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Roblox is a free-to-play online game designed by David Baszucki and Erik Cassel, co-founders of the Roblox Corporation. It was released first in 2006 for macOS and Microsoft Windows, in 2012 for iOS, in 2014 for Android, and for the Xbox One in 2015. It is about users creating their own games, chatting with others, buying things for their character, and so on.
Roblox began to grow rapidly in the mid-2010s and this growth has been accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of August 2020, Roblox has over 164 million monthly active users, with it being played by over half of all children aged under 16 in the United States.
Roblox Studio is the proprietary game engine for Roblox. Games are coded under an object-oriented programming system with Lua, an open-source programming language to manipulate the environment of the game. A total of 20 million games are produced using Roblox Studio each year.
Items and currency
Robux, as of nowadays, is the only currency used on Roblox that allows players to buy and sell virtual items which can be used to decorate their avatar on Roblox. In addition, these items can be however created for free. Prior to 2016, the game had a secondary currency called Tix (short for "tickets") that was discontinued in April of that year, meaning that players have to pay with real money to obtain Robux without tradings.
- Though Roblox is free to play, you still have to pay with real money to obtain a lot of features, such as getting Robux.
- In some cases, you need paid access to some games. Welcome To Bloxburg is one example. The creator said its current version is beta, but at least claimed that it will be free to play in the full version, and Car Crushers 2 and Apocalypse Rising 2 were also formerly paid in beta, but now they're free to play.
- The moderation is horrible:
- Incompetent moderation and admin abuse. The admins/moderators don't even ban or warn users that are breaking the rules when reported and that they don't give second thoughts on their ban in which they may get it wrong or are too harsh. Even many well-known users within the community or outside such as YouTuber PewDiePie's accounts have been banned.
- If you get banned, the administrators give super vague and petty reasons on why you got banned. For example, a well known Roblox-oriented YouTuber named Flamingo had his account banned for "Hate speech" and "Harassment" but however the evidence in question wasn't innappropriate as they claimed. The evidence included was the default place thumbnail which was claimed as harassment, and the word 'yes' being listed for the same reason.
- The report system barely works, basically allowing many trolls to stay on the website without facing any consequences. It's on par with Miiverse's pathetically low code of conduct enforcement.
- Possibly the most infamous case is the banning of a Roblox YouTuber known as Ruben Sim. Ruben Sim exposed an admin for following NSFW artists and having such material public on his social media accounts in which the admin responded by banning Ruben's main account and his alts. Prior to this, Ruben had also been interviewing young developers who were exploited by older developers who did not pay them and were abusive. This intensified greatly to the point Roblox themselves filed a million dollar lawsuit against the Youtuber for making 'terrorist threats that shut down a developer conference in 2021' and harassing staff by leading a 'cybermob' despite no evidence to directly link him. The lawsuit was shortly settled with Roblox agreeing not press charges but on a condition that Ruben is banned from accessing the platform. This shows that Roblox cannot take criticism despite given info of malicious activity happening in their platform.
- In January 2022, there was a massive ban wave caused by a bot that terminated innocent user's accounts that was due to users having the letters YT (YouTube for short) in their username for off-site content, despite the fact you can put a YouTube social link on your profile. Apparently, Roblox was updating their guidelines on usernames specifying that referencing offsite links in your username is forbidden, but didn't warn users ahead of this. Massive complaints were made about their accounts not given proper time to adjust the change and thankfully as of 1/27/2022 the ban problem was fixed by Roblox, the rule was reverted and many user's accounts got unbanned.
- In July 2022, there was a another massive ban wave caused by a bot that terminated innocent user's account again. But this time, it was done by a exploit on certain games that forges chatlogs to make users say things that they didn't say. It was later fixed as of 7/19/2022, and many accounts have been unbanned.
- Severe lack of quality control on any type of content. Some users used to make inappropriate assets and models for games, which those were removed/rejected (almost) and scam games are known to stay on the site even if the account gets deleted. There are also so many shovelware games, most of them nowadays being generic obbies or games that copy off another game.
- Another area of poor moderation is the comments section on items specifically UGC accessories. Lots of spam can be found there with chains of comments with offensive emote art, scams like '/e free', 'person below/above is X', hate messages or even warnings that try to warn about scams which has ironically become spam itself overwhelming the occasional constructive comments.
