How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

If your child is anything like mine, they’ve spent several thousand hours of quarantine time playing Minecraft. But if they’re only playing Minecraft in single-player mode, they’re missing out—not just on a ton of fun game options, but also on the chance to socialize with their friends. Minecraft is like a virtual playground where kids can play together, but no diseases can spread.

Unlike a real playground, however, multiplayer Minecraft can be a bit of a hassle to run. So I put together this little step-by-step guide to setting up a shared, exclusive Minecraft world as easily as possible, with no strangers or any unwanted players to deal with. Follow these directions and your kid and his pals will be playing online together in seconds… okay, minutes. okay, maybe an hour, tops.

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Step one: Determine which version of Minecraft everyone is using

While there are technically 14 different versions of Minecraft, almost everyone is playing either Minecraft: Java Edition or Minecraft: Bedrock Edition. The first step to your kid and their friends forming an online Minecraft clique is determining which version of the game everyone is running.

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If you’re playing Minecraft on a console, a phone or a tablet, you’re playing Bedrock. If you’re playing on macOS, you’re almost certainly playing the Java edition. If you’re playing it on a PC with Windows 10, you could be playing either version.

While any user of the Java edition can join a game with any other Java player, and any Bedrock player can play with any other Bedrock no matter what console they’re on, Javas and Bedrocks cannot play together (without a complicated workaround). So sadly, if your kid’s friend Tyler is rocking the Java edition on his Mac and your kid only has the Bedrock edition on his Nintendo Switch, it’s time to make a new best friend.

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Step two: At least one player needs to subscribe to Minecraft Realms

Minecraft Realms Plus is the official subscription-based server host for Bedrock Minecraft, whereas Minecraft Realms: Java Edition is the Java version. For Bedrock players, Realms is by far the easiest way to create a shared, persistent world and open it up to your friends. Realms also lets you play on a public servers, as well as letting you download skins and texture packs to change the look and feel of the game.

Java Minecraft players can already play on public servers and download mods, skins, and texture packs without subscribing to Realms, but if your goal is to set up a world for your kid and his friends to share with as little hassle as possible, subscribing to Realms is the answer.

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You don’t need a Realms subscription to play in someone else’s shared world, so only one person in a group of 10 friends needs to shell out $7.99 a month, and then invite the others to play in the private world. The subscription fee only allows you to create one world at a time, but you can pay another eight bucks a month for a second world, if you want.

Whether you also need to subscribe to your console’s online service to use Minecraft Realms depends on the console. On Xbox One, you don’t need Xbox Live Gold to use Realms, but on the Nintendo Switch, you do need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. Java players never need another subscription to play online.

It is possible to set up your own server and/or use a third party hosting service to set up a shared Minecraft world in either version of the game, but if you need this basic how-to guide, I don’t recommend rolling your own server. It can get complicated, and unless you and/or your kid are into solving technical problems, I’d advise against it, at least for now.

Step three: Create your world and subscribe to Realms

Okay, it’s time to make a world for your kid and his friends. Here we go:

1. Start Minecraft.

3. Click “Create New.”

4. Click “Create New World.”

5. Click “Create on Realms.”

6. Choose between a 10-player realm and a two-player realm

7. You’ll now have to subscribe to Realms, so break out the credit card.

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How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

By Fernando Raymond | February 8, 2021

Minecraft child account is highly appealing for children with the Creative mode allowing them limitless resources to build whatever they want. While Survival mode means the players must mine the resources to feed, build a house, and protect themselves.

Minecraft Child Accounts

Initially, Minecraft’s parental controls were highly limited, and the multiplayer mode was risky for young children. But now, things have changed a lot, with the Better Together Update which gives parents more control over their kids’ activities.

Irrespective of whether your child is playing a multiplayer game on a mobile device, Windows 10 PC, or a gaming console, there is a need for an Xbox Live sign-in to play online multiplayer games. And the creation of an Xbox Live account and Gamertag allows parents to set privacy and multiplayer preferences to their child account.

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

Though, Minecraft is safe doesn’t make the internet itself safe, meaning concerned parents need to look for ways to make sure that their child is safe whenever they play online.

Here, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide on everything Minecraft does to make your child safe, and how you can also take extra steps to further protect your child.

Minecraft Parental Controls via Xbox Live and In-Game Security

Xbox Live sign-in is required now to play Minecraft multiplayer games online. And creating an Xbox Live account and Gamertag allows parents to set up privacy and multiplayer preferences.

  • To set up Parental control, log in to Xbox Live Account at If you don’t yet have an Xbox Live Account, you can easily create one for free, using a Microsoft account.
  • Within your Xbox Live Account, click on Privacy and Online Safety. There you’ll find the gamerpics for everyone in your Microsoft Family.
  • Now, find Join Multiplayer Games Settings: once you disallow this function, your child won’t be able to join any multiplayer games online in Minecraft or even shared local worlds, realms, or servers.
  • Child Accounts for Under 13: Here, you must provide permission to create an Xbox Live account, and creating a child account here: Child accounts have multiplayer communication blocked by default.
  • Others Can Communicate with Voice, Text, or Invites Settings: When these settings are blocked, your child can still join and play multiplayer Minecraft games, but they won’t be able to see chat messages from other players or their invitations to join games.

And for in-game security, you can add, mute, block, or report players via the Minecraft Pause menu. Also, you can set player permissions from the Pause menu, so that your child can invite friends to look at but not join worlds, or help fight off zombies without attacking themselves.

How to Allow Your Child to Add Friends on Minecraft

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

Definitely, your kids love to play Minecraft together with their friends even though they can’t be in the same physical place. There are four (4) ways to go about it, as listed in the following sections, which you’ll find arranged by from the easiest to most difficult.

1. Buying a Minecraft Realm for Shared Play

Minecraft Realms is the official Minecraft server platform in the world, as it’s hosted and maintained by Mojang, Minecraft’s parent company.

Therefore, it is the absolute simplest solution, hands down, and to purchase a Minecraft Realm for Shared Play starting at barely $7.99 a month (with the first month free), you also get an easily accessible and up-to-date Minecraft server with three worlds as well as a host of minigame templates if your kids want to play minigames with their friends.

And for security, the Realms servers are strictly whitelisted, which means players require manual approval to gain access to the server and no random person can join the server with your kids.

So if your child wants to play Minecraft with friends, and don’t have interest in playing with game mods or server plugins, getting a Minecraft Realms account is a no-brainer, and they only have space for 10 players.

2. Buying Third-party Hosts

It is more flexible to join third-party hosts but with more hands-on technical requirements, if you’re ready to invest a little energy into the project, then you may have to consider buying a third-party Minecraft host.

There are some benefits with third-party hosts over a Realms server, which includes the fact that you’ll get more for your dollar spent, which about $7 per month spent on a Realms server will get you a third-party host that supports several more players (about 20 or more within the price range).

Also, most hosts like SeekaHost Minecraft Server Hosting include support for mods and plugins that enhances Minecraft with cool new features, and your child’s server will have a memorable name so that friends can easily join even a web-based control panel where you can manage toggling plugins on and off and the whitelist.

3. Self-Hosting Minecraft with Your Hardware

If you’re the geeky type and have ample time to manage every aspect of running Minecraft server for your kids or perhaps, your kid can handle it, then you can choose to run a Minecraft server with your own hardware.

