In this article, you will find answers to the following questions:
- How do hints work?
- How do flag submissions work?
- How are points generated?
- What happens if I access a walkthrough? How does it impact my points?
How do hints work?
We provide hints to help learners learn if they get stuck. Hints are available right after a machine has started. Each machine can have up to 3 hints. Each hint costs a certain number of points, directly related to the number of points available for that machine. Our platform will tell you how many points each hint costs before you access the hint.
For information on accessing hints, please visit this Help Center article.
How do flag submissions work?
Flag values are dynamically generated when you start a machine and they are destroyed when the machine is stopped. That means that you should submit their values while the machine is still running. While we recognize that learners come with different experiences and this affects the time to exploit a machine, we also expect that to get the flag values any learner will need a minimum of 15 minutes working on a machine.
How are points generated?
Each machine is assigned a certain number of points depending on its difficulty level. You may earn points as you submit correct hashes for each machine exploited. The points logic is the same for both in-browser and VPN access.
Your points will be deducted if you use hints before you are able to submit all flags for the machine. If you view a walkthrough for a machine, your points will also be reduced to zero unless you have already submitted all flags prior to accessing the walkthrough. While we have established earning points for machines to build in gamification, we encourage you to primarily focus on your individual learning.
What happens if I access a walkthrough? How does it impact my points?
Each machine walkthrough eliminates your ability to earn points on that machine. This means if you view a machine walkthrough before you have fully exploited it, you will be unable to gain points from this machine. If you have submitted all the flags before viewing the walkthrough of that machine, your points will not be deducted.
A machine walkthrough is automatically enabled after a machine is started. There is no limitation on viewing walkthroughs for fully exploited machines. For machines you haven't fully exploited, you are only able to access one machine walkthrough in a 24 hour period. This is by design, as we encourage you to first try yourself - the ideal way to bolster a Try Harder mindset.
For information on accessing walkthroughs, please visit this Help Center article.