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Dragon multi-player-games
  • What is a multi-player-game?
    A multi-player-game on Dragon is an unrated game played by more than two unique players, alternately playing Black and White moves in two teams or in one team. The term multi-player-game is often abbreviated on the site with MPG or MP-game.
    There are two game-types that classify as multi-player-games:
    • Team-Go (N:M) = two teams (Black vs White), each team consists of at least one player with N + M > 2
    • Zen-Go (N) = one team with an odd number of players alternating Black and White with N > 2

    The most common form of a MP-game is Rengo or the officially played Pair-Go, both being special forms on Dragon's Team-Go.
    Restrictions for MP-games:
    • The game is always unrated.
    • The players must be unique per game, so no player can join a MP-game more than once.
    • All players must have a valid rating to calculate average ratings of the teams even though all MP-games are unrated.
    • At maximum 16 players can participate in a MP-game.
    • Double games, fair-komi, the opponents page and Tournaments are NOT supported with MP-games.

    Related topics:
  • What is Team-Go?
    Team-Go is a game played by more than two players in two teams, each team with a different color. Special cases with two players in each team are Rengo and Pair-Go.
    On Dragon the notation "Team-Go (N:M)" represents a Team-Go game played by two teams consisting of N players for Black and M players for White.
    The teams can be symmetrical (same number of players) or asymmetrical, e.g. "Team-Go (1:2)" = 1 (Black) vs 2 players (White).
    Team-Go can be a lot of fun, especially if the strength of the players vary a lot combining stronger with weaker players. The weaker players can learn on what to concentrate while the stronger players may find it amusing or fall into despair on counteracting inferior moves ;-)
    If a stronger player participates you may ask him to add a review of the game, which could make such a game into a good learning experience.
    You are able to start games with up to 16 players in total, though you should be aware, that playing with so many players, the likelihood of players going away thereby "ending" the game, or the time needed to find enough players may be tedious (especially if you are stronger you may find not so many players willing to play such non-standard games).
  • What is Zen-Go?
    Zen-Go is a game played by more than two and an odd number of players, that alternately play Black and White stones. That means, that after every full rotation you will play with the other color.
    On Dragon the notation "Zen-Go (5)" represents a Zen-Go game played by 5 players.
    This game type can be a lot of fun and can teach you to look on the whole board situation instead of relying on "hidden" tactics, because in the next rotation colors are switched and you have to make a move to counter your own tactics.
    If a stronger player participates you may ask him to add a review of the game, which could make such a game into a good learning experience.
    For more information on Zen-Go, see:
  • What is Rengo and Pair-Go?
    Rengo and Pair-Go are special forms of Dragon's Team-Go.
    Rengo is the most common form of a multi-player-game. Rengo is played by four players split into two teams, each with two players.
    Pair-Go is like Rengo with the additional restriction, that each team consist of one female and one male player. Additionally, the playing rotation (order of moves) is regulated: Black lady, White lady, Black man, White man.
    In handicap games, the rotation starts with the White lady playing first following the normal rotation: White lady, Black man, White man, Black lady, etc.
    For more information, see:
  • What are the rules for a multi-player-game?
    Normally during a multi-player-game it's not allowed to speak with each other about the moves to play. The only practical allowed consultation on Dragon is a greeting or to ask your partners if you can resign the game. Though officially forbidden, talk during the game can not be prevented anyway as there are other means to communicate, which is especially true for a turn-based server.
    It's considered to be much more fun in a multi-player-game NOT to speak about the moves in advance: if a weaker player always consults his stronger teammate, in the end, the weaker player would not much participate in the game. It can be a great learning experience for a weaker player, while stronger players may be able to use such games as teaching games.
    However, if you want to talk to the other players there are three ways, which are explained in: Can I talk to other players in a multi-player-game?
    Some "official rules" can be found on or
  • How can I talk to other players in a multi-player-game?
    Talking during a multi-player-game is normally not allowed by the official rules. So please ensure, you have studied "What are the rules for a multi-player-game?" before reading on.
    The following list gives a brief explanation of the normally allowed cases to talk with the other players:
    • Talk during setup of the game.
    • Talk before or after starting the game for a greeting.
    • Talk to ask your team partner(s) if it's ok to resign or to end the game.