The upside of hosting your own server is that you have total control over the entire process, and you can choose the server software, coupled with the fact that the files are stored right in your system, and all the gameplay takes place right there.

You can check out our guide for setting up a Minecraft server or a third party server platform like Spigot that supports mods and plugins, here.

4. Sharing a LAN Game

This is when people are playing Minecraft on the same network, for instance, your child and friends are playing Minecraft on two different laptops at home, they can use the “Open to LAN” feature to share the game so that their friend can join too, and they can all play together.

But in order to make this work out across the internet, every time your child starts up a Minecraft game and uses the “Open to LAN” feature, it requires that you go to the settings of your home router to change them as every LAN game has its own random port number that needs an updated port forwarding rule.

In conclusion, you can check out the further guide to play Minecraft with friends (for beginners and existing players) with instructions and hacks, all covered for you to get started and play online with also the option of joining free Minecraft servers at SeekaHost. The step-by-step instructions will show you how to get your friends to join your server and the tips to build your own community. And even earn money from the game you enjoy playing!

Minecraft Child Accounts | Parental Controls | Multiplayer Child Safety

An Xbox profile opens worlds of new possibilities for your child’s Minecraft gameplay and makes it easier for you to monitor and control their experience.

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

A safe place for friends to play

An Xbox profile makes it easy for your child to find their friends and invite them to play Minecraft online. As a parent, you have the ability to control who they add to keep them safe. And with a Minecraft Realms subscription, your child can play and explore with up to 10 friends on their own private server.

Simple, powerful parental controls for Windows 10

Privacy settings

An Xbox profile lets you decide how each child interacts with others, shares their profile information, joins multiplayer games, or adds friends by customizing the Xbox safety settings.

Content restrictions

An Xbox profile allows you to set limits on the type of content your child can see, play, and interact with.

Spending control

An Xbox profile makes it easy to monitor and set limits for game purchases. You can always see your child’s purchase history and review the credit cards associated with their account.

Time limits

With an Xbox profile, you can set limits on the amount of time your child spends playing. You can even log in to shut access to games at any time, from virtually anywhere.

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How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

In the history of gaming, few games have been as popular as Minecraft! Minecraft is awesome because you can create, solve problems, and go on great adventures, and do all of it with friends! Multiplayer mode is tons of fun – but we do have some tips for playing Minecraft with Friends. At Coder Kids, we love when kids play Minecraft together because it is a highly collaborative game.

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

How to Play Minecraft with Friends

If you’re a parent who wants to know how to get your child’s friends playing together, there are a few options I highly recommend. First, if you are comfortable with small amounts of technical work, consider signing up for an Apex Hosting plan. These are very affordable server options that your child’s friends can enjoy. If you want even less work, consider Minecraft Realms. Using Minecraft Realms is a bit more expensive and a bit less creative, but a great option as the most straightforward way for your child’s friends to play together. You can also check out our blogpost about Minecraft Servers and Modding Options.

Once you have a server or Realm set up, your child’s friends will just need to open Minecraft, make sure they’re on the same version of Minecraft as their friends, click Multiplayer, then input the IP address for the proper server. Then they can play together to their hearts content! It is a little more complicated than some video games these days, but it won’t take more than a couple of minutes if you have a stable server.

Let’s dive into our suggestions for helping friends to play together, while still staying friends.

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

1) Give OP rights to someone you can trust.

When playing Minecraft on a server with friends, sometimes multiple people want OP rights – which will likely result in chaos if you aren’t careful. OP status gives kids the right to ban other players and change server settings. The problem here is that if a kid gets mad while playing with other kids, they might ban them. Then another kid might whitelist them, then another player might ban them again. This can cause a lot of fights.

For this reason, I’d highly recommend that a parent or a trusted, unbiased friend be the only one with OP status. That way if someone needs to be moved from creative mode to survival mode, they will just need to ask the OP and get it done, but it doesn’t turn into a crazy fight.

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

2) Decide the Game Mode and Objectives

Before friends jump into a server together, they need to have a chat about what they want to do that day. Think about it like LEGOs. There are endless things you can build with LEGOs. Do the kids want to just build cool stuff (creative mode)? Do they want to explore dungeons (adventure mode)? Do they want to build and explore (survival mode)?

I have played Minecraft with a lot of students, and by far, the most popular mode to be played among friends is Creative Mode. It is a cool mode, because like LEGOs, you can say, let’s create anything that comes to mind, and they can work for hours on building their creation. However, I do strongly recommend trying Survival Mode with friends sometimes too. Whereas a lot of kids in Creative Mode tend to build separate projects or work in partners, Survival Mode opens up the door to doing large group collaborations – getting the best of adventure modes and creative modes. Personally, I think it is the best mode for fun with friends.

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

3) Have a Shared Server

If one person owns a Minecraft server, it can be challenging for that person to give up OP rights or to be entirely unbiased about who gets to join or stay. For that reason, I highly recommend a parent or group of kids jointly own a Minecraft server. If you as a parent buy the server and do some very minor OP work, your child and their friends are much more likely to get along. As a matter of fact, they can just tell you what to do, and when you do it for them, your work is done!

A shared server also serves the purpose of being a long-term project for a group of kids. If 3-5 kids are working together on a shared server in Survival Mode, it could take them months or years to get the maximized benefit from it. And with 5 kids involved, you’re looking at around $2 a month per child for server access that they can use anytime. So they can work in the server together and then use Discord to chat, and they will have hours of creative, problem-solving fun.

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

4) Set Expectations Ahead of Time

The most important tip I can offer kids about playing Minecraft together is to have realistic expectations. While Minecraft is a great game for kids to play together (one of the best), it also causes a great deal of frustration. You can spend hours working on something, just to have someone come along and blow it up with TNT. It is like building an awesome castle out of blocks and having your baby brother come and knock it over. It is frustrating, but kids need to understand from the beginning that things happen.

My solution to this problem is having a conversation with the kids before they ever start playing. Talk about certain scenarios and how they as a group will react. For example, if you have built something, and someone knocks it down, how should you react? At the same time, what should be the consequence for the kid who knocks it down? Perhaps a multi-day ban would be appropriate in that situation. But either way, it is important to have rules and expectations, just like in any other scenario you might find yourself in.

Playing the famous Minecraft video game online at home must be safe and suitable for your child.

Your kids can play Minecraft online on the SeekaHost Minecraft server hosting in the safest way and look forward to their gaming time with their friends online while stuck at home.

After all, children are allowed to spend time on smartphones, tablets, or watching television, so you’d rather have them engage with stimulating online games that promote mental capabilities.

The Minecraft game can improve learning capabilities like problem solving and motor skills and there are many more reasons why your child’s passion for the game should not be dismissed and ignored.

Kids can play the game online with their friends while at home and communicate with them through the server hosting the game. All players log in and find themselves in a Minecraft world where they can build, plan and have fun together. Children can be quite competitive, and the game can help build confidence among kids and their friends.

So, find out about the best six reasons why it’s absolutely fine to allow your child to play Minecraft with their friends, raising the spirit of teamwork among them.

1. Minecraft enhances teamwork

If Minecraft is played in a multiplayer mode, it can increase the players’ confidence, allowing them to lead a game, give instructions, make decisions and support each other. Players have to collaborate and work together rather than against each other to win the game.

