Welcome To KGS
This page is for new KGS users (KGS Go Server). It describes how to get your first games on KGS.
First, you should Register your account
Registering is not mandatory, but it makes it far easier to get games as many people do not like to play against unregistered players. It is easy and free of charge.
To register an account, log in as a guest with the user name you want, go to the menu: User -> Register, and follow the instructions. When you get your password by email, you need to log out from KGS and then log in again with your password. You can change your password using the User -> Edit Personal Information menu.
Now you are ready to get a game!
Unlike some other Go servers, you do not have to send private messages to other players in order to ask for a game.
To get a game on KGS, you can use the automatch feature available from the "Play go" menu, or just by using Ctrl-N.
You can also set up a game using the Custom Game button (located at the top right of the KGS rooms window). This will open a dialog box. There are two important fields:
- Board size -- If you're a beginner you should start on a 9x9 board.
- Notes -- This is the topmost field with no label on it. Put your (approximate) skill level here. Otherwise people usually won't challenge you because they don't know if you're a beginner or a strong player. If you don't know what your rank is, you should probably write beginner or 30k.
Now click OK in the dialog box and wait for someone to challenge you. Click OK again to accept the challenge and start playing.
The other way to get a game
You can also get a game by clicking an open game offer in the KGS rooms window. The open offers are the boldface lines in the game list.
You should try to play your first rated game with someone about as strong as yourself. You get your first rank a little faster if you play against someone who already has a rank and you win. This is a little more likely if the other player is a little weaker than you.
You can "improve" your rank after you get it.
How to get a rating (rank)
For a solid rank (with no "?" appended to it), you must win several rated games and lose several rated games, against solidly rated players close to your actual rank (adjusting for handicaps). As few as two wins and two losses may be enough. In order to get a good provisional rating and a useful graph, you should play your first rated game with someone near your own rank (or properly handicapped for the rank difference, but this is awkward to arrange). You can find your rank by playing a few Free games.
There is an easy way to get a rating if you are below 3 dan (3d): play a game with a robot (their ranks go from 4d to 30k), with the appropriate amount of handicap (no more than 6 either way, to get a rated game). Robots have (Robot) next to their name in the game list. Look out for players named RankBot001? or similar.
If you find it hard to get your first rated game in the English Game Room, you should try in The Ranking Room (in the Lessons category) or in the Computer Go room(in the Social category). If you are a beginner, you should also try in the Beginners' Room (in the Lessons category).
Please enjoy playing Go and do not fall into the trap of obsessing over rank. Your rank is intended to let you find appropriate opponents, ensuring that the games you play can be interesting to both sides.
For more information
- KGS help files -- KGS FAQ
- KGS tips
- KGS User's Guide
- KGS Rooms / Beginners' Room
- KGS Help Room
- KGS Teaching Ladder
- KGS First Time User Experience - for your feedback.
Learn to play go
- The Interactive Way To Go - for beginners
If you ask for help on KGS itself you will usually find someone willing to help you. You can also join KGS Help Room in the Social room category.