Top-7 Online Go Servers

play go online
play go online
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If you’re an enthusiast of the ancient Chinese game of Go, you might be curious about where to play Go online. Luckily, there’s a plethora of platforms available, each offering a unique set of features. We’ve put together a big comparison list of the most popular ones for you. Regardless of whether you’re a novice or a seasoned player, this guide will assist you in finding the optimal places to play Go online and hone your skills.

Online Go Server (OGS)

OGS is a modern, web-based Go server that provides a user-friendly interface, a vibrant community, and an array of learning tools.

Platforms: Web (Windows, Mac, Linux). Unofficial iOS and Android apps are available. 
Languages: Multilingual support.
Userbase: Average 450 live players + 3200 correspondence players online. Mainly from America and Europe.
Tutorials/Puzzles: Includes a variety of tutorials, Go problems and a joseki database.
Bot Play: Available, 30 difficulty levels.
AI Analysis: Available through subscription. Free version is limited.

OGS - Online Go Server home page
Online Go Server home page

Pros: Good for beginners, integrated review and analysis tools, tournament feature, multilingual support, and a diverse player base. Web-based, so there is no installation needed. It boasts a welcoming community with an active English-language forum. It’s the only server where you can play correspondence games.

Cons: Some users find the interface slightly cluttered and the server’s population is smaller compared to others, which might result in longer waiting times for game pairing.

Play on Online Go Server
Download App: ‘Sente’ for Android, ‘Surround’ for iOS

Some Steam apps supports OGS integration: Just Go, The Conquest of Go

GoQuest

GoQuest stands out as a unique server, specializing in swift, straightforward Go games on 9×9 and 13×13 boards. It’s tailored for speed and simplicity, making it ideal for quick games on the move.

Platforms: iOS, Android.
Languages: English, Japanese.
Userbase: Average 900 players online. Mainly from Japan.
Tutorials/Puzzles: N/A.
Bot Play: Limited.
AI Analysis: N/A.

Pros: Mobile-friendly and perfect for beginners. It ensures sufficient players to start a game within a minute at any time. 

Cons: It’s designed for quick games on small boards, making it less suitable for practicing full 19×19 games.

Download App: Android, iOS

Here’s our GoQuest and OGS overview:

Kiseido Go Server (KGS)

KGS is a classic server with a global user base. It stands as one of the oldest Western servers.

Platforms: Java-based (Windows, Mac, Linux), Android, Web (limited, unofficial).
Languages: Multilingual support.
Userbase: Average 480 players online. Mainly from America and Europe.
Tutorials/Puzzles: N/A.
Bot Play: Limited.
AI Analysis: Available through subscription. Free version is limited.

KGS - Online Go server gameplay
Kiseido Go Server gameplay

Pros: KGS has a vibrant community, offers teaching games and reviews, and regularly hosts major tournaments. It’s frequented by many high-ranked players. It supports Pair Go (Rengo).

Cons: The server hasn’t been updated recently, and the interface may seem outdated. The official client requires Java. Player population is less diverse compared to other servers.

Play on KGS online  
Download App: Android

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Fox Weiqi (Fox)

Foxwq, a Chinese Go server, boasts the largest population of players. It’s a preferred platform for both professional and top amateur players.

Platforms: Windows.
Languages: Chinese with limited English.
Userbase: Average 20000 players online. Mainly from China.
Tutorials/Puzzles: Limited collection of Go problems.
Bot Play: Available, 5 difficulty levels.
AI Analysis: FineArt available through subscription. You also get tokens when playing, enough of them will unlock FineArt review.

Foxwq - Online Go server gameplay
Fox Go Server gameplay

Pros: Foxwq is the most frequented Go server, offering quick pairing and the opportunity to observe professional games. 

Cons: The interface may not be intuitive for some users, and the limited English translation might pose a challenge. Mobile apps available only for users from China.

Register on Foxwq
Download client: Windows
Unofficial web-version: Open Foxwq

Pandanet (IGS)

Pandanet, also known as the Internet Go Server (IGS), is among the oldest online Go servers ever.

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android.
Languages: Multilingual support.
Userbase: Average 2200 players online. Mainly from Japan.
Tutorials/Puzzles: N/A.
Bot Play: Limited.
AI Analysis: Integration with AI-Sensei is available.

Pandanet (IGS) - Online Go server gameplay
Pandanet (IGS) gameplay

Pros: It features a user-friendly interface with a beautifully designed game board and other elements. It hosts a good mix of players across all levels and encourages a less aggressive playstyle compared to Korean servers. Supports Pair Go (Rengo).

Cons: The active player count is lower compared to Korean or Chinese servers.

Register on Pandanet
Download Pandanet Client (Windows, Mac, Linux)
Download App: Android, iOS

Tygem

Tygem is a popular Go server in South Korea with a significant international presence.

