Roblox

Website review by
Erin Brereton, Common Sense Media
Roblox Website Poster Image
Popular with kids
Chance to design games, but also potential for iffy content.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1653 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 3695 reviews

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Educational Value

Kids can learn about designing virtual worlds and games. Talking to other users could help kids build teamwork, communication skills. Roblox has a lot of potential; it provides a flexible, imaginative environment where kids can create, explore, and get design experience using the drag-and-drop tool. But instructional tutorials are housed on a separate site, so the design tool can be a little tricky to figure out, which may limit the amount of practical knowledge kids obtain. Adding a chat or other option to get questions answered within the Roblox Studio tool could help ensure kids understand how to use it.

Positive Messages

Positive social interaction is encouraged and reinforced by users' generally favorable critiques of others' game designs. On the downside, players can encounter those who initiate negative social interactions.

Violence

Cartoony weapons are used in certain worlds. Roblox's information for parents says that all uploaded images, video, and audio files are reviewed by moderators before being allowed on the site, but at least one user reported that she has seen characters "rape" other characters, and videos of avatar sexual assaults occurring on the site can be found on YouTube. Sexual acts aren't visually shown, but surrounding dialogue and images of characters being held against their will are reminiscent of this violent abuse.

Sex

While Roblox has tried to restrain sexual content from its servers, there have been many instances of users encountering and engaging in games with sexual content, themes, activity. In recent years, users have created "condo games," themed spaces where player avatars engage in simulated sex acts, use profanity that bypasses content filters, and, in theory, could be groomed by predators. Roblox has made it harder to find such games by taking actions such as censoring the word "condo," but its efforts have also made the scenarios harder to detect and address. For related issues regarding abusive sexual content, see "Violence" section.

Language

Although the company says a safe chat function is used to monitor and prevent inappropriate language, users have reported open rooms and games in the past that may expose players to inappropriate comments and profanity that bypasses content filters.

Consumerism

Players use a currency called Robux and can buy packages for $4.95 to $199.95. They'll need to buy a Roblox Premium membership for additional privileges, such a monthly Robux allowance, ranging from 450 to 2,200 Robux, and a greater share of the revenue from sales within games they create. Subscriptions cost $4.99 to $19.99 a month, or $59.88 to $144 annually.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Words like "beer," "pot," and "drunk" seem to be blocked by Roblox's filter, making it difficult to find any games that involve drug or alcohol references through a search.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Roblox is a game-creation website where users design and upload their own games -- and play games that other people have created -- in a multiplayer environment. Roblox's free and open communication policy means that kids' interactions can vary widely, from legitimate player engagement to iffy involvement with possibly predatory users. We've rated it for age 13+ based on continuing challenges with problematic content, but it's potentially OK for kids younger than that if account restrictions are turned on and parents pay close attention to their kids' activities on the platform. Posts and chats are filtered for inappropriate content and personal information references if a user is 12 or younger, and parents can restrict their child's chatting capabilities. We recommend that parents disable the chat functionality as a protective measure when they can't supervise their kids' play. We also recommend setting a four-digit PIN code that's required to make any changes to a child's account (preventing kids from giving themselves broader access) and change the security settings to allow kids to access only a curated list of age-appropriate games. Registered users who are 13 and older can also choose to alter their settings to restrict in-game chatting and messaging capabilities. There have been reports of users thwarting the chat and exchanging inappropriate messages with young players, and games that feature inappropriate sexual content, violence, and adult language; some kids have also been exploited by predators through the site. Despite Roblox's efforts at policing itself -- including using human moderators, implementing digital-civility rules, and more -- bad actors continue to find ways to share dubious content, both on the site and off, including uploading inappropriate game clips to YouTube. There's also a commercial element: Kids can purchase Robux, the in-game currency; obtain it by selling shirts, pants, or game access; or receive a monthly Robux allowance by signing up for a paid Premium membership, which allows you to buy, sell, and trade items to earn more Robux. As always, it's a good idea to read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your information (or your kids') is collected, used, and shared, and any choices you may have in the matter; note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change. Parents who have additional concerns about Roblox should check out our Ultimate Guide to Roblox. Under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), you have the right to protect your personal information. Make a Do Not Sell request to Roblox.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBeetleFrustration October 16, 2015

It's a learning experience- If your kids can handle it.

