How to Gain Experience Points and Ranks in Gamestar Mechanic

The abbreviation XP is short for experience points. In Gamestar Mechanic, you gain XP by performing certain actions on the site, such as publishing your games or leaving helpful reviews on games published by other users. When you gain a certain amount of XP, you progress to the next rank in Gamestar Mechanic.

In your workshop, you can see your current rank, which shows how much you’ve leveled up. (You can see your rank next to your username.) When you first join Gamestar Mechanic, you have the rank of Tourist Mechanic.

Your rank is public — whenever someone sees your workshop, your games, or your reviews, they can also see your rank.

Gamestar Mechanic has a rather unique system for leveling up: Rather than follow a single linear XP progression, you must obtain four different kinds of XP to level up, each of which reflects a different skill you need to learn as a game designer.

Obtaining new ranks proves that you have practice designing games to polish your skills, playing games to learn how other designers create fun elements, reviewing games to closely analyze the design of games, and participating in the community of like-minded designers. In addition, many users pay attention to the ranks of their reviewers, and a high rank may intrigue other users to check out your games.

The four types of XP are described in this list:

  • Designer XP (dXP): You gain this type of experience point by publishing popular games. You are awarded a bit of dXP for every person who plays one of your games. You can also build or repair games in the Quest to earn dXP.

  • Player XP (pXP): Playing games gives you pXP. Whether you’re in the Quest or Game Alley, every game gives you some pXP the first time you play it.

  • Review XP (rXP): You earn rXP by reviewing other users’ games. Providing a simple rating with no text gives you a bit of rXP, but you can get lots of it by leaving detailed reviews.

    If you enter a bunch of useless text or leave comments such as, “I’m just typing this to get rXP,” users can flag your review.

  • Citizen XP (cXP): To obtain cXP, you must contribute to the Gamestar community and help other designers enjoy the site. An easy way to do this is by playing games that few people have ever played, which helps users who might be struggling for recognition.

    You can find these types of games in the New Games or Fresh Games sections of Game Alley. By playing and reviewing unnoticed games, you can earn lots of rXP and cXP and help new designers along the way.

    You can also obtain lots of cXP by successfully finding bugs in the website or inappropriate games, reviews, and comments. You can report a bug using the Help button in the upper-right corner, and flag inappropriate content with the triangular ! button next to the game or comment in question. However, you are rewarded only if you report a valid issue.

As you can see, performing different actions earns you different kinds of XP, and you rank up (change your Mechanic Rank) by bringing all four to 100 percent. To gauge how much of each XP you currently have, go to your workshop and then click the orange View Progress button next to your rank. The Advancement & Achievements page opens.

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This page contains the following information about your rank and XP:

  • Current Mechanic Rank: Your current rank is displayed in bold black text at the top of the page.

  • Next Mechanic Rank: Displayed in gray, it’s the rank immediately after your current one. You can achieve this rank after you earn 100% of each type of XP.

  • Progress to Next Mechanic Rank: Four colored bars let you see how close you are to the next Mechanic Rank for each type of experience point. As you obtain certain types of XP, the corresponding progress bar fills up from left to right, and the percentage displayed on the bar increases.

    If you achieve goals in a bar that’s already at 100 percent, the experience points you earn from that point on will be applied to future ranks.

When all four bars are filled to 100%, you rank up. You can obtain 12 different ranks, from Tourist Mechanic to Gamestar Mechanic, but beyond the first two ranks, you don’t gain a full rank by leveling up once. In fact, each rank is broken into several levels marked by Roman numerals, so you might be a Novice Mechanic III or a Veteran Mechanic VII.

This means that in order to achieve a new title, you have to rank up the previous title multiple times. The number of ranks required to surpass a title may vary. For example, Tourist Mechanic and Newbie Mechanic have only one level, Intern Mechanic has 5, and the Expert Mechanic and Master Mechanic ranks have as many as 20 levels.

These ranks tell other players how experienced you are on the site, and serve as reminders of personal achievement for you. If you’re not sure what to do on the site at the moment, try simply filling up your XP bars and gaining the highest rank you can.

Rank Number of Levels
Tourist Mechanic 1
Newbie Mechanic 1
Intern Mechanic 5
Novice Mechanic 5
Associate Mechanic 5
Senior Mechanic 10
Lead Mechanic 10
Adept Mechanic 10
Veteran Mechanic 10
Expert Mechanic 20
Master Mechanic 20
Gamestar Mechanic 0
Administrator 0 (reserved for site administrators)