What is Roblox?
What age is Roblox for?
What are Robux?
How much does Roblox cost?
Are there parental controls for Roblox?
Can you make real money from Roblox?
Is there chat on Roblox, and is it safe?
What are "ODers" in Roblox?
Are sexual predators a big problem on Roblox?
Roblox is an online gaming platform where you can play games designed by other users and create and share your own games. Once you sign up, you can play an infinite number of games and chat with other users—all for free. You can choose from a continually evolving supply of creative and fun challenges in various categories, from murder mysteries to sports to fighting games.
Some of the most popular games include Adopt Me!, MeepCity, and Work at a Pizza Place. If your kids want to fully explore the game or customize their in-game selves (avatars), they'll have to buy Robux, the in-game currency. And they'll probably want to subscribe to Roblox Premium, which provides additional features for a fee.
Roblox doesn't specify a minimum age. Users of any age can create and join groups, chat, and interact with others. Such an open approach can pose some risks to kids, especially younger ones. And though Roblox has some safety precautions in place, it remains a target for people with less-than-good intentions.
Still, because of the learning potential Roblox offers, Common Sense Media rates it OK for users age 13+. Help your kids protect themselves by enabling privacy settings and teaching them how to be safe online.
Robux are Roblox's in-game currency. You use them for a range of things, including special outfits or animations for your avatar, unique abilities in games, and weapons and other objects. There are different ways to get Robux: You can buy them, get them as part of a Premium membership, trade for them, or have someone donate them to you. You can also earn them by charging Roblox users to play games you've created and by charging for items in your games.
Roblox uses a freemium/premium model. Doing anything beyond the basics requires Robux. Check here for the latest prices and subscriptions.
Roblox offers account controls that let adults restrict how kids can interact on the site and the types of games they can play. The controls are optional, and kids of any age can create an account on Roblox with no parental restrictions. On accounts for kids under 13, Roblox automatically defaults to stricter settings, but a kid could change these if there's no parent PIN. Use this guide to set up account restrictions.
Yes, you can make real money on Roblox. In fact, dedicated creators can earn major bucks. Roblox offers a few different revenue-generating models, including charging others for access to games you create, charging incremental fees within your game, and trading rare items that other players are willing to pay for. To earn money, you have to be 13 or older, hold a Premium membership, and have at least 100,000 Robux in your account. Then you can trade the Robux in to the company for real money.
Roblox encourages users to interact through its Chat & Party function. All chat is filtered, which means inappropriate language is replaced by symbols. Chatting for accounts of kids under 13 is more heavily filtered. Roblox also employs human monitors who keep an eye out for inappropriate language and content. However, even with the monitors and filtered chat, people have figured out ways to bypass this, so knowing who you're talking to is vital for safe interaction.
"OD" stands for "online dater." These are folks who join social networks, including gaming sites like Roblox, to find romantic partners. Games on Roblox can even be designed expressly for ODers. Roblox doesn't explicitly forbid ODers, and ODers aren't necessarily preying on kids. (They may be solely looking for other ODers.) Roblox's monitors look out for inappropriate conversations and content. And its community rules prohibit chat that's sexual in nature. Keep in mind that sexually explicit chat can still happen and move over to other parts of the platform.
If your kid wants to use Roblox, it's critical that you review online safety, such as how to identify potential predators, how to report and block users, and how to spot "grooming" behavior, which predators use to get their victims to trust them.
There are predators on Roblox, as there are on many popular social networks. Predators take advantage of Roblox's easily accessible chat to target their victims. (All you have to do is sign up for Roblox to start chatting, and the Chat & Party window is featured on nearly every page of the site.) Roblox uses human monitors as well as technology to weed out those with bad intentions, but they still crop up occasionally.
To avoid being contacted by a predator, and to play as safely as possible, kids should enable the most restrictive contact settings. You can prevent anyone from contacting you by turning off chat entirely or limiting interactions to only friends. You should coach your kids to not chat with people they don't know and to not accept private messages (PMs) from anyone they don't know. Make sure they know never to give away personal information, to trust their instincts if someone makes them uncomfortable, and to never move a conversation to a different platform (a common red flag with predators).
Read Common Sense Media's full review of Roblox to learn more.
Caroline Knorr, former senior parenting editor, contributed to this article.