University of Bristol Computer Gaming Society

IRC Guide

June 15, 2009 | Posted in , Tagged

The instant guide to IRC

It’s a chat room; click one of the links on the right to join using either Java or Mibbit, wait for it to load, start talking. The remainder of this guide is intended as a reference, not as something you’re expected to know! Use it if you want to know something, but don’t be put off by its length. For those who do want a bit more detail, read on!

IRC Overview

IRC is how COGS communicates nearly all-day, every-day, because we are just that friendly. (Some would try to claim that I mean sad, but it’s just not true)
IRC is just a bunch of chatrooms located on one IRC “network” – we have our chatroom or “channel”, called #cogs, on the SynIRC network. If you want to connect using your own client, the precise details are #cogs,

Basic commands

Upon joining with the web client your nickname will be a fairly unadventurous COGSGuestXX To change your nick, use the /nick command, like so:
/nick COGS_LoverFrom time to time, You might see someone perform an action, rendered in an attractive colour, like this:
* Fish-Face does a happy dance This is accomplished with the /me [action] command, so to reproduce the above (assuming you were called “Fish-Face”) you would use:
/me does a happy dance It’s possible not only to talk to everyone in the channel, but also to talk individually with other folks on the server. To initiate a private chat, /query [nick] – so to chat with our good pal Fish-Face, you’d use:
/query Fish-Face This will open a new window or tab which will be used to talk to whomever you messaged. The same kind of window will open if someone else sends you a private message. You can switch back and forth between different windows by clicking on them if you have more than one conversation going on at once.

There are other commands for doing all kinds of things. If you want to know how to do something, there will usually be someone knowledgeable around who can help you.

Nick Registration

Just because you use a particular nick does not mean you will be able to in the future – once you disconnect, your nick becomes available for anyone else to use. If they’re still using it when you come back, then you’ll be stuck having to use a different one until they leave.

To prevent this you can register your nick so that noone else can use it without supplying a password. To do so type:
/msg nickserv register [password] [email]You will then receive an email giving you instructions on how to confirm your nickname registration. You only need to do this once.
Once you have registered, you can identify yourself with the following:
/msg nickserv identify [password] Different clients have different ways of supplying this information automatically, so you don’t have to worry about typing the command every time you use IRC.


COGS has its very own hand coded bot which should always be online. It has an ever expanding list of commands, which include details about the dedicated server and next LAN (!server, !lan) as well as a variety of lists for upcoming socials, events and gaming. The complete and up to date list is always available via the !help command, and there is a separate guide to COGSBot on the website as well.
For several commands your nick needs to be registered so that the bot knows you are who you say you are. Those that do are marked with an asterisk in the website guide.

Instant Access

You can access the COGS chat either with your own client such as mIRC, or, if you don’t want to or can’t install one, you can use the Web Client.

Other Clients

If you lurk on the IRC channel enough you might like to look into a “proper” IRC client. These have several advantages over the online applet, especially in the amount of stuff they can do automatically, although do require a little more fiddling to initially set up. If you want to look into an alternative client, chat to a regular on the IRC chat, as everyone has their own bias and preferences. The most popular clients are:

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