Habbo eXperts, also known as "HabboX", were a small team of experienced players, who were selected by Sulake Staff to act as guides to newer players. Over time, their role expanded to include educating all Habbos on issues of Habbo safety and computer safety, through various events, Infobus sessions and patrolling Public Rooms. As the programme expanded, the original Habbo eXperts were divided into four "specializations": Hosting, Safety, Gaming and Tech, and the team grew to encompass nearly 80 eXperts spread over 7 user-led teams. Habbo eXperts had the power to enter full rooms ("room override") and could wear HC clothes without having purchased a Habbo Club subscription.
In June 2008, Sulake announced the end of the Habbo eXpert programme globally, replacing it with the Habbo Guides, which any Habbo meeting basic criteria could join.
The Habbo eXpert programme launched in late 2005, just before the end of the Hobba programme, and ended in June 2008.
Please note: The information below primarily concerns Habbo UK.
In October 2005, an announcement was made in the Habbo newsie that a new programme was to launch in Habbo UK. On Tuesday 1st November 2005, applications were to open for the Habbo eXpert programme. Initially, 20 Habbos were selected, their names were announced in the newsletter on the 10th of November - the same newsie that announced the end of the Hobba programme. Experts had a special 'X' badge to identify themselves to other Habbos and their role was to greet new users in the Welcome Lounge, giving them tours of Habbo Hotel and explaining how to use the various features of the game. It is not known when, but at some point, Habbo eXperts gained the ability to enter full rooms ("room override") and had access to Habbo Club clothes without having bought a Habbo Club subscription. Aside from this, regular Habbo eXperts never had any moderation powers.
For a short period in 2006 however, the eXpert Team Leaders were given the ability to kick and alert users throughout the hotel, though this was quickly removed as Sulake Staff felt uncomfortable giving such powers to regular users. Also in 2006, Habbo eXperts were given free Habbo Club, added to their accounts by the local programme leader - this was also discontinued.
By mid-2006, a new team of Habbo eXperts had been recruited, the Safety Xs. These members had an identical badge to that of the Habbo eXperts but had the role of giving advice about staying safe in Habbo and avoiding scams. They were primarily found in the Safety Drop-In, run by Redtiz, the Habbo Staff member who ran the Habbo X programme for Habbo UK. By the end of 2006, eXpert recruitment drives occur approximately every two months, and a team "structure" had emerged, whereby senior, experienced eXperts became Team Leaders, in charge of a small group of other eXperts.
In March 2007, Habbo.com.au announced the implementation of a new Habbo eXpert system. From then on, eXperts would be split into four specialisations, as outlined below:
|Host X||"Classic" Habbo X, welcoming new members in the Welcome Lounge.|
|Safety X||Helping and educating about staying safe on Habbo.|
|Tech X||Helping and educating about technical problems and computer/Internet safety.|
|Gamer X||Helping Habbos learn how to play various Habbo games, were given free gaming tickets.|
All Habbo eXperts kept their original X badge, which gave the override and Habbo Club privileges, but they were no longer allowed to wear it, they had to wear their specialisation badge. Not all hotels used all four specialisations, Habbo.com.au, for example, did not have Gamer Xs, that badge was instead given to eXperts from other specialisations who hosted official eXpert games and events.
With these new specialisations, recruitment into the eXpert programme also changed. Before, recruitment had opened to join the Habbo X and Safety X teams at different times; when a Habbo applied, they were either applying to be a Habbo X, or a Safety X. With the new specialisations, Habbos now applied to join the programme, and, if accepted, would become "Xlings", or "newbie eXperts", without specialisation. For the first three months, they would wear the basic X badge and be assigned a mentor. At the end of this training period, they would then select their specialisation and be given the respective badge.
The basic outline of the programme was applied to most hotels, however, some hotels had slightly different programmes. As mentioned above, Habbo Australia did not have Game eXperts. Habbo Japan also had different badges, featuring the letter 'G', as their eXperts were known as Habbo Guides, Habbo Spain had a separate badge as well, which featured an 'L' in place of an 'X'.
Teams & team leaders
By the time the programme was split into four specialisations, the eXpert hierarchy was well and truly established. eXperts were divided into teams of around 8-12 eXperts. The leaders had two special gold badges, one for each specialisation that (s)he was in charge of.
Head Habbo X badge
In addition, a "Head Habbo X" badge was created. In some hotels, such as Habbo UK, it wasn't used by an active user but instead was worn by the account 'UKeXperts' which was used infrequently by Habbo Staff.. In others hotels, it was given to the Habbo Staff who ran the local programme, although rarely worn, whilst in others, such as Habbo AU and Habbo US, it was worn by an eXpert who was chosen to be an overall leader of the team.
Habbo UK Teams
See more: List of Habbo eXperts
|Team Name||Active||Team Leader(s)|
|Habbo X||Nov 05 - Jan 06||AvadaKedavra (Nov 05)|
|XGen||Jan 06 - Jun 08||AuntyFrog (Jan 06), Bigbutsound (Sep 07), Thugdub (Jan 08)|
|Xtreme||Jan 06 - Jun 08||Tyche (Jan 06), Kokey (Aug 06), Envieux (Feb 07), [[ed2k] (Feb 08)|
|effeX||May 06 - Jun 08||PoliteFairy (May 06), Ardl (Aug 06)|
|Xtra||May 06 - Oct 06||TotallyMental (May 06)|
|roleX||Nov 06 - Jun 08||MissAlice (Nov 06), Kardan (Jan 08)|
|Xplore||Nov 06 - Jun 08||Nymrod/Ecoutez (Nov 06), Barmi (Apr 07), PaulDoc (Jan 08)|
|Safety X||Aug 06 - Dec 06||Floyd|
|refleX||Jan 07 - Jun 08||Aitken (Jan 07), KrazyHouse (Aug 07), tm (Dec 07)|
|proteX||Jan 07 - Jun 08||Protone (Jan 07), efficiency (Jun 08)|
Habbo eXperts were required to attend monthly with their team leader, in which the month's activities were discussed, feedback was given, problems explained etc. A private forum, XHabbos, was also available which was used eXpert programmes from several hotels and was used to keep in touch and coordinate events - the Habbo Staff in charge of the programme also used the forum. Each team had its own sub-forum and there was also a general forum for each country's programme. Finally, there was an international lounge where Habbo eXperts from different hotels could chat together.
For much of the duration of the Habbo X UK programme, the eXperts were led by the Habbo Staff member Redtiz, who was Habbo UK's Safety Officer. In late 2007, Redtiz moved onto a new role in Sulake, replacing Becs as global safety officer, and the programme was managed temporarily by Heidster, the Community Manager. Eventually, in late 2007, 0rca and colmc, two members of the Player Support Team, took over the role of leading the eXpert programme.
Habbo eXpert Handbook
See more: Habbo eXpert Handbook
Once accepted onto the team Habbo Xs would be sent a copy of the Habbo eXpert Handbook which would outline all of the responsibilities for Habbo eXperts, as well as explaining how they should be behave and how to seek help when unsure what to do. The Handbook was revised several times, most notably with the creation of four specializations within the programme.
Originally Habbo eXperts' sole responsibility was to welcome new users and educate them about staying safe in Habbo. However, over time the programme grew in scope, and Habbo eXperts would regularly hold event weeks. Habbo UK eXperts, for example, held a Wild West week, and Habbo US and Habbo CA eXperts regularly held a joint event each year.
eXperts on the UK hotel also began to host Infobus sessions. The Infobus had come to be used less often by charities since the departure of FRANK, and so eXperts were permitted to host sessions education Habbos on issues relating to their specialisation. eXperts could book the bus for an hour, and had to host with a fellow eXpert (one to host the session, one to look after the queue outside the Infobus). Common topics included password safety, avoiding scams and anti-virus software. Each hour was divided into 2 to 3 sessions, allowing many Habbos to attend. To carry out these sessions, eXperts were given "Infobus rights", which allowed them to open the doors to the Infobus at any time, although they didn't have the power to use the live polling tool that had been used in the past.
The End of the programme
In June 2008, it was announced that the Habbo eXpert programme was to close globally, and was to be replaced by the Habbo Guides. eXperts who were active at the time of the cancellation of the programme were awarded a commemorative badge and various other memorabilia, which varied according to the hotel. Habbo UK eXperts received a sticker for their Habbo Homes with all of the eXperts on it, and a Blue Sleeping Bag.
The Habbo eXpert programme often provoked controversy in the wider Habbo community. The main criticism levelled at the Habbo eXperts was that they abused their powers. Their ability to enter full rooms meant that they could attend any event held in Habbo and not have to queue or wait in the room beforehand. Eventually, in 2008, the room override power was removed from Habbo UK eXperts.