Nintendo Switch Parental Controls™ is a free app for smart devices to keep you engaged with your family's gaming activities on Nintendo Switch.
◆ A Nintendo Switch console with the latest available system version is required to use this app.
This is recommended for people worried about things such as:
1. Is my child spending too much time playing games?
2. What kind of games is my child playing?
3. Are the games my child is playing age-appropriate?
Below are three special features of the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app:
1. Monitor play time on your console.
Set a play-time limit and the console will notify users that the time limit has been reached.
Parents and guardians can check the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app to see if the time limit has been followed.
It is also possible to suspend gameplay automatically when the play-time limit is reached.
2. Check up on your console's gameplay.
The summary function allows you to easily see what games have been played on the console recently and how much time was spent playing each day.
View daily reports and monthly summaries of play activity. If you choose to receive push notifications, you'll be notified when a new monthly summary is available.
It's an easy way to see what kind of games your family is interested in.
3. Restrict console features.
Nintendo Switch functions can be restricted to prevent the console from playing games above a certain age rating.
◆ An Internet connection is required to use this app. Cellular data may be used. A Nintendo Account (for ages 18 and up) is also required.
◆ Restrictions to Nintendo eShop purchases can be set from Nintendo Account settings.
◆ Your use of this app is subject to the Nintendo Account User Agreement available at support.nintendo.com.
◆ In order to make use of all of the features and settings available in the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app, all registered Nintendo Switch consoles need to be using the latest system version.
Implemented bug fixes.
Ver.1.5.0 update details:
・ A new whitelist feature has been added. This feature allows you to add specific software titles to a whitelist in order to exclude them from the Parental Controls Restricted Software setting on the Nintendo Switch console.
・ You can now choose to lock this app. If you do, authentication via Touch ID or Face ID will be required to use the app.
・ The time range for the bedtime alarm has been extended to between 4:00 p.m. and 11:45 p.m.. When a bedtime alarm is set, play will be restricted from the set time until 6:00 a.m. the following day.
・ Settings made using this app will now be synced to the Nintendo Switch console even when it is in sleep mode.
・ Implemented feature improvements.
◆ In order to use some of these features, you will need to update the Nintendo Switch system version to 5.0.0 or later.
Ratings and Reviews
Great idea, horribly implemented
I was super excited to learn that the Switch had parental controls. Unfortunately the options are severely lacking, rendering useless the parental control feature. As others have mentioned, the inability to set parental controls (time limits, content ratings) for individual users is a complete non-starter. My next thought was to set a combined time limit for the whole family, and then use the app to monitor whether family members were self-managing and splitting the time equitably. This too is not possible, as the app’s accounting of time per user is wildly inaccurate. Lastly, it would be nice if two instances of the app could be linked to the same Switch console (e.g. both mine and my wife’s iPhones) for co-parent monitoring.
Assuming Nintendo fixes all of the above, this app could actually fulfill its assumed promise. From there it would be amazing to also be able to set parental controls for my kids’ Nintendo 3DS consoles using this same app. Even cooler would be if screen time limits per kid were enforced cross-device, which would allow parents to mange total daily screen time regardless of which Nintendo device their kids are using. After all, what’s the purpose of making parents establish Nintendo accounts and IDs for each kid if not to ultimately provide features like this? Or is it just so Nintendo can track, profile, and sell stuff to my kids? Disappointing.
Delightful, but Room to Improve
I love this app. The only reason I am not rating it 5 stars is that I am delighted by the existence of the app but can see some obvious ways to improve it. The app gives me information and control (even remotely) over auto-shutting down playtime on the Nintendo Switch without physically controlling the hardware, which is really great for younger kids who try to break the rules in a larger household full of small children. The app is nice and usable too.
At the age my kids are, though, it would be nice to have more options for individual users. Individual time limits would be appropriate, as well as setting time exceptions without having to alter them later on, such as doing an “add thirty minutes” option rather than altering the day’s limit and having to change it back, or alternatively disabling the time limit altogether.
I would also like to have a restriction option, which could be an additional tack-on to the individual limit feature mentioned previously.
I would also like to have a start-time restriction, kind of like the bedtime alarm but prevents usage between the designated start time and bed time.
I imagine that features like these will probably come up over time, and in the meantime I will be happy about the app’s features as they are. Thanks for coming up with this, Nintendo!
EDIT: after reading other reviews I’m changing my rating to one star. The issues are obvious, there is no excuse for Nintendo to have not addressed these issues. The lack of password protected accounts with individual time settings renders this app completely useless, and my other complaint (the timer still counting while game is paused on the home screen) is a distant, yet valid, concern.
I was super excited for the features of this app but the actual user experience is a little lackluster. I wish there were a way to add a time limit per user, since I have more than one child using the device, and their timer still counts down while a game is paused or even on the home menu. If I need them to do a quick task I’m either making them lose some screen time or waiting for a chore to get done before they can conveniently close their game. I do love the intention and it does work well otherwise, just a few minor tweaks would make this a 5 Star app.
- Nintendo Co., Ltd.
- 74.2 MB
- Requires iOS 9.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
- English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish
- Age Rating
- You must be at least 17 years old to download this app.
- Unrestricted Web Access
- © 2017 Nintendo Co., Ltd.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.