Experts in digital safety
Subway Surfers app ratings
Apple: 9+ (Offers in-app purchases)
Android: PEGI 7 (Very mild forms of violence)
Common Sense: 9+
What is Subway Surfers?
Subway Surfers is one of the most popular apps for kids. It has been installed more than 1.5 billion times and was the most downloaded video game of the last decade. Despite frequent collisions with oncoming trains, there is little to no violence or gore. It is a single-player game (except in China or on SnapChat) so there are no interactions with strangers. And in-app purchases are not required to advance.
What do kids like about Subway Surfers?
- It’s easy for kids to play, especially on a tablet. Kids just have to swipe in the direction they want to move or double-click to use the hoverboard.
- Kids like the well-designed graphics and the sound track. You can get a taste of both in this video from the Subway Surfers World Tour 2020 – Edinburgh.
- It’s fresh. The Subway Surfers game provides daily missions, season hunts, new locations and characters, so there is always something new for kids to discover.
- They enjoy the challenge of gathering the golden coins and checking their score against their friends on the leaderboard.
Is Subway Surfers safe for kids?
- Subway Surfers allows in-app purchasing. While the purchases aren’t pushed on players as heavily in other games, and aren’t required to advance, they do give players a tempting advantage.
- Parents should also know that the makers of Subway Surfers came under scrutiny for placing tracking software in the app without parents’ knowledge or consent, in violation of privacy and fair business practice laws. The company has agreed to remove or disable tracking software that could be used to target children with ads, but they can still show contextual ads based on an app’s content.
- In terms of violence, Subway Surfers is bloodless. Nevertheless, parents may object to the criminal themes in the game such as playing on the railroad tracks, tagging trains with graffiti and running away from the cops.
- Language in the Subway Surfers game is clean, though some parents and kids have complained of inappropriate language appearing in some advertising.
How can I make Subway Surfers safer for my child?
2. Don’t connect Subway Surfers to Facebook. Kids may want to connect their Subway Surfers account to Facebook to compete with friends and compare scores. This option only appears if they are legally considered an adult in their country. Your child may try to adjust their age to get this option. For maximum privacy and data protection, keep an eye on the age setting and don’t connect the accounts.
3. Monitor play and play together. The best way to get to know the games your kids like to play is to play with them. When ads or in-app purchases appear, talk to your child about them. Let them know the techniques game makers and advertisers use to drive purchases.