2. Minecraft enhances learning

If your child plays an online Minecraft game with their friends, they can learn how to play the game, what keys should be used, how they can set up a world or build something within it etc. On top of that the game also promotes skills like problem solving, coding, creativity and focus.

3. Minecraft can expand social skills

While playing Minecraft with their friends, your child can socialize with many known and even unknown players, who somewhat support them by interacting with them. This can grow your child’s social circle and equip them with social skills like forming relationships, communicating effectively and networking. Your kid will learn how to conduct themselves online, which is also part of digital literacy at school.

4. Minecraft keeps your kid healthy

Because Minecraft is an online game, the players do not have physical contact, which keeps your kid a mile away from familiar childhood diseases. This is especially safe during times of a pandemic, where social distancing is key to remain healthy. If your child is vulnerable it certainly is a great alternative to regular play dates.

5. Minecraft reduces safety risk through a private server

A safe place has been created by setting up a private Minecraft server for your kid’s and their friends’ Minecraft game. Moreover, the problems that plague big and poorly moderated servers like swearing, inappropriate content, and behavior will be non-existent on a private server as it’s only accessible by the players that have been set up and parents can monitor this.

6. Flexible Minecraft versions

While playing with their friends, your kid can select any of the versions of Minecraft available on the server. This allows your child and their friends to choose different worlds or mods and by that create their very individual online adventure on the Minecraft server.

Join the Minecraft fun

As you can see, playing Minecraft with friends can be beneficial for your kids in various ways. And this does not exclude adult fun as many parents will often join their kids and learn new skills from them. You can test it for free by setting up a Minecraft server with a 7-day trial at SeekaHost.

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

Among Us is a fun, social game that’s become popular with kids and adults alike. If you’re familiar with social deduction party games like Werewolf or Mafia, Among Us is a video game version with added minigames. Here’s what parents need to know before letting their kids play:

What is Among Us?

Among Us is an extremely popular multiplayer online game that supports four to 10 players at a time. The game is set on a spaceship in outer space, and players are either assigned as Crewmates or Imposters. Crewmates are trying to complete tasks on the ship, while Imposters are trying to sabotage the ship and murder the Crewmates. You can play with friends you know in real life, or with complete strangers, and games typically take five to 15 minutes.

Should kids play Among Us?

Among Us is an engaging and social game, and it can be a fun way for kids to connect with friends. The Apple Store suggests Among Us is appropriate for kids aged nine and up, due to infrequent cartoonish violence and horror themes. However, this does not account for the fact that the game is centered on themes of deception, and that playing with strangers comes with inherent risks.

One key part of playing the game is lying and using manipulation to win. Kids need to be old enough to understand that it’s just a game and that lying isn’t something they should do in real life.

Another important part of the game is discussion amongst players, which takes place in a text chat. If you are playing publicly with strangers, player names are often inappropriate, and the chat is unmoderated, which can mean it might include hate speech or cyberbullying. The default setting for the text chat does have a language censor to remove inappropriate language, but this setting can be turned off, depending on the preferences of the person whose game you join. Many players also use Discord or other audio and video platforms to add live voice communication to the game, which can add another layer of risk for kids.

How to make Among Us safer for kids

The safest approach to the game is to make sure the chat censor is turned on, and that your kid knows how to set up the game to play with friends and family. To play with your friends, all you need to do is set up the Lobby. When you set up the Lobby, it automatically defaults to “private,” which means you can share the room code with people you trust and they can join. If you decide you’d like to invite strangers to join, simply switch the button in the lower corner of the screen to “public.”

As the host of a Lobby, you have the power to kick out players who are acting inappropriately. If playing along with your children is something you’d like to try, then you can help moderate the game as you go. All you do is click on the “boot” icon (literally a little image of a boot) in the chat next to a player’s name, and then decide to kick them out or ban them.

Recently, the game developers InnerSloth, have been battling a hacker who has been spamming the game text chat with political messages and threatening to hack players who won’t subscribe to their Youtube channel. While the developers are working on programming to protect the game from this kind of activity, they advise the safest way to play is in private Lobbies with people you trust.

Is Among Us right for your family?

Among Us does contain cartoonish violence and themes which might be inappropriate for younger kids, but it also provides an opportunity for kids to connect with their friends and family through an accessible and fun online game. As with all platforms where strangers can contact minors, the game does come with some risks. Understanding the game settings and how to play along will help you to decide if Among Us is right for you and your family.

And, if you’re looking for kid-safe ways to connect with your family online, check out the Kinzoo app. It’s free to download and full of fun features that you can enjoy together with children!

Controls & Settings guide

Minecraft has parental controls on Xbox Live but they also have in-game safety settings. Please note, children under 13 years need parental permission to set up an account.

What do I need?

Xbox Live account and a iOS/Android device, Nintendo Switch, Xbox, VR or Windows 10

Restrictions you can apply

Watch our video

Watch step by step instructions.

Step by Step instructions

Add, mute, block, or report players in-game:

When in a game and you pause, you can add, mute, or report the player(s). Just select from the options and follow the on-screen instructions.

What happens when you…

Add a player – if you add a friend, they will be able to join you when you’re playing Minecraft worlds and will show up in your invite lists.
Mute a player – when you mute someone, you won’t see any of their messages.
Block a player – when you block someone, they can’t contact you at all via Minecraft or the Xbox Live network. You also won’t see any of their messages or game invites.
Report a player – reported messages are sent to Minecraft and Xbox Life Enforcement teams. Depending on the report, they can temporarily ban chat features, suspension from joining a game or services, or a permanent Xbox Live or console suspension.

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

Set player permissions in-game

You can set custom permissions for each player in your world or Realm, or use pre-set permissions levels, this is so players can’t attack each other for example.

When the game is paused, click on the gamer tag name, and choose the appropriate permission.

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

Access family-friendly servers

You can access family-friendly servers with the help of volunteers who monitor the Minecraft world for any inappropriate language, inappropriate content, and bullying. An example is or who maintains private servers that are family-friendly.

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

Turn off chat and external website links

When playing a multiplayer game online, press the escape key. Click options and then ‘multiplayer settings’.

Then click on ‘chat shown’ to turn chat off.

That world kids love to build in? Tap to learn its secrets.

Minecraft has been around for more than a decade, and it’s still a huge hit with kids everywhere. But that doesn’t make it any less mysterious for grown-ups who haven’t played much themselves.

Why are kids so enthralled? And what do parents need to understand about the game? Read on.

What exactly do you do in the game?
Minecraft is mainly about building cool stuff. Wielding virtual chunks of wood, stone, and other materials, you scamper around a blocky virtual landscape and piece together whatever you can imagine—castles, amusement parks, underground hideouts, spaceships, you name it.

Players can also craft items for their cute in-game avatars—anything from simple shovels to suits of armor made of diamonds.

Is there a social aspect?
Over the years, Minecraft has evolved from a mostly solitary experience to a more social one. Players can team up online to construct sprawling cities, engage in Hunger Games–style battles, or just hang out and build together in a shared virtual space.

Got it. How do you play?
That depends on the mode!

Survival mode plops you into a randomly generated wilderness where your goal is to explore, gather resources, and stay alive. Harvest raw materials—chopping down trees, mining rocks, and so on—build shelters, and craft weapons to fend off computer-controlled critters, such as Minecraft’s iconic Creepers.

