BitLife – Life Simulator is a free role-playing game developed by Candywriter LLC, available on Google Play and on the Apple App Store. In BitLife, a player can control one or more characters from infancy to old age. Throughout the game, the player will need to manage four statistics: happiness, health, smarts, and looks. Characteristics of the player’s background, such as national origin, gender, race, family background and wealth are randomly generated. As the player character grows up, they will have the opportunity to make life choices, such as going to university, finding a job, moving to a new country or having a family. While there is no upfront cost to play, there is a multitude of in-game purchases and in-game ads. There is a sizeable BitLife following on YouTube and TikTok.

BitLife is a PEGI 16 rated game.

BitLife is rated 17+ (Mature) on both the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Find out more about age ratings in our ‘A parent and carer’s guide to age ratings of apps and games’.

BitLife can be compelling for teens and young adults as a real-life simulator. The ability to generate many different characters and make life decisions for each character is appealing. These life decisions can range from who will be their first kiss, the career path they choose or whether to emigrate to a new country. The game allows young people to imagine themselves in many different life scenarios, ranging anywhere from a billionaire Norwegian baroness to an Ethiopian educational psychologist among other endless possibilities.

  • This is where users decide on their choices and options in the game. For example, deciding to exercise or visit the doctor.

  • The number of years the player character has lived.

  • This refers to the in-game assets of a user’s character. It includes finances, investments, properties, vehicles, possessions, and in-game social media presence.

  • These are special tasks that users can complete for rewards within the game.

  • Happiness indicates how happy a user’s character is. Low ‘Happiness’ can result in characters becoming depressed and needing to access an in-game mental institution. Players are encouraged to take part in activities that boost happiness for the overall wellbeing of their character.

  • Health refers to how physically healthy a user’s character is and influences how long the character lives. In-game visits to the doctor and gym can help boost health.

  • This is the occupation of a user’s character, which can be changed at any time.

  • This refers to the physical appearance of the player’s character and influences the difficulty of finding a romantic partner as well as getting certain job roles.

  • In-game currency that a player’s character can use to purchase personal possessions or to pay bills and taxes.

  • This refers to the intelligence of the player’s character and influences their ability to go to university and find jobs.

  • ‘Stats’ refers to the happiness, health, looks, and smarts of a user’s character.

  • This refers to the relationships held by a player’s character. These include romantic, platonic and familial connections to other characters in the game.

  • A ribbon is awarded to a player upon the death of their character. These represent the achievements of the character during their in-game lifetime. For example, an academic ribbon is awarded for academic achievements.

  • This refers to a scenario where someone of the sex industry is within range of a player’s character. Players can choose how to react, either ignoring them, arguing, assaulting them or soliciting them. Characters can also contract sexually transmitted diseases from characters in the sex industry.

  • This feature allows users to play an additional mini game within the BitLife game itself. Mini games include ‘Burglary’ and ‘Felony escape’ among others. This feature can be disabled. Go to the ‘Managing interactions and content’ section for more information.

The PEGI 16 rating given to BitLife reflects the range of adult themes and content that players are likely to be exposed to within the game. The nature of the game means that players choose the path of their character, and therefore make active decisions about the type of content they encounter. Within the game, there are references to sexualised content, such as pornography, prostitution, genitalia and sexually transmitted diseases. There are also references to drugs, alcohol and gambling as well as significant crime references. Player choices can also result in their character committing suicide. Parents and carers should be aware of the wide range of adult themes found within this game and consider whether it is suitable for their child. If you choose to allow your child to play BitLife, it is recommended that you speak with your child about the adult themes found in the game and allow them to ask any questions they may have. Some children may find it upsetting if the life-choices they have made for their character lead to some of the more distressing content and subsequent consequences for their character. Ensure your child knows they can talk to you about anything they find upsetting or confusing within the game.

There is a significant number of violent references within the game, some of which prompt players to engage in. For example, if they witness a character committing a crime, they can choose to ignore them, assault them or intervene by calling the police. Whilst this is a game, the whole concept is to simulate real-life experiences and actively engaging in options to assault another character may be confusing for some players. Talk to your child about this and remind them about expectations over their behaviour in the real-world.

It is worth noting that users can import device contacts as characters within the game, which will likely include friends and family. Whilst players cannot connect with their contacts in the game, they may see characters based on real people in their lives simulating inappropriate behaviour, such as sexual or violent acts. This may be confusing for some players, so remind your child that these are just gaming simulations of people they know in real life. To avoid confusion, it is not recommended that contacts are synced within the game.

