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Free Realms was built to be playable for younger kids, and because of that, Sony Online Entertainment offered some parental controls on the PC to assure parents that their kids are playing safe. With the PlayStation 3 version releasing soon, I realized that there may be families out there who want to play FR on the big screen, but aren't aware of the built-in parental controls available on the PS3. So, I've created this handy guide to help prepare your family to play the way you want them to when Free Realms hits the PlayStation Network this Tuesday!

Click to read more on how you can set chat restrictions, monthly spending limits, and more!

 

Warning kids: Boring parents stuff ahead!

 

Please note that this guide assumes that you've already connected your PS3 to the internet and already have a PlayStation Network account. If your PS3 is not connected to the internet, check under "Network Settings" in this online manual. If you haven't created a PSN account already: It's simple! Check out the video below to see how easy it is!

        

There are two ways you can go with having your kids to play online in Free Realms: Just use your current PSN account, or make an account for each child. I would suggest the latter, as you will have more control over what your kids can and can't do online.

Even if you're letting your young ones play on your account or not, I would suggest turning off auto sign-in and not saving your password, and most definitely password-protecting online purchases. This way, your kids won't do something on your online account without you entering your password. To turn off auto sign-in, go to the PlayStation Network section of the XMB (or 'Xross Media Bar', the main home menu on the PS3) near the far right and while having "Account Management" highlighted, press the Triangle button on your DualShock 3/SIXAXIS controller. You should find 2 options: "Auto Sign-In Off" and "Sign Out". Select the first one if you wish. As for not saving your password, sign out then when signing back in, uncheck the "Save Password" option in the sign-in screen. Note that this may be a nuisance for yourself if you play online on the PS3 often, unless you have a keyboard. Note that you can use just about any keyboard on the PS3, making text input and chatting much easier.

To make a password required for online purchases, go back to and select "Account Management" on the XMB. From there, go to "Transaction Management" and then "Require Password at Checkout". You will have to enter your password again, and then you'll be able to turn this option on. This is highly suggested so others can't make purchases online without you knowing.

 

If you're ready to get PSN accounts for your kids, head over to the "Users" category on the far left of the XMB and select "Create New User" and enter a username for your children. Note that this username is only for your own PS3, so you can just make it your child's first name. When you have that ready, log onto that user account on the PS3 and head back to the PlayStation Network section on the XMB menu and pick "Sign Up For PlayStation Network".
From there, continue creating a new account as you have before, but for your child. Pick "Create a New Account (New Users)" then continue. When it asks for birthd date, put the birthdate of your child. Note that master accounts can only be made by those 18 or older, and sub accounts can only be made for those under 18.

Being that your kid is most likely under 18, you will be brought to a page that tells you "You do not meet the eligibility requirements for creating an account. You will need a parent or lega guardian to create an account for you."
It will continue to tell you about how you will need a master account to continue, and that you will need your computer to continue creating an account. Select continue and submit your PSN sign-in info. 

After that, it will tell you that "you must provide personal information for your child." This info will be disclosed with some game publishers if this account uses certain games/services. Billing info will also be needed to verify this account (your credit card won't be charged during this process). 
When you agree and press continue, you will have to enter your credit card info and confirm your billing address. When all is settled, there will be a confirmation window popping up saying that an email has been sent to your email address. Head to your email address to complete registration.

 

You will be emailed a link and a code from a playstation.net email address. Both of those will be required to complete account creation for your child. Click the supplied link and on that page, copy the code into the text box. Check the box to agree that your child's info will be shared with third parties, and click continue. Email verification will be complete, allowing you to continue creating an account for your child.

Continue creating an account as usual. Note that you will need an email address for your child, which will be your child's login ID for the PlayStation Network. You will also need to create an online ID for your child, which will be the username people will see online on the PSN (Note that this is not the same name that will be seen online with Free Realms). Make sure you both agree on the name!
You will then have to enter your child's info, which includes their name, gender (optional), and your residental address (generally already filled in).
When all is done, double check to make sure everything is correct then click confirm.

 

Congratulations! You have just created a PlayStation Network sub account for your child!

When you click continue, you will be able to set parental controls for that account right there!
Your options include:

  • Restrict Chat with Other Users (Yes/No)
  • Restrict Content Based on Age of User (Yes/No)
  • Set Monthly Spending Limit (Yes/No)
  • Monthly Spending Limit ($0, $10, $25 $50, $100, $150, $300)

yes, You CAN set your child's monthly spending limit up to $300! Who actuallly uses that, I don't know...

Also note that, even though you set chat to off, their account can still receive messages and chat invitations.

 

When you're done setting those options, your child is now ready to go on the PlayStation Network!

Head back to the PS3 and go back to the same "Sign Up for PlayStation Network" screen. This time, select "Use an Existing Account", then enter your child's PSN ID login info. 

Bravo! Your child is now officially ready to play Free Realms on the PS3! Repeat as necessary for any other younger ones who wish to join the PlayStation Network as well.

 

If you want to edit your parental controls for your children, log onto your account on the PS3 and go to "Account Management" on the PlayStation Network section of the XMB menu. There should be a new 'Sub Account Management' option under that menu; Select that and pick "Parental Controls". You will have to enter your password again.

Pick which subaccount you wish to change, and you will be able to set the same options as you had above when making your child's account.

Note that there's even an option to change your "Sub Account Password"! If you really don't want your kids to log on without your permission, this is the way to go.

 

And there you have it! You and your family are now ready to play Free Realms online with the PS3 with an account for each of you! And most importantly: You now have control over how your kids play on the PlayStation Network! Use this newfound knowledge and power wisely!

Hope your family enjoys playing Free Realms on the PS3 (the way you want them to)!

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