With so many questions questioning why Badge X hasn't been awarded yet, would it be possible to add a line to each badge description:

  • This badge will be awarded within an hour of meeting the criteria
  • This badge will be awarded within 48 hours of meeting the criteria
  • This badge will be awarded within seven days of meeting the criteria

Or perhaps at least add a question / entry into the Badge FAQ:

The following badges are awarded within five minutes of meeting the criteria:

[badge:Nice Question] [Nice Answer]...

The following badges are awarded within 48 hours of meeting the criteria:


This would be most helpful in responding to questions like this one as well as the many bug requests about un-awarded badges.

  • 6
    Under-commit and over-deliver: six to eight weeks for all badges. Commented Jul 9, 2011 at 3:00
  • I think this sort of information is especially important for certain tags: Tenacious & Unsung Hero
    – M. Tibbits
    Commented Jul 9, 2011 at 3:02
  • 2
    Doesn't anyone like to be surprised? Did'ja all wake up on Christmas morning knowing exactly what was in those boxes? Was it a major let-down for you when you got a green Power Ranger instead of a purple one? Did'ja... make your folks sign a contract the next year?
    – Shog9
    Commented Jul 9, 2011 at 4:20

1 Answer 1


There actually isn't a guarantee of a time period for any badge that isn't run on every cycle. What happens is this:

  • Every 5 minutes we run a badge grant for local database-based badges.
    • For most badges (simple queries that aren't time/resource intensive against the DB), they get run every time.
    • For the others more expensive badges we assign a frequency at which they run.
  • Every hour we run what we call "code badges", that make remote API calls to chat, meta, etc to get their data. Examples include Quorum and Talkative.

Now this "frequency" is more of a probability, there's a 1/n chance the badge will run that time. We could have a run that assigns all SQL badges, or none of them, it's all statistics. The law of large numbers dictates that on average the badges will get run with that % chance of frequency, but looking at a narrow time period (as would be required for a FAQ type entry), it's much more random. Giving a specific time (or even an approximate one real for these badges would be disingenuous, so we don't document it anywhere that I'm aware of.

Based on your comment though, I will say the probability for Tenacious and Unsung Hero running on any given badge cycle is 1 in 4.

  • 1
    Hey, I'm a statistician!! :o) This is a perfect explanation for me though. Could we just link to your answer from the faq? I realize that not everyone will take pulling out the WLLN, but the wikipedia link is quite reasonable or we could point them to questions on cross-validated for more explanation. :O)
    – M. Tibbits
    Commented Jul 9, 2011 at 3:40
  • 2
    @MTibbits - possibly, or some generic text around the frequency like I explain above...of course this is subject to change. We're actually working on FAQ content now, so I'll pass this suggestion on to our community team :) Commented Jul 9, 2011 at 3:43

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .