The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings provide concise and objective information about the content in video games and apps so consumers,
especially parents, can make informed choices. ESRB ratings have three parts:
- Rating Categories suggest age
- Content Descriptors indicate content that
may have triggered a particular rating and/or may be of interest or concern
- Interactive Elements inform about interactive aspects of a product, including the users' ability to interact, the sharing of users' location with others, if in-app purchases of digital goods are completed, and/or if unrestricted internet access is provided.
- Shares Location
- Users Interact
- Digital Purchases
- Unrestricted Internet
As a supplementary source of information, boxed video games have Rating Summaries that
provide a more detailed description of the content that factored into the rating assigned.
Content is intended for young children.
Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
Content suitable only for adults ages 18 and up. May include prolonged scenes of intense violence, graphic sexual content and/or gambling with real currency.
Not yet assigned a final ESRB rating. Appears only in advertising, marketing and promotional materials related to a "boxed" video game that is expected to carry an ESRB rating, and should be replaced by a game's rating once it has been assigned.
NOTE: Rating Category assignments can also be based upon a game or app's minimum age requirement.
- Alcohol Reference - Reference to and/or images
of alcoholic beverages
- Animated Blood - Discolored and/or unrealistic
depictions of blood
- Blood - Depictions of blood
- Blood and Gore - Depictions of blood or the mutilation
of body parts
- Cartoon Violence - Violent actions involving cartoon-like
situations and characters. May include violence where a character
is unharmed after the action has been inflicted
- Comic Mischief - Depictions or dialogue involving
slapstick or suggestive humor
- Crude Humor - Depictions or dialogue involving
vulgar antics, including "bathroom" humor
- Drug Reference - Reference to and/or images of
- Fantasy Violence - Violent actions of a fantasy
nature, involving human or non-human characters in situations easily
distinguishable from real life
- Intense Violence - Graphic and realistic-looking
depictions of physical conflict. May involve extreme and/or realistic
blood, gore, weapons and depictions of human injury and death
- Language - Mild to moderate use of profanity
- Lyrics - Mild references to profanity, sexuality,
violence, alcohol or drug use in music
- Mature Humor - Depictions or dialogue involving
"adult" humor, including sexual references
- Nudity - Graphic or prolonged depictions of nudity
- Partial Nudity - Brief and/or mild depictions of
- Real Gambling - Player can gamble, including betting
or wagering real cash or currency
- Sexual Content - Non-explicit depictions of sexual behavior, possibly including partial nudity
- Sexual Themes - References to sex or sexuality
- Sexual Violence - Depictions of rape or other violent sexual
- Simulated Gambling - Player can gamble without
betting or wagering real cash or currency
- Strong Language - Explicit and/or frequent use
- Strong Lyrics - Explicit and/or frequent references
to profanity, sex, violence, alcohol or drug use in music
- Strong Sexual Content - Explicit and/or frequent depictions of sexual behavior, possibly including nudity
- Suggestive Themes - Mild provocative references
- Tobacco Reference - Reference to and/or images
of tobacco products
- Use of Alcohol - The consumption of alcoholic beverages
- Use of Drugs - The consumption or use of illegal drugs
- Use of Tobacco - The consumption of tobacco products
- Violence - Scenes involving aggressive conflict. May contain bloodless dismemberment
- Violent References - References to violent acts
NOTE: Content Descriptors are applied relative to the Rating Category assigned and are not intended to be a complete listing of content.
When a Content Descriptor is preceded by the term "Mild" it is intended to convey low frequency, intensity or severity.
- Shares Location - Includes the ability to display the user's location to other users of the app
- Users Interact - Indicates possible exposure to unfiltered/uncensored user-generated content, including user-to-user communications and media sharing via social media and networks
- Digital Purchases - Enables purchases of digital goods completed directly from within the app (e.g., purchases of additional game content, levels, downloadable music, etc.)
- Unrestricted Internet - Product provides access to the internet
"Online Interactions Not Rated by the ESRB" - Warns those who intend to play the game online about possible exposure to chat (text, audio,
video) or other types of user-generated content (e.g., maps, skins) that have not been considered in the ESRB rating assignment.
"Online Music Not Rated by the ESRB" - Warns that songs that are streamed or downloaded as add-ons for music-based games have not been rated and that their content has not been considered in the ESRB rating assignment.
NOTE: The "Shares Location," "Users Interact," "Digital Purchases" and "Unrestricted Internet" notices are assigned to digitally delivered games and apps whereas the Online and Music notices typically apply only to online-enabled boxed video games.