Forums  /  The Site  /  Guide to Good Moderation
(edited: )




So, you’ve just received moderation powers for one of your speedgames. You want to do a good job of it, right? Look no further than this handy guide to good moderation.

If you are an experienced moderator, then you can probably skip the first section. If you are happy with your game’s theme, then you can probably skip the second section. I’d recommend that every moderator reads the third section.


Part 1: Setting up the game

To start with, if you’re on PC then the tabs to the left will probably look something like this (I recommend following the game to be notified of forum threads, if you aren't already following it). First, let’s head to the “Edit game” tab. Filling out the first section of this page should be pretty easy. The URL should be a unique identifier for the game in lower case letters. This will make it much easier to access. Some examples of this are “oot” for Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and “pkmnredblue” for Pokemon Red/Blue.
Down the bottom of the first box, you’ll have to start making your own decisions.
• - Times in milliseconds: This is useful when the game has really precise movement (and an autosplitter) or the game has an in-game timer that records milliseconds. For most games, this can probably be turned off.
• - Separate load times: Does the game have an autosplitter with load removal available? If so, this can be turned on. You can also manually get rid of load times, but this requires a lot of work on your end. Games with loading screens need load removal to have accurate leaderboards, so it’s probably less work overall to make an autosplitter that pauses during loading screens. If the game is small, then separating load times isn’t particularly necessary.
• - In-game timer: Does the game have an in-built timer? Then you can turn this on. However, all this does is have 2 boxes in submissions for real time and in-game time. You can have this turn off and only enter in-game time instead (i.e. This game uses in-game time but does not have in-game time turned on, this game has it turned on).
• - Runs require verification: I’d recommend always having this turned on. Some people say that having it turned off can encourage runners to run and not wait for the moderator to verify runs, but to other it seems like the moderator is lazy and discourages runners from investing time into it. It can also encourage trolls to make bad submissions.
• - Runs require a video: If you want to make your leaderboard the best it can be, you’ll want this on. It is very easy to record speedruns with plenty of free screen capture software available for computers. I could understand the argument for turning it off for small console games, but even then it’s not hard to point a camera at a TV.
For the rest of these, you can probably figure out for yourself. It’s easy to change these things later when you and the community have more familiarity with the game.
The next box that we’ll be looking at is the moderator box. It is generally a good idea to have at least 1 other person moderating the game. If the game is small and doesn’t have a community, you can probably skip this.
Now we get into categories and variables. It is impossible to cover all my bases here, because different games will have completely different categories and variables. The golden rule is that if people are running it, it should be on the leaderboards, but I’ll get into more detail in part 3.


Part 2: Having a good theme

First things first, you don’t need to have a theme at all. The default theme for SRcom looks fine, and I’d suggest that having no theme is much better than having a terrible looking one. But for those that are willing to put in effort to make your game’s leaderboard look good, I’ll go on.
Themes are very easy to get wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing. The important things to remember are:
• 1. Everything on the leaderboard must be easy to read.
• 2. The theme should not look like no effort was put in.
Step 1 is easy to judge (if you don’t use contrasting bright colours, then you’ll probably be fine), step 2 is the one I often see people run into trouble with.
When picking a background, there are a few different ways you can go:
• 1. A simple static background with a relevant logo of some kind. The best example of this is the most popular game on the website, Ocarina of Time. This isn't a complex background, and it's easy to look at. There also won’t be an issue with people who have different screen sizes.
• 2. A desktop wallpaper. This is probably the easiest method. Find a wallpaper online and add it to the background. A few issues with this method is that it can take a while to load on a slower connection, and people with smaller/bigger screen sizes than you won’t be viewing it the same way. Some examples of this are Super Mario Sunshine and Super Metroid.
• 3. A simple moving background. The most important word there is simple. If it’s a complicated moving background, it’s distracting and will make people think you turned it on in some feeble attempt to make it look interesting. As an example, I’ll plug a game I moderate, the Steam version of You Have To Win The Game. I don’t think there’s a background much more simple than that.
Using the game logo in the background of a game generally looks tacky, especially if it’s tiled. Watch out for that, because I see people do it all the time.
There can be some exceptions to the rules above, use your good judgement.
Here are some of the things that’ll get you into trouble with site staff:
• - Be sensible. If site staff find your leaderboard has bright yellow text on a bright yellow panel, the background is a picture of Gabe Newell, the logo says “MEMES” and the 1st place icon has been changed to a picture of a gorilla’s face then site staff will remove your theme and possibly ban you from moderating games in the future.
• - The logo must say, just like it says. Otherwise, your logo will be removed by site staff. You’d be surprised how many people don’t follow this rule, even though it’s plainly stated.


