Starfield received a rating of Restricted (R 18+) by the Australian classification board due to its depiction of drug use.
When rating games, the board divides each game into six categories: sex, nudity, themes, language, violence, and drug use, and rates its potential impact on players.
While his Starfield rating noted that there was no sex and nudity “very mild”also noticed a “moderate impact” for the “topics” and foul language, as well as a “strong impact” for violence.
However, in the category of “consumption of drugs”the board gave its highest rating, “high impact”bringing the game to an R18+ rating.
It is still unclear what the use of this drug entails, or what makes it so serious in the eyes of the Australian ratings board.
An R18+ rating means that it is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to purchase the game and you can also “include content that may be offensive to sections of the adult community.”
The rating could be considered high compared to other major Bethesda games. Skyrim 2021 Anniversary Edition only received a Mature Audience Rating (MA 15+), for “themes of strong terror and violence”.
MA 15+ grades were also given to Fallout 3, Fallout 4, Fallout: New Vegas, and Fallout 76.