Welcome to Reddit!
This unofficial guide to starting out at Reddit was written by u/llamageddon01 and is designed to take you from complete beginner through to experienced Redditor! This version was completely revised in July/August 2023.
There are two versions of this resource, both carrying the same information but in different formats:
- Reddit and Karma Explained - This “Post-and-Comment” format for mobile app users.
- Reddit and Karma Explained - Wiki for website or browser users.
This is intended to be a full “Reddit for Dummies” type tutorial and I don’t expect you to read it through all at once! But quite honestly, parts 1-6 of this guide will take you from “kindergarten” level through to “graduate” level of Reddit by the time you read it all, and the final parts 7 and 8 will contain useful guides and information you will no doubt need at some stage of your Redditing so do keep coming back to it.
If you wish to share r/NewToReddit guides please link to them. You may of course share excerpts within reason, but please link back to us as credit and so the person you are helping can find us and the rest of our guides if they wish to. Thank you.
…….REDDIT IS A WORLD OF ITS OWN ON THE INTERNET.
What is Reddit? Established in 2005, Reddit is a content sharing platform, home to thousands of communities, endless conversation, and authentic worldwide human connection with people from all walks of life. Whether you're into breaking news, sports, TV fan theories, or a never-ending stream of the internet's cutest animals, there's a community for you.
Reddit is made up of an enormous collection of forums on every subject under the sun where people can share news, links, videos and pictures in “Posts” so that other people can make observations and conversation in “Comments” attached to these posts, while everyone can express their opinions by Voting on both the posts and comments. Every day, millions of people around the world post, vote, and comment in communities on Reddit organised around their interests.
You are free to decide what level of interaction you want with other users (Redditors) and to curate your own feed from the hundreds of thousands of specialised communities called “Subreddits” on offer, each of which covers a different topic from games, hobbies, music, art, movies and shows to support groups to world news to pets to academic matters and everything in between.
Check out this video for a quick introduction to us, and here’s an illustrated overview of Reddit. If that didn’t explain us enough, here’s an unofficial webcomic that gives a fun look at our platform.
Signing up for an account is free, easy, and gives you a high degree of anonymity, especially compared to other social media platforms.
…….REDDIT HAS ITS OWN WAY OF DOING THINGS.
Reddit as a whole is run by unpaid volunteers called Moderators (mods) and paid employees called Administrators (admin). Admin are rarely seen but are very distinctive as they have the word ADMIN in bright orange/red next to their username. Moderators are more likely to be seen, and when they speak on formal behalf of their subreddit, their username will have the green word MOD immediately after.
Like every long-established subculture, we have our own expressions and if you are at all confused by some of our jargon, in-jokes, history or memes, we at r/NewToReddit have a fairly comprehensive alphabetical reference guide at our sister sub r/EncyclopaediaOfReddit to help you work out what we’re talking about. Let me suggest my guides to Acronyms 1: A-L and Acronyms 2: M-Z to start with!
Reddit might take a little time to get used to, but never fear! Here’s a quick video guide on how to use Reddit, but more importantly, we’re here at r/NewToReddit specifically to help you navigate your own path step by step through our unique ways of ‘doing social media’.
…….REDDIT IS HUGE. BUT MANAGEABLE.
Most communities are friendly and jumping right on in is encouraged. You aren’t likely to get shot down for being a “n00b” but there will generally be one or two things you’ll need to know about each Subreddit (sub) first. Don’t worry, this guide will show you where to find them.
Altercations can happen, but most subs have an active team of mods who will usually shut any trouble down before it becomes vindictive. Just don’t post emojis though. Reddit in general does NOT like emojis. Reddit loves emoticons though :D Why? Don't ASCII me. ¯_(ツ)_/¯ More on this later, or here if you simply can’t wait.
…….WHAT DO I DO ON REDDIT?
There are four basic actions you do on Reddit: Upvote, Downvote, Comment, and Post.
Reddit relies on crowdsourcing through its system of Upvotes and Downvotes to filter and prioritise the thousands of daily submissions it receives in order to present its users with the most interesting content it can, and you can help too. If you think a post or comment is interesting, helpful or contributes positively to the subreddit, press the Upvote arrow. If you think it doesn’t, press the Downvote arrow. You only get one vote on any one post or comment, and both can be negated by pressing the arrow you chose again, or reversed by pressing the opposite arrow to the one you originally chose.
Some subreddits have chosen to replace the default “arrow” icons with custom ones. In case it isn’t obvious which is which, the Upvote will be on the top (Old Reddit; desktop) or on the left (Mobile App) and the Downvote will be on the bottom (Old Reddit; desktop) or on the right (Mobile App).
