Internet Relay Chat

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IRC is an internet protocol that allows you to chat in real time in an IRC channel/room. Channels are usually open to the public, so anyone may join, and one IRC network typically plays host to thousands of channels. The advantage of IRC over IM (Instant Messenging) services like MSN and ICQ is that the entire room can join in on the conversation at any time, which gives a more communal experience. In respect of the worming community, IRC channels help to strengthen the bonds between people, and also allow for easy match arrangement.

In order to join an IRC channel, one must have an IRC client installed and set up.

Setting up an IRC client

The following guides will help get you started on IRC. They assume you are trying to connect to the channel "#worms" on the GameSurge network. Feel free to substitute them with your own.

mIRC - quick guide

mIRC is by far the most popular IRC client for Windows, and for very good reasons. It is highly recommended for its flexibility, simplicity and scripting support. You can download mIRC from the official mIRC web site.

This guide is intended for use with a fresh, unconfigured mIRC installation.

When you first run mIRC you will be presented with the Options box. The following information is necessary:

  • Full name - can be anything you want,
  • Email - you can use your genuine address, it won't be made public,
  • Nickname - your main nickname,
  • Alternative - Your backup nick, should your main one be taken.

Then you must select a network to connect to. Select the Servers page in the tree to the left. Find the folder of the IRC network you want (GameSurge in this example), double-click it and double-click on the name of the server you wish to connect to. Your focus will then be switched back to the Connect page. Click Connect to server.

If everything goes okay, you will connect to the GameSurge network. Then, the mIRC channels list will pop up. Type in the channel you want, then click Join.

mIRC - automating for long-term use

Going through the same procedure every time you wish to join #worms using mIRC is a little tedious. The following short guides will help you to automate aspects of mIRC for better long-term use.

Connect to GameSurge and join #worms upon mIRC start

Visit the Options box by clicking Tools > Options on the mIRC menu bar.

  1. Choose the Connect > Options page from the tree,
    • Enable Connect on startup,
    • Disable Pop up connect dialog on startup, click OK.
  2. Click the Channels List button from the toolbar,
    • Click Add,
    • Enter #worms in the Channel field,
    • Enable Join on connect,
    • Click Add and choose GameSurge, click OK, then click OK.
    • Disable Pop up favorites on connect, click OK.

Other tips

You can create a shortcut to mIRC and place it in your Startup folder in your Start menu if you'd like mIRC to start when your PC does. If you'd like mIRC to start minimized to your system tray, there is an option to do this in Options > Display > Options > Tray.

Miranda IM

Miranda IM is a chat program that combines almost all IM programs (bar X-Fire) in one nifty program. It also has an IRC function. You can get it at The Miranda IM site. The version used in this tutorial is v0.6.7; if you find that any elements herein differ, then you are likely using an older version and should upgrade.

Go to Crown > Options. On the far left under Network, click IRC. In User Info, enter the following, then click OK:

  • Nick - your main nickname,
  • Alternative nickname - your backup nick, should your main one be taken,
  • Full name: This can be whatever you want.

To join a channel just for one session, first you must connect to your desired network (GameSurge in this example). You can skip this step if you have already connected to it, or if you follow the automation guide, below.

  1. Click the Crown menu in the top left corner,
    • Go to IRC, click Quick Connect,
    • In the server name box, select GameSurge: Random Server (or EU if you're in Europe). Click Connect.
  2. Go to Crown > IRC > Join a channel. Type the name of your desired channel and click OK. You will then be connected to the channel.

Automating network connection in Miranda

It's all well and good using the above method, but configuring Miranda to automatically connect to a network saves a few clicks. Unfortunately, you can only automatically connect to one server.

  • Go to Crown > Options,
  • At the far left, under Network, go to IRC.
  • Enable Default network, then select your desired server in the combo box. Click OK.

Now every time you start the program, it will connect to GameSurge automatically. Bear in mind, however, that you must still join your channel manually.


Pidgin is, like Miranda IM, a multi-protocol instant messenger with IRC support. You can obtain it from its web site. The version used in this tutorial is 2.00beta6. The following guide is for users of the Linux versions. The method Windows users must use to set the program up may differ slightly.

