Where are all the new players?

Automatching with someone at my level (~25k) for a normal game is proving futile (correspondence games are easier to match against).

Does this mean I need to resort to communities such as Open Study Room and Beginner Go to find people to play against, or am I missing something?


For some reason, most players on OGS don’t use automatch. Even at high kyu level it’s not rare to wait for 5 minutes before finding an opponent. Did you try to create a custom game instead?


I remember some difficulty auto matching at 20+ but that was also before the last rank changes so dunno if it’s different. I did play some games with other people in OSR Discord but mostly it was against stronger players. Which is good since you can learn. But I know the feeling, you want to play SOME games with people your level too

Have you tried custom games? Just create your own with or without rank restriction, title something like “looking for beginners” and so what you get. I think at all ranks this is a good way to get the kind of game you want

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You could arrange for a game in advance (a direct challenge) by PMing a friend. If you don’t have any friends yet, you could PM a fellow beginner here in the Forums and explain the situation and ask them for a game. The game could be set for a future date and time, at which time you could send the challenge.

You could also join a ladder.

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I will try; thanks for the suggestion.

I want to play MOST of my games with people my level, to be honest.

I’ve found a few people who I have standing games with, but we’ve already drifted in rank (but that’s fine, it’s a learning and social opportunity for me). To me, this sort of takes the magic out of online Go, though. The appeal to me was having access to many, many challengers at my level.

Looks interesting, I’ll check it out!

I also get people just accepting the challenge and then cancelling a lot (for example, this one: nicogro13 vs. flat_chocolate_mountain).

Looking at that player’s profile, I only saw live games. So maybe nicogro13 thought your challenge was a live game, and then cancelled when he saw that it was correspondence.

Make a new account, all the new players are 6k!

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You can ask in the main chat if someone is available for a game. Play unrated as the rating system and pairing is rather harsh with beginners.

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There are a few beginners groups.

When you play there you wil meet others and your go network will expand automatically and your rating gets up.

You will have to start somewhere. Not really important where.

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This is not recommended! I agree that the starting point for new accounts is not ideal in many cases but using that to deliberately manipulate rank is unacceptable.

I’m pretty sure this wasn’t what OP was looking for anyway. The other suggestions, especially using custom challenges could be more effective at getting games with others are the right level.

This might be true but I feel it’s better to play ranked if you can to enable better matching and tracking changes. Even if the system overall is not perfect.


That happens. Many players don’t check game settings before accepting.

My suggestion is to change the game name: “correspondence beginners” or something similar would be better than the default “friendly game”

Anyway sometimes people doesn’t read even that! :man_shrugging:


Sure. Better get crushed for a dozen of games so that you get a beginner rating.

I don’t think that answers the OP who is searching to play with other beginners.


How would I then acquire rank for eventual matching?

Thanks, I joined both!

I’ll try this, thanks!

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I brought this up two years ago.
I do consider it a major blocker for OGS‘s potential to grow.

On some servers like Fox or IGS, pressing the (live) automatch button also sends challenges to users who are online but didn’t press automatch. The challenged player needs to press “accept” within 5 seconds or so, otherwise the challenge is considered as declined and is sent to the next player on the list.

To avoid being annoyed by unsolicited challenges, any user can check a box “decline challenges”. However the box is un-checked each time you log off and on again.

Maybe such a feature should be implemented on OGS?


As a beginner you shouldn’t ever think on your rank. Wait to get a bit of experience, experiment and enjoy the freedom to not have to follow patterns and such.
So you can just play unranked with other beginners and really really don’t worry or get interested on ranking for a while.
Concepts of the game will fly over your head and that’s normal. Instead there is a lot of practice to put to be able to play and that should not be underestimate. Most is not about deep thinking but to see what happens. Like liberties, pushing, cutting or connecting, escaping… All is a necessary step, after that when you think you can try to apply a bit of theory in your game, then you can try rated games for satisfying our ego. But be aware it will still probably be a harsh time as like being around 15k and playing on even 6k…