During the pandemic, games were grabbing people’s attention left and right, with a new one taking the spotlight. Despite being released in 2018 and gaining popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, Among Us has remained a cultural phenomenon.
The popular murder mystery title can be downloaded for free on most mobile devices and consoles. It is no mystery how the game became popular with children, with it being free and easily accessed around the globe.
Let’s talk about everything you need to know about Among Us
What Do You Do in Among Us? Is There Violence?
Among Us is a multiplayer murder mystery video game. Up to 15 bean-shaped players are responsible for completing multiple minigame-like tasks throughout a space-themed map.
As the players try to complete these tasks, up to 3 players are randomly chosen to be “imposters.” Imposters are tasked with killing the non-imposter players before they complete their tasks. Whenever bodies are found, everyone will be called to a meeting where players will try to guess and vote out the imposter.
As you can already imagine, Among Us is a somewhat violent game by nature. The scenes where imposters murder players can include various things such as stabbing, shooting, neck-snapping, and more. However, this is counteracted by the characters not appearing as human, but as bean-like shapes. Unfortunately, there are no ways to turn off these killing animations.
When a player gets voted out in Among Us, they are depicted as drifting off into space. This is an implied death sentence, but it could easily go over children’s heads. It is not a violent scene.
That being said, the voting sequence generally requires some degree of communication, and the game is not for children who can’t read, type, or talk. We wouldn’t recommend Among Us for kids under 10 years of age simply due to it being too difficult.
What is Among Us‘ Age Rating?
Parents in the United States and Canada are likely used to ESRB ratings. These ratings, provided by the Entertainment Software Rating Board, are generally printed on video game boxes in the form of “E,” “T,” or “M.”
The “E” rating generally stands for “Everyone,” and means the game is acceptable for all ages. However, sometimes the “E” rating has an age rating attached, as is the case for Among Us. The ESRB rating for Among Us is “E 10+,” meaning it’s acceptable for everyone ages 10 and above. In their rating, the ESRB cites Among Us as having fantasy violence, mild blood, multiplayer interactions, and in-game purchases.
For parents not located in the U.S. and Canada, you are likely more aware of PEGI ratings. PEGI ratings range from 3 to 18, with 3 indicating that the game is suitable for all ages. Among Us has a PEGI rating of 7, indicating that it is not suitable for people under the age of 7 years old. In the PEGI rating, it is once again cited that Among Us has mild violence and in-game purchases. The PEGI rating also clarifies that while the game is violent, the violence is not realistic and neither are the reactions to the violence.
The takeaway from these ratings should be that Among Us is not suitable for children below 7-10 years old. This Among Us parents’ guide recommends following the ESRB rating of 10 and up for Among Us, mostly due to its difficulty and multiplayer interactions.
How to Report Players in Among Us
It is important to note that the ESRB and PEGI boards can not rate interactions that happen in multiplayer. Among Us includes a report function for when players are misbehaving in multiplayer.
In order to report a player, open the in-game chat and select kick. From there, select the player you want to report, and click the report button.
Once a player has been reported, the Among Us team will likely look at the chat logs from the match. Our Among Us parents’ guide had to include how to report so that parents can handle any issues that may arise in the game.
How Much Does Among Us Cost? Is It Free?
Among Us is a free-to-play game and is available on most devices you could think of. It can be downloaded on Xbox and PlayStation devices, the Nintendo Switch, PC, and most mobile phones. Players will not need PS Plus, Xbox Live Gold, or a Nintendo Switch Online membership to play the game either. That being said, the game is included in an Xbox Game Pass subscription.
Due to its online nature, the only requirement to play Among Us is an internet connection.
Among Us is not free-to-play on PC or consoles, costing $4.99 to play. However, Among Us is entirely free-to-play on mobile devices. Regardless of the device, Among Us offers optional in-game purchases.
These purchases are for cosmetic unlocks for the player’s character, and while not expensive, they can add up quickly. While some cosmetics can be purchased directly with the purchased currency, the currency is generally used to purchase “cosmicubes.” Cosmicubes are Among Us’ take on the popular battle pass system. However, unlike traditional battle passes, cosmicubes do not expire and can be unlocked at your own pace once bought.
To ensure parents aren’t caught off guard, we’ll briefly go over the in-game purchase options and prices. The following list is based on U.S. prices and offerings.
- Star Bundle 20: $1.99
- Star Bundle 30: $2.99
- Star Bundle 50: $4.99
- Star Bundle 110: $9.99
- Star Bundle 300: $24.99
For reference, the average cosmicube will cost players anywhere from 60 to 110 stars. Some cosmicubes are collaborations between Among Us and other brands, such as Hololive, Destiny 2, and Pusheen. These collaborations may attract children to the game and have them wanting to purchase cosmetics.
Fortunately for parents, almost all platforms provide a way to limit the spending your child can do. Generally speaking, this requires setting up a parent or family account to oversee your child’s account, but it is highly recommended. For more information on how to enable parental controls, check out the console manufacturer’s website or contact their support.
The following table provides parental control information directly from the device manufacturers and storefronts.
|Console||Parental Control Information|
|Nintendo Switch||How to Set Nintendo eShop Restrictions|
|PlayStation||Parental Controls on PlayStation|
|Xbox||Xbox Family Settings App|
|PC (Steam Store)||Steam Support Family View|
|PC (Epic Games Store)||Epic Games Parental Controls|
|iPhone, iPad, and Mac Devices||Apple Support Parental Controls|
|Android Devices||How to Set Up Parental Controls on Google Play|
Among Us is no doubt a very complex game for parents to judge, as the subject matter can be quite mature. At its core, it is a game built around lying, deceit, and murder.
Despite this, children absolutely love it, and it was designed in a cartoonish enough way that many parents find it fine. It isn’t our place to tell you how you should raise your children; we can only offer context and educated advice. At the end of the day, whether your children should play Among Us or not is something that you have to decide with your children.
Our personal advice is that Among Us likely isn’t going to harm or scare children, but it is a complicated game. The game basically requires communication, and that alone can rule out most young children. We wouldn’t recommend the game for any children under 10 years of age, and we recommend parental spending controls for children of all ages. At the end of the day, the game is free for mobile devices, and it could be fun for parents to personally join their children in Among Us. In fact, private servers could allow the game to be a fun and safe game for family time, with no strangers interfering and misbehaving.