Saturday, 17 March 2018

Set up a child account on PlayStation to manage content, play time and spending

We love video games in our house (let me edit this to say the kids and I love them, my wife doesn't care for much other than Tetris). I actually play a few hours a week once everyone else is in bed and while games like Call of Duty are fun to me, I do not believe they are appropriate for young eyes. In order to prevent my kids from stumbling upon something they shouldn't, or buying apps and add-ons in the PSN store with my hard-earned money, I decided to set up a separate account for the kids so that I could apply age restrictions to games and prevent purchases in the store. 

The steps below will walk you through that process and make sure your kids are safe for those moments when you turn your head. 

Parent Tool: Parental Control for PS4

The first thing we are going to do is change the default System Restrictions passcode (which is 0000) to something that you will remember and your child won't guess (hopefully).

From the top menu use the arrows keys highlight Settings and press X.

Highlight Parental Controls/Family Management and press X.

Highlight PS4 System Restrictions and press X.

Highlight Change System Restrictions Passcode and press X.

Using the arrow keys and the shape buttons on the right, enter your new passcode twice.

Now on to adding the new account for your child. On the Parental Controls/Family Management screen highlight Family Management and press X.

Use the arrow keys to got down to Add Family Member and press X.

Highlight Create User and press X.

Enter a name for the account, the birthday of the child and then highlight Next and press X.

Read (yeah, yeah, yeah I know you won't!) and Accept the User Agreement by pressing X on Accept.

Now you have the option to set the first set of Parental Controls on the account.

Highlight Age Level for Games and select the level you would like to apply to the account. The guide below shows you which level belongs to which age group:
  • – E (Everyone)
  • – E10+ (Everyone 10+)
  • – T (Teen)
  • – M (Mature)
  • 10 – AO (Adults Only)

You can also set an age restriction on the Blu-ray and DVD videos the child is allowed to view. Click on Age Level for Blu-ray Disc and DVD Videos and select the appropriate rating. 

If you have a PlayStation VR headset you can allow it or disallow it for this account. Sony recommends anyone under 12 should not use it. 

The final restriction at this point is whether or not to allow the child access to the web browser. I don't think there is a need for it at all so I restrict it at our house but of course you can set it as you see fit. 

If the child will be playing any online games (Destiny 2, Fortnite, Star Wars Battlefront 2, etc) they will need access to the PlayStation Network. Highlight Allow and hit X. If the child is younger or won't be playing online, you can turn this feature off by selecting Do This Later and hitting X

If you allowed access to the Playstation Network (PSN) you are presented with a new set of Parental Controls  specifically for PSN.

Communication with Other Players - sets whether or not the child is allowed to communicate (voice chat, messages) with other players.

Viewing Content Created by Other Players - restricts access to videos, images, etc that other players have created and uploaded to PSN.

Age Filtering for Online Content - Restricts access to online games, and hides inappropriate content for the PlayStation Store based on the birthday of the child.

The setting that will prevent the most grief in you life as a parent is Monthly Spending Limit. Set this to $0.00 to restrict purchases on this account. If you do need to purchase a game, or content via the PlayStation Store you can always go through your main account.

The final set of Parental Controls you have access to is playtime duration. Added in the latest
update to the PlayStation software, the playtime restrictions allow you to set a daily time limit and restrictions on the hours in which the child is able to sign in.  

To set this up, set the Time Zone and select Confirm and hit X. If you don't just select Do This Later.

If you are going to set it up, set Play Time Restrictions to Restrict. You now have an option to decide what happens when the time limit is reached send a notification or log out of the PS4. In our house we have it set to Log Out of PS4 but you can set it to whatever you prefer. 

To set up the duration and the times the child is allowed to play, highlight the box beside Every Day and hit X.

Use the arrow keys to set the Play Time Duration and the Playable hours Start Time and End Time. For our oldest we set it to two hours and and restrict the use to between 6AM  and 7PM. Once done hit X.

That's it! You now have a new account set up for your child. At any time you can head to the Family Management screen to see the play time for each member of your family as shown below. 

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