In the free-form Creative mode, there’s no need to worry about mining for stone or fighting spiders. Players have infinite resources to build whatever they want and can team up with others to bring huge structures to life. You can even defy gravity and fly around at will!

There are also privately run Minecraft servers—elaborate online worlds capable of hosting thousands of people at a time. Many of these are home to robust communities and action-packed mini-games, like defending a castle against a dragon attack or battling other players on a set of islands floating in the sky.

Is any of this violent?
Though players can fight monsters—and one another—with swords, bows, and other simple weapons, combat is cartoonish and bloodless. When players die, they often simply respawn at the spot where they entered the game.

Getting killed and losing a sweet stash of hard-won valuables can cause no small amount of anguish, though—especially for younger players. That’s why building secure places to store goodies is a big part of the Minecraft experience.

Will my kid be talking to strangers?
By default, players sharing the same Minecraft world can send messages using an in-game chat window. People tend to be friendly in the world—particularly on the more popular servers—and a filter blanks out most offensive words.

The chat window has a handy toggle in the upper right corner that will mute all other players with a single tap. Once mute is turned on, it stays on until manually switched off again, even if your child starts a new game.

How much does it cost to play?
Aside from the price of the game itself, Minecraft is free. Dozens of optional add-ons are available for purchase from the in-game store, like sets of “skins” that change a character’s appearance (superheroes and monsters are popular picks) and massive prebuilt worlds with unique structures.

These add-ons are bought using a currency called Minecoins—available as an in-app purchase—which are usually a few dollars apiece.

Though it’s free to have up to four people join a game, a monthly subscription allows you to host your own private realm. These persistent worlds are accessible to invited guests even when the host isn’t online.

Should I play too?
Absolutely! One of the best ways to learn about Minecraft is to jump into a game as a family and build something awesome together. Maybe an underwater mansion or mountaintop sheep farm? The sky’s the limit.

OK, I’m convinced. What do I do?
Simply download Minecraft to a device other than the one your child is using, then link up through the in-game friends list. (This step requires setting up a free Xbox Live account, as Minecraft is owned by Xbox-maker Microsoft.) After that, the two of you can play together in the same world.

Unlike action-heavy games that require sharp reflexes, Minecraft can be a slower, gentler experience—one that stimulates imagination and creativity. Once you make your first diamond-encrusted suit of armor, you might become a fan yourself.

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

A Parents’ Guide to Minecraft

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

What is Minecraft?

Minecraft is a 3-D computer game where players can build anything. The game which has been described as like an ‘online Lego’ involves building blocks and creating structures across different environments and terrains. Set in a virtual world the game involves resource gathering, crafting items, building, and combat.

It’s one of the most popular games in the world right now and can be an excellent way for kids to learn about creativity and working together.

Minecraft can be played on computers, phones, tablets and consoles. The game can cost around €20.00 depending on what device you are using it on.

Is there an Age Restriction?

Minecraft has been rated as suitable for 7+ up to 13+ depending on which version of the game you are playing. Children aren’t asked for proof of age when they sign up. If a user is under 13 and they sign-up with their correct age, certain game features cannot be accessed for example changing settings, making purchases, playing Minecraft Realms or chatting in scrolls.

Why is Minecraft so popular with kids?

Minecraft is hugely popular with kids particularly those aged between 6 and 13 years old. What makes the game so popular is that players can create anything… from cities to roller coasters and anything in between, there are no rules to the game and the possibilities and endless.

The game also allows for multiplayer mode, a popular function with young players, who enjoy playing with their friends and helping each other build new creations. For most children, the appeal is the freedom the game offers.

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

Are there any benefits to playing Minecraft?

There are number of benefits and skills children can learn and develop from playing Minecraft. In fact some schools have started to incorporate it into the classroom. So, what are the benefits?

  • Developing problem solving skills
  • Improves computer literacy, kids can develop and learn basic programming and software skills.
  • Encourages creativity and can help develop design skills – Players can build/create anything they can imagine
  • Improve teamwork skills and encourages collaboration
  • Improve mathematical, spatial and analytical skills

Are there any risks?

There are a number of potential risks which parents may be concerned with. However many of these can be easily managed.

Minecraft has both multi and single player options. Many kids like to use multiplayer mode to play with their friends and to play with people around the world. As with most online games and apps, there are risks of encountering bad language, harassment, inappropriate content etc. To help avoid this, you can set games for single-player only (this can be done in the game settings), or disable the chat option in multiplayer. Click here for details on how to turn off the chat setting.

Minecraft contains very little violence, graphic or inappropriate content, for example there is no blood in the game. Players can however, hit or kill animals or each other in multiplayer mode, but this is not the main focus of the game and graphics are very cartoon like.

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

Minecraft on YouTube

Many kids watch Minecraft tutorials on YouTube to get help, hints and tips on the game. Some YouTube tutorials include bad language or inappropriate comments. To avoid your child encountering this, encourage them to use these recommended YouTube channels for Minecraft tutorials.

Additional Tips for Parents

It can helpful to set time limits on how much screen time your child is allowed.

Agree some basic gameplay rules – for example decide if you comfortable with your child using multi-player mode or chatting to other players online.

So your kid wants to play video games with you? Here are a few to get started.

Sharing video games with your kids is good

Sure, you don’t want your kid drowning in screen time, but playing video games with your kids rules. Especially if you’re co-operating or working together towards some goal.
As a Dad with two boys (and a lot of video games) here are some of my favourite video games to play with my kids.

Untitled Goose Game

Some might argue that Untitled Goose Game sets a bad example. Look, it’s hard to disagree. My kids spent a morning playing this game, then an afternoon pretending to be a goose, stealing my mobile phone and stuff.
But look, kids need to learn how to be mischievous. This game is harmless. It’s also so much fun to play with kids. They’ll lose their minds.

Nintendo Labo

Nintendo Labo is expensive, frustrating and if you have younger children they will almost certainly destroy it within days.

If your children are curious, patient and love arts and crafts, Labo is absolutely phenomenal. It inspires creativity and is absolutely something you can build together.

Splatoon 2

For the most part you’ll want to steer your children away from online shooters, but Splatoon 2 is the exception. It’s wholesome, but also cutting-edge and kinda cool.

It’s perfect if you want to give your kids something a little more obviously “kiddy” without sacrificing them at the altar of the almighty Fortnite. Playing online is also relatively safe compared to most shooters.
Splatoon is fantastic.

Super Mario 3D World

Super Mario 3D World might be the best child-friendly game ever made.
The levels are open and friendly. The game can be played with simple controls but hides a fair amount of depth for experts. Most importantly, Super Mario 3D World is designed from the ground up for cooperative play. Some games have co-op tacked on, but everything about this game is designed to suit people playing together.
If you’re looking for a game to play as a family, this is the one. If you have a Wii U, that is. The good news: Nintendo is planning to bring this game to the Switch.


A chaotic same-screen co-op game that will have players screaming at one another, Overcooked is a gem.

It’s impossible to not have fun playing this game.

Rayman Legends

Not only is Rayman Legends endlessly inventive, gorgeous and disarmingly hilarious — it also has co-op play!
It’s difficult in parts, but also has a perfectly pitched difficulty curve. My own children are obsessed with this game. You can either play together or take turns on some of the more difficult levels.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Breath of the Wild is a miracle of a game, but I never imagined it as a game my children would enjoy. Action-RPGs are typically a bit impenetrable for young kids, but this game caters to all levels, mainly because its core mechanics of combat and exploration are accessible to all.
My son had an absolute blast just pottering around in this brilliantly constructed interactive world. Yours will too.


