Family Gaming Guide

Video games are more popular than ever and it’s never been tougher for parents to keep up with what their kids are playing and with whom. That’s why we’ve created this user-friendly guide to help provide you with the key information you need to manage their gameplay experiences and keep peace of mind.

Managing Multiple
Gamers in the Home

For families with multiple kids of different ages, managing access to appropriate video games can be a challenge. Establishing different age-based rules for each child is recommended. It is also recommended to ensure that younger kids are not using older siblings or parents’ accounts. Most devices enable parents to set up distinct accounts for each child to help you enforce each of their rules.

Here are some general recommendations based on age range:

Odds are any child of this age will only be playing games under the watchful eye of a parent or guardian. Furthermore, the experiences made for our youngest children are typically used to educate, as opposed to purely entertain. Still, be sure to monitor game time closely and adhere to the recommendation(s) of your pediatrician.
Now is the time to create individual child accounts. With these, you can manage which games your kids play based on the ESRB-assigned age rating, set screen-time schedules, restrict or block online communication, and manage the amount of money that can be spent for each child individually. It’s also important to continue to monitor things like time spent playing and purchases made.
Kids in this age range may begin to look to video games as a means of socializing with peers. It’s especially important to check the ratings, manage whether or with whom they can communicate online, and block (or limit) purchases. Child accounts will continue to be vital to help you stay aware of your kids’ video game activity.
Children in this age range will vary in maturity. Online gameplay will become increasingly important, and your kids may crave more freedom to engage with both friends and strangers online. Make sure you continue to encourage conversation around games with your kids, including the games you find appropriate, and adapt your household rules (and parental control settings) as your kids exhibit increased maturity.
Parents may begin to take a back seat to their kids’ judgment around this time. At 17 your kids will be empowered to make their own content decisions, as well as with whom (and how) they engage with others online. But don’t worry! You’ve established that you understand why your kids love games over the years and that you want to keep the conversation going.

More Tips

Encourage kids to sign out of their individual child accounts when they are finished playing video games. This way, older kids can enjoy the content they’re allowed to play without accidentally leaving it accessible for their younger siblings. If the video game consoles are in a common space like the family room, you may want to consider a household rule to make sure younger kids don’t walk in on a game that they’re not ready to see. Fortunately, virtually all modern devices have the ability to connect headphones, so if there is mature language or trash talk in a game, encouraging your older child to wear a headset helps ensure the younger ones in your household do not overhear potentially inappropriate audio.

Additional Resources

Ratings guide. In-depth information on the ESRB Ratings System.

Ratings Guide

In-depth information on the ESRB rating system.

Parental Controls

Parental controls help you manage your children’s video game use, even when you aren’t around.

Discover the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) mission. Check video game age ratings.

Mobile App

Use our free mobile app to look up rating information, including Rating Summaries, on the go.

ESRB ratings. Everything Consumers Need to Know About Loot Boxes and other In-game Purchases.


What parents need to know about loot boxes and other in-game purchases.