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The Ultimate Guide to GTAF

Shayan Shaffey

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Shayan Shaffey


Welcome To GTAForums.com

(I will keep updating this, so please don't reply yet, thank you for your co-operation)

Welcome to GTAforums.com! So, you might wonder how these forums started, so I will give you a small history lesson before we start:


Virtually every online community can trace their roots to a modest beginning as a small fan-run website. The GTA Network is no different. We began as a small GTA III website, GrandTheftAuto3.net. As time passed, the popularity of the website began to grow, eventually becoming GTA3.com. GTA3.com then expanded into GTA3Mods, GTA3Files and GTA3Forums. Activity peaked as the launch of GTA III for the PC approached, at which time GTA3.com was receiving a record 20 million visitors per month. View more here!

As you might already know GTANetwork is the largest community for a single game, right now you are only viewing a part of it GTAForums, with an impressive count of over 350,000 (Three-hundred-fifty-thousand) users and 6,000,000 (six-million).

Websites not directly tied to any particular Grand Theft Auto title have also been developed, catering mostly to the thriving PC modification ("modding") community. These websites are mostly community-based in nature, consisting of both a modding reference wiki (GTAModding.com) and a database for Grand Theft Auto modifications (GTAGarage.com).


For a complete listing of GTA Network websites, Click here.



IRC (chat)

You might have noticed the Chat, it uses a service called IRC (Internet Relay Chat) which was developed by Jaiko Oikarinen in 1988. The two big competitors in the IRC scene are Mibbit IRC and Freenode IRC. GTANet uses Mibbit. In case you are not familiar with IRC commands I have made a table with all commands used by Mibbit (others use the same, but they may have more commands):


Command Explanation
/away (message) Leaves a message explaining to others why you are gone.
/clear Clears the text from the current window that you are in.
/dcc chat (user name) Opens a chat window with the username that you specify.
/help Brings up a list of all the commands or the help window.
/me (action text) Allows you to do different actions showing the text in a different color.
/nick (user name) Changes your name / user name.
/part (channel) Leaves the specified channel.
/ping (user name) Pings the specified user and telling you how far they are in seconds, so if it returns 10 seconds, it would take 10 seconds for that user to see your message.
/query (user name) (message) Opens a new chat window to this user and then sends a private message.
/whowas (user name) Shows information about a specified user that was in earlier.
/whois (user name) Shows information about the specified user
Chat Etiquette

Below is a short list of chat etiquette that should be followed when chatting with others online:

1. Behave the same way you would when talking to people in real-life.

2. Avoid chat slang.

3. Try your best to spell all words correctly and use proper punctuation. But remember no one is perfect.

4. Do not WRITE IN ALL CAPS as it makes you appear as you're yelling.

5. Do not send other chat users private messages without asking them first.

6. Abide by the rules created by those running the chat.


Edited by shayanshaffey
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Shayan Shaffey



What is a "Forum"

An Internet forum, or message board, is an online discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages.[1] They differ from chat rooms in that messages are at least temporarily archived. Also, depending on the access level of a user or the forum set-up, a posted message might need to be approved by a moderator before it becomes visible.

Forums have a specific set of jargon associated with them; e.g. a single conversation is called a "thread."

A forum is hierarchical or tree-like in structure: a forum can contain a number of subforums, each of which may have several topics. Within a forum's topic, each new discussion started is called a thread, and can be replied to by as many people as wish to.

Depending on the forum's settings, users can be anonymous or have to register with the forum and then subsequently log in in order to post messages. On most forums, users do not have to log in to read existing messages.


Common Features of an Internet Forum

Tripcodes and capcodes

In a tripcode system, a secret password is added to the user's name following a separator character (often a number sign). This password, or tripcode, is hashed into a special key, or trip, distinguishable from the name by HTML styles. Tripcodes cannot be faked but on some types of forum software they are insecure and can be guessed. On other types, they can be brute forced with software designed to search for tripcodes such as Tripcode Explorer.

Moderators and administrators will frequently assign themselves capcodes, or tripcodes where the guessable trip is replaced with a special notice (such as "# Administrator"), or cap.

Tripcodes and capcodes

A private message, or PM for short, is a message sent in private from a member to one or more other members. The ability to send so-called carbon copies is sometimes available. When sending a carbon copy (cc), the users to whom the message is sent directly will not be aware of the recipients of the carbon copy or even if one was sent in the first place.

Private messages are generally used for personal conversations. They can also be used with tripcodes—a message is addressed to a public trip and can be picked up by typing in the tripcode.


An attachment can be almost any file. When someone attaches a file to a post they are uploading the file to the forums' server. Forums usually have very strict limit on what can be attached and what cannot (among which the size of the files in question). Attachments can be part of a thread, social group, etc.

