Admin help, or ahelp, is an in-game method of communicating with the admins. It's main purpose is for notifying admins of things which require their intervention, such as rule violations. Conversations between a player and administrators using the ahelp system are also often referred to as an ahelp.
Starting an ahelp
An ahelp can be started by either an administrator or a player. Whenever a player receives a message from an administrator through ahelp, they will hear a bwoink and the message window will open if it is not already open. When players send a message, all active administrators will be able to see it, the message will also be logged to allow offline administrators to see it.
Players can start an ahelp by opening the window and sending a message. The window can be opened with the hotkey (F1 by default), the "AHelp" button, or the
When to ahelp
Ahelps should generally not be used for anything that does not require attention from administrators.
Possible rule violations
Players are encouraged to ahelp even if they're unsure if administrator attention is actually needed since they generally do not know all the information about a specific situation, like the antag status of another player. However, players are expected to have reasonably come to the conclusion that administrator attention may be needed. If you're complaining in deadchat that someone is, or is probably breaking a rule, then you should have ahelped already.
Using ahelp to say "Hi" or tell an administrator about how a round is going when no intervention is required are some examples of inappropriate uses of ahelp. Using the ahelp system to attempt to determine if an administrator is currently online is considered admin checking, a violation of the rules.
Players can use ahelp to ask mechanics questions related to the game that are relevant to the player during the current round. Players can also use the #help channel in the Space Station 14 Discord server for mechanics questions as long as they don't include information about the current round, and are encouraged to do so for anything not immediately relevant.
Bugs and feedback
Ahelp should generally not be used for feedback, it should instead be posted to #bugs-feedback in the Discord server. Ahelp can be used to notify admins of bugs currently affecting you as they can sometimes temporarily fix issues or work around them, however bugs should either be reported to #bugs-feedback in the Discord server or on the Station 14 GitHub.
Lying in ahelps
Always be honest in ahelps. Lying, withholding information, and misrepresenting situations are all likely to turn the situation around onto you.
Avoid breaking up messages that you send in ahelp unnecessarily. If something can be sent as one message, don't send it as 5 short fragments of a message.
Starting an help
When starting an ahelp, your first message should include all the information an administrator needs to begin looking into an issue. For example, when reporting a possible rule violation, try to include the following:
- A way to identify the person or people causing the issue. Ideally this is their username, or character's name, but if that's not possible then knowing what actions they took can be a good substitute.
- What the actual issue is. For example, if you believe someone is self-antagging, include what they've done to make you believe that. When reporting possible self-antagging, it isn't necessary to include why you believe someone is not an antagonist.
Stay in character
Other than within the ahelp, you should continue in-character before, during, and after the ahelp unless told otherwise by an administrator. Respond to their actions in ways that would be appropriate with the assumption that they are not violating a rule. For example, if you suspect them of self-antagging because they're killing someone, treat them as if they may be an antagonist killing someone.
Do not threaten to ahelp someone, or tell them you have during a round, even via LOOC. Doing so can place undue influence on other players if you're mistaken in your understanding of the situation or the rules. Even after a round, telling someone that you ahelped them isn't likely to anything other than inflame the situation.
Keep in mind that administrators are unlikely to share certain information about your ahelp with you. It is very unlikely that you will be told if someone is an antagonist or not, or that they will confirm whether or not a specific person took a specific action in a round.
Often, ahelps reporting issues will receive a response indicating that they've been handled, or receive no response at all. While neither of these always mean that an administrator took an action against a player, in these cases you should assume that the ahelp was a good ahelp.
The frequency of ahelps can fluctuate dramatically, and the time it takes to respond to one depends on a variety of factors. In cases where there are too many ahelps to be handled in real time, administrators will prioritize ahelps, leaving others to be handled later. For this reason, you may not receive a response to an ahelp even if you are expecting one.
Player: Bob Smith randomly killed me with a crowbar
Assuming this isn't excluding information like the fact that "randomly" means after this player tried to kill Bob Smith with a welderbomb earlier, this is a good ahelp. It communicates the involved individuals, and what happened to them. It is clear enough that an administrator will assume the issue is potential self antagging by Bob Smith.
Player: I sat in a chair and it teleported me into a wall in the middle of the station
While an administrator likely won't be able to do anything to fix the issue that caused this and it should still be reported to the developers as a bug, an admin will likely be able to mitigate the impact during the round by rescuing you and/or destroying all chairs as revenge.
Player: help maint
While an admin with nothing else to do may teleport to you to see what's going on or help get you out of maint by putting you in space, they're unlikely to do anything if they have literally anything else to do. This ahelp doesn't include any information about what the issue is or who is involved.
Player: why can't I see
This ahelp doesn't include important information needed to identify the issue. A better version of the question would be something like "my screen randomly went black and I don't know why" or "I turned on my internals and all of a sudden my screen got very distorted, is this a bug?"