ESRB RATINGS GUIDE

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 for "boxed" video games have two 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

As a supplementary source of information, packaged video games have Rating Summaries that provide a more detailed description of the content than what is factored into the rating assigned to the game.

ESRB Ratings Video

VIDEO GAME PARENTAL CONTROLS

Watch the videos below to learn how to use the parental controls on popular video game consoles. Use these controls to manage the content of the games your kids play before they begin playing the game.

PlayStation 4 Xbox One Wii U

ESRB RATING SEARCH APP

Get more details about the games your kids want before you make a purchase. Download the free ESRB Ratings Search app to learn about the content of games while you're on the go.

Learn About the ESRB app

WHAT DO THEY MEAN

esrb ratings symbol for ec games EARLY CHILDHOOD
Content is intended for young children.
esrb ratings symbol for E-rated games EVERYONE
Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.
esrb ratings symbol for e10 games EVERYONE 10+
Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
esrb ratings symbol for T-rated games TEEN
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.
esrb ratings symbol for m-rated games MATURE
Content is generally suitable for persons ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
esrb ratings symbol for AO-rated games ADULTS ONLY
Content suitable for adults 18 years and up. May include prolonged scenes of intense violence, graphic sexual content and/or gambling with real currency.
esrb ratings symbol for rp rating RATING PENDING
Not yet assigned a final ESRB rating. Appears only in advertising, marketing and promotional materials and relates 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.

  • 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 — Violent actions involving cartoon-like situations and characters. May include violence where a character is unharmed after the action has been inflicted
  • 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.

For the most up-to-date list of content descriptors and definitions, go to www.esrb.org/ratings/.


OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

"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.

ABOUT ENTERTAINMENT SOFTWARE RATING BOARD (ESRB)

The ESRB is a non-profit, self-regulatory body established in 1994 by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). ESRB independently assigns computer and video game content ratings, enforces advertising guidelines, and helps ensure responsible online privacy practices for the interactive entertainment software industry.