Recommendation questions have been off-topic since August 2015. If I need a recommendation, how can I get help now?

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There are two major ways to get your recommendation question asked and answered.

1. Rephrase the request as a problem to be solved

Recommendations can almost always be rephrased by stepping back and looking at the problem the requested item is expected to solve. You can still ask, by letting go of the assumption that you know what will solve it, and just asking about the problem you have.

To rephrase “shopping” questions, ask how instead of what: “How can I do X?” is a topical question, while “Recommend me a Y that will do X” is not. The idea is to lay out the problem to be solved (the X) and ask for help with that directly, instead of preemptively assuming the solution is getting a recommendation and asking for one (the Y).

The answers may include recommendations for something, or may not. That's okay — answers providing recommendations are not off-topic at RPG.se, only questions asking for them. While an answer to a question asking for recommendations might be a simple “use X”, that's low-quality (and being technically answerable that way is part of why recommendation questions are off topic). By contrast, a recommendation answer to the real problem will usually (and be expected by voters to) put more work into it than just pointing at something; a good answer will explain how it solves the problem, not just say that it does.

2. Take the question to a different site

Recommendation questions are fun and popular, even if experience shows they don't work here on Stack Exchange. You can take your question, unchanged, to a discussion forum or chat room. People love suggesting their current or perennial favourite things, and you'll get a lot of suggestions that way that you can trawl through for what you like best.


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