Is Roblox safe for your kids?
The answer really depends on the age and maturity of your child as well as your involvement. The short answer is no, as nothing online is completely safe but with proper setup and restrictions, it can be an enjoyable experience.
What can you do?
Educate both yourself and your children about the dangers that can be had while playing online and encourage open dialogue if they see anything that makes them uncomfortable or seems questionable. After educating your family set up your child’s account properly. (Steps are below) While Roblox has no age limit if your children are not old enough to understand the rules that you set for online gaming we recommend waiting for a few years before trying again. The great news is that the creators of Roblox have built-in parenting controls to help make a much safer environment. If you and your children communicate and you are able to monitor your child’s game use regularly then you can make this a safe place that your children can enjoy. Continue reading and we will break down the most common questions parents have about Roblox.
What is Roblox and why do my kids want to play?
Roblox is a huge online gaming platform rivaling the audience size of even the most well-known consoles. It’s available on phones, tablets, Xbox, and of course computers. If it has a screen your kid probably can find a way to play Roblox on it. We grew up in a different world, we played outside and our friends did too. We never wanted to be inside watching TV or spend hours gaming. Now more than ever, children are hanging out in places online, such as Roblox. We may not like it but if our kids want to see friends then this is where they are. The excitement on our 8-year-old face as she got to enjoy time with friends that she hasn’t seen in almost a year was priceless. It is worth our time as parents to understand this game and do our best to make it a safe place. The game is basically an environment where users can play a ton of mini-games online and also have the ability to create, share, or play 3D-generated worlds. The style is blocky reminiscent of Minecraft but also differs in that it’s much more accessible to anyone jumping right in. It allows for unlimited games since the possibilities of creation are endless. It’s a free game at its base, but its potential to spend money is almost as unlimited as the possibility of creation inside. The level of gameplay can be simple with a couple of friends playing games, to intense game creation, much like a developer would go through, except all the blocks and images are already made for you. Roblox is so big you might have even seen toys in stores.
What does Roblox really cost?
This is where the real challenge with a game like this comes in because as mentioned above it’s free. That being said, if your children or yourself really want to do the most in the game and have all the “awesome stuff”, like animating your avatar, trading weapons, or some of the premium games then you are most likely looking at needing Robux. Robux is the in-game currency that makes this free game become a little pricey depending on the number of options your child may want to keep up with their friends and other users. This in-game currency breaks down to almost 1 Robux per penny and is broken down as either a la carte or monthly bundles. If you are going to spend money, you essentially want to just pay for the monthly subscriptions You get more Robux per dollar and with premium subscriptions, you also get discounts of 10% off more Robux purchases, the ability to trade items with other premium members, and the ability to resell items. It’s important to know your kids could be spending your money if you don’t properly set up their account and set up a 4-digit pin on the account. This pin will require that they need your permission and pin number to make any purchases. Without the pin number set up, they could spend money on both subscriptions as well as additional Robux. If you choose to do the monthly subscription for your child the premium prices are listed below.
For Roblox Premium as of now, the cost is
- $4.99 for 450 Robux a month
- $9.99 for 1000 Robux a month
- $19.99 for 2200 Robux a month
You can actually make money on Roblox?
Roblox is a very diverse game, and it has so much content it’s mind-blowing. Part of what drives this massive amount of content is that you can actually earn money-making content. To qualify for this level you must have an account of age 13 or older, be a member of the outrageous builders club, and also have 100,000 Robux in the bank ( about $350). This basically means you would have to have been playing for a while, spent some money, and are a dedicated builder. If a player is successful at doing so they will let you trade items, and sell games, then you can cash out for real currency. Last we checked the monthly limit was just about 1 million. The possibilities are nearly endless if you are willing to pay and play hard for a while to earn your place. This alone can be a draw for many older children, as well as for adults to be jumping into Roblox as well.
Why do you kids want to play?
As mentioned above, the possibilities are endless. A group of kids may play together and just jump from game to game. The social component allows them to talk to each other on chat. I find that when our kids play they usually will call a friend or two on voice chat, then play the game on the same device or use a tablet or laptop along with a phone to play. Single-player can be done, but then you are playing with random people (We will talk more about this below in the risks). Your older kids may try to make games that range from ridiculous to challenging, something like running a pizza place, to a super complex survival game, all the way to a theme park tycoon game. It’s amazing what people have accomplished in-game. Another aspect is just showing off. Just like the designer headphones and shoes that children covet, there is a social status aspect to what a player can flaunt to friends and other players. We will talk about this aspect more in the dangers this game can have.
How do you play?
