Reputation is entirely optional

The three most important activities on Stack Overflow Teams are Asking, Answering, Editing - none of which require any reputation at all!

So what is reputation?

Reputation is a rough measurement of how much your team trusts you; it is earned by convincing your peers that you know what you’re talking about.

How do I earn reputation?

The primary way to gain reputation is by posting good questions and useful answers. Votes on these posts cause you to gain (or sometimes lose) reputation. 

You gain reputation when:

  • Your Question is voted up: +5
  • Your Answer is voted up: +10
  • Your Answer is marked “accepted”: +15 (+2 to acceptor) 
  • A Suggested edit is accepted: +2 (up to +1000 total per user) 

You can earn a maximum of 200 reputation per day from the combination of upvotes, downvotes and suggested edits. But accepted answers, and association bonuses are not subject to this daily reputation limit.

  • You lose reputation when:
  • Your question is voted down: −2
  • Your answer is voted down: −2
  • You vote down an answer: −1

All users start with one reputation point, and reputation can never drop below 1. Accepting your own answer does not increase your reputation. Deleted posts do not affect reputation, for voters, authors or anyone else involved, in most cases. If a user reverses a vote, the corresponding reputation loss or gain will be reversed as well.