How to . . . set up and lock down your child’s PlayStation account

Lock out inappropriate content - and, more importantly, your payment details

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock


If someone in your house got a new PlayStation 4 for Christmas, chances are you’ve already been through the setup process for playing games locally. If you had a PS3, you probably already have PlayStation account that has all your games and stats saved. But if you haven’t done any of that, here’s a guide to getting started - and more importantly, how to lock it down for younger users.

Why you might need an account:

Sony’s account allows you to buy and download games and other content, keep up to date with news from Sony, enter competitions and so. It also allows you to add on a PlayStation Plus membership so you can play online - on the PS4, a PS Plus subscription is necessary for online gaming, unlike its predecessor.

But what if you want to control what younger users are downloading from the PlayStation Store - paid or otherwise? For that, you’ll need a master account and a sub account for each child.

To start with, set up your master account.

On the console:

Press the PS button on the PlayStation 4 controller. If there are no local accounts created on the console, create a new user. If you have already set up your own local account, select that one. Accept the user agreement, and you’ll be taken to the Sign in to the PlayStation Network, then select Create an account. Follow the instructions to set up your account. You’ll need to verify your account through an email link sent to your chosen email address. Once you’ve done that, you can sign in to your account on the console.

To set up PSN account on a browser:

You’ll need an email address to create an account. On your web browser, go to the websiteand click Sign In at the top of the screen, and then click Create account. Click Start, and follow the instructions.

You’ll need to verify your account through an email link sent to your chosen email address.

Sony’s accounts also offer two-step verification for sign-in, which means that you’ll need to enter your password and then a code sent to your mobile phone. If you are signing in on a device such as PS4 or Vita, you can set up device-specific passwords rather than putting a new code in each time you log in. You use those passwords rather your account password.

Two-step verification is a good security measure to implement to keep unwanted intruder out of your account, so we would always recommend giving it serious thought.

To set up a sub account:

Next step is to set up a sub account for your child. These are designed for children between seven and 17 years old.

If your under-18 player creates a master account using a fake date of birth, that account could get banned.That means any trophies and content that has been bought under that ID would be lost as a result. It’s a risk. Those under 13 will have to have the sub account created created for them.

Creating a sub account will not only stop your child from accessing unsuitable content, determined by age ratings, but it can also lock out the account from making purchases without permission - no bill shock for you if you’ve put in your credit card details.

First, sign in to your account on the PS4 console. Go to Settings (the toolbox icon)> Parental controls>Sub account management>create a new sub account. Press X.

Select Next>Register user. Enter the details requested and wait for the email confirmation of the account set up. There will be a link included to verify the account; that has to be used within 24 hours or it expires.

Once you have verified the account, your child can log in with their own details.

To set up parental controls:

On the console, go to Settings>Parental controls>Restrict use of PS4 features. From this menu, you can set restrictions for the use of games, DVD movies, Blu-ray playback, internet browser an even logging in without a local user account.