Every registered user can rate any game in the BGG database. To do this, find the game and go to that game's Main Page; this is most easily done using the Search option near the top of every page. Near the bottom of the page is a "User Information" section (unless you have changed your game entry layout). It is here that you can rate a game. Click "Record information" in that "User Information" section for the game, and then click the field to the right of "Rating:" - initially it says "N/A".
Every game can be given a rating from 1 to 10. These ratings are entirely subjective but the suggested guidelines are:
- 10 - Outstanding. Always want to play, expect this will never change.
- 9 - Excellent. Always want to play.
- 8 - Very good. Like to play, will probably suggest it, will never turn it down.
- 7 - Good. Usually willing to play.
- 6 - Fair. Some fun or challenge at least, will play occasionally if in the right mood.
- 5 - Average. No significant appeal, take it or leave it.
- 4 - Below average. Slightly boring, could be talked into it on occasion.
- 3 - Poor. Likely won't play this again although could be convinced.
- 2 - Very poor. Annoying, I plan to never play this again.
- 1 - Defies description of a game. You won't catch me dead playing this. Clearly broken.
In the box next to Rating: you can click to type in any number between 1 and 10, including decimals, as your personal User Rating of a game.
A further rating you can give to a game is the Game Play Weight. This is another personal opinion expressing how difficult the game is to play - either because it has long and/or complex rules, requires deep thought to play well or some other factor. "Weight" is not actually defined at BGG so different people have different ideas of what it means. The choices for Game Play Weight Are:
- Medium Light
- Medium Heavy
The Game Play Weight is selected from a Drop Down List.
Once you have made your choices they are saved by clicking on the "Submit" button further down the page.
All recorded Game Play Weights are then averaged to produce a single Game Play Weight that is shown in the "Statistics" section for each game as Avg. Game Weight.
All recorded User Ratings are averaged to produce a single Average Rating shown in a game's "Statistics" section.
If a user has and rates several copies of a game in their collection, then only their highest rating for the game is used.
The User Ratings are also used to determine the Rank of a game in the BGG database. Only games that have at least 30 User Ratings are eligible for Ranking and to the User Ratings are added a number of "dummy" ratings, which are then used to produce a new average Rating. (E.g. see this thread.) This is the rating that shows up in BGG searches and the number can, and does, vary from the Average Rating. In effect the "dummy" ratings move a game's average towards the norm of all games on the database - making games with few votes but very high ratings lower ranked than games with many more ratings but a lower Average Rating. (If you want to know more about this process, search on "Bayesian" within BGG.)
Note that the number of "dummy" ratings apparently depends on the total number of ratings. This explains the apparent "paradox" (often asked in the forums, e.g. here) of why game X is higher ranked than game Y overall, but game Y is higher ranked than game X in subdomain Z.