Using OGS to play on other servers! (Possible?)

I really love OGS and really dislike using other servers (such as IGS (pandanet), Tygem, Foxgo, KGS, wBaduk, etc). However, with so many players split across so many different servers, it’d be really terrific if it was possible to port them all together.

Is this possible? Perhaps if they each had an API? Would it take inter-server negotiations?

OGS users, is this something you’d want to see?


Yes, it’s … possible.

There are several problems

  • You have to log in on each server (if you feel comfortable to store your login credentials on a web service, it could be done by a central server. I wouldn’t use it if login is handled on server side.)

  • How would matchmaking work? Do you select on which server to look for a game? Matchmaking works different on different servers (rules, time settings, rank restrictions, negotiation, …).

  • Interfacing with several APIs and keeping them up to date is no fun.

If you want, but not necessarily.

You have to log in on each server (if you feel comfortable to store your login credentials on a web service, it could be done by a central server. I wouldn’t use it if login is handled on server side.)

Okay, so you’re saying you’d have to have an account on each server? Why wouldn’t it be possible to just mesh the players of two servers together in one joint server?

How would matchmaking work? Do you select on which server to look for a game? Matchmaking works different on different servers (rules, time settings, rank restrictions, negotiation, …).

In regards to match making. I think this is where the inter-server negotiations would be helpful. Setting certain standards about what is possible would have to be set. However, if we through all of that out the window, we could

Of course you can merge OGS with, but in most cases ego or interests will prevent such.

Does anyone even know how to connect to other servers?

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Since we’re a website, the other services would either have to expose an API that we could connect to with the client (the code running on your browser), or provide an interface for server to server communication. No services that I’m aware of provide the later, and KGS is the only one I know of that we could theoretically connect to with the client, but because it’d only be with the client, the two services could never really be very well integrated.


On the moonshot chance I was able to convince another server (say KGS) to merge with OGS, would you think it’d be a beneficial thing?

@anoek is that something you’d ever want?

We’d certainly be happy to explore that, though I don’t view having multiple places to play go as a particularly bad thing. Each server has their own play style and type of players it attracts, which is neat I’d say. With KGS in particular, their community is very loyal and tends to be very fond of the way KGS looks, feels, and operates. Any hypothetical merging of services to join the userbases would have to walk some sort of line to keep both communities happy.


Looking at KGS specifically, it looks like they expose at least part of their API to allow third-party client development. However, it doesn’t handle web requests, so OGS <-> KGS communication would have to be done on the server. There’s a client available to translate the KGS requests into HTTPS/JSON, available here:

UX would be: user logs in to OGS, then enters another option to log in to KGS, and supplies username/pass. (These could be stored for the user, to make future login/synchronization easier.) This would switch the games list to the KGS games list, which the OGS server would fetch from the KGS server and pass to the client.

For all requests/moves, we’d need to pass requests through the OGS server to the KGS server, which would increase latency.

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Ah my mistake, I had thought they were exposing a json protocol to clients.

This is exactly what I’m thinking about!!! Although, it’d be even more neat to available games of people on both KGS and OGS.

I’m imagining both OGS and KGS would benefit by having an enlarged pool of active users seeking games. And then people could still play viewing through their favorite client.

The reason I had this idea/question is because the only valid critique I’ve ever heard about OGS is that other servers have more players. It baffles me that this is the case though since OGS is (again) clearly the best! But I chalk it up to habit, preference, and inertia that causes other servers to be more popular.

It doesn’t seem possible to convince everyone to switch servers, so that is why I was wondering about either absorbing another one or finding a way to port into it.

Is it time to make a federated Go protocol on top of ActivityPub? :grinning:

I see where you are coming from. I supported Nova/OGS from the beginning because of its new technology and welcoming community.

Even though it was constantly fighting uphill for reputation, I was hoping that one day OGS would take over as the dominant western Go server. And it is happening! OGS is displacing KGS slowly but surely because it is more attractive to new players. That is those who just want to google “play go online” and try it out with a clean, modern interface and no download.

The last time I tried to play a game on KGS, I just could not get an opponent for my [?] ranking. People suggested that I should play bots to establish my rank. No thanks! That server is now an echo chamber of holdouts; it’s doomed.

Any effort from the OGS side for compatibility with KGS-hosted games will be considered hostile and it will make you unpopular. Even if you could do it, you would not want to deal with the follow-up. People want to push the review button on KGS and expect it to just work with OGS. Next they will complain that the “share variation” button does not work. Then it’s drawing on the board.

tl;dr: Things are already going your way, so don’t worry and don’t bother :slight_smile:


I agree with @Animiral completely. And I, for one, reject the idea of using OGS to play on other servers. For OGS it would be a waste of valuable resources (@anoek has more than enough to do right now). I have little desire to play elsewhere, and when I do have this desire, then I just sign in there and play.


Its possible to create bot account on ogs that instead of thinking will create open challenge on account on other server. So ogs users will not need to have accounts on other server. And no admin help is needed.

I think that a proxy-bot (for lack of a better term) to bridge between two go servers would be a bad idea, and quite likely violates the rules/terms of services of the servers.

Such a bot would constantly present to each a server a wildly varying and unpredictable level of skill, since any one could wind up operating it from either side. This would be unfair to players looking for an opponent of a particular skill level, and interfere with ranking systems if any ranked games were in involved.

Further, I think there would be a lot of technical issues that would be quite difficult to overcome. Different servers may implement rules and various procedures in slightly different ways that would make it hard to get things to match up properly. Consider time controls (and synchronization), stone removal, chat, superko/long-cycle edge cases, etc.

In regards to the broader, original topic: I imagine that it is very difficult to merge two go servers. On top of the myriad technical issues, there are probably even more challenging political, financial, and cultural issues to overcome.


That’s pushing into love or war.
Just see the answers already given up, like OGS is best, KGS dying…

I myself respect all the efforts put by each server to offer to the go community (and even usually free of charge) a way to play together.
If some wedding happen, fine. If some competition between them, fine too.

But I don’t mind to have to switch.


Insightful comments everyone. Thank you :slight_smile:

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