Pokemon Showdown Staff FAQ

By mikel and Pokémon Showdown staff, based on a previous FAQ by the CAP team, and Birkal.

1. Who are the staff?

Staff are represented by the symbols next to their names and appear at the top of the userlist. They are the senior users of Pokémon Showdown and between them, they have vast experience in every facet of the site, from programming to battling.

2. What do they do?

The moderators and drivers, as well as leaders and administrators, run Pokémon Showdown. Their role is to answer questions and to improve the experience for all users. If the rules are not followed, the moderation team will exact punishments when required.

3. What is the difference between the ranks?

Drivers (%) can:

  • Broadcast informational commands such as !rules, !data, and !avatars.
  • Mute users.
  • Kick users from the chat or in battle.
  • Forcibly rename users.
  • Talk in moderated chat.
  • Make announcements in a contrasting font.
  • Check users' alternate accounts.
  • Check logs of past moderator actions.
  • Check past chat logs.
  • Lock users from talking in battles, chat, and PM.

Moderators (@) can:

  • Do all of the above.
  • Ban users from the site.
  • Check users' IP addresses.
  • Set moderated chat up to +.

Leaders (&) can:

  • Do all of the above.
  • Force ties and wins in battles.
  • Promote users up to @.
  • Set moderated chat to any level.
  • Make unsigned declarations.
  • Ban a range of IP addresses.
  • Broadcast images to the chat.

Administrators (~) can:

  • Do all of the above.
  • Make unsigned HTML declarations.
  • Restart the server.
  • Reset usernames.
  • Access the debug console, allowing them to fix bugs, implement new features, and alter the server from Pokémon Showdown.
  • Promote users up to ~.

4. How do I become a staff member?

You do not join the staff by asking for it; if anything, asking will only set you back, marking you as impatient or power-hungry. If you are determined to be promoted, there are ways to display your worthiness:

  • Be on Pokémon Showdown regularly and contribute regularly to the chat. Being a staff member requires both a high level of activity and quality. Being on the chat regularly gives a good indication of your intelligence and will ensure, with good behaviour, that you earn respect from other users.
  • Do not flame, be argumentative, or be a poor user in general. You obviously won't be given any power if you insult other users, break rules, or otherwise make more work for the staff. As well as the above, sycophancy is not beneficial, and will not aid your cause.
  • Know what you're talking about when answering questions or having discussions. Although you don't need to be a great battler by any means to be a staff member, it does help if you know the metagame, so as to make it easier for you to help others.
  • Show that you are mature and level-headed enough to have the privilege of power, and the responsibilities that come with it. Moderators have the power of banning users for long periods of time, and to earn this power, you must show that you are level-headed enough to only use this and other moderator powers when absolutely required.
  • Most importantly, gain the respect of the users and staff members. You will only be considered for a staff position when you have the respect of all of the Pokémon Showdown staff and users.

How do I become voiced?

Being voiced (+) marks you as a particularly good user, although it is not a staff rank. It grants you a position at the top of the userlist, the ability to talk in moderated chat, and shows that you are a respected and helpful chat member. While obeying the following will not guarantee you voice status, it's a good start and will certainly improve your image in the staff team's eyes.

  • Be helpful to others. Not everyone who uses Pokémon Showdown is an experienced battler, and answering their questions or otherwise helping them will gain respect from other users.
  • Tolerate newcomers to Smogon and competitive Pokemon. The majority of new users have not played competitive Pokemon before and may even be in an internet chat room for the first time. As such, treat them with respect, help them if needed, and make Pokémon Showdown a better place for them.
  • Respect authority. While you might not agree with the decisions of staff members at times, please do not question or otherwise call out their decisions. If you feel that a staff member has made a wrong decision or abused their power, please PM higher ranked staff in a polite manner.
  • Be a generally positive presence in the chat. Answering questions, helping users, and contributing intelligently and respectfully to discussions is a surefire way to get voice.
  • Exceptional contributions to Pokémon Showdown's GitHub repository may also lead to a user being voiced. Competence in room staffing (check here for more information) can also play an integral part in being considered for voice (and potentially, higher positions as well).