. It may be doing something strange at first sight, but we are pretty confident it is working more or less correctly.

The main source of confusion is that the ranking system is constantly recalculating your rank based on how the rank of your past opponents changed (to the extend of last 15 games). This is a good thing! But it may in certain circumstances even lower your rank after you have won another game (you always get the points for the win, but some of the points you have gotten previously can be decreased).

Say you have played a 5 stones stronger player in the recent past and beat him. You get a lot of points for that, it is after all a big acomplishment. But later this player’s rank fell a lot. That probably means the player was not on the level the system thought and the boost to your own rating might have been too much. Therefore some of the points given to you for that victory can be decreased retroactively. It may feel disappointing at first, but it helps a lot to get the most precise estimate of your actual rank.


I am a complete beginner, how do you even play this game? Where can I learn?

Click to learn


This game is very easy to play, but surprisingly hard to master. If you want to learn the rules, check out our short introduction: https://online-go.com/learn-to-play-go

If you want to learn some basic strategies together with the rules look at this interactive guide. (it looks old, but it is very good and translated to many languages): http://playgo.to/iwtg/

For other online resources see this page: https://online-go.com/docs/other-go-resources

But once you know the rules, it might just be easiest to start playing. Many players here would be happy to play a teaching game with you. Just start a new thread and ask for one :slight_smile:


How do I understand the AI review?

Click to learn

The AI review is still in development, so there is not yet solid documentation, because it is still subject to change.

The best description so far is here. All hail @flovo.