Steam has an option of Family options; it can also be called parental controls. You can lock adult games so no one except you can play them while also making the purchasing mechanism child-friendly.
What are the benefits and why would I want this?
By default, when you launch Steam client, you have access to everything on the Steam store. Furthermore, there is also complete access to your library, the profile, the Steam Community (an online discussions forum), and all of the settings inside the client. There are a lot of inappropriate titles available on Steam which are not meant for children. Furthermore, many titles can be very graphic and may contain nudity. We don’t want our children looking at them or playing them. Nor would want our children talking to anyone on the Steam community, or mess with our settings and content in the client.
It is very hard to be absolutely sure that your child will only play children friendly games on Steam in your library. As we all know, children have immense curiosity; the only way to ensure that they don’t open titles which are not meant for them is to enable Steam Family options.
Although the most obvious use of Family Options is to restrict access to the titles which are not meant for kids, it is also used for locking down accounts which belong to your children. Let’s suppose you set up an account for your child so you two can play multiplayer games together. Even though there may be no objectionable content on your child’s account, it would still be a relief to lock down the account so they don’t have access to the Steam store or the ability to chat with random people through the Steam community and chat.
Let’s see how you can set up Family Options. Follow the guidelines below.
Turning Family Options On:
- Launch your Steam client. Do note that you can use your browser for this too. You can easily log into the Steam account from your browser and carry out the actions listed below.
- Open settings by pressing the Steam button present at the top left side of the screen.
- Once in the Settings, press the Family tab present on the left side of the screen. Now click on Manage Family View.
- There are two options you can change, Library Content and Online Content and Features. The default settings are set to the strictest; the only game you chose will get access while all the other ones will be disabled and the online content will also be disabled.
- We are going to show you the settings on the strictest mode. We only want to give children the access to the games we whitelist but also don’t want them accessing the Steam store, the content which is generated by the Steam community, disable chatting with anyone, or to change the settings of the client and our profiles. You can set all the settings as you feel comfortable with. Once you have set all the settings, click on Continue.
- On the next screen, you will be asked to check the games you want to include so your children can play them in the Family mode. Once you have decided and checked all the games you want to include in the family mode, click Continue again.
- Now a screen will come forth asking you to set a pin. Using this pin, you can easily switch between the normal mode and the family mode. You should jot this down something because if you lose it, you would have to go through all the account verification steps in order to gain full access to your account. Instead of going through all this process, list it somewhere which you can access whenever the need arises. After you selected the pin, click on Continue.
- A final screen will appear which will be confirming your actions before implementing your actions. After clicking Continue, navigate around the Steam client in the Family mode to see how your children will see it. You can change any options you wish to amend.
- The first thing you should do is click the Library tab at the top and check which games are accessible. The ones which are available to your children will appear as colored while the one which is blocked will be shaded greyscale.
- Not only will only the games be accessible which you allowed, the store, community, and Profile navigation elements will be darkened out and inaccessible.
If you want to amend the settings sometime, you can click the Family Options icon present on the upper side of the Steam client. Click the icon. Now you will be asked to enter the pin to open the Steam client in the normal mode.
After you enter the PIN, Steam will refresh and load in the usual way. Everything will look exactly the same when we started the tutorial. The only different thing will be that there will be a Family Options icon present at the top of the client. Now it will be red instead of green. After you are done adding some new games for your children or changing some settings, you can click that icon to resume back in the Family mode and the icon will change green.
Disabling Family View
You can also remove the family view from any account any time you want. Follow the steps below.
- Exit Family view by pressing the family view button present at the top of the screen. Steam will ask you for a PIN code to verify. After entering it, your usual browser will open up.
- Navigate to Settings, and click on the Family tab present at the left side of the screen.
- Select the option which states “Disable Family View”. Another screen will pop up asking you to enter the PIN to confirm your actions. After confirming, the family view will be removed from that account.