You can gain points through the following methods. All of these amounts are the same across each section.
- All users gain 20 points for making their first post on a section. Think of it like a sign-up bonus ;)
- If your question or answer is up-voted, you gain 10 points.
- If your question or answer is down-voted, you lose 10 points.
- Having your answer selected as the best gives you 20 points.
- Selecting an answer as the best on your question gives you 2 points.
- For down-voting a post, you will lose 2 points. (This is to discourage people downvoting for no reason.)
Some intricacies of the system that may interest you:
- Any points gained or lost are retained when a post is hidden, unless it was a ‘best answer’; in that case, both the 20 points and 2 points are foregone.
- Hidden posts with no dependent posts beneath them are deleted periodically, in which case all points involving the post are removed.
- You cannot gain more than 200 points from upvotes on one post; if you receive a 21st upvote or more, you won't receive any more points from it.
To view your points total, access your profile page and look under the ‘activity’ heading. You can access your profile page by clicking your username — a link can always be found above the top navigation bar.
Please note that your points total is different for each section; so any score you earn on the main section is not transferable to Meta, and vice versa.
See also the list of privileges and required points — gaining points awards extra abilities.
This answer is up to date as of 4 June, 2018.