I've noticed that it sometimes takes a little while for hats to be awarded. How often does the system run the checks for awarding new hats? Are all of the checks run at the same time with the same frequency?

  • I've watched the clock a couple of times, pretty sure it's 5 minutes
    – ɥʇǝS
    Dec 21, 2014 at 21:44
  • Except I waited what felt like an hour for one that was just awarded.
    – MBraedley
    Dec 21, 2014 at 21:47
  • Which one was that?
    – ɥʇǝS
    Dec 21, 2014 at 21:48
  • Solstice, except it wasn't awarded on the site I expected it on. I did get it with the other two hats I earned for posting this question.
    – MBraedley
    Dec 21, 2014 at 21:51
  • 1
    – ɥʇǝS
    Dec 21, 2014 at 21:54
  • Okay, that would explain it. However some of my early hats seemed to take a while, so the question still stands.
    – MBraedley
    Dec 21, 2014 at 21:57
  • Quite a lot of them require an upvote or something similar. 5 minutes really does appear to be when the script runs.
    – ɥʇǝS
    Dec 21, 2014 at 22:00
  • 6-8 minutes, IMO. :) Dec 21, 2014 at 22:03

1 Answer 1


ɥʇǝS is absolutely correct, the hat award check runs every five minutes, and all checks are run with the same frequency (unlike e.g. badges).

Note however that there's some caching going on on the client – your browser doesn't update all the data on every page load, so you may not know immediately when the hat is awarded.

If you're extremely impatient, the most up-to-date data you'll get is the Homepage of http://winterbash2014.stackexchange.com/ (when you're logged in there, it'll show you what hats you have). Not the leaderboards – those are heavily cached. But the homepage shows current "Which hats does the logged-in user have?" information.

  • True, the winterbash homepage once showed me a hat I still "didn't have" and when I was about to submit a bug report, the hat "appeared" in the snowflake menu as well. :) Dec 22, 2014 at 8:10
  • I think the caching is a bigger deal that most people realise. I had a different hat on for a while, but someone told me I was still wearing the old one.
    – Rob Farley
    Dec 22, 2014 at 8:14
  • @RobFarley That "for a while" shouldn't be more than five minutes (note that in chat, only your avatar on new messages may be wearing a new hat). And calling that a "big deal" seems a bit much for me.
    – balpha Staff
    Dec 22, 2014 at 8:20
  • I'm not suggesting it's a "big deal", just "bigger". People change their hat, and then say to someone "Look at my new hat!", but it can't be seen yet. It's not a major concern for most, but for those people in this situation, the caching is more significant than they might realise.
    – Rob Farley
    Dec 22, 2014 at 8:22

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