Platforms: Windows, iOS, Android.
Languages: English, Korean.
Userbase: Average 10000 players online. Mainly from South Korea.
Tutorials/Puzzles: N/A.
Bot Play: Limited. Features the SilverStar bot (3-kyu).
AI Analysis: Limited.

Tygem - Online Go server gameplay
Tygem Go Server gameplay

Pros: Tygem ranks as the second most popular server after Fox. It’s an excellent platform for practicing the aggressive Korean style of play. It also offers numerous professional matches for viewing.

Cons: The client interface may not be as beginner-friendly as Pandanet or OGS. Users are segregated based on rating and server occupancy, meaning there’s no unified server.

Register on Tygem
Download Tygem for Windows
Download App: Android, iOS

WBaduk

Formerly known as CyberOro, WBaduk is a Korean Go server that boasts a large user base and its extensive collection of life-and-death problems.

Platforms: Windows, iOS, Android.
Languages: English, Korean.
Userbase: Average 6000 players online. Mainly from South Korea.
Tutorials/Puzzles: Features an ultimate collection of tsumego and lectures.
Bot Play: Available.
AI Analysis: N/A.

WBaduk - Online Go server gameplay
WBaduk Go Server gameplay

Pros: WBaduk is a good old Go server with a wealth of Go problem sets. It offers Pair Go, one-color Go, and other fun, unconventional play modes.

Cons: The interface may seem outdated and not very intuitive. The official client is only available for Windows. Users are segregated based on rating and server occupancy, meaning there’s no unified server.

Register on WBaduk
Download WBaduk for Windows
Download App: Android (apk), iOS

Recommended article: Where and How to Solve Go Problems (including WBaduk collection).

Other Go Platforms

While we’ve reviewed the most popular Go servers, there are a few more that are worth a mention.

Color Go Server (CGS)

CGS is a novel, impressive web-based Go server that introduces a unique color feature for beginner players. Currently it suffers from a low number of players, which makes it hard to find an opponent.

BadukPop

BadukPop is a mobile app designed to make learning Go fun with numerous gamified elements. Although it’s not a server, it does offer online play and bot challenges. However, the free functionality is quite limited.

Online Go Servers Comparison Table

PlatformsBeginner FriendlyLanguage SupportUser BaseStrong PlayersEnglish CommunityTutorials
Puzzles
Go VariantsBot PlayAI Analysis
OGS★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★OGS
GoQuest★★★★★★★★★GoQuest
KGS★★★★★★★★★★★★★★KGS
Fox★★★★★★★★★Fox
Pandanet★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★Pandanet
Tygem★★★★★★★★★★Tygem
WBaduk★★★★★★★★★★★★WBaduk

Which Go Server Do You Need?

Best for Beginners: GoQuest, OGS

If you’re new to the game of Go, GoQuest and OGS are excellent starting points. GoQuest simplifies the game with smaller board sizes and quick time controls, making it perfect for beginners to grasp the basics. OGS, on the other hand, offers a welcoming English-speaking community and a wealth of tutorials and puzzles. 

Best for Advanced Players: Fox, Tygem

For seasoned players seeking a higher level of competition, Fox and Tygem are the go-to platforms. These servers are frequented by professional and top amateur players, providing an ideal environment for advanced players to challenge and refine their skills.

Best for Quick Pairing: Fox, Tygem, GoQuest

There are many players online on these servers any time of day. There is no need to go through complicated settings — press the biggest button, wait a few seconds and you are already playing. 

Best for Mobile Devices: GoQuest, Pandanet, OGS

For those who prefer playing on the fly, these servers have robust mobile apps. GoQuest is designed for quick, casual games, making it ideal for short play sessions. Pandanet offers a more traditional Go experience, including the ability to watch high-level games. OGS’s web version is also well adapted for mobile devices, and it offers several unofficial apps.

Best for English-Speaking Community: OGS, KGS

English-speaking players will feel at home on OGS and KGS. Both platforms have vibrant, welcoming communities, making them ideal for finding new friends and fellow Go enthusiasts.

Best for Correspondence Games: OGS

For those who find it difficult to find enough time for a live game, OGS is the only Go server on this list that offers correspondence games. This way you can play many games at once and make moves at your convenience.

Best for Playing with Bots: OGS

For those who prefer training against AI, OGS offers 30 bots of different levels, allowing you to play friendly and ranked games at any time.

Best for AI Analysis: OGS, KGS, Pandanet

For post-game analysis, OGS and KGS stand out. They offer automated AI game review, with a limited version available for free. Pandanet recently added integration with a popular AI review service, AI Sensei, enhancing its analysis capabilities.

