[POLL] Shorten the 5 minute disconnection timer

Currently OGS has 5 minute timer that starts running when user leaves a live game. The idea of this timer is to 1. allow players connect back in case they have problems with their internet connection or their browser crashes, and 2. end the game after 5 minutes when the other player escapes.

But is 5 minutes too long? My own gut-feeling is that when disconnection happens due legitimate techical reason, shorter timer would be enough for users to re-connect back, but in situations when opponent escapes then 5 minutes is annoyingly long time to wait for game to end.

What should be the length of disconnection timer? (choose max 2 options)

  • 30 seconds
  • 1 minute
  • 2 minutes
  • 3 minutes
  • 4 minutes
  • 5 minutes (the current limit)
  • more than 5 minutes (please write more in the comments)

0 voters

Note that disconnection timer does not pause the actual game clock, so if player has less time on their clock than what disconnection timer is, they will lose by timeout when their game clock runs out.

Theres been some discussions before about the length of the timer, heres some of the older topics in case anyone wants to read them:


It depends. When I have to restart my router, it might take up more than that to reconnect. Also when I change from WiFi to phone data.

Usually my landline WiFi is the source of my problems, so I don’t know what applies to others.

Since actual game clock overrides disconnect clock anyway, I think 5 minutes is a normal time.


5 mins is too long for Blitz, but too short for Live with 20 mins main time


I think disconnection timer is okay (5 minutes seems necessary if your computer dies and restarts midgame or something)

I would be in favor of a shorter starting timer though. (30s to 1m for live and blitz games)


I picked more than 5 minutes, since I think there should not be any disconnection timer until we have warnings when you try to navigate away. Also there should be:

  • no notifications encouraging you to navigate away
  • a site-wide notification (maybe a different kind of move counter?) that you need to return to your game if you happen to navigate away

I think a lot of beginners accidentally leave their games or don’t connect in the first place, and there is no way for them to know they have “disconnected”.


I think it’s too much to say that there should be “no notifications encouraging you to navigate away”, unless you can draw a line about what is “encouragement” and what is “informational”.

But I do think that there should be a warning when you try to navigate away.

The idea of a red indicator if you hav a live game that you are not attending also is nice, though obviously rather more involved to implement.

1 Like

I don’t understand why we need a line. What kind of “informational” notification link is appropriate during a live game?

I’m not clear whether you’re thinking of turning off banner notifications or not?

What’s wrong with becoming aware that those things are going on?

If you don’t want those, maybe you want Zen mode, but it’s hard to see how those are “luring people to disconnect”.

Yes, clickable banner notifications, correspondence move counter, “GaJ has added chat to your finished game”, etc.

What’s wrong is that we don’t actually want people clicking those links, right?

EDIT actually it’s fine with me if constant notifications are part of the OGS style. Just don’t punish people for clicking them.

But those stay there till you click them. So there is no rush… it’s not like they’re saying “drop everything click me”.

On the other hand, I suspect it’s against UI conventions… but shouldn’t all links on a live game-in-progress page open in a new tab perhaps? :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

I think 5 minutes is fine. This is not too long and this time is quite enough to restart the device or the Internet connection in case something went wrong.

The way notifications work in other software products (such as Facebook, Jira, or Bubble PPM (the one I designed for my job), edit: or indeed this discourse forum software) is you get a little icon in the page header with a conspicuous coloured counter which increments when your get new notifications, but no banner appears with the text message to attract your attention and annoyingly obscure the page. If you WANT to know what the notifications are about them you click the icon which opens an overlay panel listing the notifications in detail with clickable links to take your to their subject. The kind of ‘toast’ notifications that appear as an occluding rectangle on the top right are reserved for feedback for actions YOU have done (e.g. the file you uploaded has begun processing, NOT actions of others like Bob sent you a friend request, Jim commented on your issue/game, Anne started streaming) and UI design conventions say that they should disappear automatically after a short time, unless their information is particularly important in which case they can require a button to dismiss.


That makes a lot of sense - although this forum software at least does allow for pinned banner “announcements” …

1 Like

Actually it does not matter the game time, but the time needed for re connection.

This is for the case that the device is at fault, but if the provider crashed, and you have no alternative, then depends on how hard crashed the server.

So, from my point of view is that disconnection time should be 5 weeks. I mean morphing the game in a correspondence one. The two players will agree for a time to continue the game. A month is enough to solve it.

Disconnection timer is a tool to discourage escapers. But they escape anyway. And on the other hand, some may lose the game for technical problems even they want to play. So, my solution will solve the technical difficulties, and also really unmask the escapers. With current settings anyone can claim a faulty connection. But if you continue to escape, and refuse to find a time to play, you will gather a lot of correspondence games, lost after a month,and a clear escaper status.

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No, it is a tool to minimize the time wasted by escapers. Your proposal would delight escapers because it would magnify the effect of their disgusting revenge.

Disconnection is overwhelmingly the result of escaping, as can be seen from the fact that it typically occurs near the end of the game or after a big loss.


I agree, and would add that it’s ok if a player loses a game because their device malfunctioned or their provider failed - just like you may lose a game because you get an unexpected urgent call in the middle of it or whatever else may happen in real life around you.

That’s life, and in the end that will just be a game among many. Even if it’s ranked, it won’t have any lasting impact on your ranking.

The point is just to reach a balance between allowing reconnection for the most common minor hiccups, and not bothering your opponent who has to sit there and wait in the meantime.


In my opinion, when one agrees to play a game with certain time settings, they should be aware of and don’t complain about different ways how the opponent may spend that time.
For example, with 1h main time + 5x30s Byo Yomi, your opponent might play no move for 1h and then blitz the rest of the game. And we should accept that! (in my opinion)
That is probably an unpopular opinion, and many people probably have a different, more specific expectation about how their opponent will use their time.
If you dislike such a scenario, I believe there are other time control settings that might better serve you, e.g. Fischer with appropriate increment.
That all is to say, this is the reason why I voted more than 5min. Since the normal game time continues anyway, even if there was no disconnect timer, it should be within peoples expected (and thus accepted) scenarios. Except for a psycholocical factor, there is little difference between my opponent going afk and letting their time run down while leaving the tab open (thus creating the illusion that they might be there, thinking), and my opponent escaping.


there is little difference between my opponent going afk and letting their time run down while leaving the tab open (thus creating the illusion that they might be there, thinking), and my opponent escaping.

Agreed. Where we diverge is that I consider both examples to be an abuse of time settings. :slight_smile:

This is what we (or at least I) tell people who report others for escaping when an opponent is taking time and continues the game after a break.