As parents, we all want to protect our children. The question for many parents is how you can monitor what games your children are playing in order to avoid exposing them to content you might deem unsuitable depending on their age. Luckily, most consoles have some kind of parental control system in place, and the Nintendo Switch is no different. The Nintendo Switch Parental Controls supports a safe and fun environment for your child’s gaming experience
So what kind of functionality can you restrict with the parental controls and how do you do this?
To begin with, there are the obvious reasons – you think some of the games on your console, which might be appropriate for you as their parent, are just too violent or with too many adult themes for children to understand. You might want to restrict what your children can buy on the eShop, which is likely loaded with your credit card details. Or perhaps you might want to restrict the amount of online time your child has every day.
There are a number of ways you can do this – either directly on the console, or via the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app, which you can link to your Nintendo account (which you will need in order to be able use this feature). The app also offers a few more features if you’re looking for additional levels of control.
On the console itself you go into System Settings, and scroll down to Parental Controls, which will encourage you to download the app. You’re not required to do this but it really is the more comprehensive and the easier option, especially if you have kids who might be able to circumnavigate the parental settings.
You can set the age level of your child in order to be able to control what kind of age-appropriate content they’re exposed to, select the rating board of the country in which you reside, disable voice communication so your child can’t speak to others online, and disable VR controls which is recommended for children under the age of seven.
Make sure you choose a PIN that your child isn’t likely to be able to guess!
Setting up the controls on the app is likewise very easy. You’ll need to sign into your Nintendo account, and once you’ve linked your Switch to the app via a registration code (remember where I told you it would tell you to download the app earlier?), and now you’re ready to set up things like daily play limits. You’ll be asked to enable push notifications so you can monitor your kids’ activity.
If you want to restrict access to the Nintendo eShop, there are a separate set of restrictions for those as well which will ensure your child doesn’t make unauthorised purchases, whether those are games or add-ons you might not want your child spending your money on!
Ultimately you can remove the parental controls as well if you feel you no longer need to monitor your child’s activity – for whatever reason – but it’s comforting to know that Nintendo is equally as invested in protecting your child as you are. Feel free to read more about how Nintendo is supporting a safe and fun environment for your child’s gaming experience here.
By Pippa Tshabalala on behalf on Nintendo Distributor SA