As the latest children's crazes increasingly become more and more online, it helps for parents to know just exactly what their children are doing. And with Roblox taking the world by storm, you may well want to scrub up on it.
Fortnite and Minecraft are two of the big tween video games that have been discussed at length, but Roblox is a game that is seeing surges in popularity and looks to be the next big kids hit.
So if Roblox is a term that keeps popping up in your household or your child starts asking for Robux, should you allow them to play? Here's everything you need to know about the user-generated gaming platform.
What is Roblox?
Roblox is a free-to-play multiplayer gaming platform available on PC, mobile, and Xbox One that allows users to create and share their own games, as well as play other users' games. Part of what makes Roblox so popular is variety - users can create and play action games, racing games, an obstacle course, and much much more.
Provided they're not just there to play, there's certainly a chance for your child to get creative by making games. Roblox has been a gateway for some to get into computer coding - and some have even made money out of their Roblox games.
What age rating is Roblox?
Roblox is rated suitable for 7 years and over in the UK by PEGI for "frequent scenes of mild violence and scenes that younger children may find frightening." The game is aimed at 7-to-18 year-olds, but anyone can use the platform.
Users under the age of 13 receive stricter settings, however, and it is highly recommended that parents of younger children set up a PIN with parental controls.
What are Robux?
Essentially, Robux is money. It's an in-game currency like V-bucks in Fortnite. While Roblox is free to use, players can use this in-game currency to buy extra content within the game. Players can also buy a monthly subscription called Roblox Premium, which costs between £4.59 a month and £18.49 a month.
Can children spend money on Roblox?
Unless your child has your bank account details or the password to your mobile payments account (eg. Apple ID on iPhone), they should not be able to spend money on Roblox without you knowing about it. You'll want to make sure that all your bank details and passwords are private, and that your child is playing on a device that does not have these details saved on it without need for any further verification.
Can you earn real money on Roblox?
Players can also accumulate Robux in-game and convert it into real-world money. However, this can only be done if you over 13, have a Paypal account, and have at least 100,000 Robux. To earn money with Roblox, you will need an active Roblox Premium membership, which will allow you to exchange your Robux for real money.
Is Roblox safe? What safety measures are in place?
As Roblox is reliant on user-generated games, there is the chance that your child may encounter content that is not appropriate for younger children. While all games have to meet the Roblox terms and conditions, some feature guns and blood.
To help put your mind at ease, the developers at Roblox Corp have taken a lot of steps to ensure that the game is moderated and therefore as safe as it can be. For example, Roblox automatically checks avatars are wearing proper clothing, and there is also a reporting system for inappropriate messages.
Is there chat on Roblox, and is it safe?
There is indeed a chat function on Roblox and like any service that has chat, there should be a degree of caution when using it as you will never truly know who you are talking to. That being said, Roblox does have some safety features included - such as any personal information being omitted.
There are also filters in place to prevent inappropriate things from being sent. These safety features are great and welcomed but as we say, do keep your wits about you when using it as they are not foolproof.
Roblox is a multiplayer platform, meaning users can play games with other people and that a text chat will be available to talk to those in the game. Users can also send friend requests to each other, and chat outside of each game.
However, the chat is automatically filtered so that inappropriate words are replaced, and Roblox also uses human moderators to look out for inappropriate content. It is still paramount, of course, that you educate your child on internet safety and talking to strangers online.
Roblox will be adding voice chat in the near future, which has prompted safety concerns. At a recent Roblox Investor Day presentation, Roblox’s Vice President of Engineering, Adam Miller, said that this will be a “safe voice chat” and that "the goal is to enable safe and positive communication."
Are there parental controls on Roblox?
Yes - parents can control whether the user can be contacted, who can message them, and restrict access to age-appropriate games, and use a PIN to prevent the child from changing the settings back. However, these restrictions are optional - accounts without a PIN will have no restrictions whatsoever.
How to set up parental controls on Roblox
If your child is 12 or younger, Roblox will automatically add some restrictions to their account, such as filtering the game's text chat in a particularly strict way. If you wish to change the restrictions, this is fairly easy to do: in the game, if you click on the gear/cog icon, you will be taken to the Account Settings page, where you can click into the Privacy section and choose to alter various settings to suit your preferences. Clicking from there into the Account Restrictions page will show you some of your options as a parent.
How to stop strangers from contacting your child on Roblox
One thing you might want to do is make sure that nobody can contact your child unless they are friends. You can find this option by clicking on the cog icon, heading to Account Settings, entering the Privacy section, heading into Contact Settings. On this page, if you select 'Friends', that will mean that nobody that isn't your child's friend can talk to them.
How to disable chat function on Roblox
If you want to disable the chat function on Roblox altogether, this is what you need to do: click the settings cog, go to Account Settings, click into the Privacy section, and head into Contact Settings. Select 'No one' if you don't want anyone to chat to your child through Roblox - not even their friends.
How to report issues and troublesome behaviour on Roblox
If you find out that your child is having a hard time on Roblox and you want to report the other player involved in the situation, this is easy to do: if you click on the Menu button in the top left corner (which looks like three lines stacked on top of each other), and then click onto the little Flag icon next to a player's name, you'll be taken to a form to fill out. You can also find this form if you click the Menu button and then click the Report tab in the menu bar.
How to block people on Roblox
While blocking people in real life is not always as easy as we would like, blocking someone in something like Roblox is much easier and if you want to do it, just follow these steps.
- Go to the user profile of the person you don't ever want to hear from again
- Click the three dots in the top right-hand corner
- Now you will see a menu and one of the options is the block button - so hit that and you're done!
What are ODers on Roblox?
Oders is a shortened way of saying online dating and while there is nothing wrong, generally speaking, with finding love online - a system like Roblox is not the place for it, but there are still several people who use the game with that intent.
Those that do try to do it may find that their account is permanently banned as a result so in short, don't do it and stick to something like Tinder if you are looking for love! And from a parent's perspective, you can report or block anyone that shows this intent by following the steps above.
Does Roblox have official resources for parents?
Roblox Corp has a dedicated webpage aimed at parents, which will run you through various matters that will help you understand the game your child is playing. And that page links off to a detailed Frequently Asked Questions page, which may well answer some of your questions and help to put your mind at ease.
Tips for keeping kids safe on Roblox
Other than setting up parental controls, which we guided you through further up the page, the best way to keep your children safe while they are using Roblox is to just keep an eye on them and what they are doing.
As we have detailed, Roblox has many features in place to help keep it safe, so you won't need to supervise them the whole time, but it is definitely worth checking in every now and then to make sure that they are OK.
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