  1. Go to Accounts > Add/Edit. Click Add.
    • For the Protocol, select IRC. Enter your screen name. Under Server type your server address and leave the password field blank. If you wish, enter a local alias, and if you really want you can configure more advanced username settings under Advanced, but leave all the other settings there as default (Port 6667, Encoding UTF-8, Don't use SSL). Click Save.
  2. A new chat window will pop up with 2 tabs.
    • In either one of tabs, type /join channel, where channel is the name of your channel and you're there! Now, if you restart gaim that chat window will open up every time you start it, simply type /join channel again and you're there.
    • If you close the chat window, or if you want a different way to connect, click Buddies > Join a Chat..., under Account select the IRC account you wish to connect with, under Channel type the name of your desired channel and leave the password field blank. Then click Join.

IRC usage concepts


Highlighting or 'beeping' is a feature of most decent IRC clients, that will notify you, either by playing a sound, showing a small notification window/tip, flashing a system tray icon or colouring a line of chat, when a particular word, or your nickname, is said in an IRC session that you are part of but not focused on. In the Worms community, you can use this feature to help your friends contact you, arrange matches with you, or to know when you are being talked about.

In mIRC version 6.3, the highlighting options are located in Tools > Address Book > Highlight. You can find information about how to set up a highlight in your mIRC Help file. For your information, the identifier $me will highlight instances of your nickname in chat. However, you should also list other names that people commonly refer to you by. If you would like mIRC to highlight you upon any chat, then use an asterisk (*).


Idling is the term used to refer to a channel user who maintains a presence in a channel, even when they are busy, away or generally not talking or using IRC. Despite the negative connotation, idling is not a bad activity, quite the opposite. Idling in a channel helps to maintain presence and interest in it. Basically, people are more likely to come back to a channel that contains a significant amount of users, rather than one that is home only to a lonely ChanServ. Indeed, idling is encouraged. Using client automation and highlighting, one can keep their IRC client open and connected, but minimized, and be notified of any interesting events.

Account registration and authorisation

In certain circumstances it is necessary to register an account with the IRC network and then 'auth' or 'login' to the network when you connect to it, using your username and password. Ordinarily this is not necessary if you wish only to join a public channel. However, if you wish to join a special channel where only registered users may enter, or wish to prove your identity in a public channel, then authorisation is necessary.

The following instructions assume you are trying to register and auth with the GameSurge network. However, the steps taken will likely differ if you use a different network. In all cases, detailed information about how to register and auth can be found on the IRC network's web site.

  1. Visit the GameSurge web site and click Account registration. Fill in all necessary details and click Create. You will receive an email shortly with your account details.
  2. When you receive the email, log in to the GameSurge network as normal using your IRC client and type the following line in to any window:
/authserv auth username password

If everything is correct, AuthServ will notify you, saying "I recognise you." Should anyone wish to check your authorisation status, they need only perform a WHOIS on you, and will see a line saying 'auth' or 'logged in as', and your username.

/whois nickname

Depending on your IRC client, you can automate authorisation. In mIRC, the function is known as Perform on connect.

  1. The Perform list can be found in Options > Connect > Options > Perform,
  2. Tick Enable perform on connect,
  3. Click Add and select the network you wish to perform your chosen commands upon connection to. Click OK.
  4. Enter your commands in to the Perform commands text box, then click OK, then click OK.

It's worth noting that you can enter any command in to the perform box, even channel join commands, though you are best served leaving that function to mIRC's Channels List.

mIRC - Problems with autoinvite upon auth

If, on GameSurge, you are a user of a channel that requires an invitation before you can be allowed in, it is possible to automate the ChanServ service to send you an invitation to the channel upon authorisation. This guide does not cover how to do this, as the GameSurge web site has guides detailing how to use network services. If you use this feature of ChanServ, but find your auto join options are too quick for the authorisation process, then you must do the following:

  1. Remove the auto join option of the channel in question from the mIRC Channels List,
  2. Visit the Perform box as explained in the previous section,
  3. Add /timer1 1 3 /join <channel> to it.

This will perform the /join command once after three seconds. If you need to make the time elapsed before the command is executed longer, simply replace '3' with your preferred number of seconds.

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