    There are three ways to talk to the other players for a multi-player-game:
    • You can create a MPG-bulletin addressing ALL players of the game. This can be used for communication to start the game.
      On the game-page follow the (img)-icon (or "Show game-players" bottom-link), then use the "New bulletin" bottom-link to create a new bulletin.
    • Use normal game messages to address all players. Your game message can be seen by all players, though it may not be obvious to them that there is a message (as this is not notified). In a multi-player-game your team-partner need to browse back to your move to be able to see your message.
    • You can send a bulk-message to a list of users to ask your partners if it's acceptable to resign.
      This functionality can be easily used when you click on the "Resign"-link. Dragon then shows a warning to ask your team members about your resignation with a link to create a bulk-message (already filled in with your partners and a reference to the game with the allowed question as subject).
      Sending a bulk-message for non-admin users is only possible for multi-player-games.
  • How can I create a new multi-player-game?
    There are five ways to create a multi-player-game:

    On the new-multi-player-game page you have to specify some game-settings. Please note, that these settings can NOT be changed later:
    • Board-size
    • Placement of handicap stones must be set regardless if the game will be handicapped or not, because the handicap and Komi will be assigned after the players have been found which will happen in a later step.
    • Game Players defines, if you play Team-Go or Zen-Go and with how many players in each team. Here are some examples:
      • use "1:3" for Team-Go with 1 player vs 3 players (order doesn't matter, so "3:1" is an equivalent value)
      • use "2:2" for Rengo
      • use "5" for Zen-Go with 5 players

    • Time settings

    If you are finished, the game will be created by clicking on the "Add game" button, or the game-settings will be saved as template by clicking on the "Save Template" button.
    Adding a game will create the game in setup-mode and will forward you to the "game-players"-page where you can manage the multi-player-game.
    All multi-player-games you "manage" are listed on the status page as long as they are in setup-mode, i.e. not started or running yet.
  • How can I manage a multi-player-game?
    The player that created a multi-player-game is referred to as game-master. Right after creation of a multi-player-game it is in setup-mode, in which the game-master has to find other players, arrange the players into teams and configure the game-settings (handicap & komi). After those steps the game can be started switching into playing-mode. For each multi-player-game there is the so-called game-players page, that provide functions for these tasks, allowing to communicate with the other players and showing information about the participating players.
    MP-games are no ordinary games, that's why they are not always appearing within the game-lists for normal games, and why the game-page and game-info-page are not available yet during setup-mode.
    See also: How can I find my multi-player-games in setup-mode?
    MP-games in setup-mode can be managed on the game-players page providing the functions to:

    The contents of the list of participating players is explained in: What are the items in the list of participating players for multi-player-games?
  • How can I find my multi-player-games in setup-mode?
    The status-page (and the quick-status page) shows a list with MP-games currently in setup-mode, for which you are either the game-master or participate as a player.
    The list on the status-page contains the following columns:
    • Game ID = linked to the game-players page of the MP-game
    • GameType = describes the game-type and number of players of the MP-game: Team-Go (N:M) or Zen-Go (N)
    • Joined = gives number of joined players and total number of players in format "N / M". When all players have joined, the value is emphasized, so the game-master can easier spot when to finish up the teams, color and handicap/komi in order to start the game.
    • Game master = the game-master
    • Ruleset = used ruleset
    • Size = used board-size
    • Last changed = date when game-setup has been last changed

    MP-games that are in playing-mode are not shown in that list. To find those, please read: How can I find multi-player-games?
  • What are the items in the list of participating players for multi-player-games?
    Multi-player-games in setup-mode and playing-mode show almost the same amount of information: the most important game-settings and the average team-ratings at the top and a list of the participating players (or free slots) with the following columns:
    • # = playing order within the team
      For a running game some additional icons are shown:
      • (img) = Black player to move
      • (img) = White player to move
      • (img) = double-arrow indicating the 2nd-next player to move

    • Col = color identifying team the player takes part in and the playing-color
    • Player, Country, Rating, Last access = information about the participating player
    • Flags shown per user can be:
      • Master = game-master
      • Joined = game-master joined MP-game as player
      • Reserved[WR] = reserved slot for player waiting to join MP-game from waiting-room
      • Reserved[INV] = reserved slot for specific player for which invitation to join MP-game has been sent
      • Joined[WR|INV] = slot taken by player that already joined the MP-game via WR (waiting-room) or INV (invitation)

    • Actions (only for game-master in setup-mode):
      (img) = remove joined player (or reserved slot for invitation)
      (img) = invite player to MP-game (or send reminder for invitation)
    • Action for all participants:
      (img) = sending message to player
  • How can I find players for my multi-player-game?
    The game-master already joined the game taking a slot, and is marked as "master".
    There are two methods to find willing players for your multi-player-game:
    1. Invite a specific (single) known player.
    2. Add a game-offer in the waiting-room.

