Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a Visual Novel?

A visual novel can be seen as a combination of a novel and a computer game: they're computer games with a large text based storyline and only little interaction of the player. A typical visual novel consists of text over an anime-style background image and is accompanied by background music. Throughout the game, the player usually has to answer a few questions which will have an effect on the story, thus playing a visual novel a second time while giving other answers may result in an entirely different plot.

To get a general idea of the genre, try one of the free short visual novels from al|together.

2. How about Eroge, H-Games and Dating Sims?

An eroge or H-game is basically any Japanese game that features sexual content. Many visual novels are eroge and many eroge are visual novels, but this is not a rule. The definition of dating sim is a bit more vague, but it's usually the same as a visual novel, except that a dating sim generally uses a gameplay based on statistics.

There are no strict bounds to the definition of "visual novel", most eroge and dating sims include elements of visual novels, but may - strictly speaking - not be visual novels themselves. VNDB has its own rules for inclusion in the database, see the guidelines and the list of special games for more information.

3. Why a Visual Novel Database?

The internet is large, very large, but the number of English resources related to visual novels is only very limited. VNDB attempts to collect and present as much information as possible that would otherwise be very hard to find for the English speaking audience. This way fans can easily keep track of new releases and localizations of their favorite games, while not having to browse numerous of indistinct Japanese websites.

4. How can I help VNDB?

There are many ways to contribute to VNDB. First of all you can freely edit all information found on this website, so if you find any errors just click the "edit" link on the top right of the page. You can also add new information to the database, though please search the database before you do in order to prevent duplicate pages.

To discuss about new features or to help the development of the website itself, feel free to participate on the discussion board or join us on IRC at #vndb @ irc.synirc.net. If you aren't used to IRC or are just too lazy to install a client, you can still join the chat using the Webchat. Just choose a nickname and hit Login!

5. Where can I download the Visual Novels?

Not here. We do not provide any links to direct downloads, torrents or other means of downloading games. We do, however, link to the official homepages of the producers, who may provide free trials or even full game downloads.

Our stance on piracy is that patches and downloads that have modifications to the game's contents are allowed. This includes translation patches and restoration patches. Any downloads, tools, cracks or codes that have the sole purpose of avoiding the purchase of a game are considered piracy and should not be discussed on this site.

6. Can you recommend me a Visual Novel?

Asking for recommendations on the discussion board or on IRC is usually not a good idea, for various reasons. If you're looking for VNs that most people have played, check out the popularity rankings. If you're interested in VNs that are generally considered "good" or "awesome", check out the ratings. If you're looking for something specific, browse through the tags. If you're interested in a more personal answer, compare the vote lists of our users with your own and decide what to read next based on that.

If you prefer a human answer, you can also ask around at the following communities:

7. Who's that girl on the background?

If you don't have an account on VNDB or you've never played around with your profile settings, then the answer you're looking for is Lasty Farson from Angelic Serenade. If you do have an account then you can simply go to your profile page and check which skin you're using - the name of the skin tells you where it's from.

8. I found this awesome game, but it's not available in English!?

Shit happens. There are several things to keep in mind: first of all, if our database does not have a translation listed, then with a *very* high probability it simply does not exist, anywhere. Second, we don't translate these games ourselves and we do not coordinate the translations, either, so asking for a translation here is rather pointless and a sure-fire way to get your thread locked. Also, there is an order of magnitude more visual novels than there are translators within this community. :-(

9. Can I link to VNDB?

Of course you can! We even have some icons you could use to link to and promote VNDB. Direct linking is, as with all other images on this site, allowed.

If you feel these banners don't suit your needs, please don't hesitate to make one yourself.