- Regarding UGC, it can even apply that some UGC accessories nowadays can feel almost cloned from one another which is controversial ever since its implementation. Some accesories have copied older Roblox limited and non-limiteds although it can justified that their affordability counter the overpriced nature of Roblox made items and that some of those can be limited and may not always be on sale.
- Some decals, clothing and audios are bypassed. Its uncommon to find inappropriate decals that have cleverly bypassed detection although they don't usually remain there for long.
- As with the lack of quality control, there are way too many asset flips, which are mostly from uncopylocked games and are usually stuffed with free models from the marketplace.
- The mobile/tablet versions of Roblox are poorly optimized. The game can become extremely laggy and unresponsive on old and underpowered devices to the point where the app will close. They also suffer from poor controls, as the thumbstick and jump buttons are incredibly small, and there is no way to adjust the size. There are more options, like a dynamic thumbstick and a D-pad, but most of those suck too. By the way, the controls are also extremely awkward to use.
- If you have a VR headset (such as Oculus Rift) plugged into your computer, Roblox will default to VR mode and there is no native method of disabling VR mode other than unplugging your headset. Many games do not play well in VR due to poor compatibility and problems with UI.
- Users have discovered you can disable VR mode by opening the configuration file GlobalBasicSettings_13.xml in
C:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Roblox, and changing the value of VREnabled to false (found in
<bool name="VREnabled">true</bool>). This works well saving the headache of unplugging your VR headset before playing Roblox, however, the audio is still being played out of your VR headset, even if you set your computer's default speaker to another speaker.
- Users have discovered you can disable VR mode by opening the configuration file GlobalBasicSettings_13.xml in
- In 2021, Roblox was exposed for exploiting children and teenage players in several ways.
- Most notably, they enticed young level creators into making several levels by promising to pay a huge sum of money, yet they paid little to none to their creators at all.
- There is also a stock market with cosmetics.
- Roblox has been known to be insecure with hackers and bots. Many popular games such as Apocalypse Rising, Jailbreak, Arsenal, Prison life or Phantom Forces have been vunerable to cheaters who would insert cheats ingame in which Roblox's anti-cheat rarely detects them. Even if these accounts got banned, the cheaters can still bypass by the account creation which is very easy and quick to do.
- Bots were another problem that plagued Roblox for a while. Because of the weak human verification at the time and how easy it was to create an account, they appeared in masses with the goal of spamming in comments of items to advertise a link to a scam website that claims 'Free Robux' or briefly join and leave an active game to post the same message. Another thing they did was create Roblox games that also advertised this same scam but tricked users into inputting their password to acquire the victim's accounts. Bots were also problematic in the catalogue for a while in which they copied clothing from other designers on Roblox catalogue and resold them in masses to the point only botted clothing instead of the original appeared in the search of the catalogue. Thankfully by 2021, the bots have subsided thanks to stronger human verification systems being implemented.
- An update for Audios starting on March 22, 2022 while the audios being free now is a good thing. It will result in many of the audios to become private and no longer be useable to anyone anymore, resulting in games that had a radio feature to break making them almost useless (although these audio files will eventually become public later on at an undetermined date).
- Work At A Pizza Place has a DJ Set that you can use for parties to do any song you want to play. But since the update, a fair amount of songs from the popular tab no longer work. However if you uploaded your own audio to the site, you are the only person that can hear it in-game and not everyone else.
- It used to have a secondary currency system called Tickets or "Tix", which were obtainable by login bonuses and place visits. As of April 14, 2016, Tickets have been removed in favor of only Robux, which you must buy with real money (although they're still obtainable via Group Funds and Developing). This led to the community accusing Roblox of being greedy (to be fair, the main reason Roblox removed Tix was due to bots and various exploits, but it was still a dumb move, as they could've thought/come up with another solution).
- Roblox is now known for very strict censorship regarding their chat filter; not only does the filter restrict inappropriate words, but, depending on whether you are above or below thirteen, the filter also blocks some words that aren't even inappropriate to a laughably annoying degree, turning them into tags (#). You can't say things like, "Twin towers", "Discord", complex usernames or complicated English words. It's also hilariously ineffective at preventing actual profanity sometimes and anyone can bypass it given a little "creativity": "Anilingus," "sack," "$h;t", "F l_l C l<", are acceptable according to the filter. Another issue with the filter is that it can sometimes censor words from other languages that aren't even inappropriate or that some swear words from other languages are sometimes accepted, because for the same reason.
