How Does Challenges

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How Does Challenges
Author: Luca
Date Created: Jan 19, 2021

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Challenges are a NationStates minigame, added on November 12th 2012, the ten year anniversary of the site's founding. The page dedicated to this original event and its announcement message is still publicly available on NationStates. The minigame allows you to select another nation on the site, and challenge them according to the only variables that the game is able to comprehend: Stats. This page can be reached by travelling to the page of the nation you wish to challenge and pressing the targetting reticle, or by navigating directly to the Challenges homepage.

This minigame produces no additional effects or bonuses on your nation, and records within the minigame are only visible from inside of it. If a nation CTEs, its levels and progress within the Challenge Ladder will be erased. Therefore, as with everything, if a player wishes to keep their standing in the game, remaining alive is the most effective strategy.


Navigation to the challenge page is most easily accessed by looking at the page of the nation you wish to challenge and clicking the targeting icon.

Each competition against another nation is broken into rounds. For evenly matched players, there will be five rounds. In each, census stats will be chosen at random and compared between two nations. Whichever nation has the highest value in the randomly selected census stat (even if both players are in the negative) will win the round, and whichever nation wins the majority of rounds will win the challenge. Competitions for all evenly-levelled nations are, then, based on how many issues a nation has answered, how consistently they responded, and how old a nation is. It is possible for a challenger to tie with an opponent, if the exact stat value is the same.

Level System

Championship Points
And The Levels They Grant

Level Bonus Points Requirement
1 0 (automatic).
2 2 points
3 5 points
4 20 points
5 50 points
6 100 points
7 200 points
8 300 points
9 400 points
10 500 points
11 650 points
12 800 points
13 1,000 points
14 1,250 points
15 1,500 points
16 1,750 points
17 2,000 points
18 2,500 points
19 3,000 points
20 4,000 points
21 5,000 points
22 10,000 points
23 20,000 points
24 50,000 points
25 100,000 points, and beyond

The minigame features a levelling system which provides a substantial advantage in the competition. A nation's starting level is determined by the number of world rankings stat badges which appear on the nation's main page. Only the volume of badges determine the level, and the quality of the badges (whether they are top 1%, 5%, or 10%) is of no consequence. Regional rank badges have no effect. In addition to the levels granted by census badges, a nation can level up through championship points. Levels generated in this manner are awarded according to convention conveniently located on the right.

A match between evenly-levelled opponents will take place across five rounds. For all unevenly matched opponents, the nation with the higher level will start with a match point advantage equal to the number of levels they have over their opponent. A level 5 nation must then win one extra round against a level 6 opponent than they would have to if both nations were the same level. Additional rounds will be provided for nations who have greater than a five level discrepancy between levels, but they must win all of the rounds. If it is no longer possible to win the match, the remainder of the rounds are skipped.

As it is extraordinarily difficult to challenge a nation which is a grossly higher level, a matchmaking system exists to compete against nations within a level or two of your own.

Championship Points

Championship Points are awarded to nations who successfully defeat other nations in a Challenge competition. Their base value is the level of the target nation, and a +2 modifier is added if the target nation happens to reside in the same region as the challenger. Those base points are then modified by the circumstance by which the competition was won. If it was the first time defeating the nation, if it was a new record for the challenger, or if the challenger lost no rounds, the points are multiplied by two for each circumstance. If the opponent was a lower level than the challenger, the points are cut in half.

Circumstance Effect
Base Points Opponent Level
Region Mates +2 Points
Flawless Victory 2x Multiplier
First Defeat of Opponent 2x Multiplier
Personal Highest Level Defeated 2x Multiplier
Lower level opponent 1/2 Multiplier

Because the amount of points necessary to advance scales so rapidly, after a certain point, it becomes easier for a nation to try to generate a new census badge on their nation page instead of grinding for more championship points. However, points are, by contrast, not able to be destroyed after selecting a very bad answer on an issue.

Championship points are only awarded to nations who win challenges they initiate. No points are awarded to nations who win challenges issued against them and, due to a bug in the competition graph, may not even be aware a challenge ever occurred. There is no penalty for leaving matches which have begun, but where it is highly apparent the challenger would lose.