The granddaddy of them all. Lego for a new generation.
Minecraft is so good for kids that it gets used in schools to help with creativity and problem solving. Watch out for that time sink, though. If you’re trying to limit screen time, you’ll have an uphill battle with Minecraft!


TowerFall is a top-notch same-screen multiplayer game. It’s simple with a surprising amount of depth. Get your family around a single TV and you’re going to have a blast. Simple as that.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Captain Toad is a puzzle game and, if you’re a parent, you know what that means.
This is a good one to play together, help each other through the tricky parts, teach problem solving. Captain Toad is a good one.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle

At first I wasn’t convinced Mario + Rabbids — which is essentially a real-time strategy game — would work for my 5-year-old son. But it did.

Familiarity with the characters, the humor. that contributed, but it’s the deliberate pace of the game that makes it work perfectly for kids. Sure, the game ramps up the difficulty in later levels, but kids will love those opening hours of Mario + Rabbids.

Rocket League

Rocket League works for kids on a number of levels.

To begin with, it can do same-screen multiplayer. That’s useful if you’re keen to play as a family. Second, Rocket League has bots your kids can play against if you’re not around to play with them.
Third, Rocket League is cars playing soccer . I mean. that’s a Venn diagram pretty much all children can get behind.

Only real issue: Rocket League’s set-up is quite complicated. If your kids can’t read, you’re probably going to have to help out.

Mario Kart 8

Mario Kart is a must, and Mario Kart 8 , with its user-friendly control options and inventive track design, is probably the best one yet — especially for young kids.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, recently released on Switch, is the perfect, definitive version of that game. Get on it.

Portal 2

Portal 2 makes this list for a number of reasons. First, it’s one of the best games ever made. Second, it has a largely underrated co-op mode. Third, it’s a mind-bending puzzle game that forces children to test the limits of their spatial reasoning.

Absolutely must-play for parents and children alike.


Snipperclips is a largely underrated same-screen co-op game that’s perfect for parents and their children. You’ll be screaming instructions at each other, laughing hysterically and high-fiving as you snip (and possibly clip) your way through some seriously inventive levels.


It has a little bit of cartoon violence, but if you’re okay with that, then Spelunky is a great adventure to undergo with your kids. It’s fun, accessible and funny in parts.
And even when you fail — and you will fail — it’s one of those rare games when it doesn’t really matter. Just start all over again with a grin on your face.


In my experience Minecraft is more of a game that your kids play, and you sort of just scramble to understand. Either way, if your kid is a Minecraft player, you could do a lot worse. Get involved and let your kid teach you something for a change.

Gaming is a great way to keep the kids entertained. Some games can improve hand-eye co-ordination, problem solving skills and more. Xbox have launched a new Family Settings App on iOS and Android to give parents the tools they need to create the right balance of gaming. Here is how you can manage your children’s playtime with the Xbox Family Settings App.

Approve Purchases

With purchase management tools, parents can have full control over spending habits. With Ask A Parent, parents will receive an email whenever their child wishes to purchase a game or app which needs funds. It is easy to accept or decline giving parents complete transparency on what their children are buying. To limit purchases made on the account, there is also a feature to set up a passkey.

Set-Up an Allowance

Setting up an allowance enables parents to easily add money to children’s account to limit purchases they can make on their own. This is great if they have done well in a test and parents want to treat them but also give them the freedom to choose what they wish to buy.

Keep Track of Purchases

To check all purchases made, parents can view Microsoft Store order history online or from the Xbox console.

Screen Time Limits

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

Parents can easily manage screen time and how long their child plays on their console. For example, you can allow 2 hours on a weekday and 4 hours on a weekend. This easily changeable so parents can allow more time in half term if they wish. There is also a feature to grant additional screen time which is particularly useful if they did well on a test or completed their housework!

As well as managing screen time limits on the console, parents can also set limits for specific apps and games. For example, on a school day parents can limit time to 1 hour on Minecraft and 2 hours on YouTube. This gives parents the freedom and control to guide their children towards a healthy balance of gaming.

Content Filters

It is now easy to limit what content children see with the ability to set filters based on the age rating of a game. This means they will be blocked from seeing any games are intended for older players.

Play and Communication Settings

The app also has play and communication settings that enables parents to limit access to playing and communicating with other players. Options vary from blocking all access to all players, limiting to “friends only” or granting permission for older children to play and talk with “everyone”.

Friends List

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

Parents can keep an eye on friends lists and view who has been accepted onto the child’s friends list. For younger children, parents can also approve or decline friend requests your child has made to other players. By turning on notifications, parents can accept or decline friend requests in real-time.

Activity Report

With the in-app activity reports, parents can better understand how many hours a week or day their children are spending on the Xbox. This will show daily averages and how much time they spent on specific games.

Multiplayer Access

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

Many kids love to play Minecraft which is rated E10+. The app has a feature specifically for Minecraft which lets parents easily enable access and multiplayer capability of the game. Younger children may want play with friends, and this feature lets parents unlock this capability quickly.

With the Xbox Family Settings App, parents and families can feel empowered to have conversations with children about their playtime and how to balance gaming with other responsibilities. New features will be introduced in the future to give families everything they need for safe gaming.

Haven’t downloaded it yet? Download on iOS or Android today. Remember this app works with the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

Minecraft is one of the most popular video games among the challenging boys that I work with. Their parents often like it too because they find Minecraft’s blocky and cartoony characters, animals and monsters reassuringly innocent when compared to the graphic images contained in so many other games. However, Minecraft has caused more serious problems for the families in my practice than any other video game – much worse than any of the violent first person shooter games out there, including Fortnite. There’s no need for alarm. Minecraft can be played safely and enjoyably just by following a few simple rules.

What are Minecraft’s troubling features?

• Minecraft can be highly addictive.

You may have already noticed that children can get very caught up in playing Minecraft. It can be difficult getting kids to stop playing at the end of their allotted time. In more extreme cases, children will push to play Minecraft to the exclusion of other activities and leading to big battles with their parents. Some children will secretly stay up late into the night playing the game.

• Minecraft can expose kids to bullying and exploitation.

Minecraft can be played online on multiplayer servers, some of which can be quite violent. Players attack and kill other players and steal their hard earned (or bought) virtual possessions, or destroy the buildings they have worked hard to build. This practice of stealing from other players or wrecking their creations is referred to as “griefing” in the Minecraft community. These types of attacks can often be more stressful for kids to handle than the more realistic violence of Call of Duty or other war games.

• Minecraft server owners can tempt kids into spending large sums of money (that they often steal from their parents).

Server owners can sell special packages of tools, weapons, armor, and other accessories to players on their servers. These special packages give players such a huge advantage in the game that there is a serious temptation to buy them. I have known kids to spend many hundreds or even thousands of dollars this way, often stealing their parents’ credit card numbers to pay for their Minecraft purchases.

I realize that all of this sounds scary. Minecraft does have positive qualities, however. It’s an incredible medium for creative expression. Some have described Minecraft as “LEGO on steroids.” Gamers refer to Minecraft as a “sandbox” game which, like a real sandbox, can be a place for creative, unstructured play. Minecraft, unlike many other games, has no levels to conquer, no preset objectives to achieve, no predetermined path to follow. What the Minecraft player does is determined solely by his interests and imagination. (As an example of the creative possibilities of Minecraft, here’s a scale model of the Tower Bridge of London created in Minecraft.)