- The option to change your display name in the game is a nice feature, but also suffers from many of the same problems as the chat filter. It blocks names and words typed that aren’t even inappropriate for Roblox such as “Apple”, “Bradley”, “York”, “Abdul”, “Washington” and more including most other last names of U.S. Presidents. However, “Saddam”, “Osama”, “Gerbilling” (a term used for a sexual act involving rodents), and even “NotZee” (Which sounds very similar to “Nazi”) are all acceptable names.
- Lots of cosmetic items and even limiteds you can buy for your character are disgustingly overpriced. Who would spend 40,000 robux for a fedora? (35,000 Robux is US$200.)
- Also, there's a limited item named Yum! (An official item made by Roblox, which is a face item, that went limited), that costs 320,000 Robux, which costs US$3,200. Somehow, it increased to 520,000.
- Although some of these problems are mainly caused by the sellers of these limiteds.
- The top games on the front page are almost always the same without any change. Some of these games include:
- MeepCity: A role-playing game inspired by the now-defunct game Club Penguin (now Club Penguin Island) and ToonTown (now ToonTown Rewritten), and is often thought to be a carbon copy of those two games due to various similarities, though others think the opposite. The goal is to adopt and look after a round, limbless creature, known as a Meep. But unfortunetaly, most people who play this game do not aim for that goal as they appear to enjoy dating other players (which, as said before, is against Roblox's Terms of Service) and make parties. Many provocative activities have taken place on this game (such as possible paedophilia, dating, strip clubs and sex acts among other things) which particularly happen in parties hosted by a house owner or by abusing animations to imply sexual activity, and the creator of the game Alexnewtron hasn't done much major updates to stop it. This controversy lasted until Feburary 2022, it was shut down temporarily due to the said issues but afterwards, the game is back online but with the parties removed.
- Adopt and Raise a Cute Kid: Just as the title implies, the objective of this infamous role-playing game is to start a family and adopt a child. This game gets a lot of flak for poor scripting, lag, the fact that it breaks Roblox rules and overall quality. It has been also infamous as well for being copied numerous times without changing much.
- Vehicle Simulator: While the game is actually pretty decent and is scripted well (mostly), many of the players abuse the Tesla Roadster 2.0, the fastest car in the game, so they can get rich quickly. Not helped by the fact that the only race anyone ever plays is the Airport Quarter Mile, a simple drag race. This effectively traps players in a loophole where they have to drive for hours, scour the net for codes and, you guessed it, buy Robux to gain enough money simply to buy a well-rounded supercar, which is fairly expensive.
- Speaking of games on the front page, most of the games on the front page are these five (plus clickbait games and some shovelware) categories:
- Roleplay games: These games usually a large town with things to do and interact with. You mainly chat with others and role-play. The games overall have the same types of people playing them, same concept like "paper morphs", etc.
- Click-bait/Cash Grab games: These games obviously include some form of click-bait, whether it is in the thumbnail or title. These types of games normally have a ludicrous objective, such as "SLIDE 9,999,999 MILES TO VICTORY!" or "RIDE A TRAIN TO VICTORY!". They are all similar for the most part, such as poor model quality, bad scripting, and useless morphs/game-passes.
- Simulators: Common in the front page, these games involve collecting items of what the game is themed after and leveling up to access the next area. Many have criticised these games for their unoriginality, repetitive gameplay and copied concepts.
- Tycoons: Similar to simulators, these games involve you collect money while upgrading your base. They don't have lots of gameplay, its just waiting for money to gather while they have gears that let you pass time. Not to mention, many of them like Super Hero tycoon or Mcdonalds tycoon are almost the exact same games except reskinned which applies to most others as well.
- Obbies: Also known as Obstacle courses, these games are simply obstacle courses that you must traverse. However majority of these obbies are unchallenging, bland design and bloated with too much stages than necessary. In some cases, some use the default Obby template Roblox provides for studio but don't change much with it and that obbies are very easy to make. Many obbies offer overpriced items such as boost items, guns, vehicles or stage skips, that you won't likely buy since you'll complete the game and not come back, and these games try to pester you into buying them.
