Is Roblox Safe for Kids? A Guide for Parents and Families
Is your house filled with the sound of your kids playing games on Roblox? Don’t worry — you’re definitely not alone! Roblox is the most popular video game in the U.S. for children 5 –12. But despite its wild popularity, it can still be a little hard to understand what exactly kids are doing while they’re playing it. You may also be wondering “Is Roblox safe for kids?” After reading this blog post, you’ll understand more about Roblox’s appeal, many of its dangers, and exactly why kids love it so much.
How Roblox Works
To start with, Roblox isn’t just one game — it’s a platform hosting literally millions of games that people can choose to play. Users create and publish these games, and they all take place in the Roblox world and are designed in the Roblox animation style, which resembles the chunky characters in Minecraft and Lego.
Games in Roblox are 3-D, open-world experiences, which means that you can go anywhere, in any direction, at any time you like. (Compare this to the old-school video games like Super Mario Bros, which only allowed you to move in one direction — always to the right.)
When it comes to deciding what kind of game you want to play, the sky’s the limit! Many of the games on Roblox are free or cheaper versions of other popular video games, like Fortnite and Animal Crossing. You can often find games with characters and settings from pop culture — worlds kids like to spend time in.
Why Do Children Love Roblox?
Not only can you play and explore in a fun open world, you can build your own game with Roblox Studio. Kids can get super creative and dream up any location they can imagine — from Ancient Greece to the Marvel Cinematic Universe — and make it come to life. Bonus: When they’re building out these worlds, they’re learning the basics of coding!
Kids love creating and constantly updating their avatar (a video game version of yourself that you can customize with hair, clothes, and props). These features can help children express their personalities and interests while playing the game.
Just like in real life, young people can get together at the same time as friends and play games and chat. During the 2020 pandemic, virtual spaces and events became super popular ways for Roblox users to socialize and hang out. The game now boasts more than 150 million active monthly users, which means its popularity as a social destination shows no signs of slowing down.
On Roblox, there’s never a shortage of brand-new and exciting games to play, and they often come out faster than traditional game studios can publish. There are also so many different ways to play games on Roblox, including on iOS, Android, Mac, PC, tablets, and gaming consoles like Xbox and Oculus Rift.
Dangers to Watch Out For
As with any other platform that has user-generated content and an in-game chat feature, there’s always the chance that kids can run into inappropriate content while playing. This can include profanity, sexual content, drugs/alcohol, and more. The games themselves are often similar to mainstream video games, with simulated violence (players can kill and be killed). There’s also the chance of children messaging with potentially predatory adults, though that risk may be minimal thanks to the parental controls we’ll talk about in the next section.
Another issue to watch out for is scams. Robux, the in-game currency you can use to purchase upgrades and avatar accessories, can be obtained in a couple of different ways. You can purchase it with real money, receive it through Roblox Premium, or earn it through creating games. Make sure your child knows to ignore players who are offering free Robux — they’re most likely phishing scams.
Protections Roblox Offers
When it comes to parental controls and dedication to helping protect younger players, Roblox really walks the walk. Here are just a few of the ways the company safeguards kids.
Roblox automatically filters all chats to help prevent inappropriate content and personally identifiable information from being displayed. Over 400 human moderators help review content that gets flagged by the filter’s AI. Things may slip through the cracks occasionally — no filter is perfect — but it’s definitely a good effort.
This really sets Roblox apart from other games and social media platforms. When you set parental controls, you can lock them in place with a PIN code. Many other apps, like TikTok for example, will allow you to toggle on safety settings, but they can be turned off by the child at any time.
From the settings menu, you can choose who can message and chat with your child, along with who can invite them to join them in private servers.
One of Roblox’s newest features will soon be voice chat for users over 13, and they’re rolling out an age verification tool in an attempt to help enforce the age limit. Users will have to upload a photo of their government-issued ID along with a selfie to prove that it’s actually them in the picture.
The Account Restrictions feature makes it so that absolutely no one can send your child messages or chat with them. These restrictions also limit the games kids can play to a pre-approved, age-appropriate list.
Parents can log in to their child’s account and see nearly everything they’ve been doing on the app, including:
- Group chats
- Private messages
- Friends and followers
- Virtual item purchases and trade history
- Creations such as games, items, sounds, and more
- Recently played games
So, Is Roblox Safe for Kids?
After all this, are you still wondering “Is Roblox safe for kids?” If you take advantage of all of the parental control features and stay involved in what your child’s playing and who they’re playing with, Roblox can be fairly safe for older kids (12+). Roblox is taking great steps to help protect the children that use their platform, and the company is light years ahead of other kid-favorite apps like Snapchat.
As always, keep an open dialogue with your kid about Roblox, and make sure your child knows they can always come to you if anything makes them feel weird.
Bark is a comprehensive online safety solution that empowers families to monitor content, manage screen time, and filter websites to help protect their kids online. Our mission is to give parents and guardians the tools they need to raise kids in the digital age.