You can gain (or lose) points through the following means:
- All users receive +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'll receive +10 points.
- If your question or answer is down-voted, you'll be penalised −10 points.
- Having your answer selected as the best awards you +20 points, unless you were also the author of the question.
- Selecting the best answer on your question yields +2 points.
- For down-voting a post, you will receive −2 points. (This helps discourage unmeaningful or excessive down-voting.)
This system is identical across each section. Some of its deeper intricaies are as follows:
- Any points gained or lost on a post are retained if it 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 by the site admin, in which case all point changes involving those posts are cleared with them.
- You can gain a maximum of 200 points from up-votes on one post. If you receive a 21st upvote or more, you won't receive any additional points from it.
To view your points total, view your profile page and look under the ‘Activity by...’ heading. You can access your profile page by clicking your username — a link can always be found inside the yellow 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 or RMT, and vice versa.
See also the list of privileges and required points — gaining points grants you extra powers, such as the ability to vote and create tags.
This answer is up to date as of 5 February, 2019.