What is Gacha Life?

Gacha Life is a roleplaying video game that allows users to create and customise anime-style characters on a mobile device. The word ‘gacha’ refers to small toys in Japan that can be bought from vending machines and come in tiny capsules.

A demo version can be played on PC while the full version is played on a mobile device. It allows children and young people to roleplay as characters, creating stories of their own imagination, and it is most popular among older children and pre-teens.

How does it work?

Users can choose different outfits and accessories for their characters to wear and can customise parts of their appearance like their hair and eyes. They can choose from 8 mini-games to play or can create scenes in Studio Mode and become ‘friends’ with non-player characters (NPCs). Some users may upload their Gacha Life stories onto other platforms to share with others.

Is it safe for children?

The Gacha Life app has been given an age-rating of 9+ on the Apple App Store and Everyone on the Google Play Store. Parents should be aware of the chat feature, access to in-app purchases and in-game ads. Ensure you have disabled in-app purchases to limit spending.

In some instances, concerns were raised about incidents of strangers requesting underage age users to verify their age by sending inappropriate images of themselves. So, it’s important to have conversations with your child about what they do online and who they talk to. This will help them develop their critical thinking of what is and is not acceptable. It’s important they understand when to flag something to an appropriate adult should they get such requests.

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Gacha Life’s privacy policy encourages parents to be vigilant with their “children’s use of e-mail and other online communications and transactional features.” Parents may request a review and/or removal of their child’s personal information at any time by contacting Gacha Life and providing them with the same screen name, password and email address that your child submitted.

What is Gacha Heat?

Gacha Heat is content generated by users of Gacha Life who upload the content on social media platforms like TikTok and YouTube. The content is inappropriate and offensive, and it goes beyond stories within Gacha Life gameplay. This content may include sexual violence and other sexual subject matter or may feature age-inappropriate relationships that normalise abusive behaviours.

It is problematic because of its use of characters and art from the Gacha Life mobile video game. Children or young people could view these videos on social media apps, thinking it’s appropriate for them when they’re not. Make sure to check what they are watching and see how you can support them if they stumble across inappropriate content with our advice hub.

Ways to keep tabs on online gaming for children

  • If you want to allow kids to pick apps, but with permission – Set up Family Sharing (iPhone) or Family Link (Android).
  • If you want to prevent access to app stores altogether – Turn off the App Store in Screen Time (iPhone) or use an App Lock (Android).
  • Talk to your kids about your expectations about what types of apps are allowable
  • Have regular conversations and check-ins about what they are watching or interacting with online.
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