EVE Online

Common Sense Media says

Fly starships and destroy enemies in online space game.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Although players are urged to destroy pirates and enemies, they are asked to do so for the good of the society they join. However players can also be a pirate, mercenary and smuggling is part of the game-play.

Positive role models

Role models are provided by players in the game and the first that new players meet are those that volunteer to guide and help other players in the game. However as players move further into the game, they will encounter player organizations that are pirates and those that run smuggling rings as well.

Ease of play

This game has always had a reputation of being difficult to learn but the tutorial is constantly being improved.


Like most MMORPGs, players are required to kill things to better their characters. In this instance, players fly spaceships and destroy other spaceships. Hence there is shooting and explosions.


Although players create and customize avatars, they are just paper-dolls. Players control spaceships instead of human characters in game.


Although there isn't any objectional language in the game itself, chat is completely open and there are no profanity filters in the game. So kids playing may experience colorful language.


Not an issue.  It is a subscription-based game.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There are no depictions of characters in game and hence, no drinking, or smoking references. However part of the gameplay consists of smuggling boosters which enhance pilot performance.  This is also known as drug-running.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that EVE Online is a massively multiplayer online role playing game that requires a monthly subscription. The world and the economy is player-driven and a major part of the game is Player versus Player (PvP) where players actively fight each other. Smuggling or "drug-running" is part of the game as is exploration, trading, manufacturing, fighting the pirates or being a pirate and hunting and stealing from other players. The game is rated T for violence as players shoot and blow each other's ships up, but there is no blood or gore as player "characters" are space ships and not humanoids.

Parents say

Kids say

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What's it about?

EVE ONLINE is a space flight and combat game set in a universe far away and eons away from the current time.  It is a "sandbox" game, meaning that players are provided the "sandbox" and can play in it as they wish.  Players choose one of four different races and make an avatar, but control ships.  Unlike many games which make use of mouse, keyboard, or joystick to control movement, players issue orders by selecting destinations and commands such as orbit, dock, or mine, and the ship will perform that action. Players in EVE Online earn skill points and train skills in real-time - meaning that skills will be training even when the player is offline. Although there are careers that players can choose to follow, they can train in any skill they wish, either specializing in some or spending the time to learn as many as they wish. Players also build and improve their ships with better armor, equipment, and weapon systems.  EVE Online is also about power and control.  Players battle each other to control star systems and build star bases.

Is it any good?


On the one hand, EVE Online is a great game because of the open sandbox play, where almost literally, anything goes. Players can trade to earn a living, be a mercernary, conduct mining operations, fight the pirates, be a pirate, focus on research or manufacturing, or play the meta-game of space control by participating in a Corporation and fighting other Corporations for control of space and resources. On the other hand, it can be a confusing game because there are no structured or predefined advancement paths.

A mature game with many expansions since launch (all of them free), EVE Online has a volunteer program and one branch specifically helps new players by greeting them and helping them get a good start in the game. For the best experience, players will want to join a Corporation, which are player run groups, because the best way to learn is from other players.  Graphics in EVE Online are simply gorgeous and yet computer requirements are quite low. Players who enjoy creative thinking and opportunities afforded in an open-ended game can find EVE Online utterly compelling.

Online interaction: Although there are volunteers that help new players, and other players are generally helpful, a major part of game play is player-versus-player and gamers must expect to lose their ship and have to rebuild. This is a game with open chat so risks are present.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the possibilites and history of space travel.  When did manned space flight first occur? Do you think a world like EVE Online could exist in the future?

  • Families can also talk about online interactions, safety, and courtesy.  If you wouldn't say or do this in real life, why would you do it online?

  • Online games are compelling and time consuming.  Families can talk about setting time limits for online game time.

Game details

Platforms:Windows, Mac
Price:$14.95 monthly subscription
Available online?Not available online
Release date:May 6, 2003
Genre:Massively Multi-player Online Game (MMOG)
ESRB rating:T for Violence (Mac, Windows)

This review of EVE Online was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 16 years old Written byusaf2222 March 21, 2010

Patience Required

As a person who has played eve for over 6 months. I can personally tell you that EVE is a rock solid and fun multiplayer experience. However if you're going to play, I STRONGLY encourage players to join a corporation (similar to guilds in other MMORPG's). These corporations will help you get up to speed faster, and are usually friendly and understanding.

