Can we get rid of the badges completely?

As more and more users complain about feeling bothered by the badge business which is a bit childish indeed, it would be helpful if every user could disable this stuff. According to the Discourse Users Guides it should be easy to disable badges completely by simply unchecking the option “Enable badges”, see here.

I wanted to try this but I cannot find this option in the user settings. Where to find?

:bangbang: After reply of @Nukeador #4 I changed the title of this topic.
There is no way to individually switch off the badges on user level but the whole badge business could be switched of for the forum on admin level.

Please comment if you like these badges and yo want to collect more over time or if you would like to get rid of this stuff.


Related conversations here:

AFAIK, badges can’t be disabled as a per-user setting.

The issue of “Improve initial account settings” was the flood of notifications, not the handling of the badges.

In your Users Guide FAQ list you entered a link

where interested users can read:

Disabling badges

You can disable badges, and remove them from the users summary page, by unchecking the setting enable badges.

Who is “you” in this case …??.. the user who should be able to do so once finding the hidden checkbox …??.. or a system admin who would disable the badge business generally for all users when choosing this option?

This one, since the guide linked is an admin guide for Discourse.

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But I also want you to understand that it is a great guide for beginners who are not familiar with this forum to learn how to use it.
It will also be of great help in reducing trouble later on.

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IMHO all this badges and other gamification toys have to be switched of, when a new or an old “new” user has checked in to the forum. Who absolutely need these toys, can switch on these things after his registration.

A lot of the user of this forum are only cheesed off because of these “tools.” They only want to diskuss about issues according to OSM. They do not want to deal with some ranks and medals. They also do not want to delete such senseless, automated messages about it from theyr E-Mail account. Meanwhile I could switch off nearly all informations about my rank and my medals. But as written above, it should be switched of at the outset

I understand some user like the gamification stuff Discourse is offering, including the badges and I am sure some kids will feel motivated when receiving a badge certifying them to be an “Enthusiast” or “Crazy in love” but I am very much sure as well a lot of users here feel bothered by this childish stuff and would like to get rid of it (like @aeonsa #6).

We could collect some more opinions about this issue here and probably lateron start a poll about this issue? My vote is clear … :sunglasses:

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My vote is also clear. Thanks for your effort.

I believe you are talking about the “New User Guide” and I fully agree with you that this one is very helpful for every newcomer not familiar with the Discourse forum platform.
The issue of my original post is not the user guide itself but just the distribution of “badges” by the system to every user which I understand does not add much value to the understanding of Discourse.
Let me know if I misunderstood you.


A +1 from me as well to “can we turn off all the badges, all ‘flare’, and if possible all the emojis and all icons”.

I’m very confused by this request. I’ve never received an email about a badge and I’ve never seen the need to “deal with” them. For me I just see the occasional badge in the list of notifications I see when I click on my user icon as shown in this screenshot:

It’s been useful to me to see these as nice reminders that I’m still finding new features in the platform. And they are not intrusive hence I am not sure what all the fuss is about here.

Hopefully someone can post a screenshot showing the problem, otherwise my gut instinct is that it is the request here which is “childish” (as in, don’t be a spoilt child complaining about every small thing) rather than the badges.


I generally agree with you.
However, I often see new members in the various communities I belong to who do not understand the existing methods and flows, causing confusion or friction with existing members. Although neither side has any bad intentions for the other at all…
Therefore, I thought it would be a good way to guide new members to learn the existing flow step by step.
Naturally, new members should learn the “User Guide”, but unfortunately not everyone seems to do so.
It would be nice to be able to turn off the badge system for members above a certain level, but I understand that this is not possible.

I fully support the idea, to switch off the badges as per standard.

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I don’t need the badges.

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I have also been wondering about this. While I certainly have no interest in badges, and wouldn’t miss them if they were switched off, I have not been bothered by them - in fact I was barely aware they existed until reading this topic. Are people bothered by mention of badges in the notification list (as in Rob’s screenshot), or is there some other aspect of the site where they are a nuisance?

I definitely got a few mails in the first few weeks similar to “Congratulations! Your first contribution!”.
But then they disappeared especially after I switched on “Skip new user onboarding tips and badges” in the interface page.

Unfortunately tips and badges can only be switched on/off together which also may have lead to some confusion about the aim of this topic. The first is IMHO useful, the second is considered as too much “gamified” by several people. If this could be altered and “Skip new user badges” could be switched on separately, then there is no need to remove badges completely from the platform. By activating this skip you are no longer bothered by unwanted messages/badges unless you are explicitely searching for them in your profile.

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I fully support the idea, to switch off the badges as per standard.
I do not need these badgets

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Thanks everyone for your feedback and request, this topic will be discussed in the next @forums-governance and a decision will be made on if any modifications are needed.


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I like the idea …the radical solution against the whole gamification thing … :laughing: … next step would be to switch off the whole new forum and return to the old platform …

Serious question: why not use a mailing list instead then? I don’t see a need to reinvent the wheel here.

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