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

It’s possible, as you read this, that you feel the advantages don’t outweigh the dangers. You may even consider preventing your kids from playing Minecraft. However, doing so runs the risk of creating other problems. When parents ban Minecraft, children often just sneak around to play Minecraft anyway. If your child plays in a hidden way, you won’t be able to supervise his play and you won’t know about the problematic situations he is being exposed to.

How do you ensure that your child plays Minecraft safely? I have written this brief guide for you to better understand Minecraft and supervise its use so that your child can be engaged in a safe and healthy way.

1. There are many different ways to play Minecraft. (What format of Minecraft your child plays determines what if any risks playing the game exposes him to.)

Online forms of Minecraft include opportunities to play on unregulated public servers run by individuals who are unaffiliated with Mojang and Microsoft (owners of Minecraft). Servers typically feature incredible cities, buildings, and games within games (popular games include “prison” and “hunger games”). For many kids, playing Minecraft on servers is the most entertaining form of Minecraft.

Here’s an image from the server Cousinville:

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

What format your child plays Minecraft on — single player vs. multiplayer, online vs. offline — determines what risks he or she is exposed to.

While many Minecraft servers are safe, servers are where the greatest dangers are found. Many servers are “Lord of the Flies” like environments where kids can get exposed to bullying. Server owners also profit from selling (at astonishingly high prices!) special weapons, armor and materials that players pay for with PayPal and credit cards. Unscrupulous server owners can even extort payments from players by threatening them with being expelled from the server (which would mean losing days or weeks of accumulated possessions and work) if players don’t pay the fee. This can lead to huge financial outlays and the temptation to steal from parents.

Minecraft like other online multiplayer games also creates a situation where kids can meet with strangers.

Playing Minecraft single player offline is the safest form of Minecraft. Also safe is playing multi-player Minecraft with friends who are present on your home wifi network. These forms of Minecraft furthermore do not provide kids with opportunities to spend large sums of money.

2. Minecraft is constantly changing.

Minecraft programmers are continuously adding new features to the game. There are thousands of Minecraft servers with dozens more being added every day. You have to put effort into staying up to date.

3. Play with your child.

The most effective way to keep your child safe playing Minecraft is to spend some time playing Minecraft with your child. Have your child show you what he likes to do on Minecraft and the servers he likes to play on. Playing Minecraft together not only allows you to monitor his Minecraft use, but it will also develop more closeness between you and your child. There’s nothing like showing interest in what your child is interested in for promoting your bond.

Especially with difficult to connect with kids and with kids who are easily overwhelmed by interpersonal interactions, playing multiplayer Minecraft together is a great way to connect and expand their capacity for connection. Your avatars run around in the Minecraft world and interact with each other cooperating, playing in parallel, playing with each other, and maybe sometimes even fighting. This type of interacting has lower intensity making it easier for the kids to begin building up their capacity to engage.

4. Collaboratively establish rules for playing Minecraft.

Children are more likely to follow rules that they have a hand in creating. I recommend establishing rules about the following:

• How much time they are allowed to spend playing Minecraft?
• Where are they allowed to play Minecraft (e.g., offline only, local multiplayer with friends, Xbox, servers)?
• How much money are they allowed to spend money on Minecraft? (I recommend that kids not be allowed to spend money on Minecraft if you can avoid it.)

If your kids play on servers, look at online reviews of the servers they play on.

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

Multiplayer games like Fortnite, FIFA and Overwatch have evolved into social spaces where players communicate via in-game voice or text chat. It’s an exhilarating way to play, but as with all online social spaces, there are some risks. Here’s how to help your child enjoy the positives and avoid the downsides of in-game chat.

How it works

In-game chat is one of the keys to success in online multiplayer games like Fortnite, League of Legends or Overwatch – it allows players to quickly coordinate with their team through the game’s built-in chat functions, using voice (via a headset) or text.

Playing in a team with people you don’t know in person can be totally exhilarating – but it can get rowdy, especially in ranked matches. Most in-game communication is immediate and unmoderated, and in some games swearing and insults are pretty common – especially when one player hasn’t performed so well.

If your child is younger or more sensitive, or you feel strongly about bad language, you might want to hold off until they’re older before letting them use in-game chat. If that’s the case, be sure to talk to them about why you’ve made this decision – and maybe agree to review it at a future point.

Settings vary according to the game and the platform (PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch etc), but most allow you to limit who can communicate with you. Some games and platforms offer the option to set up a chat which can only be joined by invitation – this can be a great solution if your child plays only with friends they know in real life.

Online bullying

Sometimes, competitive criticism via in-game chat can start to feel like bullying. Mean comments or insults can really hurt, so if your child seems to be upset or down after playing multiplayer games, encourage them to talk about what’s happened. Be sympathetic, and remind them that the issue is not with them, but with the bully.

Be sure that your child knows to mute players who seem to be trying to upset them – they’ll still be able to see that player in the game, and possibly in future games, but will no longer see or hear what the muted player is saying unless they unmute them. Reporting tools vary, but they’re normally easy to find – and if a game doesn’t have them, it’s probably best to avoid it.

If your child has been badly affected by bullying, there are several free support services available. You can read more about bullying through online games on our partner site, Parent Info.

Being kind online

When someone is yelling at you, it’s often tempting to respond aggressively too. This won’t improve things in the long run, so encourage them to hold back if they can, and take a break if things get fraught.

If they’re older, remind them that the chat will probably include younger children who might well be upset by harsh jokes or insults. Talk to them about being kind online as well as face-to-face; they have a choice whether or not to contribute to an aggressive game culture.

At the same time, let them know that they can always come to you if they have problems online – even if they think they might not have behaved as you’d have hoped.

Online grooming

Most children have fun gaming with friends and strangers without any problems, but there have been some reports of children being contacted by abusers through voice chat, so it’s important they know what to watch out for.

Be sure your child understands never to share photos or information like their real name, school or address. They should be very wary if someone they talk to using in-game chat asks to stay in touch on social media or wants to start a private chat; and of course, they should never agree to meet up with anyone they haven’t met in person before.

Make sure they get to know the reporting mechanisms of the game, so they can quickly block and report anyone who makes them uncomfortable. Tell them that they can always talk to you about anything that upsets them online, and you will always help them even if they’ve not stuck to your family rules. And if you come across something you suspect might be online grooming, go to the NCA-CEOP site where you can quickly report it.

If you think your child might not yet be ready to communicate with people they don’t know online, all games consoles feature parental and privacy settings which you can adjust so they can only communicate with people on their friends list – check online for information about your child’s specific console.

Alternatives to in-game chat

Some games, like Minecraft, offer the ability to set up a private server so that only approved players can enter the gaming session.


Did you find the information helpful? Our Digital Schools Membership gives you access to a vast range of resources relating to all the key internet safety topics and expert-written content for pupils, parents and teachers. Read more about how your school can benefit from Membership.

Team up to clear dungeons and collect loot.

Minecraft Dungeons is a kid-friendly dungeon-crawling game that’s out now on Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The game allows players to explore procedurally generated dungeons full of enemies to defeat, loot to collect, and secrets to explore. (Learn more about the game in our review.)