    Both methods can also be used at the same time, though if you want to start a MP-game with your usual buddy, first invite him or her, set up groups, then start with adding a game-offer in the waiting-room, so the users can see against whom they have to play and in which groups.
    Naturally you can also use only invitations, if you know all the players that should play with you or want to join your MP-game.
  • How can I invite a specific player to my multi-player-game?
    Inviting a player to your multi-player-game involves several steps from yourself and the invited user:
    1. Go to the "game-players"-page and select "Invite". This is different from a regular game invitation because of some special needs for MP-games.
    2. Specify the user-id of the user you want to invite.
      • The user is checked and potential errors are listed, e.g. the user must have a valid rating to participate.
      • If the user is valid, a reservation is added and you will be forwarded to the "send-message"-page to inform the user about the invitation.
      • A template-text is shown together with a preview. You may edit the text (or translate it) as you like, but be sure that the main information about the invitation with the original references stay included.
      • Sending it will forward the message to the invited user as normal private message.

    3. When the invited user receives your message and is following the link in the message, thereby entering the "game-players"-page, the user will see a reserved slot for his/her invitation. The user will be automatically asked to join the MP-game. Then the invited user can:
      • a) accept the invitation, or
      • b) reject the invitation

      Additionally the user might want to reply to your invitation-message with additional information or questions before or after acceptance or rejection of the invitation.
      The game-master will be informed about the users decision with a notification message.
    4. When the user does not respond, or as long as the invited user has not accepted or rejected the invitation, the game-master can:
      • c) send a reminder:
        To send a reminder, from the "game-players"-page click on the "Invite"-image in the Actions-column for the specific reserved-slot of the invited user.
        Re-enter/edit some text and send the message.
      • d) delete the reserved invitation:
        To delete the reservation, click on the "Trashcan"-image in the Actions-column for the invited user. You will be asked for confirmation of the deletion.
  • How can I offer my multi-player-game in the waiting-room?
    Select "Add to waiting-room" on the "game-players"-page of your multi-player-game:
    • Specify how many user-slots you wish to offer in the waiting-room.
    • If you want, specify some game-settings for: rating-range, number of rated finished games and a waiting-room comment.
    • After submitting your game-offer, a waiting-room entry is added.
      On the 'Info'-page and in the Settings-column in the waiting-room, a link to the corresponding "game-players"-page is shown to enable the users to find out the current setup and groups of your MP-game.

    When a user matches the game-offer criteria, the user can join the offer and will automatically take one of the free reserved waiting-room-slot in your MP-game.
    The game-master will be informed about a joined user with a notification message.
    To delete or replace the MP-game offer in the waiting-room, an existing MP-game-offer has to be either deleted or be fulfilled (by users joining it) first.
    • Only one waiting-room offer can be created at one time restricted to one set of game-offer-settings.
    • The waiting-room entry can be deleted at any time. All non-taken reserved waiting-room-slots on the "game-players"-page are freed with this.
    • The corresponding entry in the waiting-room can be easily found by the game-master via the "game-players"-page clicking on the bottom-link "Add to waiting-room". If there's an existing entry a link to it will be shown.
  • How can I remove a joined player from my multi-player-game?
    Only the game-master of a multi-player-game can remove players and only if the game has not started yet.
    A user may notify the game-master that he wants to be removed from the multi-player-game, or the game-master no longer wants the participation of an already joined player (for whatever reason). In the latter case politeness dictates, that the game-master informs the to-be-removed player about this decision.
    To remove a joined player open the game-players page for the multi-player-game and in the players list click on the "Trashcan"-icon ((img)) in the Actions-column for the joined player you want to remove. You will be asked for confirmation of the removal.
  • How can I make teams / groups for my multi-player-game?
    In Zen-Go there is only one group ("(img) BW") for all players, so there's no need to build teams and you're done.
    To play a game of Team-Go the game-master has to define the teams playing with each other.
    To do that, on the "game-players"-page the game-master has to follow the bottom-link "Change color" or "Change color & handicap" (appears after all players have joined). Teams can be built using the select-box in the "Set Group"-column setting one of the following group-colors and submitting with "Save selected settings":
    • (img) B = black
    • (img) W = white
    • (img) G1 = group #1
    • (img) G2 = group #2
    • (img) BW = black and white (only used for Zen-Go)

