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Play OverviewPlay Overview

Black Desert (2015) is an online role-playing game. Unlike other large online games (often called MMOs, Massively Multiplayer Online Games), it doesn't just focus on combat; you can explore the vibrant fantasy world, interact with inhabitants and choose how you want to live your life. This unique blend of online play, combat and thoughtful, detailed storytelling makes it unique.

The game is set in a high-fantasy world, not unlike Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, and the map is split into four regions, which were once at peace but descended into conflict at the outbreak of a deadly plague. After an uneasy period of peace, two of the regions, the materialistic Republic of Calpheon and the spiritually-guided kingdom of Valencia once again go to war over precious Black Stones that can only be found in one place: the Black Desert.

You create your custom character then explore the intricately detailed world to meet and interact with characters to learn their stories and aid them if you choose. You can fight, in a combat system that allows you to team up with other players to overcome harder challenges. If you choose, you can forgo this aspect of the game, and instead focus on living a simple life; farming, fishing and hunting are equally as fleshed out as the combat. The game also receives regular updates that add more content and ways to play.

It's a unique game that allows you to fight in collaborative quests, or simply forge a simple life alone, all while being surrounded by, and interacting with, a world that's fleshed out with interesting characters, varied scenery and a novel and engaging story.

Our examiner, Ben Kendall, first checked Black Desert 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 22 months ago.
Kids not old enough for this yet? There are lots of games similar to Black Desert. Here are some similar younger-rated games:

Play StylePlay Style

This is a Fighting and Role-Play game with Action, Adventure and Simulation elements. You can play this by yourself or as a 100-player online game. Each server has capacity for over 100 players.

Cross-Platform: Play between Xbox One and PS4.

You can play this game in the following styles:


Play Time: This game will take between 60 hours and 300 hours to complete. As the game doesn't have any ending point, you can play for as long or as little as you want. The average play time is about 70 hours overall.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 16 for Frequent Strong Violence and Drugs. Violence consists of human and fantasy characters engaging in combat using a variety of physical and magical weapons. Damage is represented through life bars and injuries are not shown. However, once killed corpses will remain visible in order to affect a sense of realism which can impact on the overall game rating. The game also includes the ability to purchase or brew your own alcoholic beverages which can then be consumed yourself or given to your workers to provide them with a boost.
Users Interact: The game enables players to interact and communicate with each other, so may expose players to language usually associated with older rated games.

Rated for younger players in the US. Rated ESRB TEEN for Blood, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol and Violence. Characters mostly use swords and magic to defeat enemies; battles are frenetic, highlighted by cries of pain, blood splashes, and impact sounds. Some larger enemies can become stained with blood during combat. Female characters are sometimes depicted wearing revealing outfits (e.g., lingerie, garter belts, low-cut bodysuits). During the course of the game, players can order rum, wine, or beer at a tavern; characters are sometimes seen drinking beer. The word “b*stard” appears in the dialogue.

Skill Level

12+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content. It's also important to ensure children understand in-game purchases and have spending limits set-up. The ability to avoid combat, as well as the huge world to discover, makes this enjoyable for younger players who would usually struggle with online combat.

Account Rating

  • You need be 18-years-old to to subscribe to Xbox Live Gold for online play, but can then configure family accounts for younger players to play online with Xbox One.
  • You need be 18-years-old to subscribe to PlayStation Plus for online play, but can create sub-accounts for younger players of 7-years or older to play online with PlayStation 4.


Black Desert usually costs £8.99.

Black Desert

Steam Store PC £8.99
XBox Store Xbox One -
PlayStation Store PS4 -
There are the following additional costs associated with this game:
  • In-Game Loot Boxes: Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience. These include in-game purchases of random items (known as 'loot boxes') that offer a chance of getting rare/higher-value items although common/lower-value items are more frequent.
  • You need a subscription to play online:
    • You need to purchase a PlayStation Plus subscription to play online with PlayStation 4.
    • You need to purchase a Xbox Live Gold subscription to play online with Xbox One.
The game comes in several different editions on consoles:
  • Traveler Edition, the base version of the game.
  • Explorer Edition, which comes with some extra items bundled in.
  • Conqueror Edition, which comes with some fully-upgraded items.
You can get the base game then upgrade to either of these editions later on. 
It's important to set up your accounts and devices appropriately. More information is on our Financial Resources page.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 03/03/2015, updated in 2019

Out Now: Android, PC, PS4, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Players: 1 (100 online)

Genres: Fighting, Role-Play (Action, Adventure and Simulation)

Accessibility: 28 features

Components: 3D First-Person, Day and Night, Open World and Weather

Developer: Play Black Desert (@PlayBlackDesert)

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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