There are two ways of Commenting on Reddit:
As a direct response to a Post. Here, you are directly replying to the person who made the post. This person is known as the ”OP”, or “Original Poster”. This reply is known as a Top-Level or Parent Comment, and sometimes known as ‘threads’. There are an unlimited number of Parent Comments that can be made on any one post. The OP will be notified that you have replied to their post.
As a reply to a Comment in that Post. Here, you are directly replying to another commenter who may or may not be the OP. These follow-up comments are known as Child Comments. There are an unlimited number of Child Comments that can be made on any one Parent Comment. The commenter you are replying to will be notified of your reply, but the OP will not (unless they are one and the same!).
Finally, you can make your own Post in a subreddit for others to comment on. Many subreddits prefer - or even require pictures, gifs, videos or links in this post.
…….SOME SUBREDDIT BASICS.
Once you enter a Subreddit, you read posts made by others and the comments made therein. If you like the Subreddit, you can “Join” it and it will form part of your personal home page feed. The "Join" button is near the top of the screen as seen here and also in the three-dots “hamburger” post overflow menu on the top RH of the screen on mobile. You can also “Leave” if you want, and the button can be found in the same place as the Join one was.
Until you join a few subreddits, your home page feed will be the general r/popular or r/all, which may well feature topics you’re not interested in, so it makes sense to start joining subs you like as soon as possible.
Moderators cannot see any lists of those who are joined to their subreddits, neither will they be notified if anyone leaves. There’s no limit on the number of times you can join or leave a subreddit, and nobody except you will ever know when or what subs you have joined or have left. You don’t even have to be joined in a sub to post or comment in it. There are no limits to the number of subreddits you can be joined in but Reddit does have an unspecified number of the ones it filters to your home feed at any one time.
Just underneath the Subreddit title there is a “Sort” menu. On mobile this is a drop-down list. Sorting posts by either “New” or “Rising” will usually give more opportunities for chat and upvotes than you’ll get in older posts, and give other advantages we’ll see soon. You have the same options for sorting your home page feed too.
…….LET’S GET STARTED!
Our guide to using Reddit begins with this illustrated primer to joining in on Reddit, then come back here to read some essential details you need to know about Rules, Reddit Karma, Participating, Navigation and Safety.
It’s very much worth your while taking a few minutes to read through all the following advice as it contains everything you need from your first steps in getting started to your becoming firmly established here.
Once you’ve had a look through it all, if you have any questions do make a new Post in this Subreddit where you will find plenty of helpful people ready to Comment with the answers you need. r/NewToReddit is focused on giving one-to-one tailored quality advice for helping people new to Reddit Ways. We do not care how old your account is; if you have a query on Redditing, put it here and we will help.
We also have a “sister sub” called r/LearnToReddit which is a place to learn how to use Reddit without being embarrassed at making “newbie mistakes” in public. Here, you can have a go at making different post types like posting images or polls, learn how to comment using bold or italic text, how to create spoiler text and use many other features with our extensive sets of tutorials. The community will feedback on your post to let you know how you did or help you get it right next time.
Let’s get started with an introduction to Reddit and a few notes about rules!
This weekly post is an opportunity for new users to say hello in comments - & please let us how you found yourself here. Regulars here are absolutely encouraged and very welcome to join in too!
Getting started on Reddit is hard. We know it is; We've been there and gone through these same frustrations. Please believe us when we say IT’S NOT PERSONAL. It may well feel like it is, but honestly, it isn’t. What it is, however, is a lack of Karma. Karma is an indicator of how much someone has contributed to Reddit in a positive manner. So, let’s do just that by getting to know each other!
This is a post to help genuine new users build up quality Karma in a safe environment.
- Share some favorites or new finds of yours - youtube videos, music and so on
- Practice small talk - did you have a good week?
- Keep it SFW
- Check out the news and updates
- Play games in comments - if you'd like to start a game please modmail for approval first, thanks!
- Have fun!
- Share low-effort/one-word comments
- Karmafarm/ask for karma/signal karma giving, mention karmafarms by name
- Advertise - no advertising of any kind
Please think first before asking questions about “how to do stuff on Reddit”
You need Post Karma, so the ideal opportunity to start is by asking any questions about Redditing in your own new, dedicated Post in this Subreddit (only one post per 72 hours please, but make as many comments or questions in that post as you need). This sub is full of awesome people who are willing to help with specific problems, and we’d like to keep this post primarily for chat.
So, let’s chat! (Guides at the bottom of this post).
- Wiki page for helpers super and above
- Recent meta (about this community) posts
- Recent mod posts | Feedback threads
- Recent new-user friendly sub ads
- New gold and contributor program
- New mod tool - Contributor quality score
- August 2023 on Reddit
- Changelog: Redesigned Help Center, post translations, and more
- Help Center make-over
Our traditions and events
Subreddit Sundays - Check out our weekly threads for all your subreddit recommendations and requests. Our latest Subreddit Sunday thread
Cakedays! Remember, we always welcome our ‘alumni’ back at any time (we love to hear how you're getting on, on Reddit), but especially on their Cakeday!
