What are the ESRB ratings and what do they mean?

What are the ESRB ratings and what do they mean?

The ESRB ratings are designed to provide concise and impartial information about the content in computer and video games so parents can make an informed purchase decision. ESRB ratings have two equal parts: rating symbols that suggest age appropriateness for the game, and content descriptors that indicate elements in a game that may have triggered a particular rating and/or may be of interest or concern.

To take full advantage of the ESRB rating system, it's important to check both the rating symbol (on the front of the box) and the content descriptors (on the back).

For the most up-to-date list of content descriptors and definitions, visit the ESRB website.

EC – Early Childhood
Content is intended for young children.

E – Everyone
Content is generally suitable for all ages. May contain minimal cartoon, fantasy or mild violence and/or infrequent use of mild language.

E10+ – Everyone 10 & Older
Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.

T  – 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.

M – Mature
Content is generally suitable for persons ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.

AO – 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. Target does not carry Adults Only rated video games or software.

RP – Rating Pending
Titles listed as RP have been submitted to the ESRB and are awaiting final rating. This symbol appears only in advertising prior to a game's release.
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