The five ratings and what they mean
USK age classifications are displayed on the game packaging and the data carrier as well. Reliable online shops will also always indicate USK ratings. Age ratings for online games and apps result from a separate procedure using the IARC system. More information regarding IARC can be found here.
Approved without age restriction in accordance with Art. 14 German Children and Young Persons Protection Act (JuSchG).
Games without age restriction are games which are directly aimed at children and young persons as well as at an adult buyer group. These include family-friendly games such as Games of skill and Board and Card games, Sports games, Jump'n Runs, as well as all games for young persons and adults which do not pose any inherent child protection risks of any kind (e.g. Simulations, Management, Classical Adventures and some Role-playing games, which younger children are not even able to play).
Approved for children aged 6 and above in accordance with Art. 14 German Children and Young Persons Protection Act (JuSchG).
These games mostly involve family-friendly games which may be more exciting and competitive (e.g. via faster game speeds and more complex tasks), such as Racers, Simulations, Jump ’n Runs and Role-playing games.
Approved for children aged 12 and above in accordance with Art. 14 German Children and Young Persons Protection Act (JuSchG).
These games feature much more of a competitive edge. Game scenarios are set within a historical, futuristic or mythical fairy-tale context, enabling players to distance themselves sufficiently from events. This categorisation includes Arcade games, Strategy games and Role-playing games as well as some Military Simulations.
Approved for children aged 16 and above in accordance with Art. 14 German Children and Young Persons Protection Act (JuSchG).
Games approved for children aged 16 and above may include acts of violence. This means that it is also natural for adults to form part of the buyer group. These games frequently feature armed combat, a framework story and military missions. The genres in this categorisation also include Action Adventures, Military Strategy games and Shooter.
Not approved for young persons aged under 18 in accordance with Art. 14 German Children and Young Persons Protection Act (JuSchG).
These games virtually always involve violent game concepts and frequently generate a dark and threatening atmosphere. This makes them suitable for adults only. The genres in this categorisation include First-person Shooters, Action Adventures and Open World games. The background of the respective story has its basis in such elements as war conflicts or brutal fights between rival gangs.