ESRB ratings make it easy for parents to be informed about the video games their kids play, but there’s more parents can do to stay involved and up to date. Learn how to set parental controls, start a conversation using our discussion guide, download the ESRB mobile app, and more.
Always check the front and back of a video game box for the ESRB-assigned rating information. You can also search here, or download our free rating search app to see a game’s rating summary. Ratings for digital games and apps are displayed on digital storefronts before you buy or install. If you need more information you can also find reviews and gameplay videos online.
It’s always a good idea to have a family conversation to set some house rules about which games are appropriate, time restrictions, and how much money can be spent on in-game/app purchases. Click here for a few conversation starters.
Set parental controls to make sure everyone sticks to the house rules. Click here for more information.
Watch for inappropriate behavior if your kids play games online. You can notify a game’s publisher or online service about offenders. Also keep an eye out for warning signs of cyberbullying, like anxiety, depression, or a reluctance to go to school or hang out with friends.
Be sure your kids are respectful when playing games online and on social media. Teach them to treat others as they would want to be treated.
Make the time to play games with your children! It will help you better understand why they enjoy playing them so much. But most of all, it’s a great way to have fun and spend time as a family.
84% of parents who purchase physical video games for their children are aware of ESRB ratings and 75% regularly check them before buying a game. (Source: Hart Research Associates, 2020)Learn More
Most parents consider each part (Rating Category, Content Descriptors, Interactive Elements) of the ESRB rating system to be either “very” or “extremely” important when deciding if a game or app is appropriate for their kids. (Source: Hart Research Associates, 2020)Learn More
ESRB has an enforcement system which allows for the imposition of sanctions, fines (including fines up to $1 million), and corrective actions on publishers for non-compliance with its guidelines.Learn More
The late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote: “This [ESRB rating] system does much to ensure that minors cannot purchase seriously violent games on their own, and that parents who care about the matter can readily evaluate the games their children bring home.”Learn More
Introduced in 2008, Rating Summaries provide greater detail about the content in physical games rated by the ESRB, and are exclusively available on this website or the ESRB mobile app by conducting a title search.Learn More
The FTC considers the ESRB to have “the strongest self-regulatory code” among media rating systems in the U.S. and has confirmed that retailers maintain a high store policy compliance rate.Learn More
Founded in 2013 by many of the world’s leading video game rating authorities, the International Age Rating Coalition (IARC) administers the first globally streamlined age classification process for digital games and mobile apps that respects the unique cultural norms of each region.Learn More
More than 70% of parents would be more comfortable allowing their children to download and play a game certified by ESRB Privacy Certified (Source: Hart Research Associates, 2018).Learn More
Activating parental controls on your children’s video game devices helps you enforce house rules, such as limiting play time, blocking games with certain ESRB ratings, and managing in-game spending.Learn More