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Frequently asked questions

What is IRC?

IRC stands for Internet Relay Chat. It is a realtime multiuser chat protocol that was first created in 1988. The dominant use of IRC is through channels (or chat rooms). However, private user to user communication is also supported. If you would like to read more about IRC, visit the IRC help archive.

How do I use IRC?

To use IRC, you need an IRC client. An IRC client is a piece of software that allows you to connect to an IRC server and send and receive messages. For example, you need to use MSN messenger (or another compatible client) to chat to friends on the MSN network.

A popular IRC client for Windows is mIRC. mIRC is a shareware application - you can use it for up to 30 days for free, but to legally use it after this, you must register it by paying a small fee to the author.

However, there are many IRC clients available for each main flavour of operating system/personal computer. Some are commercial, some are free and some are open source. To find an IRC client that works for you, browse this list of clients.

To set up your IRC client for use, you'll need to refer to your client's documentation. However, to connect to the SwiftIRC network, typing "/server" into your client will work in the majority of cases.

Ok, I'm connected to the network. Now what?

If you came to the network to join a specific channel (you were refered by a friend or a website, for example) then try typing "/join #channel". All standard channel names are prefixed with the # (hash/number) character.

If you want to search for a channel to join, try typing "/list". If this command is supported by your client, you will be shown a list of public channels on the network, along with the number of users and the current topic for each channel.

How do I register my nickname?

To register your nickname, type "/msg NickServ register password password email email". Substitute password for the password that you want to use for your nickname, and email for a real working E-Mail address.

To complete registrations on SwiftIRC, you must validate your E-Mail address. After executing the register command, a validation code will be emailed to you. Follow the instructions in the E-Mail. If you have not received a validation E-Mail within a half hour of starting registration, please ensure that your E-Mail address actually works, and that the validation email was not moved to your junk/bulk/spam folder.

I've registered my nick, but how do I login to it?

To identify/login to your nickname, type "/msg NickServ identify password"

How can I configure my nickname?

Please read the NickServ help by typing "/msg NickServ help" to find out all of the available commands. You can get information on each command by typing "/msg NickServ help command".

Someone else is using my nickname, how can I get them off of it?

If another user is using your nickname, you can use the recover command to force them to change. To do this, type "/msg NickServ recover nickname password".

I was disconnected from the network, but my nickname is still in use. What can I do?

You can use the ghost command to disconnect a dead client. To do this, type "/msg NickServ ghost nickname password". However, we ask that you refrain from using this command on other users that are using your nickname - use the recover command for this.

How do I register a channel?

To register a channel, you must first join it and obtain operator status. When joining a channel that does not yet exist and is not registered, you will automatically obtain operator status.

Once you have operator status, type "/cs register #channel password description". Substitute your desired channel name, the password that will be used for admin access, and a short description of your channel which will be displayed to users who request information about it.

Note that while identified to the nickname that registered the channel, you automatically have founder level access. Therefore you don't need to use the channel password when you want to administrate your channel.

How do I assign a bot to my channel?

To assign a services bot to your channel, type "/msg BotServ assign #channel botname." To see a list of the available bots, type "/msg BotServ botlist".

How do I make other people auto-op in my channel?

To give other users auto-operator status in your channel, they must first register their nickname. Once this is done, you can make them a standard auto-op by typing "/msg ChanServ access #channel add nickname 5". This will add the user to your channel's access list at level 5.

Different levels come with different privileges. In a default channel setup, the most useful levels to use are shown below:

-2 or below: The user will be automatically banned from the channel.
-1 or below: The user will not be allowed to have operator status.
3: The user will automatically receive voice (+v or +) status upon joining.
4: The user will automatically receive half-op (+h or %) status upon joining.
5: The user will automatically receive op (+o or @) status upon joining.
10: The user will automatically receive op and admin (+oa) status upon joining.

However, each level will also grant the user access to certain commands to use on the channel. To view what level is required for each command or privilege, type "/msg ChanServ levels #channel list". The levels are also editable - type "/msg ChanServ help levels" to learn how to do this.

How do I configure my channel?

To read about the other options that you can set for your channel, please read the ChanServ help by typing "/msg ChanServ help". You can learn more information on each individual command or option by typing "/msg ChanServ help command".

I have been banned from the network. How can I contact the administration?

To contact an administrator outside of IRC involving a network ban, you can either e-mail them through SwiftIRC Ban Support or go to and create a ticket.

How do I get a vhost assigned to my nick?

Occasionally custom vhosts are awarded as prizes by the SwiftIRC staff. Apart from that, the only way to obtain a vhost is to participate in a Team.

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