As the title states, how does a new superuser increase their reputation to the point where they can start helping others and up-voting good help responses from other superusers?

  • 7
    Upvoting is not the main goal of the site, providing good questions and answers is.
    – Mokubai Mod
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 10:36

4 Answers 4


How does a new superuser increase their reputation?

First, please take some time to read the articles in our help centre. There you will find:

How do I earn reputation?

The primary way to gain reputation is by posting good questions and useful answers. Votes on these posts cause you to gain (or sometimes lose) reputation. Please note that votes for posts marked “community wiki” do not generate any reputation.

You gain reputation when:

  • question is voted up: +10
  • answer is voted up: +10
  • answer is marked “accepted”: +15 (+2 to acceptor)
  • suggested edit is accepted: +2 (up to +1000 total per user)
  • bounty awarded to your answer: + full bounty amount
  • one of your answers is awarded a bounty automatically: + half of the bounty amount (see more details about how bounties work)
  • site association bonus: +100 on each site (awarded a maximum of one time per site)

Source What is reputation? How do I earn (and lose) it? - Help Center - Super User

Note that the first few posts by a new user go into the First Posts queue:

The First Posts queue contains the first few posts made by new users (who will probably need help learning to use the site).

Users with the Access Review Queues privilege will be able to:

Edit the post, flag it, vote on it, add a comment, or upvote a previously existing comment.

and so provide you with guidance on improving your first few posts.


  • 1
    Thanks. I have been trying to find questions to help others, but I can only seem to find questions that require 15+ to respond... I understand the reasoning, but it is frustrating trying to get the rep to help without first having the rep to help!
    – Michael
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 10:29
  • 2
    The only limit to answering is 10+ which only applies to protected questions. The vast majority of questions are not protected.
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 10:34
  • Thanks, I struggled to find questions which I could actually answer and it seemed that nearly everyone I found something that I thought “OH! I know this one!” I found that I needed more reputation to answer it. Anyway, with further digging I managed to find a question that I could answer so thanks to all who provided help!
    – Michael
    Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 14:04
  • @Michael - There are hundreds of new questions asked daily. Only a small minority of those are ever protected. Hopefully, you are attempting to answer questions without an answer, before you attempt to answer a question with several answers already. After you receive a two upvotes on your own question or an answer you will be able to answer any question that has been asked. I would avoid questions that are not clear, as unclear questions, require the ability to submit commentary to ask for clarification.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 15:34

I'm not actually going to downvote for, as the floating help tag says "This question shows no research effort" but in order to get far enough into this site to have posted your question you must have ignored at least 6 guidance points, pop-ups & floating help tags designed to aid you in this initial discovery; so the answer is really
"don't ignore stuff set up to actually help you".

  • Guidance points? Po ups? I haven’t seen any. I did actually search for ways to gain reputation and spent a good hour digging through questions trying to answer a few but every time I found something that I felt I had enough knowledge to provide some help, I found I needed more rep. to actually post. This is what led me to the question. And the whole reason why I started this journey is because someone else had posted a question, there was a valid answer that actually helped but the votes were not high enough to be near the top, so I thought I would up vote it. I’m still waiting for enough rep
    – Michael
    Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 14:12
  • Any interface element other than a direct link has a floating text advisory. When you start to ask a question, the entire page fills with useful advice - even more for a new user [I can't see the new user help any more, as I'm not one, so I don't know all the exact details]. The only questions new users can't answer without rep are those that have already attracted many low quality & 'me too' posts & have been marked as protected by a high rep user [high rep users can also see all those deleted low-quality posts]. The barrier to entry is a single upvote on anything else you do here.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 14:22
  • Voting privileges come later, but as a new user half the screen elements are designed to point you towards the help sections; to avoid as much as possible people posting inappropriate first questions or answers.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 14:23

One thing that worked well for me was asking a fairly complex and non-straightforward question (Can a website in itself be dangerous?). After many comments and answers, my reputation rocketed from around 25 to the current 510. So, I would recommend asking a question like that, preferably one that sparks debate, and then accept one answer. This will give you more reputation. But keep in mind that there is more than upvoting to the StackExchange network: As pointed out by @Mokubai, it is mostly about answering. Giving helpful answers will help you out slowly but surely.

  • 2
    Only reason your question got votes is because it was tweeted and became a hot network question
    – Ramhound
    Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 12:27

I'm a new superuser as well and was able to raise my reputation a bid by asking a first question, which at least showed some research and own efforts. If others find it reasonable or useful in general or asked the same themselves, this might be as well a reason for a up-vote.

But most importantly you are able to answer questions without any reputation and gain up-votes, hence reputation for your helpful answers. I found it a bid aggravating that new users cannot create comments on foreign questions, e.g. to ask for some clarification or to just give a little research hint or source, but instead they can only answer in a generic way to cover the lack of details, until a reputation of 50 has been gained. The rationale behind this is linked by DavidPostills answer.

  • Unfortunately voting on meta does not affect reputation on the main site.
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 10:36
  • Please do not encourage posting of answers asking for clarification that should have been comments. Those answers will get deleted pretty quickly. Answers should only be posted if the answer the question.
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 10:37
  • Thanks for the hints. Ah yes I'll try to rephrase, I didn't mean to only ask for clarifications in answers. But by this rule, when new users have some knowledge and would like to give an answer, they need to give a more general answer or more explanation on in which case it applies, e.g. "If this is the case, then you could do A. If that is the case, then you could do B", so indirectly ask for use-case and details in their answer.
    – MichaIng
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 10:44
  • Answering like that is a bit of a minefield. They go into the firsts post review queue. The First Posts queue contains the first few posts made by new users (who will probably need help learning to use the site).
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 10:47
  • Probably you can add the first posts queue as a hint to your answer, because I cannot find it ;). Asking for help about using the site is a meta topic, like this one, hence cannot generate reputation, or did I misunderstand your last sentence? However as new user myself I'm probably not able to give qualified answers about site usage anyway, but I have good knowledge about Linux. I found quite many questions where I could have given a qualified answer with a bid more details, but needed to skip it because I was not able to ask for details and lack the time to start from zero ;).
    – MichaIng
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 11:00
  • 1
    Updated my answer.
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 11:10
  • 1
    Ah so I indeed misunderstood since the first post queue is not something to be "used" by new users but instead a way how users with at least 500 reputation can review/help new users with their answers and questions to be productive.
    – MichaIng
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 11:17
  • That is correct.
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Commented Jun 6, 2020 at 11:18

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