    The group-colors 'G1' and 'G2' can be useful to setup a certain team of starting players for Team-Go without setting a particular color of black or white yet.
    Setting up teams before finding other players can be useful to give other users a chance to see against whom they have to play, or they can ask the game-master to be put into a specific team. Though it's optional to setup teams this early.
    The game-master can change the teams at any time before the game is finally started. However, before the game can start, the colors for all players must be set to either 'B' or 'W'.
    When all required players have joined the MP-game, the average ratings of the teams are shown as well as "Group ratings", which can help in choosing a fair team structure with balanced strength distribution. If all players joined, it's also possible to choose the handicap stones and komi for the MP-game.
  • How can I choose the handicap and komi for my multi-player-game?
    After all players have joined a multi-player-game you as the game-master must follow the link "Choose color & handicap" (for Team-Go) or "Choose handicap" (for Zen-Go) on the "game-players"-page to set the handicap and komi for the game.
    For Zen-Go you only need to enter the wanted handicap and komi and press "Save selected settings".
    In classical games of Team-Go with players of different ratings, an average rating for each team is calculated and the difference in the group ratings define the game-settings for handicap and komi just as like two players would compete normally.
    A good guideline to setup the teams is to try finding a grouping that results in average group ratings, that are as close as possible. You can start with putting the two strongest persons in opposite teams, take the next two strongest, and so on.
    The page can assist with this process. However, this practice is optional, so you can choose whatever teams you like or whatever handicap and komi you prefer to play with.
    For Team-Go you can change the grouping of teams using the group-colors 'B/W/G1/G2'. This does recalculate the average "Group ratings" which are shown above the players-table. Additionally below the table you can find the conventional and proper handicap type applied on the group ratings resulting in a suggestion for handicap and komi. Using the "Preview"-button on the respective line will copy the handicap and komi to the input-fields, so that you can just press "Save selected settings" to finally save the values for handicap and komi.
    Naturally you can also manually change the handicap and komi to be used disregarding the suggestions.
  • How can I set the order of players in my multi-player-game?
    After all players have joined a multi-player-game you as the game-master follow the link "Choose order" on the "game-players"-page to set the order in which the players in each team plays.
    Each team has its own set of playing-order starting at 1. Use the select-boxes in the "Set Order"-column to choose the order in which you want the players to move within each group. If you are satisfied with the order, save it by clicking on "Save selected settings". If you used an invalid choice for the order, the orders are not saved and an error will tell you what you have to correct first.
    You might want to think strategically about the playing-order taking into considerations if stronger players have to play before or after weaker or stronger players. But as multi-player-games are for fun, don't overthink it and choose a fair setup!
  • How can I start my multi-player-game?
    To start the multi-player-game, the game-master should follow the link "Start game" on the "game-players"-page. Some errors might be shown, preventing that the game can be started. In that case, fix them first.
    To be able to start a game all free slots must be taken by joined players and the game-master had to complete the following steps:

