The degree of sexual content varies, but may often include intercourse.

Sexually explicit dating sims may fall into the category of H Game or Eroge.

The Star Ocean series of RPGs also feature dating sim elements in a similar manner.

Some Japanese dating sims may allow the player to have romantic or sexual relationships with characters in their teens.

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.

Dating sims, or relationship simulation role-playing games (RS-RPG), are a video game subgenre of simulation games, usually Japanese, with romantic elements.

They are also sometimes put under the category of neoromance.

These games often feature a day-night cycle with a time scheduling system that provides context and relevance to character interactions, allowing players to choose when and if to interact with certain characters, which in turn influences their responses during later conversations.

While bishōjo games make up the bulk of dating sims, other types of games exist.

Dating sims such as Tokimeki Memorial often revolve almost entirely around relationship-building, usually featuring complex character interactions and branching dialogue trees, and often presenting the player's possible responses word-for-word as the player character would say them.

Dating sims such as Tokimeki Memorial, and some role-playing games with similar relationship based mechanics to the genre such as Persona, often give choices that have a different number of associated "mood points" which influence a player character's relationship and future conversations with a non-player character.

That list include some DOS games (like Three Sister's Story or True Love), which are more sim-date oriented.