Part 3: Moderating

Now that you have your game set up and either no theme or a kick-ass theme, it’s time to get into game moderation. Are you feeling powerful with that red/green sword next to your name? Well, you shouldn’t be. One of the golden rules when it comes to game moderation is:
“You do not decide for the community, the community decides for you.”
Or alternatively:
“You are a representative of the community, not the ruler.”
• - When it comes to making key decisions about how the leaderboard is run, you need to consult with the community. Should a big game breaking glitch be allowed in the any% category, or should it have its own category? Should we switch to real time instead of using in-game time? Should we start enforcing load removal? These aren’t your decisions to make. Of course, you can take part in these discussions but you need to keep your ears open to other ideas and (this is important) be willing to accept decisions that you don’t agree with when it’s clear you aren’t part of the majority. Almost all leaderboard drama I’ve seen in the last 3 and a half years have stemmed from the moderators of a game shutting themselves off from the rest of the community because they wanted one thing to happen and most others disagreed with them (which usually ends with site staff intervening).
• - Another key part of moderating is verifying and rejecting runs. When it comes to this, no runs should be rejected for anything other than gameplay. If they do something against the rules of the category, then it can be rejected. If they have an annoying voice, you don’t like their LiveSplit background or you simply think they are an arsehole, then you have to accept it. Generally, most drama arises from this when the moderators have decided they don’t like someone and they insta-reject all their future runs. This is not the right way to go about this. If someone is submitting runs all the time and you really don’t want to watch a run every time you log in, just don’t watch it yet. You don’t need to verify runs every time you log in, and the run will still be there when you come back. If you really don’t like the runner (and maybe no-one else in the community does either), it’s not your job to ban them from the leaderboards. Ban/block them on Discord, block them on Twitter, but accept their legitimate runs on the leaderboards (remember that if they’re breaking SRcom rules on the forums, you can report them to site staff). If the runner is a known cheater, then it probably gives you grounds to reject based on the runner, but that’s really the only situation I can think of.
• - Another important rule is to always provide a clear and legitimate reason when rejecting a run. If the runner doesn’t know what they’re doing wrong, then they won’t fix it up next time they submit. Even if you’ve previously rejected them for the same reason, it’s a much better idea to explain to them what they’re doing wrong again. Mods who reject runs with the reason “.” have been reported for mod abuse in the past by runners who don’t remember why their first run was rejected.

And that should be it. Go forth, and bring good moderation to your leaderboards.

I welcome any comments, critiques and questions.

Thanks to Gyoo and ROMaster for proof reading this.

WagnerBrasilWagnerBrasil, TingTyphoonTingTyphoon and 56 others like this. 

now all that's left is a FAQ to get rid of those "I can't login" & "my runs don't appear on the leaderboard" etc.

ImaproshamanImaproshaman, Bogdan_mkBogdan_mk and 2 others like this. 

Well for starters, flaming should get reported to site staff so anyone engaged in it can be banned.

I feel like the allowance of segmented runs can depend on the game and how active the segmented side of the community is, but for the most part, I feel like this site is designed for single segment runs. The same goes for emulators, it'll come down to what the community think is best.

