On GameFAQs, Karma is a number representing how long a user has been an active forum user. Every account starts at 0 Karma and gains one point for every day on which the boards were at least visited.
Karma is mostly a status symbol, but various privileges and special boards are unlocked by gaining Karma. At this point in time, RaptorLC holds the spot for the highest karma total on GameFAQs. The privilege with the highest Karma requirement as of now is unlocking the ? Block level board, The Mushroom Kingdom, at 5000 Karma.
Prior to the Karma system being implemented, user accounts did not have a numerical representation of their time on GameFAQs. User levels were determined solely by the chronological age of the account. GameFAQs Chat used a slightly different system, whereby users gained levels based on the number of hours spent using the chat system.
When Karma was introduced, all user accounts were retroactively given Karma based on their account creation date. At this point, users had to post at least once a day in order to receive their daily Karma point. Furthermore, users could gain or lose Karma for marking messages based on whether or not they were deleted. Because of the daily post requirement, the Karma Topic was invented by users to get their daily Karma post.
The bonus Karma for marking messages was quickly scrapped, and the daily post was no longer necessary after a while. Post requirements were reduced to logging in each day and having at least one active message. Karma Topics were still popular due to the active message requirement.
Currently, users are only required to be logged into the boards at least once each day to receive their Karma point.
Traditionally, CJayC awarded bonus Karma to registered users on the anniversary of the GameFAQs message boards (November 7th). However, there have been inconsistent bonuses in the past due to various reasons. For further information, refer to Karma Boost.
There have also been some reports of users receiving, among other rewards, bonus Karma for reporting exploits, and sometimes even their own private board. Beyond this, there are no other methods to obtain Karma, and petitions on Site Suggestions for additional methods are automatically nullified. Users do not gain bonus Karma for making contributions.
The current way of earning extra Karma is through winning competitions held at the GameFAQs Competitions message board.
During May 2013, SBAllen offered karma bonuses for purchasing GameFAQs t-shirts, at the rate of 100 karma per shirt with a limit of 10 shirts. RaptorLC became the first user to reach 7000 karma by using the bonus.
Under normal circumstances, it is not possible to transfer Karma from one account to another. However, there have been several cases of users transferring Karma between accounts for various reasons:
- CaptainCAWisma - Alt of DanFookes. The latter part of his name became a banned word which users could not post, so he was permitted to transfer his Karma.
- CWall - For the user "Twink", whose name was later regarded as an offensive term.
- Kiori Hayabusa - Original username was BBBBUUUUUURRRRRRPPPP. This was found to stretch the page whenever he posted, so he was allowed to change.
Due to errors in the user database, some users may experience fluctuating Karma levels, gaining or losing a few Karma points. This usually corrects itself on the next update, although it does bring many inquiries to Message Board Help.
- Karma Calculator - A website used to determine how much karma you could have had, when you will reach another user level, etc.