ESRB Ratings Guide
The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings provide concise information on games and apps so consumers, especially parents, can make informed choices. ESRB ratings have three parts:
- Rating Categories?suggest age appropriateness
- 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 users' ability to interact, the sharing of users' location with other users, or the fact that personal information may be shared with third parties
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.
| Early Childhood [3+]|
|Titles rated EC (Early Childhood) have content that may be suitable for ages 3 and older. Contains no material that parents would find inappropriate.|
| Everyone [6+]|
|Titles rated E (Everyone) have content that is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.|
| Everyone 10+ [10+]|
|Titles rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) have content that is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.themes.|
| Teen [13+]|
| Titles rated T (Teen) have content that 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.|
| Mature [17+]|
| Titles rated M (Mature) have content that is generally suitable for persons ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.|
| Adults Only [18+]|
|Titles rated AO (Adults Only) have content that is only suitable for persons ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.|
| Rating Pending [?+]|
|Titles listed as RP (Rating Pending) have not yet been assigned a final ESRB rating. (This symbol appears only in advertising and promotional materials prior to a game's release, and will be replaced by a game’s rating once it has been assigned.)|
To further assist parents and game buyers with pre-orders and other purchasing decisions, and also to advise children on titles that they may be interested in looking into, the ESRB amended the "RP" logo in 2008. Titles not yet been rated that are anticipating a rating of "T (for Teen)" or above and that may contain mature content will often use the revised "RP" logo. Listed as RP-T+ in some uses, this rating denotes that content in this game has not been fully evaluated but will likely not be appropriate for children. Those interested in the product should check back for the official rating before purchasing if they are still considering the title.
|Standard Rating Pending Mark||Revised Rating Pending Mark for Titles Anticipating T, M or AO Ratings|
ESRB Content Descriptors
- 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 illegal drugs.
- 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 nudity.
- 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 acts.
- Simulated Gambling - Player can gamble without betting or wagering real cash or currency.
- Strong Language - Explicit and/or frequent use of profanity.
- 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 or materials.
- 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.
- In-Game Purchases - In-game offers to purchase digital goods or premiums with real world currency, including but not limited to bonus levels, skins, surprise items (such as item packs, loot boxes, mystery awards), music, virtual coins and other forms of in-game currency, subscriptions, season passes and upgrades (e.g., to disable ads).
- Users Interact - Indicates possible exposure to unfiltered/uncensored user-generated content, including user-to-user communications and media sharing via social media and networks.
- Shares Location - Includes the ability to display the user's location to other users of the app.
- Unrestricted Internet - Product provides access to the internet.
"Music Downloads Not Rated by the ESRB" - Warns that songs 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.
Shares Info?- Indicates that personal information provided by the user (e.g., e-mail address, phone number, credit card info, etc.) is shared with third parties
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
"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
"Music Downloads Not Rated by the ESRB"?- Warns that songs 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