A username is the name used to identify an account on a website. On GameFAQs, accounts can have three different usernames associated with them: one for the message boards, one for contributions, and one for all other site functions, including logging in (the "universal" name).
Currently, on GameFAQs, usernames must be 15 characters or less in length, and only contain alphanumeric characters, underscores, and dashes. However, for older accounts, the board names can be different, as the old names were "grandfathered" in during the merger. These names can have spaces (and, for very old accounts, certain punctuation marks) and could be between 3 and 20 characters long.
In March 2012, GameFAQs announced an effort to move all accounts to a single username used across the entire site, with the introduction of username reconciliation. Using this feature, users with accounts that have different names for the boards and other site functions are, depending on the circumstances surrounding the two names, able to use either name across the site, or even select a brand new name that meets naming standards.
In the past, GameFAQs generally has not allowed name changes. The only exceptions to this rule are cases where a name has become offensive but was not considered offensive when the account was made, or if the account was causing glitches with the site code.
On March 30, 2012, the administration announced a new policy for username changes. Under the new policy, accounts that are at least two years old are eligible to have their usernames adjusted if they have personal information in the username (such as the user's real-life name) or to correct a spelling/grammatical error. In addition, using the new form, accounts placed into cold storage can request their old usernames back, if they were changed in the process. Furthermore, users whose names contain offensive content now but not at the time of creation can request an entirely new name, as can accounts ten years old or older who provide some other compelling reason for the change.