What is Palworld? What parents need to know

The Palworld logo on the video game start screen background.

Palworld draws similarities to monster catching franchises like Pokémon and Digimon.

If your child is interested in playing the Palworld game, see how you can help them stay safe.

What is Palworld?

Palworld is an open world survival game from Pocketpair in Japan that is similar to Nintendo’s Pokémon franchise. Unlike Pokémon, players can use Pals to do more than fight.

As a part of the game, users can build bases. Within those bases are farms, item production and more. Pals can help build these bases, produce items and farm in between eating and resting. The care that a player gives its Pals determines how motivated they are, so it’s important to meet their needs.

The active role of Pals draws similarities to other Japanese franchises like Digimon.

How it works

Palworld is an open world, which means users can explore freely without loading screens between areas. It combines this open world with multiplayer gameplay. As such, users can communicate and cooperate with others… or attack each other.

Like Pokémon, users can capture, train and battle Pals. Uniquely, players also fight in battles, wielding different weapons. In battle, player and Pal work together as allies to defeat enemies.

Early access

Pocketpair released Palworld as an early access game on Steam in January 2024. It is free with an Xbox Game Pass. The developers decided to do this because of valuable user feedback that could improve the game. “Please lend us your support so that we can make Palworld the best it can be,” said the developers.

Palworld will stay in early access “for at least one year.” During this time, players might experience significant changes to gameplay. This could include additional monsters to the existing 100, new areas to explore and content based on user feedback.

Minimum age requirements

Palworld has a PEGI age rating of 12. Games with slightly graphic violence towards fantasy characters receive this rating. Additionally, this rating covers sexual innuendo and mild bad language.

Because Palworld is in early access, these ratings might change. For example, its PEGI age rating was originally PEGI 7. Content changes could impact this, so keep an eye out.

Is Palworld safe for kids?

Palworld’s cute creatures and similarities to Pokémon can make the game seem child-friendly. However, it does contain violence, weapons and interactions with strangers.

The PEGI 12 rating suggests that children 12 and over can play it, but this will vary from child to child. It’s a good idea to play with your child and gauge whether it is appropriate yourself.

Available safety settings

Palworld is available for Xbox consoles and PCs with Windows installed. So, you can make use of Microsoft Family and console controls to manage screen time.

In-game, you have control over whether your gameplay is single player or multiplayer. When you start, you can create a new world with any name you like. Then, you can choose to keep it single player or set it to multiplayer. As such, you can control the element of contact in the game.

Screenshot of Palworld starting screen where users can choose single player or multiplayer modes.

Taking breaks

The Palworld developers encourage its users to take breaks from the game. “Play lots of games, try different genres, and frequently flick through indie libraries to find hidden gems,” they said in a statement following reports of a dwindling fanbase.

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Why users enjoy Palworld

Although in early access, 94% of the over 200,000 reviews for Palworld on Steam are positive.

Users like the links to Pokémon but see benefits beyond just that. The open world gives users the chance to explore a wide world, interact with other players, build relationships with Pals and more. Many like the range of gameplay types as well.

For example, if you don’t want to interact with other players, you can keep that option off. Or, if you want to focus most on building, you can.

The art style, music, landscape and even the sounds make the game feel immersive. It can allow players to get lost in the world of the game (which is also why setting screen time limits is important).

What are the potential risks?

Palworld shares similar risks to other video games, including content and contact risks. Learn more about the risks of gaming.

Additional risks can come from the game’s early access status. Some safety features or gameplay options might not yet have full security. This could also result in unexpected glitches, crashes and other issues.

If your child plays Palworld, it’s important to help them understand what early access means. You might also agree on a plan for what they should do if something strange happens.

Tips to help children play safely

Help children stay safe as they game. Here are some tips to keep kids safe while playing Palworld.

  • Game together: As Palworld remains in early access, you might want to set Palworld as a game to play together. This will let you both explore the world so you can quickly spot any potentially harmful content.
  • Set parental controls: Whether you’re on PC or using Xbox, you can set parental controls through Microsoft Family. Microsoft parental controls can help you manage screen time and stranger contact.
  • Stay up-to-date: Follow Palworld on social media or set alerts on news sites to get future updates about Palworld. You will then be the first to know of any changes or potential issues.
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