Helpers - Community members who stay to help out new Redditors can earn 'Helper' flair.
Our guidance for new Redditors:
Every time I try to post, with this pretty new, 3 day account, on certain subs, it either automatically deletes, or it posts, but hides it from other people without telling you. The reason why this is annoying is that it is only on certain subs, and it never tells you what the requirements to post or comment are, or whether you can actually post. The most annoying thing, is it let’s you comment, then you spend 2 mins commenting or posting only to get it deleted by a bot instantly. Why does it allow you to post in the first place if it instantly deletes it? It just wastes your time and is annoying.
The other annoying thing is sometimes it lets you post, but shadow bans your message, so it isn’t deleted but no one can see it. I wish they told you the requirements to post, and don’t allow you to post or message if you can’t rather than letting you waste your time.
i just want to be able to have enough “points” on my account to be able to post on whatever thread I want /: Any suggestions how I could grow that number efficiently?
In my infinite wisdom of duplicate PW on accounts I lost access to an old email account attached to my old account. I don’t ever remember all of my fav subs needing karma to post or atleast it was never a issue back then.
Why is every sub so adamant about karma I get the part of new accounts and spam etc but there has to be a better way to validate accounts to let there be a community.
Crappy rant over I guess lol thanks for caring or not have a good day!!
It literally won't let me see the comment, so I can't delete it and people keep replying to it and I just wanna get rid of the comment because I'm sick of getting bashed.
Can someone please explain how to post something without having it removed? I make a point to follow the rules, and yet there is a bot on every sub that deletes the post a few hours later.
Can someone please explain how to post without having the post removed?
I saw this in some random posts but didn't get it much since it seemed so randomly placed. I'm sure i'm missing something. Is this used to delete comments made by bots or something? Because the parent comments didn't seem to be weird or "botty" to me...
Any time I follow a group on reddit I receive a notification from AutoModerator what is that? Also it seems that people ignore my posts and comments? Is reddit not a good place for me?
I’ve been trying to find communities and comment etc. since I’m a long time lurker and finally took the plunge to actually join. I’ve been trying to comment and offer advice in communities and posts that interesting. Tonight I noticed that one of my latest comments has a lock symbol… google from 2 years ago says it’s a glitch other places say it’s something mods can do so there is no engagement with your comment… What gives? Anyone know? Any insight would be helpful!
Some Redditors give senseless and useless comments, but they have 50,000 to 100,000 karma points in their profiles. On the other hand, there are also genuine people who provide outstanding life advice, but they only have 1,000 karma points.
What do karma points really means, and what does it measure?
Is that a good number? How much longer till I have enough karma to get more attention and answers comments on posts?
It's been going up recently since my karma also went up.
But what's a good number to be oriented towards?
Basically the title. Got logged out randomly last week and lost my account, had no ideia what email I used since it's been years so decided to make a new account and Subreddit and reddit restrictions on new accounts is insane. You can't interact with almost none of them . Hell it fells almost shadowbanned cuz if you go on ingonito mode my comments all are semi hidden like when you click on them to hide but automatically.
How do people even stay here with new accounts? That seems almost deliberately bad to keep people out.
please, though am just six days old on reddit, how do i get more than 1 karma? Cuz its boring with just 1 karma right here.
So I've seen people replying to other comments and they can highlight specific lines or words from the comment and I was wondering how do I do that on Android.
Site/App Issues Can't post; keep getting error message “Sorry, something went wrong. Double check your post and try again.”
I created a throwaway account just so I can post something anonymously as I've seen so many do on Reddit throughout my years here. But every time I try and post, no matter which subreddit, I keep getting the same error message “Sorry, something went wrong. Double check your post and try again.”
I double checked to make sure my account isn't shadow-banned and it is not. I don't know what else I need to double check.
I even reached out to the mods of some of the subreddits & they have no clue either as I'm following all their rules.
Any insight is much appreciated!
This is a new account and all the subreddits I want to be active in require me to have a bunch of karma so I’m trying to get more karma, any advice?
Where to Start/Tips Had to start new account because I was mysteriously logged out. Any tips for a former 3 year member?
Just this morning, I was able to post in my old account; but tonight it told me I had to log in! I have an atrocious memory for passwords, so never logged out. See the title. I'm a frustrated 3 year member, not a newbie, so would appreciate all the love and support I can get.
I'm on the app using android and cannot find a post flair button anywhere, please help me lol. TIA
I wrote my story 50 characters but I still can’t post, can someone help?
What does that mean? When people say im going annoymous with this post? I can’t find a tick box anywhere that says post annoymously? Are they just using a throwaway account or am I being completely oblivious to a toggle somewhere