The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings provide guidance about video games and apps so that consumers, especially parents, can make informed choices about the ones they deem suitable for their family.
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
Where to Find ESRB Rating Info
Packaged or Boxed Games
Packaged or boxed video games available for retail sale or rental in the United States and Canada display the Rating Category on the front of the package and Content Descriptors on the back. They may also display a notice reading “Online Interactions Not Rated by the ESRB” that indicates possible exposure to user-generated content that has not been considered in the ESRB rating.
Digitally Delivered Games and Apps
Many downloadable games carry ESRB ratings, including all those available through console-based marketplaces like Microsoft Xbox LIVE®, Nintendo® Wii Shop and Sony PlayStation® Store and on any PlayStation certified mobile device. Rating information for these games is displayed prior to download. ESRB-rated apps also typically display their rating prior to download.
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 game that is expected to carry an ESRB rating, and should be replaced by a game’s rating once it has been assigned.