User Trust Levels

You may have noticed that all forum users have a Trust Level, with badges and associated titles.

So, what is the purpose of these trust levels, and why do they exist? How do you get to higher trust levels, and what do they do?

First, trust levels help us keep the forum safe and clean, by making sure that new users can’t cause too much harm to the community, (accidentally or intentionally) by limiting what they can do.

Second, trust levels help us find dedicated, enthusiastic members of the community, and grant them extra tools and privileges so that they can help maintain and moderate the community they generously contribute so much of their time to.

Thus, we have five user trust levels, with your current level is visible on your user page:

0 (New) → 1 (Basic) → 2 (Member) → 3 (Regular) → 4 (Leader)

Additionally, we have @moderators, which are separate from the trust levels. You can also see the @CoG_Staff by the icons on their avatars.

(Note: Trust Levels do not update automatically. Generally they take up to 48 hours to update. If you’re having difficulty, please wait at least 48 hours before asking.)

(Note: This information is largely duplicated from the Discourse’s own list, but with differences for where we’ve changed rules, requirements, and privileges. Additionally, privileges granted by the trust system may be revoked, and trust levels may be lowered by moderators.)


New (0)

New users are visitors who have just created an account, are still learning about the community, and haven’t really participated yet. Whether accidentally or intentionally, new users can cause problems, so we limit a number of features for them.

We also hide most “advanced” functionality from new users to make the UI less confusing for them and gently open up the deeper UI as they get more experienced.

At trust level 0 you cannot…

  • send direct messages to other users.
  • flag posts.
  • post more than one image, any attachments, or more than two hyperlinks in a post.
  • mention more than two users in a post.
  • have your post seen by other users until a moderator reviews it.
  • post to the off-topic category.

In addition, for the first 24 hours after creating your account, you’ll only be able to post 25 messages, and create 3 topics.


Basic (1)

Once a user sticks around long enough to read a bit, we trust them enough to unlock most forum features.

You can get to trust level 1 by…

  • entering at least 5 topics.
  • reading at least 30 posts.
  • spend a total of 10 minutes reading posts.

Alternatively, you’ll start at trust level 1 if you’re invited to the forums by another user.

At trust level 1 you can…

  • use more of the forum’s main functions.
    • upload attachments.
    • edit wiki posts.
    • flag posts.
  • post without moderation approval (after your initial post).

In addition, for the first 24 hours after creating your account, you’ll only be able to post 25 messages, and create 3 topics.

Level 1 users cannot post to the off-topic category.


Member (2)

Full members of the community are those that keep coming back, and that have participated long enough to access all major features of the forum.

You can get to trust level 2 by…

  • visiting at least 10 days, not sequentially.
  • casting at least 1 like.
  • receiving at least 1 like.
  • replying to at least 3 different topics.
  • entering at least 10 topics.
  • reading at least 100 posts.
  • spending a total of 60 minutes reading posts.

At trust level 2 you…

  • can upload images.
  • can send other users direct messages.
    • this includes sending DMs to users at lower trust levels.
  • can “Invite others to this topic” with a button for one-click onboarding of new users to participate in topics.
  • get a daily like limit increased by 1.5×.
  • may post to the off-topic category.

Regular (3)

Regular are the most active readers and reliable contributors to the community, having been noticeably active and helpful in the past couple of months.

This is time and activity based, unlike the previous levels. You can get to trust level 3 by…

  • visiting at least 50 of the last 100 days.
  • having replied to at least 10 different topics.
  • of topics created in the last 100 days, having viewed 25% (capped at 500).
  • of posts created in the last 100 days, having read 25% (capped at 10k).
  • receiving 20 likes, and given 30 likes in the past 100 days.
    • these must be spread across 1/5 the number of users, and 1/4 the number of days.
    • these likes cannot come from DMs.
  • receiving no more than 3 spam or offensive flags (with unique posts and unique users for each, confirmed by a moderator).
  • never having been suspended, or having had it cleared by a moderator.

Additionally, published Choice of Games and Hosted Games Authors, and Beta Testers Extraordinaire will also automatically be made Regulars. Alternatively anyone can apply to the Regular group if they believe they have significantly contributed to the community.

Unlike other trust levels, you can lose trust level 3 status. If you dip below these requirements, whether from flagging or the passage of time, you will be demoted to a normal member of the community. However, in order to avoid constant promotion/demotion situations, there is a 2-week grace period immediately after gaining Trust Level 3 during which you will not be demoted.

At trust level 3 you can…

  • recategorize, rename, and retag topics.
  • access a private “frequent flier’s lounge” category only visible to users at trust level 3 and higher.
  • have all your links followed (we remove automatic nofollow)
  • cast spam flags on TL0 user posts which immediately hide the post.
  • cast flags on TL0 user posts which in sufficient diversity will auto-silence the user and hide all their posts.
    • at least one other trust level 3 user must cast the same flag to auto-silence.
  • make your own posts wiki (that is, editable by any TL1+ users).
  • daily like limit increased by 2×.

Leader (4)

Leader are members of the community who have been around forever and seen everything. You set a positive example for the community through your actions and their posts. If you need advice, these are the folx you turn to first.

All leaders of the community are promoted by Moderators or CoG Staff.

At trust level 4 you can…

  • edit all posts.
  • pin/unpin topic.
  • close topics.
  • archive topics.
  • make topic unlisted.
  • Split and merge topics.
  • Daily like limit increased by 3×.