Some folks have asked me how they can join in the Transneptune IRC channel. What follows is a guide for those new to IRC.

This guide is still technically accurate, but at this point, we’re mostly on Slack. Ping Kit on Twitter if you want an invite. Or just use the automatic signup form.

IRC is not quite like the chat you know. It’s a wild and woolly frontier from the early days of the internet.

That means:

So, for Transneptune, you’ll be connecting to Freenode (one of the largest and best known IRC networks out there) at ircs:// That means: the hostname is, the port is 6697 (the default for secured IRC) and the protocol is IRCS (IRC:IRCS::HTTP:HTTPS; it’s IRC wrapped in SSL. So, you might need to make this happen just by checking a box that says “SSL”).

Then, you’ll connect to the channel #transneptunegames. Except you can’t! The channel is set to only accept users who are registered with IRC’s identity service, NickServ. So you’ve gotta do that first. (A note: usernames in IRC are referred to as “nicks”, short for “nicknames”. Traditionally, before identity services, it was common to change them fluidly, as and where you needed. Wild!)

So, NickServ. Dealing with NickServ is like messaging a user, except it’s not a human, of course. So, you can type:

/msg NickServ help

And that’ll start a private conversation with NickServ where you begin by saying “help”. At which point, NickServ will reply with basic help. READ. IT. One lesson from IRC is that many of your existing mental categories don’t apply, so you have to take the time to read and learn how the system works. Sorry.

You’re gonna want to then send:

help register

to learn more about the register command. That should guide you the rest of the way to reserving your nick.

Once you’ve registered and identified yourself, you can join #transneptunegames:

/join #transneptunegames

And then, let’s talk!

(One addendum: you can usually configure your IRC client to auto-join certain channels, and auto-identify with NickServ. It’s really helpful. My client of choice is IRCcloud, which also maintains a persistent connection, so I can see logs of all the conversations that happen when I’m not actively on. But there are many other ways to skin that cat.)