Why don't we have an option to propose a custom bounty like 23 or 12631 instead of the fixed 100, 200 or 500?

Will this damage the ecosystem of Stack Exchange? Or do we have to wait for this?

Edit: to clarify this is not about increasing but about the freedom to choose what bounty you want to set for a specific question, which isn't discussed or answered in the suggested question.

  • To avoid the confusion that generated the one answer already, I suggest changing the example number here from 12631 to 431 … (and perhaps make it explicit that it's not asking about raising the limit.) Jul 12, 2020 at 15:51
  • So.. let me introduce "budget bounties" and "diamond nuggets"
    – CSD
    Jul 12, 2020 at 16:50
  • What problem would this solve?
    – Mast
    Jul 15, 2020 at 5:45
  • 1
    "pollute the ecosystem of Stack Exchange" - that's a very strange terminology to use. Jul 15, 2020 at 6:46

2 Answers 2


Not having an option to choose an arbitrary amount as bounty is purely because of historical reasons. When the bounty system was first introduced back in 2009, there was a slider to choose the bounty amount with increments of 50 reputation.

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The reason for not having an arbitrary increment seems to me that it made the classification of different bounties easier.

And with the improvement of the bounty system in 2010, this feature was carried forward.

I don't think that it would be difficult to implement such a thing now but the only problem would be that we'll start seeing random numbers as bounty amounts not visually appealing (or may be it is just an acquaintance with the ongoing normal). However, the 500 bounty limit is justified, so as to not give a user, not well acquainted with the system, a large amount of privileges suddenly.


Bounties greater than a certain amount may give privileges to new users they're not ready for. Such an amount is a bit arbitrary, but Stack Exchange has set the limit to 500. Earning such a bounty directly gives you access to e.g. the review queues, but not editing and close voting (the latter at least on non-beta sites). As the Help Center says, reputation is a rough measurement of how much the community trusts you, not how much a single other user trusts you. Misuse of privileges (e.g. robo-reviewing) can be hard to detect in some cases, so it's better to prevent it upfront.

As for custom amounts below 500, it's simpler from a UX perspective to select a predefined value from the current list of 10, rather than having to type it manually. I don't see any additional benefit in allowing e.g. 75 point bounties. (Not to mention that auto-awarding such a bounty would give fractional reputation ...) The size of a bounty does matter on some large sites, but not that much.

  • 2
    I think the OP was stating that arbitrary number just as an example, it doesn't have to be colossal.
    – Ollie
    Jul 12, 2020 at 15:17
  • 1
    Good insights, but the question doesn't directly focus on giving new users/existing users a high bounty but a custom bounty. IMHO users should have the ability to set totally custom bounties to diverse questions ranging from frequently asked dup-alike to novel/unique should get a directed bounty/in short everything. In case of setting a uncommon high bounty, then a message should be displayed warning with "Are you sure you want to continue, this user is new to our site and you will give away privileges they may misuse. this action isn't reversible." (i upvoted your answer)
    – CSD
    Jul 12, 2020 at 15:32
  • Also in case of misuse the systems of SE should detect this quickly enough, so the damage is minimal.
    – CSD
    Jul 12, 2020 at 15:37

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