Internet Relay Chat, or IRC for short, is a protocol used for real-time chat. The main focus lies on group communications, but private chat is also possible. In order to use IRC, you need to use an IRC client (software) to connect to a specific IRC server; for example the GBAtemp IRC server, with address
irc.gbatemp.net. You will always need to connect to a specific port, like 4500 for the GBAtemp server. The port is added behind the server address, separated by a colon or slash. For example, the full address of the GBAtemp IRC server is
- 1 IRC Rules and Operators
- 2 Getting Started
- 3 Commands
- 4 Channel Management
- 5 User modes
- 6 Private messages
- 7 vHosts
- 8 See Also
- 9 External links
IRC Rules and Operators
The rules for IRC can be found in the MOTD (Message of the day), which you should see when connecting to the IRC server (or when using the
/motd command). The GBAtemp IRC rules can also be found on this page).
Rules on an IRC server are enforced by the IRC Operators (IRCops). These are special operators on the irc server itself, and should not be confused by channel operators (who manage a channel). An IRCop can force disconnect people from the server (kill) as well as ban them (k-line/g-line). Some IRCops may also have the rights to manage modes on all channels without being in them (Services Admins). Those with full rights to the IRC network are referred to as Network Administrators (NetAdmin). The most efficient way to find a list of online IRCops is by using the command
/who 0 o (zero and lower-case o) and ignoring the services bots.
Choosing an IRC client and connecting
Many IRC clients are available for various operating systems. Some popular clients are:
- mIRC (Windows only)
- HexChat (improved version of XChat)
- irssi (command line)
- mibbit (web based), for GBAtemp, use this page
And many more.
Since GBAtemp only has a small IRC server, it is not included by default on any clients. You can manually add it to the server list:
- Server: irc.gbatemp.net
- Port: 4500
Some clients may also recognize the direct link: irc://irc.gbatemp.net:4500/gbatemp.net
Registering your nickname (optional)
If you have chosen a nickname and want to make sure only you can use it, you can register the nickname with the services:
/msg NickServ register [password] (email)
Email address is optional, but needed for password recovery. It will not be shown to other users.
Once you have registered your nickname, you will need to identify yourself every time you connect to the server:
/msg NickServ identify [password]
Most IRC clients will let you enter your password somewhere to automate this process.
If you want to register additional nicknames, change to the new nickname (
/nick [newnickname]) and use the following command:
/msg NickServ group [primary nickname] [primary nickname password]
This will register the nickname and group it with the primary nickname. The password and channel access levels will be shared between all nicknames in the group.
Joining a channel
A channel is a place where people come together on an IRC server. Each channel has an unique name on the IRC Network. Most names start with a
# symbol (eg.
#gbatemp.net). A channel usually also has a topic.
After you connected to a server, you can join a specific channel with the following command (replace
[channelname] by the name of the channel, including the
The Main GBAtemp channel on the GBAtemp IRC server is
#gbatemp.net. To get a list with all channels, type:
To post a reply in a channel, you just have to type the message in your IRC client and press Enter. In most clients, a message will appear like this:
To enter a Command, simply start your reply with a single
/ (slash). Every command has a different effect. Many commands are handled by the IRC Client, but can also be sent to the server if the Command is not recognized.
Some common commands on IRC. Everything between
[ ] needs to be replaced by what it says. Channel names should include the preceding
|Command||What it does|
|/away [reason]||Marks you as being away for |
|/ignore [nickname]||Hides messages and prevents private messages from |
|/invite [nickname] [channel]||Invites |
|/join [channelname]||Lets you join a specific channel.|
|/kick [channel] [nickname] (reason)||Kicks |
|/list||Get a list with all (non-hidden) channels.|
|/msg [nickname] [message]||Start a new query (private conversation) with |
|/mode [nickname/channel] [modes]||Very powerful command. Changes the mode of a user or channel. Many modes exist and all serve different purposes. You can find extended lists online.|
|/nick [new nickname]||Changes your nickname.|
|/oper [name] [password]||Command used by IRCops to gain operator status. Name and password are not the same as the nickname and NickServ password.|
WARNING: All attempts to use this command are logged.
|/part [channelname] (reason)||Leave a channel.|
|/quit (reason)||Disconnect from the current server.|
|/silence +[nickname]||Same as ignore, except managed server side. To undo, use |
|/topic [channel] [newtopic]||Changes the topic |
|/whois [nickname]||Shows some information about |
Creating and registering channels
The first user to join an empty channel will automatically create it and will be given operator rights. This user may then give operator status to other users if desired. Operator status does not persist and needs to be given anew each time the channel is joined. If everyone leaves the channel, it will be automatically removed. It can then be recreated by the next person to join it.
Sometimes this behavior is not desired, and only certain people should have operator rights in a channel. In this case, an operator can register the channel with the services. To register a channel, the following command is used:
/msg ChanServ register [channel] [password] [description]
The password is used only to identify members with Owner level access. As such, this password should only be shared with people who need full control over the channel. Other access levels are managed trough the access list of the channel. More info on how to manage this list can be viewed by using the command:
/msg ChanServ help access
Once registered, people on the access list will be given operator status automatically when joining the channel. Other users will no longer get operator status, even if they are the first to join.
Channel access levels
People in a channel have different access levels. These levels are associated with specific channel modes, and will indicated by a prefix before the user's name.
|0||(none)||(none)||Regular users. No additional rights.|
|3||+||+v|| Voice. Can talk in moderated (|
|4||%||+h||Half Operator. Has basic operator rights like kicking and banning users.|
|5||@||+o||Channel Operator. More extended operator rights and can promote others to operator.|
|10||&||+a||Channel Admin. Can do everything an operator can, and can change channel modes without being an operator.|
|infinite||~||+q||Channel Owner. These people have the highest rights on a channel. Usually reserved for the person who registered the channel.|
Several modes other than those mentioned above exist for channels. Here is an overview of some more common modes:
|+b||Channel ban. A ban prevents certain users from joining the channel. Does not kick people that are already in the channel; these need to be kicked manually.|
|+e||Exception to a ban.|
|+i|| Invite only. People can only join after being invited (with |
|+k||Channel key. A password must be entered to enter the channel. Not the same as the owner password.|
|+K|| No knocks allowed (in case |
|+m||Moderated channel. Only people with voice and higher access may talk.|
|+n|| No external messages. Prevents people from using |
|+N|| No nickname changes (|
|+r||Channel is registered with services (see below). Can only be set by ChanServ.|
|+R||Only registered users (with NickServ) may join the channel.|
|+s||Secret channel. Does not show up in the channel list except when already in the channel or for IRCops.|
|+t||Only channel operators can change the topic of the channel.|
Most of these modes can only be set by operators. The command to set a channel mode is
/mode [channelname] [mode]
Just like channels, there are modes that affect users. These modes are also set with the
/mode [username] [modes]
|+i|| Invisible. Won't show up on |
|+p|| Hides the list of channels you are on when someone uses |
|+r||Nickname is registered with services. Can only be set by NickServ.|
|+R||Only registered users (with NickServ) may send you private messages.|
|+S||User is a service bot (NickServ, Chanserv, etc.). Bypasses all bans and cannot be kicked or killed, even by IRCops.|
|+t||User has a vHost.|
|+x|| Hides your IP address from |
Also called queries. These are semi-direct communications between 2 people. Messages will still be sent to the server, but they will only be forwarded to the specified person. On most clients, a separate tab will open for the conversation.
To start a query with someone, use one of the following commands:
/msg [name] [message] /query [name] [message]
In many IRC clients, you can also (double) click the nickname of a user.
vHosts, also known as cloaks, are virtual host names that are used to hide your actual host from others. They are managed by a bot called HostServ. Only IRCops (more specifically Services Admins/NetAdmins) are able to assign them to a nickname. If you wish to have a vHost, you should contact an IRCop. Note that your nickname must be registered to NickServ and you must be identified.