How to Set Up PlayStation 4 Parental Controls
If you plan on picking up the new PlayStation 4 for the family this holiday season, your family is in for a treat, but you may want to consider setting some restrictions before you gift wrap it, especially if you have children or even young teens in the house.
Games like Killzone, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Battlefield 4 give Sony a powerful launch line-up for the PS4, but these games are meant for adults, not children, so Sony gave their new console some easy-to-use parental controls to help you block certain games, features and content.
Before you get started, there are a couple of important things to understand.
- On the PS4, there is something called a Master Account. This account has all the necessary authority to configure the parental controls. Make sure that you, and only you, know the passcode to this account. This passcode will prevent others from making changes to your settings.
- In order to set parental controls, you’ll need to create a Sub Account. All parental control settings will be imposed on this Sub Account. Go to [Parental Controls] > [Sub Account Management] > [Create New Sub Account] to create one.
Log in to this sub account before you start making any of the changes described below.
Restricting Games Based on Ratings
All PlayStation 4 games have a rating, like E for Everybody or M for Mature. The PS4’s parental controls allow you to utilize the age-specific rating and restrict access to games for your children according to age.
- From the PS4’s Home screen, press Up on the D-pad to get to the Function area.
- Go to [Settings] > [Parental Controls] > [Restrict Use of PS4 Features] > [Application] and set a level between 1 and 11. The lower you set the level, the tighter the restriction will be. You should play around with these levels to find the right one for your kids.
Restricting Blu-Ray Movies and DVDs
You can also restrict the viewing of Blu-Ray movies according to their rating.
- Press Up on the D-pad to get to the Function area from the PS4 Home screen.
- Go to [Settings] > [Parental Controls] > [Restrict Use of PS4 Features] > [Blu-Ray Disc].
- For DVDs, follow the same procedure, but head to [Parental Controls] > [Restrict Use of PS4 Features] > [DVD] instead.
The PS4 has its own internet browser, so you’ll definitely want to use parental controls here.
- On the PS4 Home screen, navigate to the Internet Browser by pressing left or right on the D-pad. Press the X Button.
- Press the Options button on the PS4 controller to get to the Browser Options menu. Go to [Settings] > [Web Filter] to impose the restriction.
If you feel it’s necessary, you can completely disable the Internet browser altogether.
- Press Up on the D-Pad to go to the Function area. Go to [Settings] > [Parental Controls] > [Restrict Use of PS4 Features] > [Internet Browser]. Select the “Do Not Allow” option to disable the browser.
- The icon of the browser will still appear, but the Sub Account will not be able to start it.
If you don’t want your child chatting with random people they don’t know on the PlayStation Network, you can completely disable it.
- Head to [Settings] > [Parental Controls] > [Sub Account Management], choose the Sub Account you need to restrict, and then choose [Parental Controls]. Check under [Chat/Message] and choose [Block] to block all voice, text, and video chat.
Limiting Purchases in the PlayStation Store
This is a huge money and time saver if you set it now rather than later. The PS4’s parental controls make it easy to set a cap on the amount of money that can be spent in the PlayStation Store. This is accomplished by designating the total amount that can be spent in one calendar month.
- Log in to your Master Account and access the Function area. Head to [Settings] > [Parental Controls] > [Sub Account Management], choose the Sub Account that needs to be restricted, and choose [Parental Controls].
- Under [Monthly Spending Limit], set the dollar amount that would serve as the cap.
Once you’ve set the parental controls just how you want them, you can feel confident that your child will have an age-appropriate gaming experience with one of the hottest items this holiday season. The PS4 just came out earlier this month, so there aren’t a ton of games to choose from just yet. That said, here are a few child-friendly titles that are currently available, as well as some upcoming titles for your family to look forward to:
- NBA 2K14
- FIFA 14
- Lego Marvel Super Heroes
- Just Dance 2014
- Skylanders SWAP Force
- Angry Birds Star Wars