Side Account F.A.Q.s
If you have read the Neopian Times Editorial lately, you will more than likely have heard of the much-fabled side account. But what is this strange commodity? Why would you want one? It seems that most people are a little in the dark over what you can and can't do with a side account. But fear not! Hopefully this article will equip you with all the info you need to navigate the often tricky terrain of the account that announces itself to be a side...
What Is A Side Account?
On Neopets you are allowed a maximum of five accounts. Of these five, you are only allowed to use one of them to create Neopoints and generate other items within the Neopets site, like the kind you get from visiting dailies and things. This account is referred to as your main account; all others are side accounts, although they are also often referred to as alternative, alt, holding, lab, foster, gallery, etc. accounts when mentioned by users. Basically everybody has a main account, it is the one you use to navigate the site with. Whether you choose to create any extra accounts is entirely up to you; there is no rule which states you have to create all five that you are allowed, if you don't want them then that is fine.
Why Would You Want A Side Account?
People create them for a number of reasons. The most common reason is probably to create space for more pets, creating side accounts means you can potentially own up to 30 pets (31 if you are a Premium Member) so you can paint and morph away to your heart's content. Another reason is if a user wants a dedicated account to chat on the Neoboards with but doesn't want people to know the name of their main account, perhaps if they have a lot of trophies or expensive pets and don't want to have loads of people Neomailing them about something. Also, say for example a user has a gallery of apple items and then decides they want to collect teapots as well; they might already have a lot of categories in their apple gallery and so it looks cleaner if they create a side account to house their teapot collection exclusively.
So What Can You Do On A Side Account?
The short answer to that is: you can do anything on a side account that doesn't involve creating or purposefully obtaining Neopoints or items. Now obviously within that there is a lot of scope for grey areas to arise and so it is very easy to get confused about what is and isn't okay. Below is a general list of the activities you can and cannot do on a side account; I have divided them up into different topics to make it easier to search through if there is a specific activity you want to check. Or you may just want to use the search function on your browsers by pressing CTRL and F then typing in a key word you want to search for.
Auctions and Trades
You are NOT allowed to bid on auctions or trades on your side account for any purpose if those auctions or trades are not your own. However, you ARE allowed to bid on auctions or trades on your side account only if they are to transfer Neopoints or items from your main to your side account.
You ARE allowed to collect certain avatars on your side accounts. TNT has stated that you may unlock clickable avatars, as well as ones that require you to have a certain Pet/Petpet, watch a concert or own a specific item. However, any items must be bought with Neopoints from your main account and then transferred across. If you're borrowing an avatar item from another user then it would be good manners to tell them it is for your side account. Interestingly, if you own a Darigan Tonu or a Jetsam on either your main or a side account then you MAY battle them on any of your accounts to get the respective avatars.
You are NOT allowed to try to get game avatars on your sides though. Even if you only play that game on your side that day and avoid it on your main, it's still against the rules. Likewise even if you only send a score high enough to get you the avatar and no others, it's still against the rules.
Having a bank account on your side is probably a very bad idea. Whilst TNT have never said that it's against the rules to just open a bank account on a side, they have said that you may NOT collect interest on them as that is effectively earning you Neopoints and is a quick way of getting yourself into trouble. It makes more sense to keep all your Neopoints in a bank account on your main, really; that way you will earn more interest on it each day and you can always make use of the PIN feature to further protect your wealth.
Battledome and Training
Because of the Neopoint and item prizes currently being given out whenever a user wins a Battledome fight, battling on side accounts is not allowed for the time being. TNT are still considering their approach to this issue, so this is one rule that may change in the future. You are, however, more than welcome to train the pets that live on your side accounts, either sending over the required codestones and dubloons from your main or taking advantage of the free training offered on pet festival days.
You ARE allowed to read books to your Neopets on side-accounts. It is also okay for your Neopets to receive a Neopian Book Award and Booktastic Book Award on side-accounts since they give no prize but the trophy on your Neopet's lookup.
Contests and Voting
You ARE allowed to enter the following contests, since they give no prize other than a trophy: the Beauty Contest, the Customisation Spotlight, the Neohome Spotlight, the Pet Spotlight, the Site Spotlight, the User Lookup Spotlight, or any spotlights for creating a level in various games.
You are NOT allowed to enter the following contests, since they do give out prizes: Better Than You, the Caption Contest, the Lenny Conundrum, the Mystery Picture Competition, the Random Contest, or the Storytelling Contest. You are also NOT allowed to enter anything for the Art Gallery or the Poetry Gallery.
If you enter any of the contests, TNT asks that you only advertise your entry on the account you have entered. So, for example, if you enter the Beauty Contest on a side account then be sure to only advertise on that account. Otherwise it gets confusing and can look like you are advertising on somebody else's behalf. If you are able to vote on your own entry in any of the above contests then you can vote for it (although it's a bit sneaky and not in the spirit of things) but ONLY from your main account. You are NOT allowed to vote for your entry from or on any of your other accounts (including the account you entered on if it is a side account) to bump your score.
