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Every registered user can rate any game in the BGG database. Although these ratings are entirely subjective, here are the suggested guidelines:
How to do it?
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. In the topmost section is a series of stars labeled "My Rating", which you can click on to set your rating on a scale from 1 to 10 (once set, you can click on edit to use decimals). You can alternatively go to your In collection drop-down arrow, click on Edit and fill your rating there.
All recorded User Ratings are averaged to produce a single Average Rating shown in a game's "Statistics" section.
Sometime around 2017 it was decided not to display on a game's main page its average User Rating if the game has fewer than 30 ratings (since a small number of user ratings can be so extremely variable).
Common proposals and complaints
Various ratings-related proposals and complaints appear repeatedly in the forums.
Current BGG policy is that users are allowed to rate games however they wish, as long as each person only rates a given game once.
The User Ratings are also used to determine the Rank of a game (expansions and compilations - games which use the contains field are not rankable) 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 Geek 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. It may be that once a game is in the database for a year or so, it also gets a geek rating even with fewer ratings, based on this thread.
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.) Additionally, secret undocumented stuff is done to try to filter out obviously bogus "shill" or "hate" ratings. And Aldie has said that subdomain ranks are calculated using a subset of users who tend to rate games of that subdomain. (There are many threads from people asking about or trying to figure out the details, but they are intentionally undocumented.)
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.
Another rating: weight
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:
How to do it?
Click on the Weight or the 'Complexity' rating. It will display the current *results*. Press *Go to Poll* button, select your option and press *Vote*. It is done and the system remember your vote (you can change it).
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.
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