How to Set Up Nintendo 3DS Parental Controls

How to Set Up Nintendo 3DS Parental Controls

Like movies, video games span a multitude of genres and cover a lot of controversial ground. That means there is the potential for very young kids to run into game content featuring sex, drugs, and rock and roll–game content that’s far removed from the likes of Big Bird’s Sailboat Adventure.

If you’re a parent or a guardian, you might not want your young charge wandering into content that’s not suitable for them. Fortunately, most modern game systems have parental control systems that can help ensure kids can only access games that fall under a certain ESRB rating. Here’s how to activate the parental controls for the Nintendo 3DS.

  1. Access System Settings from the Main Menu (wrench icon).
  2. Tap Parental Controls. Choose a four-digit PIN and a secret question/answer in case you misplace it.
  3. Select Set Restrictions.

You can restrict game access based on a game’s ESRB video game Software Rating. You can also restrict access to the Internet Browser, the Nintendo 3DS Shop, the Sharing of Audio, Video, and Images as well as Online Interaction, StreetPass wireless networking, Friend Registration, and DS Download Play.

The Nintendo 3DS also allows you to restrict the Display of 3D Images, which Nintendo recommends doing for gamers aged six and under so as to prevent temporary or permanent eyesight damage.

About Nadia Oxford
Nadia is a freelance writer living in Toronto. She played her first game at four, decided games were awesome, and has maintained her position since. She writes for, Slide to Play, GamePro and other publications, and is’s Guide to the Nintendo DS.

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