Mastodon Beginners Guide for GameDevs

Mastodon Beginners Guide for GameDevs
Photo by David Clode / Unsplash

So, People Moving Where?

What's a 'Mastodon' anyway?

When Mastodon offered as an alternative to people moving out of Twitter, it's different style scared many new users. But after I got used to it in the past month, I'm glad I made the switch; Mastodon is virtually superior in most ways.

I decided to write this post to quickly orient newcomers, especially Game Developers to Mastodon.

There are lots of assumptions new users confused about, so here's some bullet points on how Mastodon actually functions:

  • Mastodon is not a company
  • There's no central Mastodon server
  • Anyone can launch a Mastodon server (aka 'Instance') and have Users
  • 'Instances' communicate with each other like the P2P systems
  • This creates a big web of Instances

So if you are a new user, you need to choose an Instance to register with. Any Instance will join the bigger Mastodon network, so it does not really matter which one you pick. You can use Instances.Social to explore your options. I picked Gamedev.Place to explore interesting topics easier.

Although Mastodon's interface is similar to Twitter, there are different 'Main feed's that all new users should know about:

  • 'Home' is where the Toots from followed people and hashtags appear
  • 'Local' is the latest Toots on the Instance you registered
  • 'Federated' stream is 'Popular among Mastodon Network' stream
  • You can follow People from other instances, like me:
  • You can follow global hashtags, like #gameaudio

Pros & Cons

The Good and the Bad

As you see, Mastodon is a different beast than Twitter, there are areas it excels and falls short comparatively. If you're still on the verge of jumping on board, here are some pros and cons you might want to consider:


  • Instance of like-minded people thrives your 'Timeline' with quality content
  • Lots of minor features, like Slow Mode, you'll ever want from Twitter
  • Instances can blacklist other servers, preventing bigotry/hate spread
  • Underlying Fediverse tech allows different frontends even like games, possibilities are endless
  • Fantastic for citizen journalism
  • No Elon


  • Hard to discover new people to follow on other instances
  • Search doesn't work with text (yet), only with hashtags
  • Instances can blacklist other servers is open to mismanagement
  • Moderation must be done by instance owners, so YMMV on moderation
  • Instance performance varies by server, YMMV there too
  • Need to use Hashtags a lot to discover and get discovered

Since I moved to Mastodon, the only thing I miss from Twitter is the few people still active there. But Mastodon's thriving community with wonderful discussions has made up for it already.

I'm also setting up a list of #GameAudio people to help with discovering each other! Reach me here in the comments or over Mastodon to be included in the list!