BitLife is a single-player game and has no ability to connect to other players. However, BitLife encourages players to help their characters build a social media account, which is done by sending a BitLife referral text to one of the user’s device contacts. It is not mandatory to make a social media profile, but their BitLife character is penalised and loses a significant amount of ‘Happiness’ if they do not sign up for social media. Talk to your child about this feature and ensure they understand that it is not an essential requirement to play the game.

The nature of the adult themes found within BitLife could be particularly triggering for some players, so it is recommended that this game is treated with significant caution. Talk to your child about the themes they may be exposed to and maintain regular interest in the life-choices they have made for their character. Encourage your child to be mindful of their own mental health and wellbeing when playing this game and remind them to disassociate between the game and their offline selves. Remind your child that you are available to talk about anything they have found upsetting or confusing within the game.

It is recommended that parents and carers talk with their child about what are and are not appropriate decisions to make within the game and ensure they know the offline expectations of their behaviour.

BitLife is designed to be an addictive mobile game and notifications are used to keep players engaged in the game, especially when they have been away from the game for a while. Players can manage their notifications on their device settings. Talk to your child about setting boundaries for time spent playing. Remind your child that their gaming progress is automatically saved and there are no penalties for turning off the app.

There are several in-app purchases which offer premium features, such as disabling adverts or allowing the user to take part in challenges and unlock accessories. Speak to your child about in-app purchases and ensure they understand that real money is used to make purchases within the game. You can also set the relevant in-app purchase settings on your device and make sure that the game is not unknowingly linked to your bank cards or financial details.  More information on this can be found in the ‘Manage time and purchases’ section of this guide.

  • BitLife does not have any setting options to manage privacy within the game. Instead, it is recommended that parents and carers explore the settings menu on individual devices to help manage privacy.

    To set to ‘Private’ on iOS:

    • Go to the ‘Game Centre’ in the settings menu on your iPhone.
    • Scroll down to ‘Privacy and settings’ and change your ‘Profile privacy’ to ‘Only you’.

    To set to ‘Private’ on Android:

    • Go to the ‘Play games’ app, touch the menu icon and select ‘Settings’.
    • Select ‘Game profile’ > ‘Play now’ > ‘Your game profile’.
    • Adjust your ‘Visibility and notifications’ settings to the most private options.
  • BitLife does not have a multiplayer function, meaning players of the game cannot interact with each other within the game. As BitLife does not have any setting options to manage content, parents and carers should explore the content settings menu on individual devices.

    To manage content on iOS:

    • Go to the settings menu on your device and scroll to ‘Content & privacy restriction’.
    • Work through the options to set the content restrictions that are suitable for your child.

    To manage content on Android:

    • Go to settings menu on your device and scroll to ‘Digital wellbeing and parental controls’.
    • Work through the options to set controls that are suitable for your child.
    • Note: settings can also be managed in the ‘Security and privacy’ section within the settings menu.

    To disable ‘Mini-games’:

    • Go to the main menu by selecting the circle icon with three horizontal lines.
    • Scroll to ‘Configure’ and select ‘Settings’.
    • Choose ‘Mini games’ to disable this function.
  • Users are unable to report or block within the BitLife app.  

  • There are limited options to manage time and purchases within the game. Instead, parents and carers should explore the settings menu on individual devices.

    To manage time on iOS:

    • Go to the settings menu and scroll to ‘Notifications’.
    • Find ‘BitLife’ in the list of apps and toggle off the ‘Allow notifications’ option.

    To manage time on Android:

    • Go to the settings menu and scroll to ‘Apps’.
    • Find ‘BitLife’ in the list of apps and select ‘Notifications’.
    • Toggle off the ‘Show notifications’ option.

    To disable in-app purchases on iOS:

    • Go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Screen time’ and scroll down to ‘Content and privacy restrictions’.
    • Select ‘iTunes and App Store purchases’ and set the option to ‘Don’t allow’.

    To disable in-app purchases on Android:

    • Go to your ‘Google Play Store’ app.
    • Select ‘Menu’ > ‘Settings’ > ‘Require authentication for purchases’.
    • This means you will need to set a password to make in-app purchases.

BitLife runs a digital helpdesk which offers support on the app’s frequently asked questions, purchases and billing, technical issues and game settings. On this helpdesk, parents and carers can get information about refunds in the event of an accidental purchase as well as provide feedback.