Skill training is a different animal on this game, rather than gain experience through combat or mining, instead, all training occurs over time. Therefore it's common to see a friend disappear for days or even months while a skill is training. This can actually be good because it makes it much less addicting than other games.

All-in-all, this is a fun experience that one shouldn't just pass over. Try it, you'll love it!

Parent of a 3 year old Written byMcGamer August 4, 2013

CCP encourages online bullying and player harassment

CCP, the developers of EVE Online have a history of encouraging online bullying and harassment tactics by their players. The game in itself has promise of a great game, except the community is largely populated with perverse, rude, sexist, racist, and hate mongering language in any chat channel.

In the recent expansion, CCP went so far to even make changes to the 'Bounty System' to allow players to freely place bounties by players on other players with total freedom over mere words and no actions if they choose to. This results in extended harassment by other players against players who normally do not seek such player versus player content or are new in general to the game. I have played EVE Online for over 10 years and was even in the beta for reference as to how well I know the game. I am part of a small minority of players who avoid anarchistic ideals in the game. Especially since these new bounty changes are only recent. Unfortunately, despite efforts to make CCP aware of the exploited use of the bounty system, such comments on their forums are met with literal hate and contempt by players and CSMs alike.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educator Written bytorturedbythecia July 18, 2013

Not for Teens under any Circumstances

I've been a long time gamer. Whereas, face value, this has a well earned "T for Teen" as it is mild in sex, violence, drugs, etc., the rules of the game, being non-existent, encourage players to be terrible to one another.

For those worried about "consumerism," this is not the game to allow youth to play, because it involves nothing but. There are not really NPC missions to pursue of any substance, other than attacking a few pirate ships. The main part of the game is gaining large fleets and taking on other fleets.

What is of most concern for parents is the behavior between players encouraged by CCP, the games parent company. CCP freely has created an environment where gang warfare, extortion, harassment, spying, theft, stalking, and manipulation of other players is not only freely allowed, but is actively encouraged. Added to this, new players may find that one poorly composed sentence may make other players believe that you are some other player who has committed some heinous in game crime, like the theft of $16000 worth of merchandise from a corp or otherwise.

Privacy is of utmost importance, as all corporations demand access to other players' wallets and transaction histories to see if that player is a spy for another group. As CCP allows scamming, this can make your child a target for scams or theft due to the fact that CCP openly streams to third party software any information which a player provides. And, given that all corporations you join require you to give them an access code to your "online API" which allows them to view your wallet and market transactions, your child's in-game financial situation will be available for any player who wants to see it, regardless of his personal ethos regarding theft and con-artistry.

The game is good for those who like openly hostile environments and spy games, but if you're not entering the game with a large group of people you know, it is unlikely that anyone will trust you and everyone will be suspicious of you. I bought a six month subscription, thinking the game was extremely fun and complex after several days on trial. I played for about three weeks before I finally decided I didn't want to spend money on hanging out with some of the worst people the internet has to offer.

CCP takes a very low look at harassment, for example, when the heads of one of the major alliances publicly gave out chat logs of a player who had admitted he was suicidal, gave out the player's name, and then encouraged other players to continue to destroy his ship as much as possible:

CCP gave him a 30 day suspension. Whereas I believe with the particular player, being extremely high profile, this was probably acceptable as he learned how swiftly he can get punished and he payed the harassed player an inordinate amount of cash, it is one of the many examples as to why this game is not for teens.

It should always be known that all in game money has an out of game component, game time may be purchased from CCP and sold in game for in-game money.

One of the biggest heists of other players' stuff has amounted to $16,000. Several players infiltrated a players' corp, lured her to a remote region of space in her most expensive ship. They subsequently attacked and destroyed her ship and then stole everything from the corporation, a grand total of $16,000 worth of in-game items and money.

These are just a few examples how singular players will be and can be massively victimized by groups engaging in massively unethical behavior at any moment.

Please Google "Eve Online Suicidal Player" before deciding if you want your teen learning real life criminal and gang harassment skills and practicing them on real people.

What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Safety and privacy concerns


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