Usually the sexual content is presented as a reward for the player's successful fulfillment of certain tasks.

Although many eroge still market themselves primarily on sex, eroge that focus on story are now a major established part of Japanese otaku culture.

Oftentimes, voice actors who have voiced for eroge have been credited under a pseudonym.

Additionally, some games may receive an "all-ages" version, such as a port to consoles or handheld devices where pornography isn't allowed, which remove the sex scenes entirely.

Eroge gameplay is often in the style of a visual novel or dating sim.

Games also started to appear on Windows as it grew in popularity. In it, before any eroticism, the user has to first win the affection of one of a number of female characters, making the story into an interactive romance novel. Soon afterwards, the video game Otogirisou on the Super Famicom attracted the attention of many Japanese gamers.

Otogirisou was a standard adventure game but had multiple endings. In 1996, the new software publisher Leaf expanded on this idea, calling it a visual novel and releasing their first successful game, Shizuku, a horror story starring a rapist high school student, with very highly reviewed writing and music. However, in 1997, they released To Heart, a sweetly sentimental story of high school love that became one of the most famous and trendsetting eroge ever.

As with yaoi manga, the major market is assumed to be female.

Games aimed at a homosexual male audience may be referred to as bara.

JAST USA subsequently licensed Zettai Fukujuu Meirei under the title Absolute Obedience, while Hirameki International licensed Animamundi; the later game, although already nonexplicit, was censored for US release to achieve a 'mature' rather than 'adults only' rating, removing some of both the sexual and the violent content.