Bogdan_mkBogdan_mk, blueYOSHIblueYOSHI and 4 others like this. 

Does the verification apply to your own run?


Nicely written guide man.

@moarkraps That all dependson the community you're in. If your game has 3 or more moderators, give it to them, otherwise do it yourself.
Being a moderator gives more responsibility than is mentioned up here. Next to being a representative of the community, you should also be trustworthy. And self-verifying means that people trust you enough on this.
Easiest case is, ask the other mods/community

Bony_ThiccBony_Thicc and stootstoot like this. 

"This is not the right way to go about this. If someone is submitting runs all the time and you really don’t want to watch a run every time you log in, just don’t watch it yet. You don’t need to verify runs every time you log in, and the run will still be there when you come back. "\

Good lord, do people actually consider active boards to be a problem?

ImaproshamanImaproshaman likes this. 

Some people log in with their phone at work. They dont have time to check runs during that, and should not feel pressed. They can set a day where they check runs where they normally have time. People just got to have patience.

ImaproshamanImaproshaman likes this. 

You shouldn't feel the need to continuously verify runs, no. Letting a run sit all day, to be verified when you have time later in the day, or early the next day, is perfectly reasonable.

You should also scale verification to the importance and the time needed. If you have 3 hour runs submitted daily, then you should set up your verification process not to take 3 hours for every middle of the board submission, or you're going to burn out fast. Moderator burn out is a disaster for the game's community.

spidernhspidernh, Bony_ThiccBony_Thicc and 3 others like this. 

What you can do for mid-low tier runs is identify areas where people most commonly break the rules (and the most difficult sections of the route) and skip to those parts. Submissions via Youtube are handy too, since you can speed up the playback, but what time-saving technique you use depends on the game you're modding.

spidernhspidernh, blueYOSHIblueYOSHI and CorsakaCorsaka like this. 

You can also bookmark where you stopped and watch more later, I generally watch 30-60 minutes a day maybe more and then start up where I stopped the next day

spidernhspidernh likes this. 

Also, put up your timing rules. Put up all the rules. Someone should be able to find out how to time their own runs by reading your game's page.

Bony_ThiccBony_Thicc, coolesttocoolestto and 5 others like this. 

Another issue is that some people only put the timing in the rules.

spidernhspidernh, Bogdan_mkBogdan_mk and blueYOSHIblueYOSHI like this. 

JessicaSix coming off a little rude here.

blueYOSHIblueYOSHI and IlluminaTeaIlluminaTea like this. 

This is the point where you step away from the computer, make like fonzie and be cool fam, people on the internet are just people on the internet

ImaproshamanImaproshaman likes this. 
(edited: )

Nobody is responsible for your behavior but you. Whether you allow yourself to get worked up or let something go is your decision, not theirs. If you did a thing, it's not because someone provocated you, it's because ¤you¤ decided to do the thing. Nobody has control over your own actions but you. IMHO

EDIT: I had no idea that "provocated" was a real word until I just looked it up just now.


I'm going to write an addition to the guide for choosing new moderators, and I would like to see some viewpoints from other mods on how they appoint people. So if you have an opinion on it, feel free to PM/whisper me on any of my social links.

blueYOSHIblueYOSHI, ROMaster2ROMaster2 and PrettzLPrettzL like this. 
(edited: )

I don't see any "tabs to the left". Did the site layout change?

EDIT: I found a link.


I'm talking about when you've already requested and received the game, AstralProxy, not before then.

(edited: )

Great guide, really helpful if my game gets accepted, but only me and duckfist run that game. Well maybe more will find out about this game and start running it from me and duckfist inspiring people to run.

(edited: )

This is getting offtopic, which is why I didn't really want to address the post, but having a different opinion regardless of how well thought through it is, is not against site rules.

blueYOSHIblueYOSHI and Wanderer_JiyurenWanderer_Jiyuren like this.