Backgammon NJ: Game Center FAQ

  • What are the system requirements for using Apple's Game Center in Backgammon NJ?

    • Device
      • iPhone, iPad, iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad mini, or iPod touch

    • Operating system
      • iOS 10.0 or later

    • Backgammon NJ app
      • Version 6.2 or later

  • What types of online matches can be played with Backgammon NJ?

    Backgammon NJ supports two types of online matches against other iOS players:

    • Real-time online matches
      These matches are played to completion in one sitting without interruption.

    • Turn-based online matches
      These matches are played at your own pace. You can do anything you want (answer a phone call, use other apps, etc.) for as much time as you want between moves. You can play multiple turn-based matches at the same time.

  • How do I play online matches with Game Center?

    1. In order to play online, you must:

      • In Backgammon NJ, under Advanced Options (arrow at upper left) > Online Settings, set "Enable Game Center" to "On".
      • Create an account on Apple's Game Center.
      • Log in to your account and connect to Game Center on a Wi-Fi or cellular network.
      • Set your device restrictions:
        • For iOS 10 and 11: In your device Settings > General > Restrictions, in the Game Center section, set "Multiplayer Games" to "On".
        • For iOS 12+: In your device Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions > Content Restrictions > in the Game Center section, set Multiplayer Games to "Allow".
      • To receive invites from contacts or friends, you must:
        • In your device Settings > Notifications > Games, turn on Game Center push notification Alerts.
        • In your device Settings > iCloud, log in to iCloud.
        • In your device Settings > Messages, log in to Messages.

    2. There are two ways to play real-time or turn-based online matches using Game Center:

      • Invite a contact or friend to play a match with you.
      • Let Backgammon NJ automatically match you with a random player (Auto-Match).

    3. To start an online match:

      1. Select Advanced Options (tap the arrow button at the upper left corner of the screen)
      2. Select Real-time or Turn-based

    4. More detailed information about how to play online can be found here.

  • How do I invite a contact or friend to play an online match?

    To invite a contact:

    1. Make sure that both devices (for you and your contact) are running iOS 10+
    2. Add your contact to the Contacts app on your device using the email address or phone number that he/she uses for the Messages app
    3. Make sure that your contact also adds you to the Contacts app on his/her device using the email address or phone number that you use for the Messages app
    4. Run Backgammon NJ
    5. Select Advanced Options (arrow at upper left corner)
    6. Select Real-time (or Turn-based)
    7. Select Invite Friend
    8. Tap the Invite Friends button
    9. Type the name of a contact, and select a match from the list
      Tap the "+" button, select the Contacts tab, select a contact from the list, and tap "Add"
    10. Tap the up arrow on the right side to send the invite

    Note: You can only invite contacts whom you can message with the Messages app. Both you and your contact must be logged in to three accounts: iCloud, Messages, and Game Center. Also, when logging in to these accounts, you and your contact must use different Apple IDs.

    To invite a Game Center friend:

    1. Run Backgammon NJ
    2. Select Advanced Options (arrow at upper left corner)
    3. Select Real-time (or Turn-based)
    4. Select Invite Friend
    5. Tap the Invite Friends button
    6. Tap the "+" button, select the Recent tab, select a friend from the list, and tap "Add"
    7. Tap the up arrow on the right side to send the invite

    Note: Apple has removed support for adding Game Center friends in iOS 10+. You can still invite friends that you added before iOS 10, but you can't add new friends in iOS 10+.

  • I can't connect to Game Center, start an online match, invite contacts/friends, auto-match with a random player, or I have another issue related to online play. What can I do?

    1. There could be an issue with your Game Center account. Try fixing the problem by doing the following:

      1. Force close Backgammon NJ. To do this, follow the steps here:
      2. Run the Settings app
      3. Select "Game Center"
      4. Sign out of Game Center
      5. Sign back in to Game Center
      6. Run Backgammon NJ and start an online match

    2. Apple's Game Center server could be experiencing problems. Check the Game Center server system status.

    3. Check that your router, firewall, or other software is not blocking access to the ports required to run Game Center.

    4. Public or business Wi-Fi spots will most likely be behind a firewall. Thus, it may be difficult to play online at these locations using Wi-Fi. Try using a cellular network if you're not able to connect using Wi-Fi.

    5. Internet connectivity is highly dependent on the reliability of your Wi-Fi or cellular connection. If either you or your opponent have a weak connection, it may cause your online match to lag or disconnect. Try playing a few real-time auto-matches from the same room that your router is in. That way, you'll know that you're getting a stronger Wi-Fi signal. Doing this, check to see if you can complete more matches without disconnecting.

    6. On an iPhone or iPod touch, the Wi-Fi antenna is usually located at the top or sides of the device. If you cover the area near the Wi-Fi antenna with your hand when holding your device, it will considerably weaken your Wi-Fi connection strength. Try changing your grip on your device so that you don't cover the Wi-Fi antenna area.