- It used to have a feature called "guest mode", which was intended for players wishing to not use an account to play Roblox. This feature was discontinued as of October 4, 2017, meaning you now have to make an account to play any game on it. Although to be fair, this does stop people from exploiting without getting banned.
- The game can barely even handle its own physics at times. Back then, the destructible scenery, building, and physics were very advanced and encouraged players to use them. While still decent, now, sometimes during explosions with destructible scenery, the blocks often times bug out and freeze midair. Also, sometimes while driving a car, wheels spaz out and the car becomes uncontrollable or that moving platforms may not always carry the player with them. Also, if the map is full of things, Roblox will lag horribly, sometimes even a NVidia 2080ti struggles to run the game properly.
- Related to the above, some of the updates break some of the Lua scripts in games, thus breaking the functionality of some of the games.
- They announced that the Experimental Mode will restrict every non-filtering enabled game and older games, but didn’t last very long due to massive backlash. Many players critically panned the update, and Even DevForumers protested. Thankfully, it has been removed. Many older games were however left broken, due to forced filtering enabled mode, until Experimental Mode will add back and update.
- Roblox has suffered from a lack of direction when it comes to modernising their platform. While they have done good progress on letting developers access to more features in the engine, on avatars they've taken a massive step back. An example would be their inclusion of new body types and scaling also known as Rthro. This addition was controversial for ruining the simplicity of Roblox avatars as many of the models introduced were very realistic, slender and uncanny compared to the blocky and cartoony style Roblox was established to be in which many grew with it. Not to mention that there isn't a huge amount of support to using it as many games have adapted to the R6 style that Rthro doesn't have the appeal to be included with, as well with the lack of Rthro acessories in the catalogue is why it hasn't really been popular with many users. Lately they've been also trying to push for animated facial features which clash with the simplistic avatar styles as well and look uncanny.
- It has been apparently revealed that some of the models were just imported from 3D asset stores like Unity which is just lazy and that many of those models don't mesh in a game like Roblox.
- Roblox is also notable for false news and promises which are never fulfilled. Once, they said that it would make more free items and ways for users who don't pay to earn Robux. However, they lied.
- The famous Roblox "oof" Death Sound used since 2006 was stolen from a game called Messiah (due to the Roblox developers downloaded the copyrighted death sounds from some sound library websites and used it without paying) and one of the sound designers from Shiny Entertainment tried to sue Roblox for this 14 years later. Despite the sound designer only wanting $10,000 in compensation, Roblox refuses to pay and the sound was eventually removed from the game in July 2022. The replacement for this iconic sound is mediocre and sounds more like a sneeze than an actual last breath, it's also sounds similar to the old Minecraft (Alpha/Beta) death sounds, but highly-pitched.
Back then (2006-2017)
- Around 2013 through 2014, many servers in games were hacked and overrun with exploiters. One example being in June of 2014, when an exploiter managed to put images of a naked woman in every Natural Disaster Survival server. The exploiter was never identified, but after numerous reports from players the user was terminated.
- The Roblox forums were infamous for being poorly moderated with many spam posts being kept on the site and lax enforcement of rules on troublesome users. It didn't get full control until 2017 when a Youtuber named Quackity raided them which Roblox eventually shut down the forums after this incident.
- A sub-forum, Roblox Talk, was originally dedicated to topics regarding Roblox, which mostly consisted of internet memes (things which are against the forum rules, along with a useless post that has little to no meaning).
- B0TM0D/MSE6, a former Roblox admin, was often accused of abusing her moderation privileges, allegedly banning users for invalid, inappropriate, or outright false reasons, and giving out inappropriate and harsh punishments.
- They sponsor controversial stuff, for example, they had once sponsored Teen Titans Go!, which is considered to be one of the worst shows on Cartoon Network.
- Despite being really flawed, Roblox is still a good game, and it has enough good qualities to get a separate article on the Awesome Games Wiki.
- Due to the game's updates, many users have made Roblox clones to get the old experience back. (Although some do it illegally since they make money off of it.)
- An exploit was discovered on iOS, in which users exploited the refund system by buying Robux and then refunding to get lots of it. When Roblox discovered about this exploit, they patched it and terminated a lot of accounts.
- The "Oof" death sound that plays whenever a character's health bar is depleted became a very popular internet meme even to this day.