Ages 2 - 7, Ages 8 - 12, Parental controls, Gaming

How to Set Parental Controls on Nintendo Switch

By Common Sense Media®
editorial of close up kid hold joystick playing game

Use these settings to help make gaming safer for kids.

In a field including the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, the Nintendo Switch comes out as the best game console for families with young kids. Its ultra-user-friendly design, wide selection of kid-appropriate games (including the cardboard-building and programming Labo kits), and ability to bring it along wherever you go make it a smart “starter” system the whole family can play together. Nintendo also pioneered the idea of parental controls for gaming (the Wii had them, and so does the 3DS).

Nintendo’s latest innovation is to add a parental-control app that parents can download onto their phones to control kids’ access to various features on the Switch. You can set parental controls on the console itself, but the app offers more settings. Learn more about using parental controls. To use the app, download and launch the Switch app from the app store. Create a Nintendo account, if you haven’t already, and link the app to your device

Here’s a quick guide to key settings to enable parental controls on the Nintendo Switch:

Time Limits

How to set time limits on the Nintendo Switch system using the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app

With the Switch’s Play-Time Limits, you can either trust your kids to stop playing when they’ve hit their limit or enable Suspend Software which shuts down the device automatically.

  1. Open the parental controls app.
  2. Tap Console Settings in the bottom-right corner. Create a PIN that only you know and your kids can’t guess.
  3. In Console Settings, tap Play-Time Limit. Set a daily limit on the amount of time your kids can play.
  4. You have the option of shutting down the device when your kids reach their daily limit by enabling Suspend Software. Otherwise, kids just get a notification that they’ve reached the limit but can still play.
  5. You can also enable a Bedtime Alarm to shut down the device at a certain time each day.
  6. Confirm and save your settings.

Chat

How to turn off voice chat on the Nintendo Switch system using the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app

You can also turn off other social features.

  1. Open the Switch Parental Controls app and tap Console Settings.
  2. Tap Restriction Level. You can either select one of the age presets, which automatically disables social features for kids 12 and under, or select Custom to manually adjust the settings.
  3. Under Restriction Level you can turn off Communicating with Others and Posting to Social Media.
  4. Confirm and save your settings.

Mature Content

How to limit mature content on the Nintendo Switch system using the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app

This will prevent kids from being able to play Mature-rated games.

  1. Open the Switch Parental Controls app and tap Console Settings.
  2. Tap Restriction Level. You can either select one of the age presets, which automatically restrict games based on their ESRB ratings, or choose Custom.
  3. To customize the age, tap Restricted Software and choose the age for which you want to restrict content.
  4. Confirm and save your settings.

Purchasing

How to restrict Nintendo eShop purchases on the Nintendo Switch system using the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app

This will block spending and auto-renewals on both the Nintendo eShop and on Nintendo.com.

  1. Open the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app.
  2. Tap on Console Settings in the lower right corner.
  3. Towards the bottom of the screen below where it says ATTENTION, click on the link to Parental Controls in Nintendo Account.
  4. Select your child’s Nintendo account.
  5. Select Spending/Purchases on Nintendo Switch eShop and Nintendo.com.
  6. Check the box to disable purchases.
  7. Confirm and save your changes.

© Common Sense Media. All rights reserved.

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