While bishōjo games make up the bulk of dating sims, other types of games exist.
Games where the player character is female and potential objects of affection are male are known as Gx B or otome games.
The most common objective of dating sims is to date, usually choosing from among several characters, and to achieve a romantic relationship.
The term "dating sim" is also often used incorrectly in English as a generic term for romance-driven games (ren'ai games), a subject matter which is stereotypically associated with the visual novel genre.
This can lead to confusion, as visual novels are considered a subgenre of adventure games and are not technically included in the dating sim genre.
Some Japanese dating sims may allow the player to have romantic or sexual relationships with characters in their teens.
The degree of sexual content varies, but may often include intercourse.