Search Flags

In most cases, you'll just want to do a simple search. For more complicated searches, there are additional input controls. However, we wanted to keep the UI/UX as clean and simple to use as possible. As a result, we have implemented search flags! Search flags may be added anywhere as part of your query which allow a large amount of additional search parameters. Use search flags to make your search as powerful and specific as it needs to be!

  • The format of a flag is: flag:input parameter[another parameter[more parameters...[etc...]]]. For flags that have multiple input parameters, separate each parameter with ,.
  • If a flag has an alias, you can use the alias in place of the actual flag. This is useful in the case that the alias is more easy or desired to use, such as it being quicker and easier to type or easier to remember.
  • For flags with boolean parameter types, use true, 1, on, or yes for true, and anything else for false.
  • Keep us updated with any flags you might want to see!

Here is a list of all available flags:

Flag [alias] Parameter(s) Example Usage
abbreviation [string]

All games and releases in the entire world must play on a system. A system is the platform that the game plays on. We denote every system in our database to have an abbreviation which is between 2-4 characters. A system abbreviation is essentially its unique identifier. Pass the system abbreviation as the input parameter for this flag to search all games for that system only. For a full list of valid system abbreviations, see systems page.

type [string]

All releases must be of a specific type. Releases with different types have different purposes. For example, a Special Edition release has a different purpose than a standard release. We organize all game releases as the following types. They are:

  1. Standard The standard, main release of a game.
  2. Special A release which has more 'importance' or higher significance than a standard release. This is usually used for things like Collector's Editions, Special Editions, etc.
  3. Budget A budget release is branded with some sort of label to help sell more copies, usually long after the initial release and at a lower price point. This is often used for things such as Player's Choice, Greatest Hits, etc.
  4. Demo A demo release is a release that is a demo of the actual release. These were often distributed to the public for promotional purposes, but sometimes they were not intended for the public such as releases used inside in-store kiosks.
  5. Unofficial An unofficial release is a release by a legitimate company for commercial purposes, but without knowledge or consent of the original copyright holder. These are very similar to and blur the lines of a what a bootleg is, but typically are made of a much higher quality than what people think of as a bootleg, and usually the company that created it stands behind the product.
  6. Digital A digital release is a release of a game that does not exist in physical format.
  7. Other This is designated for releases that do not fall into any other release types.
region [string]

Region that this game is released within. We recognize all games released in the entire world as being from 1 of 6 possible regions: NA (North America), EU (Europe), JP (Japan), AS (Asia), SA (South America), or AU (Australia).

A game may have multiple different releases in the same region, and may also have multiple releases in different regions of the world. In the vast vast VAST majority of cases, a game release is designated for a single region. However, in some cases, a single game release (with NO differences in packaging or content) is released in multiple regions of the world, such as many Atari 7800 games. Our system covers these edge cases too.

Please also note that we've picked these regions from a standpoint of gaming significance, not necessarily geographical accuracy. For example, Japan is geographically part of East Asia, but is important enough from a gaming point of view to be considered its own region separate from Asia. No games have been released for Africa or Antarctica; gamers from those regions are required to import their games from other regions.

prefix [string]

String that this game release must have at the beginning of its title.

suffix [string]

String that this game release must have at the end of its title.

owned [boolean]

An owned game is a game that you own in your collection. In you're not already aware, the VGDB collection tool is really great, and you should use it. You must be logged in or this flag is ignored.

order [string]

The order to sort search results. You may sort search results by title, year, or random.

[direction [string]]

Direction to order search results. Directions must be asc (ascending) or desc (descending).

year [string]

The year a game was released. Years must be in four digit format, e.g. 1984.

licensed [boolean]

Game is licensed (approved) by the console manufacturer.

unlicensed [boolean]

An unlicensed game is a game released without the knowledge, consent, or permission of the console manufacturer. This is usually done by publishers in an effort to circumvent fees that the console manufacturer requires them to pay to publish the game on their console.

NOTE: A game must be either licensed or unlicensed, so these two options are mutually exclusive.

kiosk [boolean]

A kiosk release is a release of a game that was used specifically inside in-store kiosks for demonstration and/or promotional purposes. Kiosk releases are distinct from commercial releases using some sort of markings to denote it as such. Sometimes the phrase "Not For Resale" is used, but often that phrase is also used for items that were commercially released, so a game that says "Not For Resale" on it does not necessarily mean it was used in a kiosk. Kiosk releases were not meant to be seen or known about by the general public, and often were destroyed after their original promotional use. Nintendo often used "DIS-" prefixed to the product code to denote a kiosk release. Kiosk releases are similar to but different from demo releases, because often times demo releases are distributed to the general public, wereas kiosk releases were never intended for public use/consumption.

longbox [boolean]

Some games have "longbox" style releases, which were used at the beginning of PlayStation's existence, between 1995-96. Although many Sega CD and Sega Saturn releases use the same style longbox packaging, we denote "longbox" releases to be PlayStation only. Many PlayStation longbox titles also have releases in standard jewel cases which is why it's useful to be able to distinguish them here, and why it's not useful for Sega CD or Sega Saturn.