How are the forums structured?
The forums as a whole contains various categories (broad subject areas), which themselves contain forums (more specific subject areas) which contain threads (conversations on a topic) which are made up of individual posts (where a user writes something).
The Browse Forums page has a list of forums, with basic statistics for each - including the number of threads and posts, and which member posted the most recent message.
How do I find my way around?
When you click on a forum's name, you are taken to the list of threads it contains. A thread is a conversation between members or guests. Each thread starts out as a single post and grows as more individual posts are added by different users. Threads can be rated (?) to show how useful or popular they are and may contain polls (?).
To start a new thread simply click on the New Thread button at the top of the forum threads listing.
Threads can be ordered in many different ways. The default is to have the thread with the most recent activity at the top. But you can easily change this ordering, for example to have the thread with the most posts at the top, or the highest rating. Simply click on the appropriate column heading at the top of the list of threads (Thread, Thread Starter, Rating, Last Post, Replies or Views). You can also reverse the sorting order by clicking the arrow next to the name of the active option. (Note that 'pinned' threads will always be at the top no matter how you change the viewing options).
When there are more threads to display than will fit on a single page, you may see the page navigation box, which contains page numbers. This indicates that the list of threads has been split over multiple pages.
This method of splitting lists of items over many pages is used throughout the forums.
What are pinned threads?
'Pinned' threads are created by moderators or administrators (?), and remain 'pinned' to the top of the thread listing, even if they haven't had any posts recently. Their purpose is to keep important information visible and accessible at all times.
How do I read a thread?
To read a thread, click on its title. Each post in a thread is created by a member of the community. You'll see some brief information about the member who created the thread to the left of the main post message. This information is presented above the post when browsing from a mobile device.
To post to an existing thread, click on the Post Reply button at the top of the thread. If the Post Reply button does not appear, it could mean that you are not logged in as a member, or that you do not have permission to reply, or that the thread has been closed to new replies.
If you are logged in, there will also be a Quick Reply box where you can quickly post to a thread without having to go to the full post editor page.
How do I find out more about members?
To view information about a particular member, click on the user name. This will take you to their public profile page.
How are posts displayed within a thread?
Posts are displayed chronologically from oldest to newest and in a flat mode so that many posts can be viewed simultaneously. You also have several thread customization options from the Account Settings > Options page.
You are required to sign up for an account in order to use all the features of the site. Being registered gives you an identity on the site, a fixed username on all messages you post and an online public profile.
Registration is free and offers an extended range of features, including:
How do I sign up?
You can sign up for an account by clicking on the Sign up link at the top of the page. You will be asked to choose a user name, password and enter a valid email address. Once this is complete you will be asked to verify your email address to complete the sign up process.
Note that entering your email address will not leave you open to spam. Your email address will NEVER be shared with others.
How do I search for something?
To quickly find a thread or post of interest anywhere on the bulletin board, click on the 'Search' link in the navigation bar at the top of most forum pages. Then, type in the keyword or phrase you wish to search for, and select either 'Show Threads' or 'Show Posts' to view the results. By selecting posts, you will be shown only the actual post in which the search word appears.
For more control over the search, select 'Advanced Search' from the drop-down box. The advanced search page allows you to restrict your search to individual forums, find posts or threads by user, or return results based on tags (?). There are also options to find posts from a certain date, or threads with a certain number of replies.
How do I search a specific forum or thread?
If you are browsing a forum, you can quickly search for a thread or post within it by clicking on the 'Search this forum' link near the top of the page (it's above the list of threads). You can also search for individual posts within a thread by clicking on the 'Search this Thread' link at the top of any thread view page.
How can I see the latest posts?
There are two ways to quickly view recently created or updated threads.
If you are not logged in, the 'today's posts' link will show a list of all threads that have been created or updated in the last 24 hours.
If you are logged in, the 'Today's Posts' link will change to 'New Posts', which gives you a listing of all threads that have been created or updated since your last visit.
The administrator can also set up the forums so that each thread you read is marked in the database. If this option is set, then new threads (or threads with new posts) will not be marked as read until you have actually read them.
There is a built-in time limit to this, however, that will automatically mark all threads as 'read' after a set number of day, whether you really have read them or not. The default setting is 10 days, but the administrator could make this higher or lower.
What are the thread navigation options?
There is an Options button located at the top of each thread. By clicking on this button, a dropdown menu will appear with a number of options:
Additionally, you can quickly subscribe, unsubscribe, or manage notifications for the current thread by clicking the Subscribe/Unsubscribe button located at the top of each thread. See What are thread subscriptions? for more information on thread subscriptions.
I forgot my password. What can I do?
If you forget your password, you can click through to the Forgot password page to have it reset and sent to you. A link to this page will appear anywhere you are prompted to login.
This link brings up a page where you should enter your registered email address. An email will be sent to that address shortly, with instructions for resetting your password.
Since passwords are encrypted, there is no way to resend your original password. This option provides you with the ability to reset your password.
You must be able to receive emails to your registered email address for this to work. You may need to check your spam filters and folder if you do not see this email in a few minutes.
What is the Member List?
The member list shows the registered members of the site. You can filter and sort member list results to find what you're looking for.
To view the member list, click Community > Members on main navigation bar at the top of the site.
To quickly find a particular member, visit the member list and type a username (or partial username) into the search box just above the members list. For further search options - including searching based on gamertag, country, or Twitter handle - click on the Filters button at the top of the members list.
Are all members listed?
Some members may not be listed in the member list. For example, banned members and cheating members will not be listed anywhere on the site.
What is private messaging?
Registered members may send messages to other members of the site using the private messaging system. For more information about private messaging, click here.
What are profile comments?
Registered members may post comments for other members on their profile page. These comments can generally be viewed by all visitors, including registered and unregistered users depending on the profile user's privacy settings. For more information on profile comments, click here.
Can I block posts, comments and messages from specific users?
If there are particular members that bother you and you do not want to see their posts or receive Private Messages and comments from them, then you can add these members to your Block List. See How do I add someone to my block list?
What if I see something offensive?
You will find Report links in many places throughout the site and forums. These links allow you to alert the staff to anything which you find to be offensive, objectionable or illegal.
Can I use RSS to keep up with new posts?
Yes, you can view newly created threads in guest-viewable forums without visiting the site. These feeds are currently provided in two formats, RSS and RSS v2. Most modern browsers have facilities for reading RSS feeds and will automatically detect the availability of feeds on bulletin board pages.