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In-game chat features allow you to connect with friends you know and new people from across the world.  

Websites and apps outside of the game can also be used to speak to fellow gamers, organise online group games or get gaming tips and advice.

Gaming chat is exciting and creates a great sense of community when it’s kept fun and positive.

Keeping the fun in online gaming

  1. Be respectful and responsible. We all want to have a good time online, so it’s important to treat each other with respect and kindness. Don’t share any offensive content and respect each other’s differences.
  2. Play fair.  A bit of competition is great, but it’s not so fun when people aren’t following the rules.
  3. Keep it private. Don’t give out any personal information that could identify you or your location. Consider what you share and remember to check your privacy settings.
  4. Support other people. If you see someone else being bullied or pressured, be a positive bystander and do something about it. This could be seeking help or letting the person know you’re there for them.
  5. Speak to a trusted adult. If you come across something you aren’t comfortable with, speak to a trusted adult or a support service like Childline. There are lots of people who can help if you or someone else are being bullied in a game.

Blocking and reporting

If someone makes you, or anyone else feel uncomfortable or upset, block or report them so they can’t do it again. 

When you block someone it normally means that although they can still send you messages, you will not receive them. 

Sometimes blocking isn’t enough. Some users should be reported to stop them from contacting other gamers too.

Report users that:

  • Stalk, bully, discriminate against or abuse you or other users
  • Are disruptive or threatening
  • Put pressure on users to do things they’re not comfortable with
  • Share other users' and your own personal and account information
  • Share or discuss sex or sexual content with under 18s

To find out how to block and report other users on specific games, visit their website.

What to look out for

It helps to be aware of some of the dangers so that you can get the best out of gaming online:

  • Private chat. Nearly all platforms have in-game chat options, so you don’t need to add gamer friends to private messaging apps like WhatsApp. Decline or ignore requests for private chats to avoid uncomfortable situations. 
  • People saying sexual things. It can be uncomfortable when someone online tries to talk to you about sex. Speak to a trusted adult or report it to CEOP so that they can support you if this happens.
  • Requests for personal information. Other online gamers shouldn’t be asking you for personal information. You don’t have to tell anyone information about yourself, like where you go to school or where you live.
  • Older gamers. Gamers come in all shapes and sizes so you’re likely to connect with gamers of all ages. But it’s strange for adults to try and get really close to you. Read our advice about relationships with older ‘friends’ and online grooming.
  • Meeting up. Meeting someone you only know online or through a game is not always safe. Even if you have mutual friends, they could still be lying about who they are. Follow our safety advice to make meeting up safer.
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If you are under 18, report online sexual abuse to one of our Child Protection Advisors at the CEOP Safety Centre.

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If you're over 18, call 101 to speak to your local police. 

In an emergency

If you're ever in immediate harm or danger: 

  • Call the police on 999 straight away
  • Tell an adult you trust who will be able to support you through a difficult time

Talk to someone

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Free, confidential support online and over the phone for young people under 19.

Call 0800 1111

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The Mix is a charity that provides free information and support for under 25s.

Use their crisis messenger by texting THEMIX to 85258.

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