Making use of the BGG API doesn't require the use of an API key. Instead BGG limits you to a 5-second wait between requests. If you make requests too frequently, the server will give you 500 or 503 return code, reporting that it is too busy.
What can you access with the BGG API?
Before we can talk about how to access data on BGG, we need to first talk about what kind of information you can access. The BGG database contains a wealth of information that you can access for various purposes. For the sake of brevity, this tutorial will only focus on a few of the more popular forms of data. A full list of all item types that can be accessed can be found on the BGG XML API2 main page.
The BGG database contains entries for physical products referred to as things in the API documentation. Things include the following:
|boardgameexpansion||An expansion to a boardgame||Catan: Cities & Knights|
|boardgameaccessory||An accesory for a boardgame||Catan Replacement Cards|
|videogame||A videogame||Super Mario Bros.|
|rpgitem||An RPG book||The Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook|
|rpgissue||An RPG periodical||Dragon Magazine Issue #1|
Information can be retrieved about every user registered to BGG. In particular, this information includes:
- The user's name
- Games the user has marked as "owned"
- Games the user has rated
- Games on the user's wishlist
- Games the user has recorded play sessions for
You can also retrieve a list of the "hottest" games currently on the site. These lists include the hottest:
- Board games
- Video games
- Board game people
- RPG people
- Board game companies
- RPG companies
- Video game companies
You can also do a general search of the site to find items that match your search query.