Shh! Keep it private! The Hidden Side of Pokémon Showdown

By Temporaryanonymous. Art by Faxxifer.
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Pokémon Showdown! offers a wide variety of rooms for players to enjoy, be they battle rooms where they fight opponents on the ladder or social rooms where they can chat with their friends about the newest episode of a tv show or their new strategy they came up with. However, there is also a hidden side of the server as well: private rooms.

What are Private Rooms?

Simply put, a private room is a chatroom that is not listed on the list of rooms to join on Pokémon Showdown!'s list of rooms. There are a wide variety of reasons for why a private room exists, but one reason for a private room is that could be a test room. Before a room becomes public and is added to the server, it may be private for a while to see whether or not the room is popular or run well enough. MOBA and Writing are examples of rooms that started off as private rooms, then became public once they had been well established for some time. Other private chatrooms can be places where users get together to discuss a topic that doesn't quite have its own room and want to talk together someplace with their own rules, environment, and location.

The Wild, Wild West

So what really makes a private room different from a public one? The primary reason is that they aren't necessarily bound by the standard rules of most public rooms. A private room can mute, ban, promote, or demote users in it on a whim. However, rooms that are trying to become public will often be much more professional and like a public room. Some private rooms do not like visitors, so they might ban or keep out outsiders. Don't be offended if you get muted or banned if you stumble upon a private room. That room may simply not be looking for outsiders or unfamiliar users to join in on their discussions and activities.

The Law Still Holds

Private rooms, however, still have some rules that they follow. The first one is that they obviously cannot break any laws, even if they don't necessarily follow most of the rules on the server. The second thing about private rooms is that they are often private for a reason. Many private rooms don't want a sudden influx of users flooding in, as what usually happens when a "leak" is posted elsewhere on the server. Leaking (spreading, inviting, or attracting unwanted attention to) a private room is in fact breaking the rules and is punishable with a lock. Still interested? If private rooms sound like an interesting concept to you, consider making a room suggestion for one, provided that you have a dedicated userbase. Who knows, maybe one day your private room will be large and popular enough to go public and become official!

Private Rooms and You

So now that you know what a private room is, it's important to know how to deal with them. Many players will often try and find private rooms and join them, as if they were an Easter egg or other little-known secret on Pokémon Showdown. Private rooms are legitimate rooms on the server and they deserve to be treated with respect. At the end of the day, whether a room is a battle, official, public, or private, a room is still a room. Rooms are places where players can hang out, talk and socialize, and nobody deserves to have their privacy invaded.

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