HTML and BB Code

HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is sometimes allowed but usually its use is discouraged or when allowed, it is extensively filtered. Modern bulletin board systems often will have it disabled altogether[citation needed] or allow only Administrators use it, as allowing it on any Normal User level is considered a security risk due to a high rate of XSS vulnerabilities. When HTML is disabled Bulletin Board Code (BBCode) is the most common preferred alternative. BBCode usually consists of a tag, similar to HTML only instead of < and > the tagname is enclosed within square brackets (meaning: [ and ]).

Here I will offer a few examples of BB Code used in this forum:


You can achieve bold text like this:


[b]this text is bold[/b]


results in: this text is bold



[i]This text is written with italics[/i]


results in: This text is written with italics



[u]This text is underlined[/u]


results in This text is underlined


You can make links like this:


The best forums in the world!


results in: The best forums in the world!





results in: user posted image


Quoting someone

can be made like this:


quoting someone



Many forum packages offer a way to create Custom BBCodes, or BBcodes that are not built into the package, where the Administrator of the Board can create complex BBCodes to allow the use of javascript or iframe functions in posts, for example embedding a YouTube or Google Video complete with viewer directly into a post.

Edited by shayanshaffey
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Shayan Shaffey

User groups

Internally, Western-style forums organize visitors and logged in members into user groups. Privileges and rights are given based on these groups. A user of the forum can automatically be promoted to a more privileged user group based on criteria set by the administrator.

A person viewing a closed thread as a member will see a box saying he does not have the right to submit messages there, but a moderator will likely see the same box granting him access to more than just posting messages.

An unregistered user of the site is commonly known as a guest or visitor. Guests are typically granted access to all functions that do not require database alterations or breach privacy. A guest can usually view the contents of the forum or use such features as read marking, but occasionally an administrator will disallow visitors to read their forum as an incentive to become a registered member. A person who is a very frequent visitor of the forum, a section or even a thread is referred to as a lurker and the habit is referred to as lurking. Registered members often will refer to themselves as lurking in a particular location, which is to say they have no intention of participating in that section but enjoy reading the contributions to it.


The moderators (short singular form: "mod") are users (or employees) of the forum who are granted access to the posts and threads of all members for the purpose of moderating discussion (similar to arbitration) and also keeping the forum clean (neutralizing spam and spambots etc.). Because they have access to all posts and threads in their area of responsibility, it is common for a friend of the site owner to be promoted to moderator for such a task. Moderators also answer users' concerns about the forum, general questions, as well as respond to specific complaints. They also can do anything to lend a helping hand to a user in need. Moderators themselves may have ranks: some may be given mod privileges over only a particular topic or section (called "local"), while others (called "global") may be allowed access anywhere. Common privileges of moderators include: deleting, merging, moving, and splitting of posts and threads, locking, renaming, pinning of threads, banning, suspending, unsuspending, unbanning, warning the members, or adding, editing, removing the polls of threads. "Junior Modding", "Backseat Modding", or "Forum copping" can refer negatively to the behavior of ordinary users who take a moderator-like tone in criticizing other members.

Essentially, it is the duty of the moderator to manage the day-to-day affairs of a forum or board as it applies to the stream of user contributions and interactions. The relative effectiveness of this user management directly impacts the quality of a forum in general, its appeal, and its usefulness as a community of interrelated users.


The administrators (short form: "admin") manage the technical details required for running the site. As such, they may promote (and demote) members to moderators, manage the rules, create sections and sub-sections, as well as perform any database operations (database backup etc.). Administrators often also act as moderators. Administrators may also make forum-wide announcements, or change the appearance (known as the skin) of a forum.


A post is a user-submitted message enclosed into a block containing the user's details and the date and time it was submitted. Members are usually allowed to edit or delete their own posts. Posts are contained in threads, where they appear as boxes one after another. The first post starts the thread; this may be called the TS (thread starter) or OP (original post). Posts that follow in the thread are meant to continue discussion about that post, or respond to other replies; it is not uncommon for discussions to be derailed.

On Western forums, the classic way to show a member's own details (such as name and avatar) has been on the left side of the post, in a narrow column of fixed width, with the post controls located on the right, at the bottom of the main body, above the signature block. In more recent forum software implementations the Asian style of displaying the members' details above the post has been copied.

Posts have an internal limit usually measured in characters. Often one is required to have a message of minimum length of 10 characters. There is always an upper limit but it is rarely reached – most boards have it at either 10,000, 20,000, 30,000 or 50,000 characters.

Most forums keep track of a user's postcount. The postcount is a measurement of how many posts a certain user has made. Users with higher postcounts are often considered more reputable than users with lower postcounts. Some forums have disabled postcounts in the hopes that doing so will reduce the emphasis on quantity over quality of information.


