The Complete Guide to Nintendo 3DS Parental Controls
The gaming systems today are absolutely fantastic pieces of tech. But please never forget that all gaming systems now have the ability to connect to the internet in some way. This is why it is so important to set up the Nintendo 3DS parental controls using the guide below.
Related article: Video Games and Online Chats are “Hunting Grounds” for Predators
[updated January 19, 2020] We believe there are multiple layers that should be in place in order to adequately protect a Nintendo 3DS:
3 Layers of 3DS protection: Location -> WiFi (router) -> Nintendo 3DS Parental Controls
Layer 1: Guard the location of the Nintendo 3DS device.
Remember, where kids use technology often dictates how they use their technology. We have strong opinions about controlling where kids use their tech. For example, let’s keep all internet-ready and gaming devices out of bedrooms, where kids take more risks, and sleep is constantly interrupted.
Related post: The 5 Worst Places for a Kid to be Online
Layer 2: Set up clean DNS on your home’s WiFi (router).
You are responsible for every digital click on your home’s network, and so be sure to control the router. Popular options for parents are:
- Circle with Disney – by far the most popular parental control device on the market for controlling devices at the router (and also with Circle Go on devices).
- CleanBrowsing – use CleanBrowsing’s clean DNS and block most known porn domains (FREE). Read all about it in our extremely popular DNS blog post.
- OpenDNS – similar to CleanBrowsing, but with enough loopholes that we really prefer CleanBrowsing.
We’ve also recently found OpenDNS to be glitchy with our internet service, which is why we’ve moved to CleanBrowsing’s clean DNS for every device in our home, including the router.
Related post: How to Block Porn on Any Device. For Free!
Layer 3: Configure Nintendo 3DS Parental Controls.
The 3DS has parental controls that do three primary things:
- Restrict game rating
- Disable internet access
- Restrict Nintendo 3DS Store Purchases
To do any of these, first go to the “System Settings” icon on the home menu (the wrench) and then select “Parental Controls”:
If you haven’t already set a pin, then the DS will prompt you to create a 4-digit pin (don’t forget this) and then select “Set Restrictions.”
From there, you will see the three options already mentioned. If this is a young internet user, then consider turning off web browsing by clicking “Internet Browser,” and then “Restrict.” If you want to set a maximum software rating or control Nintendo 3DS Shopping Services (might be smart!), then just click through each of those selections.