itch.io is home to over half a million projects, and we want to make sure people looking for something new and interesting have the best experience possible. As a content creator, it’s your responsibility to accurately represent your project, and represent it in a way that makes a prospective buyer, downloader, or player interested in what you've created.
These quality guidelines are things that an uploader should be thinking about when creating their project pages.
If you follow these guidelines, you'll likely have more players, buyers, and people talking about your creation. Additionally, we may even feature your page on the homepage, and elsewhere on the site.
If you don’t follow these guidelines then a site admin may decide to remove your page from the itch.io’s browse and search page. Your page will still be available by direct access to anyone with the URL, or by your profile page, but because we feel that your page detracts from the browsing experience it will not shown on our listings.
This is a living document, and we'd be glad to make changes based on your suggestions. Get in touch
itch.io has a wide range of visibility options. When you decide to make your page public it should be ready for everyone to see. This includes having all images, files, and classifications added as needed. As soon as you publish your page for the first time it’s added to the Most Recent list for people to find it. It can not be put on the top of the Most Recent page again. To get the best results from a newly released project you'll want to publish with something you're proud of.
Keep in mind it is okay to create works in progress, or temporary pages. Just know that as soon as you publicly publish the page ideally it’s ready for others to view it.
In general, you're better off polishing your page before publishing it, otherwise people will be more likely to pass over it when browsing Most Recent.
Note: Feel free to share Draft or Restricted pages, as they aren’t eligible for showing up on our browse & search pages, and will not be placed on top of New Releasees.
The metadata tab on your project’s edit page allows you to add many different categorizations to your project. Your project will then show up on the respective browse page on itch.io.
Do not use the metadata page to add categorizations that don’t apply to your game. If you're purposefully adding every classification, we may mark your page as spam and disable access to your project pages.
Do not select a platform (Windows, Linux, MacOS, Android, etc.) unless you have
a program that runs directly on the respective operating system or device. If
your file is something that is not an executable/program, then select another
type from the dropdown. For example, if you're uploading graphical assets,
change the dropdown from Executable to Graphical Assets. Although a
can be viewed in Windows, it is not a Windows executable!
If you're uploading a rom, project file, save state, mod, html file, or other non-executable software, don’t select all platforms (even if an emulator or host program supports those platforms). If you aren’t uploading an executable for Windows, Linux, Mac, etc., then do not select that platform. Select a more appropriate type from the drop down if necessary, and use tags to indicate what you're uploading is for. For many alternative platforms, (eg. Commodore 64, NES, GameBoy), there exist tags to classify your project with.
Are you unsure platforms your project supports? Only select the options that you've actually tested running your project on. For example, if you use Windows, and tested your project on Windows, and aren’t sure of anything else, then only select Windows! Misclassifying a project may result in your page being unlisted. Prefer being accurate.
You're allowed to add free-form tags to your project page to aid in discovery. Please choose tags that are relevant to your project.
zombies, it does not need a
Have any idea for a new suggested tag? Click the Feedback link which can be found on the right side of the page on your dashboard and tell us what you'd like to see.
If you have a project page that has strong adult themes, then it must be marked. Someone browsing itch.io will only see adult content if they've enabled it on their account settings. We don’t want any surprises for people who do not want to see that kind of content.
Additionally, avoid using explicit images as your cover image.
You can enable on your project’s edit page: Metadata » Classification.
This one is important! If we see that you consistently do not respect the adult content classification then we may remove all of your pages from being indexed on our search and browse pages.
The cover image is typically the first thing someone sees when they uncover your game in our browse pages. If you don’t have one they'll likely pass over it. You can even upload a GIF of your project as the cover image to catch someone’s eye.
Screenshots allow you to easily communicate what your project is. Many people browsing for something new will use screenshots to decide if it’s worth their time. Just like cover images, screenshots can be GIFs. Feel free to use them if they better represent your project.
Even if your project is an embedded HTML or Flash game you should provide screenshots. We'll display them on other parts of the site.
If it’s not appropriate to have images for your project, like a text only Twine, don’t feel obligated to try to create them.
Our classification page allows you to choose a language that your project is in. If your project has no written or spoken language you may be tempted to choose them all. Please don’t do that, instead use the relevant Accessibility classifications such as No text.
Only select a language if your project explicitly has a translation or originally is in that language.
A priority of itch.io is building an easy to browse and accurate database of projects. Adding tags, tools, engines, and classifications that are unrelated to your project for additional exposure may result in your project being delisted from our browse and search pages.
Do not misrepresent the content you are trying to distribute. Including, but not limited to:
Do not offer services for on your page that offer the opportunity to make money by any sort of “buy-in” from the viewer, including but not limited to:
Many regions throughout the world have very strict rules around cash prize contests and gambling, for this reason we do not allow these pages to be hosted on our platform.
Do not create multiple project pages for projects that are essentially the same but with minor adjustments. If the code or asset changes are substantial it’s okay. Additionally, if you're trying to preserve different versions of the project, eg. jam versus final, it’s okay.
If you need to sell different tiers of the same product you can use our individual pricing tools.
Please try not to upload just Steam keys, or put a link to your Steam store page without uploading any files. Someone buying a game on itch.io wants to to be able to access it on itch.io through our website and app. If possible, your uploads should be DRM free, but it isn’t a requirement.
If you're concerned about maintaining multiple builds, please try out our command line tools. They're significantly easier to use than anything provided by any other store or platform. You can even find integrations with popular game engines.
We prefer to see projects that have no advertisements but we realize that this isn’t possible for all developers. If you have advertisements, please don’t make them obtrusive or misleading. Avoid sponsored installers, or ads that prevent someone from playing the game without performing some action.
Please avoid putting third-party login walls in front of your game unless necessary. It’s okay if you need to implement DRM, or save user settings on your server. Avoid doing it for the sake of collecting personal information about a player, or trying to redirect traffic to a third-party service.
Any projects that contain malware, spyware or adware are prohibited and will be banned from our platform. This includes any installers that put advertisements on the user’s operating system or browser.
This one can be quite subjective, but if your project’s premise is around shocking the viewer by showing potentially offensive images, flashing colors, loud or annoying noises, or other material that is designed to be obnoxious then we may delist from our browse and search pages.
Game jam hosts put a lot effort into their pages so that participants can have the best time, and work with other people on a similar theme. Do not submit your project to a jam with no consideration just so you can increase exposure to your page. We consider it spamming, your account will lose jam permission, and we may disable your account.
Do not create a game jam just so you can submit or advertise your own project. Game jams are events for others to participate in, and we expect to see a reasonable level of effort put into their creation. Thinly veiled advertisements are not tolerated and will be taken down. Additionally, your account may lose permission to host and participate in game jams.
Jam participants should maintain all rights and ownership over their work. Do not use the jam system to seek out paid work or try to solicit game developers to create intellectual property for you or your company. Do not host a “competition” where the winner gives up the rights of their work, even if there is a monetary prize. This is exploitative to creators. There are many other places on the internet where can go and hire contractors, itch.io is not the place for that.
A sale is a special event when your game can be purchased for a reduced cost for a limited time. If your game is always on sale, then it’s not actually on sale. Update the price of the game accordingly. We want people browsing game sales to see things that are on sale.
In many countries it is illegal to misrepresent the cost of your product.
Creating sales too frequently reduces the value of an individual sale. See the points from above.
The Release announcements board is our designated place for creators to announce and show off their own work. Avoid creating self-advertisements in other boards. Your topic will be locked or moved.
Unless your project is relevant to the other one, do not post advertisements on other communities. It’s considered spamming, and your posts will be removed, and your posting ability may be restricted across your entire account.