Roblox is one of the world’s most popular gaming apps for children. Gamers spent 9.7 billion hours on the platform in the first quarter of 2021 alone. And over half of Roblox users are kids. According to our study of children’s digital habits in 2020, Roblox was the most popular game among kids and one of the apps they spent the most time on, an average of 96 mins/day. It’s clear that kids love it, but is Roblox safe for kids? Here’s what parents need to know.
Qustodio’s App & Game Safety Guide to Roblox
Qustodio: 12+ (set age to under 13 even for teens)
Apple: 12+ (offers in-app purchases)
Common Sense: 13+ (potential for some iffy content)
What is Roblox?
Roblox is not a game like Fortnite or Minecraft, it’s an ever-expanding library of over 40,000 multiplayer games created by amateur game makers. Roblox games are made up of individual spaces or communities where mostly young kids hang out.
The games, with names such as “Work in a Pizza Place” often mimic the adult world. Some of the most popular Roblox games to-date are “Adopt Me!”, “Tower of Hell”, and “MeepCity”. Once published to the Roblox Studio, people worldwide can play Roblox games online together on just about every platform you can think of including 3D. Users can play for free, but they must use Robux, the Roblox currency, to buy additional features.
What do kids like about Roblox?
- Roblox is free to download and to play. Kids need to buy Robux currency for additional features and accessories, and to access certain games, but it is possible to play Roblox without spending any money.
- Roblox games are easy to create. The Roblox Studio tools are easy for kids and people new to coding to learn. And it’s a safe environment for new coders to experiment and fair and try again on their way to creating a real game.
- Kids can earn money on Roblox. If a Roblox game becomes popular enough, the coder can be financially rewarded for their creation.
Is Roblox safe for kids?
Roblox uses a team of 2,300 people plus AI to monitor its games, but it is still possible for kids to come across inappropriate or sexual content, such as in so-called “Condo games” that often feature adult content, simulated sex acts, images and language.
Roblox is also developing improved parental controls to help protect kids against sexual content. And it is working on a rating system for Roblox games, but even then, no multiplayer game or app is 100% safe 100% of the time.
How can I make Roblox safer for my kids?
1. Set birthdate to under 13. We don’t recommend ever sharing your child’s actual birthdate online, but we do suggest inventing one that is under the age of 13, even if they are an older teenager. This will activate automatic content filtering both for inappropriate content and to prevent personal information from being posted.
2. Use Roblox native parental controls to curate the content your kids may encounter when playing and to create a white list of age-appropriate games. To prevent a child from changing the controls you set, you will have to turn on Account Restrictions and create a PIN code.
3. Restrict voice chat only to approved friends or turn it off entirely. Choose Friends or No one.
4. Block and report annoying or disruptive players.
5. Set time limits. Use parental controls like Qustodio to set screen time limits. We recommend setting downtimes at bedtime, mealtimes and when your kids are at school, and to set an overall time limit on electronic device use.
6. Co-play. The best way to understand anything your child does online is to do it with them. This is also a great time to talk to your kids about online risks and remind them to never share personal information or passwords online. No matter what.
7. Don’t give your child access to your credit card information. Roblox is full of advertising and demands to buy its Robux currency. If they want to purchase Robux, do it for them, set a firm limit (for yourself and for them) and be sure not to accidentally save the credit card information on their device for future use.
Qustodio’s final advice on Roblox
Though Roblox is imaginative, social and can be an intro to learning how to code, parents should not let their guard down. Roblox’s multiplayer format and open chat means there is a chance your kids are interacting with adults or adult content. Make sure any play for players under 13 is supervised. We recommend parental controls (especially time limits and chat limits) for kids, tweens and teens. Also, no matter what their age, review the potential risks of bullies, online predators and data theft.
- Roblox reveals bookings surge in first post-debut report (Reuters)
- Global Roblox games users distribution by age 2020 (Statista)
- Roblox most popular places 2021 (Statista)
- Is Roblox Safe for Kids? (Parents)