A Parents’ Guide to Parental Controls

It’s not easy, being a parent these days. You want your children to have the best, of course if you’re a gaming family this will mean a console of their own one day and it might not be a day when you’re willing to let them go into this brave new world entirely on their own. With that in mind, we’ve drawn up this guide to help you keep your little ones safe (and not costing you money!), while still giving them room to live, breath, and have fun with their new toy

#1 – Setting Things Up

It’s important that YOU are the person who sets up the first profile on a new console. This new profile will govern which people using the console are allowed to perform certain actions. You will want to also want to secure this account by;

Xbox One – Select Settings – Sign In, Security, and Passkey – Change my sign in & security preferences.

Here you will be able to select “Ask for my passkey” and it will ask you to set a 6 digit combination of buttons using the controller. In order to change any settings, buy items using this profile, or even log in to this account, you will then need to enter this passkey

PlayStation 4 – Select Settings – Users – Login Settings – Passcode Management

Here you will again be able to set a passcode for this user, ensuring nobody else can log onto this console as the “master account”

Wii U – Select Parental controls, direct from the Wii U menu

This will then ask you to create a 4 digit PIN. Once in, you can then change global settings or individual settings depending on which user is logged on

#2 – Who Am I?

After creating your profile on the console, you will want to create another, straight away, for your child (or children if you are so lucky), it’s worth making sure things are done right here, to keep the settings in your hands, which you can do by;

Xbox One – Create a new profile (it’s best if you already have a Microsoft Account prior to setting this up). Sign in or create a Microsoft account, and then continue. Select Not an Adult, and when prompted, select to log in as an adult and select your account as the parent (and enter your Microsoft account password again when asked). Continue here, selecting colour schemes etc and select Make It Fast, Make It Magic. Your child account is now set up and YOU are in charge of all privacy and security settings for them.

PlayStation 4 – On your PS4 go to Parental Controls – Sub Account Management – Create New Sub Account and create there. Within sub account management you can change all the options we’ll go through here

Wii U – With the Wii U, you are able to create regular accounts, and you will have access to all these through the parental control feature (PIN locked!)

#3 – What’s My Age Again?

Each game comes with a PEGI age rating, this is here not just for stores, but to help you as a parent decide the content that your child is able to access. While Games rated at a 7 are usually simply due to player skill, it’s important to take a look at the higher age ratings and ask WHY they have been restricted, and any decent retail store will help you with this. You can limit which age rated games your children can play by;

Xbox One – While logged in as the Parent account, go to your settings – Account – Family, and select the account you wish to restrict. Hit Access to Content, and then choose the age of your child (or the age you wish them to have access to). Selecting an age will allow the user to play games and use apps up to and INCLUDING that age. You can also hide game and app listings which aren’t suitable and hide images and video by selecting the appropriate boxes on this page

PlayStation 4 – When creating the sub account, the age is taken and PlayStation will automatically hide age-inappropriate content. you can turn this OFF in the sub-account management section.

Wii U – Simply head to parental controls, select the user you wish to restrict and select Game Rating, where you will have the usual restriction options

#4 – Money, Money, Money!

Spending can be a problem. We want our children to have access to the things they love, but we don’t want them racking up an $8,000 credit card charge. Thankfully this is easy to avoid by simply;

Xbox One – Head to the users settings and choose Privacy and Online Safety. Here, we’d advise you set to Child or Teen. If you would prefer to customize yourself, head to the details and customize option and change “You can buy and download” to either Free Content or None depending on your preference.

PlayStation 4 – In the sub account management ares, you can set a limit on how much the user is allowed to spend per month in PlayStation Store. Setting this to zero will help but if they like to have pocket money in this way, you can set limits here.

Wii U – Again, easy as pie, in the Parental Control and select Wii U Shopping Services

#5 – The World Wide Web.

The internet contains everything in the whole world ever, which is great for us adults but not so good for our tiny little bundles of joy. Each console will allow you to restrict web content (or even web browsing altogether in some cases) and you can do this by;

Xbox One – Head back to the child’s profile settings and select Web Filtering. you can restrict from only sites which you allow (which can be none!) to completely free browsing. Each option has a handy description just to the right.

PlayStation 4 – TO do this you must be logged into the Sub account. Enter the browser and select Menu – settings – web filter to filter sites or through Regular PS4 settings – parental controls – restrict use of PS4 features – internet browser and select Do Not Allow. The icon will still appear but will be inaccessible.

Wii U – Again, go to the handy Parental controls area, and change your “Internet Browser” settings just here

#6 – Multiplayer Mayhem

Online gaming is a joy to behold, bringing people together from all over the world. How to protect young ears from the possibly salty language though, which you WILL get, in any game, from time to time. To alter your online interaction settings you can;

Xbox – Child settings will restrict your child from adding friends. It does let you add them instead, giving you control, Teen will let your child add their own friends. On both defaults, Friends will be the only people your child can then communicate with.

PlayStation 4 – Within Sub-Account Management you can head to Parental controls – Chat / Message and select to block from there

Wii U – You’re probably getting the hang of this by now, head to Parental controls and Online Interaction to restrict each users abilities.

There are other ways you can fine tune the experience for your child, and you can see more on your console by looking in detail through the areas mentioned above. Of course if we can help in any way, just get in touch using the contact form available and we’d be only too happy to provide Pixel-Proof, Child-Friendly assistance for you and your family. Until then, happy gaming!