New player with no idea what to do just wants some help

Hello all!

I apparently played a grand total of 2 games back in 2016, but I haven’t touched this website since then…until I remembered literally 5 minutes ago that it existed haha. So, by all intents and purposes, I consider myself as much of a new player as you can get. Seeing how I’ve been stuck in quarantine with nothing to do, I figured I’d give learning this game another shot.

There’s just one problem, though…I’m deathly afraid of just starting up a game with a random stranger without having at least a little idea of what I’m doing, and to make matters worse- I’m absolutely terrible at absorbing meaningful amounts of information through video and written tutorials alone. I do much better when I have someone I can ask questions to and get feedback from. I’m not afraid of making mistakes or losing, it’s just really anxiety-inducing to me when I’m thrust head-on into something I know absolutely nothing about.

If anyone knows of resources I can use to talk to an actual human, I would be very appreciative.


Hi net_zer0, welcome back.

You can try playing with the various bots here, or on other servers. OGS also has a Puzzles section which has problems for all levels.


Welcome! Maybe you could meet some other players nearby? Any club or meeting place? I m sure you may find some ppl here too if not.


Hi & welcome. I am new to OGS myself though as a player I am not a beginner. There is a series in the “puzzle” section called “How to Play Go” by someone called BosukeSosuke which looks like a good elementary introduction to the game concepts. Also see “Exercises for Beginners” by Mark5000 and (when ready) try “Cho Chikun’s Encyclopedia of Life & Death”.

There are plenty of “Study Groups” as well for all levels on OGS including a “teaching league” which I might join myself.

Bottom line it depends how much time and effort you are prepared to commit.You can, and some do, study all day every day for years, but most people don’t. Learn from mistakes if you can. Above all, don’t get to hung up on it everyone starts out as a beginner and remember it is supposed to be fun!


Hi net_zer0,
Here are some ideas of what to do as a beginner.

  • Play some games on small boards against bots or other beginners; I recommend to play 9x9 ranked so that you wil get matched with other beginners. Don’t care about best moves or winning or losing, the goal for now is to get used to how to capture and avoid being captured.
  • In the “Problems” tab, find some problems that are for beginners (30k to 25k should be ok)
  • If you feel lost, post your games or the problems you don’t get here and people will be happy to help. But don’t try to understand everything with teaching or advanced stuff, the goal for now is to get used to the game.

PS: you can also try the chat tab, i don’t know how useful it is; in the forums you will almost always get help in a few hours.


In which country do you live ? Most have a go federation with a list of clubs and contacts.


The only club near by is suspending all in-person meetings until COVID dies down a bit, otherwise, I would totally jump on that. Thank you for the suggestion, though!

I live in the US. I looked, and found a club nearby, but they’re suspending all activity until COVID dies sown. Thank you for the suggestion!

I’ve started playing a few of the puzzles. Thank you for the suggestion!

Ooh I didn’t know about the study groups or teaching league. I might check them out. Thank you!

I’v definitely try out against some of the bots, and I’ve already started some puzzles as well! once I get comfortable enough, I’ll definitely play against people and probably post my games when I need help. Thank you for the suggestions!

Hi @net_zer0 just a couple of other points. You can always post in chat, like this, we are all friendly and (mostly, though I’m not sure about some of the dan-level players) don’t bite :grin:

If you want to play a human there are lots of players at a similar level to you, You might like to join the 9x9 or 19x19 “ladders” - read the rules about challenges and who you can challenge.

If you are playing a human, someone like me will try to explain in in-game chat if you ask (just not in blitz games, no time!)

Above all remember it needs to be fun, or you will not continue.


Yeah, if you put something like “do you have any suggestions on my play?” in the chat, the worst that will happen is that they’ll ignore you, but many players would be happy to provide constructive comments.

EDIT: fixed autocomplete mistake.


Welcome back! Like several folks above, I would recommend a refresher on the HOW TO PLAY GO section of OGS:

Once you’ve gone through that, feel free to read through these 4 articles I wrote which are aimed at beginners:

good luck!

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Thank you so much for the links! I’ll definitely check them out!

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