While you’re free to play Minecraft Dungeons on your own, the game is more fun when you’re playing with friends. Up to four players can team up to clear dungeons together through both online and local multiplayer modes.

If you want to play with your friends online, here’s how this works! (Before we begin, please note that these screenshots were captured on an Xbox One.)

When you launch Minecraft Dungeons, you’ll be taken to a main menu screen where you can view your character and choose whether you want to play online or offline. Make sure you set your game to “Online Game.”

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friendsSource: SuperParent

When you select “Online Game,” a window will pop up showing you which friends are online and whether there are any active game sessions available for you to join. If your friends aren’t hosting any sessions, you can create your own. Just select the friend you want to invite and then invite them to join your game. (On Xbox One, when you select a friend, the Xbox One interface will pop up on top of the game, allowing you to invite them to play.)

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friendsSource: SuperParent

You can also invite friends to play once you’re already in a game. Specifically, when you’re hanging out at Camp, open the friends menu (on Xbox One, this is done by pressing the View button — the button with the two rectangles on it). From there, you can see which friends are online and invite them to play!

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friendsSource: SuperParent

Once one or more friends join your game, you may want to start a voice chat so that you can strategize, point out chests, and more during stages. To do that, you’ll need a headset, like one of these Cloud Stinger headsets from HyperX.

To learn more about Minecraft Dungeons, or to view the rest of our guides for the game, check out our previous coverage.

Disclosure: HyperX is a sponsor of SuperParent. Xbox gave SuperParent codes for Minecraft Dungeons for coverage purposes.


Brandy Berthelson has been writing about video games and technology since 2006, with her work appearing on sites including AOL Games, Digital Spy, and Adweek’s Social Pro Daily. When she’s not gaming, Brandy enjoys crafting, baking, and traveling with her husband.

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

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When it comes to children and screen time, many parents take a cautionary approach. After all, many there are many digital outlets that vie for kids’ attention, including TVs, tablets, computers, and smartphones that they can access at home or in school. And of course, parents also have to worry about lifestyle balance when it comes to sedentary and active recreation—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that over a third of children in the U.S. are considered either “overweight or obese.”

At the same time, children must become fluent in current technologies in order to function in an increasingly digital world. Parents can help direct their children’s attention to positive and healthy online communities, such as the world of Minecraft, an open-world building-block game for PC and console. Researchers at Radboud University believe that certain video games provide significant benefits to children, helping them regulate emotions, build strong social ties, and improve other cognitive abilities. The following list explores why Minecraft can be a valuable addition to your children’s playtime.

1. Easy Access

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

Both children and adults are easily captivated by the world of Minecraft. It’s like discovering a limitless container of Lego blocks. The open sandbox format of this game makes absolutely anything possible. Avatars can collect resources by punching trees and digging up dirt. Eventually, these resources can be used in formulas to create other tools. Tools can start simple—hammers, axes, and shovels, but players gain enough resources, they can build complex tools—circuits, trains, and even houses. MinecraftEdu, an academic organization comprised of educators and programmers, recommends the game to teachers because it is “easily adaptable to curriculum” with “sandbox play [that] allows for ANY kind of experience.”

2. Inspiring Confident Exploration

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

Contrary to other video games that have strict rules and linear event progressions, Minecraft is an open environment that doesn’t come built-in with structured quests. This means that youngsters can roam through this world and explore without an urgent set of tasks. However, they are still challenged by loose survival requirements, such as feeding their avatars, building shelter, or warding off enemies (giant spiders or green “Creepers”). Children are free to make mistake and succeed in the world of Minecraft. Wired notes that video games have the power to help players “overcome the fear of failure IRL” (In Real Life).

3. Increased Creativity

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

There’s no denying that Minecraft provides children with unprecedented opportunities for creativity. Some will explore extensive cave systems underground while other players might build lavish houses. Or who knows? Perhaps your child will reveal their architectural genius and create astonishing block cities and structures inspired by real or fictional locations.

4. Teamwork

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

Your children can play for long hours on solo missions. But families can also set up personal servers, so that other friends and family members can join in on the fun. Parents can also download custom Minecraft maps, such as multiplayer adventures. Psychologists have been researching video games as a way to build social skills, since children get to engage with one another to overcome obstacles and achieve success. In an American Psychological Association (APA) article, Dr. Isabela Granic describes studies that reveal “People who play video games…that encourage cooperation are more likely to be helpful to others while gaming than those who play the same games competitively.”

5. Problem Solving

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

Children must discover new resources and experiment with different recipe combinations to create tools in Minecraft. They must figure out how to build a shelter before night falls and feed their avatar. Research conducted by S.R.I. International reveals that video game play might be responsible in measurable problem-solving and memory improvements.

6. Parents Can Play Too

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

Due to the game’s extremely accessible entry point, scale-able levels of complexity, and group-play features, parents can also get in on the Minecraft action. Your building and survival experiences in Minecraft can be a great bonding exercise for the entire family.

7. It Teaches Resource Management

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

Once children become thoroughly engrossed in Minecraft, they begin to start calculating the costs of their resources. For example, wood can be acquired by hand, but it’s faster to use an axe. However, all of these tools will eventually wear out, necessitating even more resources. Your child will soon be weighing the economics of labor and resources as they seek to craft the thousands of recipes used in this game.

8. Geometry Skills

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

There’s no doubt that your children will get to exercise their spatial awareness and geometry skills while building structures with these blocks. Children will quickly learn what’s possible with the six faces of a cube, and how to stack blocks in a way that is structurally sound.

9. Community Engagement

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

One of the coolest things about Minecraft is that other players are constantly sharing their custom-made modifications, quest maps, impressive artwork, and wiki entries. This culture encourages young people to explore their own ideas and contribute too. Depending on your child’s age, you might want to explore special public servers, forums, and wiki guides together and see how other players customize their games.

10. Age-Appropriate Content

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

Finally, Minecraft can be played by children of many ages. It has been rated for people ages seven and up by the Pan European Game Information (PEGI) and ages four and up for the iOS version. Yes, there is some use of weapons against enemies in the game; however the interactions are not graphic at all. And parents can always set the game to “Peaceful” mode, so that children don’t encounter monsters at all.

So what are you waiting for? Pick up Minecraft for PC or console to start exploring some of the advantages video games have in store for your children!

Of all the things that modern technology has given us – smart phones, space travel, litter boxes that clean themselves, etc. – the best thing by far, in my not-so-humble opinion, is video games. Enjoying a good movie or binge-watched TV series is great and all, but it’s sort of like a football player watching his team play from the sidelines: being a part of the thing itself is way more fun. When it comes to your kids, there’s such a huge variety of games out there to choose from that they don’t have to look very far to find something they’ll like to play. And if what they like is a completely open world with the ability to do basically anything they want, well…that might explain why they like Minecraft so much.

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

Minecraft is a sandbox game that was first created in 2009 by a guy who goes by the name of Notch, who sold the game to Microsoft a few years later for a truly ridiculous amount of money and is probably laughing at us from a mansion somewhere over our obsession with his blocks. There are three main types of game modes to choose from when you start up the game: Survival, where you battle monsters at varying levels of difficulty while you explore the world in search of bigger and better resources; Creative, where you have access to all the resources in the game without having to find them in the world and can build whatever your heart desires; and Online Multiplayer, where you can play with your friends or strangers in a number of different mini games that other people have created.