    Before starting the game, the game-master may want to send a bulk-message to all game-players by clicking the link "Send message to all game-players". You may edit the message or recipients before sending it.
    This would be the last chance to back off from the game by telling the game-master, which is able to remove an already joined player. After this point, no player can be removed and the MP-game can NOT be deleted any longer (except by an admin).
    To finally start the game, press the "Start game"-button. This step will finish the setup-mode of the MP-game. Every game-player will be notified with a server-message about the game-start.
    You will find a list of your running multi-player-games on various places, but not necessarily in the normal running games lists.
  • How can I delete a multi-player-game?
    Deleting a multi-player-game by the players is not possible at the moment.
    Reasoning: One player shouldn't "destroy" a game, that all agreed upon.
    If the player does not want to play, he should say so before the game is started or refuse from joining in the first place.
    Maybe this policy will be changed later.
    Please ask an admin in the support forum to delete a multi-player-game if the need arises.
  • How can I play a multi-player-game with a shared team-account?
    The used approach on Dragon does not support team-accounts for multi-player-games, though the team-data is preserved (like the average start and end rating and who was on the teams). This means, there is no explicit history of the accomplishments of teams like a team-rating. This would make no sense for Zen-Go anyway, only for Team-Go.
    The current approach has been chosen, because of easier implementation avoiding all "team"-related stuff like ratings, team-handling, vacation-issues, etc.
  • How to play a multi-player-game?
    After all players have joined and the multi-player-game has been started, it is in playing-mode. When it's your turn to play a move, the MP-game will appear in your status-games along with your other games.
    For multi-player-games some more information is available:
    • While playing the game, the game-players page for the MP-game shows the game-settings, the list of participating players, which players has to move next, and it offers functions to contact the other players. The contents of the list of participating players is explained in:
      What are the items in the list of participating players for multi-player-games?
    • Comments on the game-comments page for a MP-game additionally contains the moving player.
    • The downloaded SGF of a MP-game contains extended game-info and also show the players user-id, name and rating on each move-node. This behavior can be deactivated with the URL-argument mpg=1. For difference in the SGF-output format, see also: Quick-suite specs, chapter "4.QST"
    • Deleting a game is not possible in playing-mode except for an admin.
    • Playing, resigning and ending a MP-game is only slightly different than a standard game.
    • The user-info page shows the current number of MP-games in setup-mode & running-mode, but only for yourself.
    • On the game-page the player of the last-move is added in the game-info box below the board.
  • How much time do I have in a multi-player-game?
    The available time in a multi-player-game starts with the time limits, that the game was set up with. While in setup-mode, the time is not running down. The clock starts to run only after the game has been started by the game-master.
    The remaining time is separately counted for the Black and White color. If Black is to move next, the Black time normally is counting down except for the following conditions:
    If the game was started with the weekend clock stopped, then the colors clock is not counted down on weekends. This is independent from the players, because the weekend-clock is based on the GMT timezone.
    If the current Black player has to move next, the time counting down depends on the characteristics of the particular player, that fulfills the Black players role at that moment (colors may change for Zen-Go). Is that particular player on vacation or in his sleeping time, then the Black time is not counting down. Similar applies for the White color.
  • How can I resign a multi-player-game?
    A game can be resigned at any time, even if it's not your move.
    But for resigning a multi-player-game, you normally should have the consent of your team-members, though it's not enforced by DGS.
    By official rules in Rengo, the current player wanting to resign, is inclined to ask the team-partner if it is ok with the phrase "May I resign?", on which the partner may answer with only "Yes" or "No".
    DGS is not enforcing this rule, but clicking "Resign" on the game-page shows a note with a link to send a bulk-message to the other players of the same team to ask if it's ok to resign. But this lies in the discretion of the player to move. The link leads to showing a preview of a bulk-message to the correct team-players with a link to the game.
    For Rengo it's pretty clear (only one answer is to be expected), but for other MP-games with more than two players in the same team, there might appear both answers (Yes & No). The interpretation of that is left to decide for the one who asked.
    If you are not using official rules, you may adjust the text and send that instead. But ensure, you keep the important information in there (reference to the game and the question to resign).
    After your team mates have answered per private message, you may go on with submitting the resignation.
    However, asking for resignation is not enforced, so you can resign regardless of asking your team-mates.
  • How can I find multi-player-games?
    A multi-player-game is no ordinary game, that's why it's not always listed in the game-lists for normal games.
    My MP-games in setup-mode can only be found in the list "Your multi-player-games to manage" on your status pages (status, quick-status, RSS status or WAP status). The number of your MP-games in playing-mode and setup-mode is shown on your user-info page.
    My running MP-games can be found in the bookmarks in the top bar, it is linked as "MP games" on your user-info page, and can be found in the site map.
    My running MP-games in which I have to move next are listed within the normal status game-lists: status, quick-status, RSS status or WAP status
    My finished MP-games can be found in the site map.
    My or user-specific running / finished MP-games, or MP-games I'm observing can be found with the games page. Enable the checkbox near the (img)-icon in the GameType-column and press Search and you will get the game-list restricted to MP-games.
    All running / finished / observed MP-games can be found with the games page. Select "Non-Std" in the GameType-filter and you will get the game-list restricted to MP-games.
    To view the managing page for a single MP-game, follow the linked (img)-icon near the games GameType-info.
  • How can I recognize a multi-player-game?
    On the various page there's a "Game Type" (as field or column) describing what type of game it is:
    • Go = normal games
    • Team-Go (N:M) = Team-Go multi-player-game
    • Zen-Go (N) = Zen-Go multi-player-game

    Additionally the shown team-icon ((img)) links to the corresponding "game-players"-page for the MP-game.
    On the game page this game-type can be found in the game-info box below the board. For MP-games the (img)-icon as well as the bottom-link "Show game-players" lead to the "game-players"-page that only exists for multi-player-games.
    On the game-info page the game-type can be found in the left "Game settings"-section.
    In the waiting room, there's also a "Game Type" column giving the type, though the (img)-icon linked to the "game-players"-page appears in the "Settings"-column.
    In the game lists with status-games, running, finished or observed games there's a "Game Type"-column.
    As multi-player-games are not always listed in the normal game-lists, please also read: How can I find multi-player-games?
  • Why does my multi-player-game not appear in my game lists?
    Multi-player-games are not always shown in the normal (all / user / my) (finished / running / observed / observing) game lists. They only show up if you are at a specific moment visible as black or white player. For multi-player-games, the black and white players rotate through all participating players. So when you are rotated out, the game will vanish from your normal game-lists.
    This design was chosen (even though it is less intuitive for the users), because integrating MP-games into the normal game-lists would basically require re-inventing major parts of the server and game-handling.
    To compensate there are special searches to find and list multi-player-games:
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