A thread (sometimes called a topic) is a collection of posts, usually displayed from oldest to latest, although this is typically configurable: options for newest to oldest and for a threaded view (a tree-like view applying logical reply structure before chronological order) can be available. A thread is defined by a title, an additional description that may summarize the intended discussion, and an opening or original post (common abbreviation OP, which can also mean original poster) which opens whatever dialogue or makes whatever announcement the poster wished. A thread can contain any number of posts, including multiple posts from the same members, even if they are one after the other.

A thread is contained in a forum, and may have an associated date which is taken as the date of the last post (options to order threads by other criteria are generally available). When a member posts in a thread it will jump to the top since it is the latest updated thread. Similarly, other threads will jump in front of it when they receive posts. When a member posts in a thread for no reason but to have it go to the top, it is referred to as a bump or bumping. Threads which are important but rarely receive posts are stickyed (or, in some software, "pinned"). A sticky thread will always appear in front of normal threads, often in its own section. A "threaded discussion group" is simply any group of individuals who use a forum for threaded, or asynchronous, discussion purposes. The group may or may not be the only users of the forum.

A thread's popularity is measured on forums in reply (total posts minus one – the opening post) counts. Some forums also track page views. Threads meeting a set number of posts or a set number of views may receive a designation such as "hot thread" and be displayed with a different icon compared to others threads. This icon may stand out more to emphasize the thread.


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Wouldn't be easier to just put a link to the wikipedia page about internet forums?, that way you don't have to copy/paste all the info. wink.gif

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Forum trolls are users that repeatedly and deliberately breach the netiquette of an established online community, posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages to bait or excite users into responding or to test the forum rules and policies, and with that the patience of the forum staff. Their provocative behavior may potentially start flame wars (see below) or other disturbances. Responding to a troll's provocations is commonly known as 'feeding the troll' and is generally discouraged, as it can encourage their disruptive behavior.

Sock Puppet

The term sock puppet refers to someone who is simultaneously registered under different pseudonyms on a particular message board or forum. The analogy of a sock puppet is of a puppeteer holding up both hands and supplying dialogue to both puppets simultaneously. A sock puppet will create multiple accounts over a period of time, using each user to debate or agree with each other on a forum. Sock puppets are usually found when an IP check is done on the accounts in forums.


Forum spamming is a breach of netiquette where users repeat the same word or phrase over and over, but differs from multiple posting in that spamming is usually a willful act which sometimes has malicious intent. This is a common trolling technique. It can also be traditional spam, unpaid advertisements that are in breach of the forum's rules. Spammers utilize a number of illicit techniques to post their spam, including the use of botnets.

Some forums consider concise, comment-oriented posts spam, for example Thank you, Cool or I love it.

Double Posting

One common faux pas on Internet forums is to post the same message twice. Users sometimes post versions of a message that are only slightly different, especially in forums where they are not allowed to edit their earlier posts. Multiple posting instead of editing prior posts can artificially inflate a user's post count. Multiple posting can be unintentional; a user's browser might display an error message even though the post has been transmitted or a user of a slow forum might become impatient and repeatedly hit the submit button. Multiple posting can also be used as a method of trolling or spreading forum spam. A user may also send the same post to several forums, which is termed crossposting. The term derives from Usenet, where crossposting was an accepted practice but causes problems in web forums, which lack the ability to link such posts so replies in one forum are not visible to people reading the post in other forums.

Word Censor

A word censoring system is commonly included in the forum software package. The system will pick up words in the body of the post or some other user editable forum element (like user titles) and if they partially match a certain keyword (commonly no case sensitivity) they will be censored. The most common censoring is letter replacement with an asterisk character; for example: in the user title it is deemed inappropriate for users to use words such as "admin", "moderator", "leader" and so on, if the censoring system is implemented a title such as "forum leader" may be filtered to "forum ******". Rude or vulgar words are common targets for the censoring system. But such auto-censors can make mistakes, for example censoring "wristwatch" to "wris****ch" and "Sc*nthorpe" to "S****horpe."

Flame Wars

When a thread—or in some cases an entire forum—becomes unstable the result is usually uncontrolled spam in the form of one-line complaints, image macros or abuse of the report system. When the discussion becomes heated and sides do nothing more than complain and not accept each other's differences in point of view, the discussion degenerates into what is called a flame war. To flame someone means to go off-topic and attack the person rather than their opinion. Likely candidates for flame wars are usually religion and socio-political topics, or topics that discuss pre-existing rivalries outside the forum (e.g.: rivalry between games, console systems, car manufacturers, nationalities, etc.)

When a topic that has degenerated into a flame war is considered akin to that of the forum (be it a section or the entire board), spam and flames have a chance of spreading outside the topic and causing trouble, usually in the form of vandalism. Some forums (commonly game forums) have suffered from forum-wide flame wars almost immediately after their conception, because of a pre-existing flame war element in the online community. Many forums have created devoted areas strictly for discussion of potential flame war topics that are moderated like normal.

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