    7. Perform a hard reset on your device. To do this, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button on top of your device for a few seconds until a red slider appears, and then slide the slider. Then press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until the Apple logo appears.

    8. Force close Backgammon NJ. To do this, follow the steps here:

    9. If you're having problems inviting a contact or friend, make sure that you set the options listed here.

    10. If the above solutions don't solve your problem, please contact us directly with detailed information about exactly what is occurring in your situation and what solutions you have tried. The more detailed the information that you provide us, the easier it will be for us to resolve potential issues.

  • I can't invite or receive an invite from a contact/friend. What can I do?

    Make sure that both you and your contact/friend have the following options set:

    • In your device settings, set the following:

      1. Run the Settings app
      2. Select "General"
      3. Select "Restrictions"
      4. Enter your password
      5. Under the Game Center section, set "Multiplayer Games" to "On"
      6. Under the Game Center section, set "Adding Friends" to "On"

    • Turn on Game Center push notification Alerts in your device settings:

      1. Run the Settings app
      2. Select "Notification Center"
      3. Select "Games"
      4. Set "Allow Notifications" to "On"
      5. Set "Alert Style When Unlocked" to "Alerts"
      6. Under Games Options, select "Show Alerts from Everyone"

    • In your device settings, set the following:

      1. Run the Settings app
      2. Select "Messages"
      3. Set "Filter Unknown Senders" to "Off"

  • What settings are available for online play?

    Information about online play settings can be found here.

  • When I select Auto-Match, how long does it take to find a match with a random player?

    When there are many players looking for auto-matches, it usually takes a few minutes or less to find a match. This is more likely on weekends when many players are online. When there are few players online, it could take up to 15 minutes or longer to find a match.

    For a real-time match, you can use the app normally while you wait for a match. Feel free to play against the computer, look at your stats, or do anything else that you would normally do in the app if you weren't playing online. As long as you're running Backgammon NJ, it will notify you when an online match is found for you.

    For a turn-based match, you don't need to be running Backgammon NJ to be matched. You can do other things and then return to Backgammon NJ later to see if a match has been found for you. Depending on how you have your Game Center notifications set, you can also choose to be notified when a match is found.

  • If I select Auto-Match, who will I be matched with?

    You will be matched with one of your Game Center friends if he/she happens to be looking for an auto-match too. Otherwise, you will be matched with a random player.

  • If I start an online match, will I lose my current offline match?

    No, you won't lose your current offline match. For a real-time online match, your offline match will be resumed after you complete your online match. For a turn-based online match, you can switch between your online and offline match at any time.

  • If I abort or disconnect during a match, will it affect my Elo rating?

    (Important Note: Aborting a match is different from resigning a game. If you resign a game, you concede the win for the game. If you abort a match, you don't concede the win for the match. Aborting a match makes Backgammon NJ evaluate both players' current positions in the match and award the appropriate Elo points to each player. More details below.)

    Yes, aborting or disconnecting during a match will result in a partial change to both your and your opponent's Elo ratings, depending on each player's current equity in the match.

    For example, if your opponent decides not to complete the match when you are winning, you can select "Abort Match" from the Advanced Options menu. Doing this will abort your online match, give you a positive partial Elo change, and give your opponent a negative partial Elo change. After you abort the match, you'll see the partial Elo change in the final online match score window. Similarly, if you or your opponent disconnect or quit the app before your online match is complete, the partial Elo changes will still occur, even if you do not see the final online match score window showing the changes.

    This means that you can play online worry-free! ;)

  • When I decline an Auto-Match with a certain player, why do I sometimes get matched with the same player again?

    For each auto-match, the Game Center server matches 2 people together. If everyone is matched up, that means there is at most 1 person waiting for an opponent at any given time. If you decline a match with Player A, it will continue to match you with Player A until:

    1. A different player becomes available by finishing an online match and searching for another auto-match, or
    2. Someone new starts looking for an auto-match

  • Is there a way to prevent myself from being auto-matched with certain players?

    Yes, you can add players to your Block List when you are first auto-matched with them or at the end of a match.

  • Are the leaderboards for the HD and non-HD versions of Backgammon NJ separate?

    Yes, the leaderboards for the HD and non-HD versions of Backgammon NJ are separate. In order to invite a friend to play, you and your friend must be using the same version of Backgammon NJ (either HD or non-HD). We recommend using the HD version, as it is optimized for all iOS devices and screen sizes.

  • Is there any additional information that I need to know?

    • Online matches are standard backgammon games with the doubling cube enabled and no Jacoby rule.
    • During online matches, the following game features are disabled: equity, status meter, hint, match info, online statistics, move tutor, cube tutor, auto finish, ability to view/modify RNG seed, manual rolls.
    • If the Automatic Bearoff option is set to "Best Move," it will default to "Greedy" for online matches. If you don't want to play in Greedy mode for online matches, you must set Automatic Bearoff to "Off."

  • Is there a forum for Backgammon NJ users?

    Yes, visit our User Forum to discuss the game with other Game Center players.
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