Understand Game Ratings
The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) is a self-regulatory group established to independently determine and enforce content ratings, advertising guidelines and online privacy principles in video games — whether they're played on the PC or on consoles. Here's a quick look at ESRB rating levels and symbols.
- Early Childhood: Titles rated EC (Early Childhood) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 3 and older. Titles in this category contain no material that parents would find inappropriate.
- Everyone: Titles rated E (Everyone) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 6 and older. Titles in this category may contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
- Everyone 10+: Titles rated E10+ (Everyone 10+) have content that may be suitable for ages 10 and older. Titles in this category may contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
- Teen: Titles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older. Titles in this category may contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
- Mature: Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
- Rating Pending: Titles listed as RP (Rating Pending) have been submitted to the ESRB and are awaiting final rating. This symbol appears only in advertising prior to a game's release.
- Adults Only: Titles rated AO (Adults Only) have content that should only be played by persons 18 years and older. Titles in this category may include prolonged scenes of intense violence and/or graphic sexual content and nudity.
ESRB Content Descriptors
The ESRB also rates games according to content descriptors. On most game boxes, these exist side-by-side with ESRB icons. Content descriptors detail why each game received its rating, with terms such as "Comic Mischief," "Strong Language" or "Partial Nudity." To see a full list of content descriptors, visit the ESRB page in our more resources section.