NOTE: If you enter a contest on a side account but you would like your main account to receive the trophy for it then just put a note in along with your entry saying as much. While TNT can't guarantee to comply with this, they have said that they will try their best to do so.
'Dailies' are activities on the site that you are allowed to do once each day (hence the term) and since most of them have the potential to give out Neopoints and items they are a definite no-no for your side account. This means that things such as the Tombola, the Fruit Machine, the Wise Old King, the Deserted Tomb, Coltzan's Shrine or the Underwater Fishing Cavern should NOT be visited on any account other than your main. This isn't a comprehensive list as people's definition of what constitutes a daily will differ, the rule of thumb though is that if you have the possibility to win Neopoints or items from it then it is NOT okay to do it on a side account.
There are, however, some exceptions. TNT has stated that you ARE allowed to visit both the Healing Springs and the Soup Kitchen on your side accounts, since it would be cruel to leave your pets hungry or sick. Likewise you CAN visit the Island Mystic and the Haiku Generator as neither will give you anything, except maybe an avatar or a little giggle. If you catch Count von Roo while he is awake, then you CAN play Deadly Dice on side accounts.
Experienced/Loyal User Perks
You ARE allowed to restock at the Almost Abandoned Attic as well as the Hidden Tower on discount day if your main account is not old enough but one of your side accounts is. However, there are some conditions!
- You may only restock at these two shops using one account. Once you're banned for the day, there's no hopping to other accounts, or trying to avoid getting banned by using multiple accounts.
- All funds must come from your main account.
- Do not try to look for loopholes in these rules. TNT are already being generous enough!
You ARE allowed to complete any faerie quests that you receive randomly on a side account, so long as the items needed to complete the quest are bought using Neopoints from your main account. You ARE allowed to transfer a pet from another account to receive the reward of the Faerie Quest.
Also, if you have an active faerie quest on your main account, you ARE allowed to log into a side and use the Shop Wizard to find the item you need. However, as always, the Neopoints to buy the item must come from your main account, so it's probably best to just copy the username of the person whose shop you decide to buy from and then wait until you have logged back into your main account before pasting it into the search bar.
This is where it starts to get a little complicated. When you sign up for an account you are given the opportunity to collect a 'Newbie Pack' of a few items to get you started. You ARE allowed to collect this pack on any side accounts you create. In addition to this, you ARE allowed to collect the free NC Mall welcome gift on any sides you create.
Occasionally there are free goodie bags given out from the NC Mall to commemorate its birthday or other milestones on the site. Since these bags only award Neocash items you ARE allowed to collect them on your side accounts as well.
Freebies you are NOT allowed to collect include the monthly freebies of 2,000 NP and food items; nor are you allowed to collect items from the Tarla alert, visit the Giant Omelette or the Giant Jelly.
Freezings and Suspensions
If your main account is frozen for whatever reason then you ARE allowed to pick one of your side accounts and use that as your main in the meantime, as mentioned by TNT in this editorial answer (the last little bit of it). If your account was frozen as a preventative measure because somebody scammed their way into it then you can use a side as a main account while you work with TNT to get it unfrozen. However, it's better to hold off on making Neopoints until your main account has been unfrozen just so it doesn't look like you're using multiple accounts to make Neopoints.
This does NOT mean that you are allowed to use a side account as if it were your main during a suspension. If you get suspended for any period of time you are NOT allowed to just switch to a side account and pick up where you left off for the duration of your suspension; being suspended is meant to be a punishment for breaking the rules, not just an inconvenience which means you have to switch accounts.
If you want to you CAN open a gallery on any of your side accounts. As usual though, any Neopoints for creating and expanding your gallery should come from your main account, as should any items you intend to display in said gallery. Galleries on a side account are eligible to be submitted for the Gallery Spotlight.
This is the easiest section to cover as you are NOT allowed to play games of any sort on your side accounts. Whether they be regular Flash games, Key Quest or NeoQuest; if TNT catches you playing games on a side account you will be frozen. It doesn't matter if you only play a particular game on your side and not your main, sending any score on a side account will get you into trouble. So don't do it.
You MAY either join or create a guild on any of your side accounts. As far as guild shops go, well, this is where it gets interesting... TNT have stated that you CAN have a donation shop on one of your side accounts (the final point mentioned in this editorial answer), although any proceeds made from that shop belong to the guild as a whole and not the individual who hosted the shop. As for why you would even need a guild shop, TNT suggested you could use the Neopoints to buy an advert for the guild on the Notice Boards; so long as you don't use them for a giveaway (which is against the rules anywhere on the site) or to break the rules in any other way then what you do with them is up to you. Personally, though, the whole subject is a very messy area in regards to what is and isn't allowed so I would advise you to stay well away from guild donation shops of any kind. That's just me though.
Nice and simple this bit. You ARE allowed to visit the Secret Laboratory on a side account; this is probably the most common reason for creating one, actually. You will need to buy a new set of map pieces for each account though, as once you redeem them they will disappear and so can't be reused.
