Feature Request: Zen Mode Default Option

I tend to prefer playing all of my live games in zen mode to reduce distractions. It’s minor but having to spend a few seconds at the beginning of every game switching to zen mode gets a bit tedious.

And to me it doesn’t really make much sense to only allow changing to zen mode after the game has already started anyways. Most online games specifically offer an option to hide chat by default, so this would also fill that gap as well.

My suggestion: Add toggle switches or a dropdown to the game preferences tab in settings, allowing players to default to zen mode for each of the 3 types of games (blitz, normal, correspondence).


Great idea :heart: this makes a lot of sense.

I created an issue for it on GitHub for greater visibility and tracking :slightly_smiling_face:


FWIW this would be a good ticket for someone wanting to get started with OGS code.

Very tractable, but non-trivial.


Good point! I added the good first issue label :slightly_smiling_face:


But if the game is already in zen mode when it starts, then you need to exit the zen mode to say “Have a nice game” and then switch the zen mode on again… Wouldn’t that be be even more tedious that just having to switch zen mode on once?

The game could start with a message saying "%user% is currently in Zen mode. " or just have the option to turn off chat for that game when someone is in zen mode.


Isn’t it more rude to say “have a nice game” and then subsequently ignore all future chat?

I think most people who play in zen mode don’t have an interest in being chatty during the game. Probably better to not say anything at the start, other than maybe “I use zen mode and can’t see chat”.

My work chat has something like this when you message someone who is on vacation. A little tiny gray message that tells you they might not receive the message and you can @notify to send a push notification.

Imagine if we had a @yeet-zen command to force-show your opponent the chat :joy:


I think 99% of players don’t have an interest in being chatty during the game, regardless of whether they use zen mode or not.

But “have a nice game” at the beginning and “thank you for the game” at the end is kind of a bare minimum acknowledgement that your opponent is a human being. I don’t see how that’s related to zen mode at all or why I should stop saying “have a nice game” just because I use zen mode.

When I cross path with a coworker I say “hello”, when someone passes me the salt I say “thank you”. This has nothing to do with whether I feel chatty or not. It’s just the bare minimum of politeness.

A fix has been merged. Might be a little while until it shows up on the site.

I don’t use Zen mode as much as I would, because if someone chats it looks like I’m ignoring them.

Similar to the 'lil player presence indicator, some form of Zen mode status lamp could be a thing. Just as I wouldn’t walk up to a meditating monk in real life to start chatting; I’d avoid chatting if the other player was indicating Zen.


Added a feature request for this


FWIW I thought to myself “cool, maybe I can just wack that in”, but it turns out that zen mode is entirely client side, so the server doesn’t know you have chosen it.

It can be told, but now we’re talking “non trivial amounts of effort”.


Guess that means the auto chat message is more practical than the indicator light :thinking:


Frankly any default message would be cool.

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So here I’m logged in to OGS via two browsers, one on this computer and one on my other computed. I’m in Zen mode on this computer but not on the other one.

Anyway, I’m not playing moves via any of those two computers: I’m actually playing moves from the Android third-party app on my phone (and the server doesn’t even mark me online, when I only use the third-party app).

Will my opponents see my Zen mode indicator or not? :stuck_out_tongue: