The Golden Rules of Helping

by crinrict

Original Post


The Golden Rules of Helping


Hi everyone,


helping can be hard and frustrating but yet, if you wouldn't love it, you wouldn't it be here.


I have a few guidelines I try to follow and I like to share those with you. I call them Golden Rules cause that sounds better than Golden Guidelines. 


There's always situations where they might not apply and I do tend to bend them for forums that get less helper traffic.


If you have your own rules, feel free to share them with us.


  1. Always be courteous to everyone. Even if posts are rude and offensive, try to answer in a calm and professional matter. Try to put yourself in their shoes and then answer. Giving a calm answer, can get a thread to a level where you can help.
  2. Treat everyone the same.
  3. If a thread makes you wanna post a rude answer, take a step back and either return to it later or find another helper to answer it.
  4. An answer giving some suggestion on how to proceed even if you don't know the answer yourself is better than no answer but no answer is better than a wrong answer (and much better than a rude answer). So if you're unsure about something, clearly state so in your answer or try to get someone else to answer the thread for you.
  5. Be aware that not everyone is fluent in English. Some use a translator and other try to best they can. If you get the impression that someone has troubles with the language, help them by trying to keep your answer simple and in short sentences. Don't use text speech or a lot of abbreviations and try to keep the technical terms to a minimum.
  6. Do keep up with the threads you help with. This is not always easy, especially if you answer a lot of questions every day but try to find a system that works for you (subscribing, bookmarking, making sure every post in a certain forum is answered, check your recent threads to see if someone has posted after you)
  7. Don't answer in forums of games you don't play and don't know anything about unless it's a thread that's clearly about an account issue. The risk that you are giving a wrong answer is too great. Not all games work the same way.
  8. Don't answer in languages you don't understand. Google Translate might help you get an idea what it's about but to really help, you must understand the nature of the problem fully and the person you help must be able to understand you. Don't post in foreign language sections if you don't speak the language.
  9. Don't make the thread about how you don't have the issue. Sometimes it's ok to compare to your own game, especially if the OP specifically asks for it but most of the time, people don't want to hear that you don't have any troubles.
  10. It's ok to copy other people's answer BUT you should - out of courtesy towards the OP - do one of three things (or all of them). This is especially true if you c/p a AnswerHQ FAQ post from someone else.
    • Ask for permission first
    • If you quote something, always put the name of the OP and (if possible) a link to where you have it from
    • Rephrase the solution in your own words (or translate). It shows that you actually understand what you're posting.
  11. It's ok to use c/p and macros. We all do it, you could not survive on here without BUT make sure you fully read the OP and remove stuff that has already been tried or answered. Do try to make it individual although it's a c/p answer
  12. Many users never come back. They may have posted in other forums too or solved their issue and forgot the posted here. Don't let that frustrate you. Use a standard answer or ask for some extra info on your first post. Something that does not cost you a lot of times. You can elaborate if they come back. You can also address them with a @username in your post. This will send them an email notification of your answer (if the user didn't turn that off in their options). 
  13. If you have troubles understanding someone, try to rephrase what they said to get confirmation from them. Do tell them that this is to make sure you understand their problem right.
  14. If someone posts in a wrong forum, do try to help them anyways in the best way you can or report the thread to a CM or Hero to be moved. You can also point them to the right forum but don't be rude about it. AnswerHQ can be difficult to navigate especially for younger (and older) folks.
  15. If a thread actually turns into a back and forth do try to keep up with what the user already tried, especially if you were not the OH (= Original Helper). Don't suggest again what others already have (this exclude posts that were made at the same time of course)
  16. If you're stuck on a thread, don't be afraid to ask a fellow helper to look over your case. Helping is not a competition.
  17. Always be open to other solutions. If you have some spare time, try reading other helpers post and learn from them. 
  18. Don't answer spam posts. Report them.

Good Luck


I don't work or have any association with EA. I give advice to the best of my knowledge and cannot be held responsible for any damage done to your computer/game.
Please only contact me via PM when asked to do so.

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