We want to make sure it’s safe and we understand what our kids are doing. So we wanted to create an account and play. The first thing is you need to make an account. The account is free and once set up gives you the ability to play right away. Once you have registered you have access to both styles of game modes. As mentioned before you can choose to create games for older kids and adults. However, by far the more popular option, and what most kids are doing is just going to play games and leaving the creating to others. The amount of games is already overwhelming, so it’s no wonder the interest for them to create more is very low.
How can I make it safer for my kids?
This breaks down into two parts, the first part is making sure to set up the account and privacy controls properly. The second is communication with your child and making sure they understand what they can and can’t do.
- Make an account for your child, the most important thing is the make sure to put in the real birthdate. Roblox has built-in features to help based on age. They will restrict certain games and functions from children under 13 for instance and prevent most inappropriate or mature content. You also have the ability to set up a restrictive chat or disable chat altogether,
- Set up an account for yourself, you need to make sure you know what they can do, play with them, and play on your own even if just for an hour. It is a great way to spend time with them and understand what they are doing in the game, since every child may have totally different interests and agendas in the game
- Make sure to go in and set up the privacy, filters, and parental controls, they have a good guide at. https://corp.roblox.com/parents/ and here https://corp.roblox.com/faq/ make it into shorter links. We recommend being very restrictive at first and then giving your child more permission with age and maturity as they deserve it.
- We recommend setting up a pin to help manage your child’s account, without it your child could go modify the settings you put in place as well as spend money freely.
- Have a good conversation with your children, even with the most locked-down account they can still get friend requests. They need to know when they are friends and when they are not. They need to understand some things they see in chat may not be real and to NEVER give out any information about themselves. Your child needs to know they can come to you with any problem they may have and that being cautious is the better approach. You may be surprised our 8-year-old has already built her own strategy to verify her real friends before she accepts them on Roblox. She knows there are people who are there just to “cause trouble”.
- Check-in, know when and how much your children are playing, know who they are playing with, and what games they are playing.
- Teach about cyberbullying, and possibly bad people online try to embrace the idea of just ignoring it. It can be as bad if not worse than real-life bullying, as many more people can gang up on a child. They can exit yes, but we all know that is something that can cause worse bullying. The best thing to do is have them show you, so you can take proper steps to help report the people causing a bad experience.
How do you know what to do?
There is a ton of great information on the main site https://corp.roblox.com/, including their own parent’s guide and faq mentioned above.
There is a lot of help with the Roblox Studio and designing games on the wiki. https://wiki.roblox.com/index.php?title=Learn_Roblox
You can find a wealth of information on gaming websites and fan sites of the game. Youtube even has many channels just dedicated to this huge game.
What are some of the threats to my children?
Chat, this can be a fun place for your children to talk to friends, it can also be a place for people to try and lure and scam your kids. The good news is the chat is filtered for bad language. Roblox also says they have employees that do actual real-life monitoring of chats to look for bad content, language, and behavior. It is safer than most, but still, something to keep an eye on. If Roblox sees anything inappropriate in chat or otherwise they will remove the user.
Predators, both financial and other inappropriate sexual predators, online daters, etc are always a concern in this day in age as almost everything is online and connected. Just like any other social platform, people do come to Roblox to try and take advantage of children. It’s unfortunate and taken very seriously. Roblox does help to get rid of any bad people, both automatically as well as with live chat monitors. They still can sneak through, after all, they are unfortunately very motivated, and most probably have mixed morals. This is where the privacy settings page can help to lock down and restrict things that can help to avoid these encounters further. This is also where we cannot stress enough that if your children are going to play these games and be in social-type areas and games, communication is key. Your kids need to feel comfortable telling you about these encounters to report them. You also need to be checking in with them to make sure they do not fall for something, these are after all adults trying to manipulate children, and some of them are very smart. Online daters are less of a concern, as they are usually not looking to prey on children. It is still however important to know these “OD-ers” can be around and your kids should best avoid and ignore them. One big scam that many people fall for is other members will tell you to go to a website for free Robux, don’t let your kids fall for this, it’s a gateway to a ton of other problems in an uncontrolled environment. Let them know if they are told about or offered anything to come to you for approval and supervision first.
We think that if you just let your children install Roblox and play it without any conversation and proper setup, then I wouldn’t recommend letting your kids play Roblox. That being said it’s an amazing game and setting up a pin and the privacy settings, along with good communication can set up a safer place we would recommend. Your kids will have a great time, get to laugh and play, it’s basically the modern playground. Just remember that just like in real life you need to make sure to have the discussion about the modern “don’t take candy” from strangers talk. Online gaming is a great way to connect with friends as long as there is ongoing internet safety. Check out our full article on Cyber Bullying for more information.
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