Best for Learning: OGS, WBaduk

If you’re focused on learning and improving your Go skills, OGS and WBaduk are your best bets. OGS boasts a variety of tutorials, puzzles, and a joseki database, making it an excellent choice for players of all levels. WBaduk offers thousands of Go problems and lectures, making it a great resource for learning.

Best for Pair Go and Other Go Variants: WBaduk, Pandanet, KGS

While all these servers support Pair Go (Rengo), WBaduk stands out with a large community of Pair Go players. It also offers fun and exotic Go variants like One-color Go and Bomb Go.

Best for Exploring New Styles: Pandanet, Tygem, WBaduk, Fox

Pandanet (IGS) is celebrated for its traditional Japanese style of play, while Tygem and WBaduk are popular among Korean players who prefer an aggressive, fighting style. Fox offers a variety of game types, making it an excellent platform for exploring different playing styles. But you’d better be prepared for a fighting game there too.

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How to Level Up Your Go Game Online

Now that you’ve found your favorite Go server, it’s time to play some games and get better!

Improving your Go prowess involves a multi-pronged approach. Here are some strategies to consider:

  1. Play Regularly: Consistent practice against a variety of opponents is key. Aim to challenge players slightly stronger than you. Each game, win or lose, provides valuable learning opportunities.
  2. Review Your Games: Post-game analysis helps identify mistakes and prevent their recurrence. Use review tools on servers like OGS or leverage AI-based game analysis tools.
  3. Solve Go Problems: Our platform has a unique Skill Tree to help you with this. It systematically addresses all crucial aspects of Go, from basic to advanced strategies.
  4. Watch Video Lessons: Our Interactive Courses provide in-depth knowledge on specific topics. These guided lessons can help you gain a comprehensive understanding of complex strategies.
  5. Stay Motivated: Watch films and anime centered around Go. You can find these in the Motivation section.
  6. Engage with the Community: Participate in Go forums and join the Go Magic Discord. Interacting with fellow players offers diverse insights and perspectives.
  7. Join a Local Go Club: Connect with Go players and enthusiasts in your area using baduk.club.

If you’re new to Go, take a look at our detailed study plan for beginners.

Remember, patience is key. Becoming a stronger Go player is a marathon, not a sprint. Keep learning and enjoy the game!

Online Go Ranking Comparison

Ranking systems on Go servers can differ based on factors such as player population, geographical location, and the philosophy of the server. Servers like OGS and KGS use ELO-like systems, which offer a smooth progression and are internationally relatable. Asian servers such as Fox, Tygem, and Pandanet use a dan/kyu system, which is influenced by local norms and can result in a steeper progression curve. GoQuest, on the other hand, simplifies this with a level-based system that is well-suited to its faster, smaller board games.

In addition to these, the ranking systems of national associations are also worth noting. The European Go Federation (EGF) and the American Go Association (AGA) have their own ranking systems, which are also presented for comparison.

OGSGoQuestKGSFoxIGSTygemWBadukEGFAGAJapanChina
15k131213k11k16k15k17k15k14k5k4k
14k135012k10k15k15k16k14k13k4k4k
13k138711k10k14k15k15k13k12k4k3k
12k142510k9k13k14k14k12k11k3k3k
11k14649k8k12k13k12k11k10k3k2k
10k15028k7k11k11k11k10k9k2k2k
9k15427k6k10k9k10k9k8k2k2k
8k15826k5k9k7k9k9k8k1k1k
7k16225k4k7k6k8k8k7k1k1k
6k16644k3k6k4k6k7k6k1d1d
5k17064k2k5k3k5k6k5k1d1d
4k17493k2k4k1k4k5k4k2d1d
3k17922k1k3k1d3k4k3k2d2d
2k18362k1d2k2d1k3k2k2d2d
1k18811k2d1k2d1d2k1k2d3d
1d19261d3d1d3d2d1k1d3d3d
2d19722d4d2d4d3d1d2d5d4d
3d20182d5d3d5d5d2d3d6d4d
4d20643d6d4d6d6d3d4d6d4d
5d21104d7d5d7d7d3d5d7d5d
6d21565d8d6d7d8d4d6d7d5d
7d22026d8d8d8d9d5d7d8d6d
OGS GoQuest KGS Fox IGS Tygem WBaduk EGF AGA Japan China

Detailed Go ranking comparison

More Go Server Secrets?

Did this Go server guide help you choose the best place for online play? Or perhaps you’ve discovered some features that we haven’t mentioned in this article? Something that really makes a difference when choosing where to play online?

In this case please share your feedback in the comments. Your insights could be the game-changer someone else in the Go community really needs.

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Leave a comment

  1. Hi, first of all nice job with this article (i also wrote some articles about go servers on go club roma web site); i am wondering why didn’t you written about dragon go server?
    Thank you in advance.

  2. Dragon Go Server is the best and most popular place for correspondence games. It would be good to include that.

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