There are pros and cons to this site. First of all, if you're thinking since it downloads software it downloads malware, you're wrong. It's a saf... Continue reading
Adult Written byco p. April 8, 2017

Seriously People...

For all those parents and kids who think Roblox is bad for your child:
Yes, it does have many inappropriate chat messages, *BUT* there is a way to stop that!
1... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byway245 June 14, 2010

For Any Age

I love this website. You can go onto games and fight or play minigames or anything. The violence is not bad, you can use rockets/bombs/paintball guns/bouncey ba... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byKumicchi September 24, 2015

Great game if you are mature

Roblox is whatever you make of it. I started playing when I was a fairly mature 8 or 9 year old. I was not a stupid child, I knew not to give out personal infor... Continue reading

What's it about?

ROBLOX provides design elements to help budding game creators make and contribute games and activities. Most are free to play once you register and download an installer, and there are plenty to check out. Users can also chat with and friend each other, join groups, and post on message boards. The games can be inconsistent -- novice developers make them, so quality can vary -- and younger kids may find some a bit scary. Safety features allow parents to limit some of kids' chat and other features by changing their account settings.

Is it any good?

This creativity-based website features a never-ending (and continually evolving) supply of creative, fun challenges to explore -- that's the beauty of offering designs from thousands of budding developers. A number of Roblox's user-contributed items, which range from simple obstacle course games to virtual cities, offer an exciting, amusing, and inspiring experience. In addition to checking out available games, kids can also flex their imagination via a design tool that lets them fashion their own games and environments. Unfortunately, though, because many contributors are amateur designers, kids may come across rendering problems, on-screen flicker, and some extremely frustrating gameplay, particularly when navigating mazes or jumping. Users can also potentially encounter inappropriate chat and other content. A number have reported problematic interactions with strangers, and there are lots of examples of violent and overtly sexual content and predatory behavior that have been documented in news sources.

Roblox gets high marks for encouraging exploration, interaction, and, above all, huge amounts of creativity in its users. Kids can theoretically begin as player/explorers and evolve into experienced users and developers. In addition, popular titles could potentially result in young designers making some cash off their inventions. Just be aware that some games they play may be violent, depending on what a creator has placed into a particular experience. And although the site says it proactively filters inappropriate content, a fairly well-publicized 2018 incident in which a user said her 7-year-old daughter's avatar was "gang-raped" on a playground -- along with the fact that Roblox "rape scenes" can be found on YouTube -- suggests some extremely iffy stuff may make it through. Parents may also want to check chat programs that their kids are using to communicate with other players in Roblox games. Other reported incidents have involved players using personally created Discord servers to direct Roblox users to "condo games," where inappropriate sexual content, language, and potential grooming by predators may take place. Parents will likely want to supervise their child's site use to make sure they're viewing only safe content and not interacting with strangers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about interacting with others in Roblox while pursuing their own goals. Could watching other players try a course of action and letting them show you the best path to choose be at all helpful? What could kids learn from observing other people play?

  • What potential dangers can occur when you interact with strangers online? What kind of information should you never give out about yourself to someone you don't know? Talk to your kids about protecting their privacy online.

  • If kids happen to see something iffy or upsetting online, how should they react? Discuss potential reactions, such as telling a parent or trusted adult.

Website details

  • Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, presenting to others
    Arts: drawing, playing
  • Skills: Creativity: combining knowledge, imagination
    Self-Direction: goal-setting, set objectives, work to achieve goals
    Communication: asking questions, multiple forms of expression
    Tech Skills: digital creation, using and applying technology
  • Genre: Gaming
  • Pricing structure: Paid, Free
  • Last updated: April 21, 2021

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