Points act as a reputation system on the Q&A, rewarding you for making good contributions to the website. They also allow you to get extra privileges, such as voting. Below is a guide to all the ways you can gain (or lose) points:
- All users receive +20 points for creating an account. Think of it like a sign-up bonus! (This is given in all three sections.)
- 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.
- For every question you have with a 'best answer' selected, you receive +2 points.
- For down-voting a post, you will get −2 points. (This helps discourage unmeaningful and excessive down-voting.)
The system above is the same on every section of the site. Some of its deeper intricacies are as follows:
- You can gain a maximum of 200 points from up-votes on one post. If your post receives a 21st up-vote or more, you won't receive any additional points from it.
- You can lose a maximum of 40 points from down-votes on one post. If your post receives a 5th down-vote or more, you won't lose additional points from it.
- If somebody removes their vote or de-selects the 'best answer' from a post, then all the points involved in that exchange will be removed.
- 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.
- Users receive +2 points for selecting the BA on their question even if a moderator did it for them.
To view your points total, go to 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. (This can create the illusion that your points total and privileges are changing for no reason — rest assured that's not happening!)
As mentioned, it is possible to gain extra privileges using points. We recommend reading the list of privileges and required points. It will explain the extra powers you can get with points, such as the ability to vote and create tags.