You ARE allowed to redeem Neocash cards on any of your accounts, although any item you receive as a reward for doing so should be sent to your main account to be sold. (By this I mean any non-NC Mall items that you are given as a reward for buying a Neocash card, such as these.)
You ARE allowed to build a Neohome on your side account, but any furniture you put in it and any Neopoints required to build or expand it all need to come from your main. It's also worth noting that if you have a Classic Neohome on a side account and you decide you don't want it anymore, you ARE allowed to sell the land back to the bank. Even though this will effectively be earning you Neopoints on a side account, TNT have acknowledged that since this is only a fraction of what you paid for the land in the first place it is considered to be more of a minor recoup of losses as opposed to putting new Neopoints into the economy.
You are NOT allowed to participate in any plots on your side accounts. Since plots award points which can be used to purchase prizes you should only participate in them on your main account. This includes the annual Altador Cup as well.
You ARE allowed to adopt pets from the pound on your side accounts, so long as any Neopoints you use to adopt the pets come from your main account.
If you receive items or Neopoints from a Random Event on one of your side accounts, you ARE allowed to keep what you win and transfer it over to your main account.
Shops and Restocking
Whilst you ARE allowed to actually open a shop on a side account (whether you want to do so for the Emo Usuki avatar or just to balance out your lookup a bit more), you're NOT allowed to sell anything from it. So long as it just sits there empty it is fine.
You are not allowed to buy from any user shops or main Neopian shops (aside from the two specific TNT-approved exceptions mentioned below) from any side account. If you are restock banned on your main account you CANNOT then transfer funds over to your side and carry on. If you are restock banned it is a ban against YOU, not your account. The ban will lift in 24 hours or so, in the meantime I'm afraid you'll just have to find something else to do.
Skirting the Rules
People have long been using side accounts to try and get around certain rules; it goes without saying that if you get caught doing any of the following then TNT will find out about it and will freeze your side account and possibly even your main as well:
Using the referral system to create a side account - the referral program is intended to attract new players to the site, abusing it to create another account for yourself is against the rules.
Getting around age restrictions - TNT was generous and have allowed you to use the Almost Abandoned Attic and Hidden Tower on discount day if your main account is too young but you have a side account that's old enough. However, this is so far the only acceptable case. If your main account is too young to do other things, you're not allowed to go on a side account and bypass the age restriction. You are NOT allowed to try and get around the "one item per day from the Hidden Tower" rule by buying from there on multiple side accounts.
Giving an old side account to a friend who has been frozen - giving accounts in general is against the rules, but giving an account that is several months old to somebody for the express purpose of getting around the restrictions that come with new accounts is most definitely NOT allowed.
I Did Something On A Side That I Shouldn't Have!
Don't panic! TNT realise that, as a human (you are a human, aren't you?), you are not perfect and are prone to making the odd mistake now and then. If you accidentally do something on one of your sides that you shouldn't have done, like a daily or playing a game, just make sure that you don't do whatever it was on your main for that day and try to be more careful in future. That being said, TNT are not stupid and if you repeatedly have these 'accidents' then you will rouse their suspicion and they will watch everything you do even more closely.
To avoid making these little slip-ups, it's a good idea to set up your site preferences so that you have a different site theme for each account. That way you are more likely to notice if you are on the wrong account before doing an activity you're not meant to.
I Think I Like My Side Account Name Better
TNT have said that you ARE allowed to switch which account you use as a main. BUT by that they mean that it's okay to do this once or twice during the entire time you play Neopets, not a few times a month. As they said in this editorial answer it is not something to be done lightly and you should be sure before you do it, because if you then change your mind and go back to your old account it will look like you were just doing things you shouldn't have been doing on a side account.
If you plan on changing your main account then there isn't really any set procedure for marking the change. I would advise that you hold off on making any NP or doing any dailies for a day though, to make sure that you don't accidentally do something you shouldn't have within the same 24 hour period. You can then transfer your Neopoints across to your new account using the Trading Post, simply put up a junk item on the receiving account and offer your NP on it (you may need to do this several times due to the 2,000,000 Neopoint offer limit). You can transfer items quickly this way as well rather than having to send each item to the new account individually.
It is a good idea to label your accounts as well; TNT have said that they don't particularly pay very much attention to messages players leave for them on their lookups (about other people using the same computer and such) but it can't hurt to label them just in case they wonder why you're suddenly making Neopoints elsewhere. For example, you could put a note on the lookup of your former main account saying something to the effect of "[your name]'s Side Account". That way you can also link back to your new main account so that anybody looking to contact you can redirect Neomails to your new main where they won't be ignored.
Wait, Are You Allowed To...
If your query wasn't covered above then I would suggest doing a quick search of Jellyneo's very own Editorial Database to see if it has been discussed in the past. If not, then you can always send in a question to the Neopian Editorial.
This article was written by: Weepit