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

While the Survival and Multiplayer modes offer a ton of great opportunities for fun, the real draw of the game, especially for kids, is the Creative mode. I wasn’t kidding when I said you can build pretty much anything you want – there are almost 150 different types of blocks and items as of the game’s 1.9 update, and almost limitless ways to combine them to create something new. It’s like coloring on steroids; every single thing your kids can imagine can be recreated in Minecraft with a little time and ingenuity. Giant melting ice cream cone? Check. Castle floating in mid air? Got it. Life-size recreations of all the Avengers? Yep. Justin Bieber’s song “Sorry” played on a bunch of note blocks? Yeah, that too…

Top 40 hits aside, probably the best thing about Minecraft is that kids tend to have so much fun playing it that they don’t even realize they’re actually learning things. All of the moving parts in the game are controlled by redstone, a set of items that mimic real-world electrical components. When kids are building a working drawbridge for their epic floating castle, they’re actually learning basic ideas about coding and electrical engineering. Unsurprisingly, people have picked up on these ideas and compiled them into the Minecraft Education Edition, which is specifically meant to be used in STEM learning and features several resources that you can download for your kids.

So really, there’s no need to worry about your kids spending hours exploring and building in a video game or why they enjoy doing it. Because even without focusing on the educational possibilities, Minecraft provides kids with a 3D sandbox that helps them develop the most important skill they’re going to need in their lives: their creativity.

How do I allow my child to play Minecraft multiplayer?

Log in to with the parent’s Microsoft account.

  1. Click the child account’s profile.
  2. In the navigation tabs click Xbox One/Windows 10 Online… and select Allow for Join multiplayer games and You can create and join clubs.

Can my kids play Minecraft with each other?

Can my kid play with friends on Minecraft? Yes, it’s possible for your kid to play with their friends. It’s easier on console versions, because you just need to know your friends’ gamertag or player ID to add them to your session.

How old do you have to be to play Minecraft multiplayer?

The minimum age for a standard account is thirteen. Children under that age need parental consent to access specific features, as required by law. To give parental consent to access these features, including Realms, you must enter payment information, which must be validated with a 10-cent charge.

Why does my Minecraft not let me play multiplayer?

Privacy Settings, Parental Controls and Child Accounts If you have your settings set to block joining multiplayer games, you can’t join any multiplayer games in Minecraft, including shared local worlds, Realms or servers. To enable multiplayer in Minecraft, make sure this setting is set to ‘Allow.

Why can’t my kid Add friends Minecraft?

in order to allow your child to add friends you need to got to and log in with the parent account. Then go to profile>privacy settings and click on your childs gamertag. Then change the settings as desired under all tabs. I hope this helps!

Is Minecraft safe for 8 year olds?

Minecraft is typically recommended for ages 8 and up, being a game that isn’t overly violent or even that difficult to learn how to use. In fact, for many children, it was one of their first video game experiences online.

Can a 5 year old play Minecraft?

Since Minecraft is not recommended for 5-year-olds no matter what rating system you’re looking at, you may want to hold off. While it’s a great game to get children’s creative juices flowing, 5-year-olds may get frustrated. This is a good option for kids who really like the game and just want to have some time to play.

How do you enable multiplayer on bedrock?

How Do I Play on a Minecraft Server?

  1. Open Minecraft.
  2. Select “Multiplayer”.
  3. Click on “Add Server” at the bottom.
  4. Enter a name you’ll recognize, then type in or paste the IP address in the “Server Address” field.
  5. For Bedrock Edition: select “Save”, then press “Join” near the bottom to start playing on the server.

Are there any online multiplayer games for kids?

A few on this list are online multiplayer games, so be sure to talk with your kids about online safety before they play. For more family fun, try these Party Games for Families and Friends. Searching for streaming and purchasing options

Can you play multiplayer games on one device?

Some of the apps on this list provide you with the ability to play on the same device, while others are multiplayer games that allow you to play over the same Wi-Fi network on more than one device. A few on this list are online multiplayer games, so be sure to talk with your kids about online safety before they play.

Can you play multiplayer games on Nintendo eShop?

Use this feature with certain games and applications to play multiplayer games or share certain game data between users who are within range of each other’s systems. You can connect online to play compatible games with other users. Internet access also lets you purchase and download games and apps from the Nintendo eShop.

Can you play multiplayer on a Nintendo 3DS?

The Nintendo 3DS family of systems can communicate over local wireless connection (no internet needed!). Use this feature with certain games and applications to play multiplayer games or share certain game data between users who are within range of each other’s systems.

Don’t let rudimentary coding prevent you from obtaining full control of the game world. We’ll walk you through the setup process, so you can tweak in-game attributes and safeguard your kids’ virtual playground.

If you’ve ever wanted to create a Minecraft server, but were put off by file modification or confusing terminology, don’t fret. Creating your own server is a fairly simple endeavor, provided you accurately follow the necessary steps and commands. Admittedly, getting friends to connect with said server is an entirely different process, but we’ll cross that bridge in another article. For now, let’s focus on getting your Minecraft server up and running.

By creating your own Minecraft server, you can alter the game in ways you normally could not. For example, you can assign or deny roles to other players, control how objects spawn, or tweak the in-game physics. If you’re a parent, you’ll be pleased to know that creating a Minecraft server means you control who your children play with online—it’s a form of parental control.

There are a few ways to go about creating a Minecraft server, but there are two major avenues you can take. You can choose to pay a virtual private server (VPS) provider to host your Minecraft server, or you can host the server on your own computer. Both require a modicum of technical know-how, but the VPS route is generally much easier. Many web hosting services offer dedicated Minecraft-oriented hosting that streamlines the entire process. If you don’t mind paying for the service, this is a solid option. What’s more, many web hosts offer customer support, so if you are hesitant about setting up a server by yourself, the additional help will set your mind at ease.

Minecraft Server Hosting Services

Amazon Web Services Review

Hostinger Web Hosting Review

There are strengths and challenges with both approaches. When hosting your own Minecraft server, you save money by not paying a web hosting service, and you have complete server control—assuming you know what you’re doing. However, the quality of your home internet connection directly impacts how other people connect with your server. A poor connection can result in a lag-filled gameplay experience. Other apps running on your PC can affect your hosting capabilities, too. To top it all off, you must figure out and resolve any issues that crop up with your server.

Sure, there is a wealth of online resources, but if you aren’t particularly tech savvy, this can result in a lot of work. A web hosting service removes most of the set up and work required to manage a server, but radically ups the cost, as well. We’ll touch on that in a bit.

If you’re set on creating a Minecraft server, we’ll walk you through what you need to know. We’ll start with signing up with a web hosting service.

Find the Best Web Host for Your Minecraft Server

There are many web hosts that offer Minecraft servers, including Amazon Web Services, Apex, Hostinger, and PebbleHost, so your first step should be to shop around. You’ll find various server requirements depending on your Minecraft world size, the number of players that’ll connect to your server, and whether you want to install mods. Naturally, you’ll pay more out of pocket if you purchase a larger plan, but many web hosts let you upgrade from a lower service tier to a higher service tier without too much fuss. So if you’re just starting out, it may be safer to start with a smaller plan and upgrade later as your needs grow.

​​The most important thing to consider is RAM and virtual CPU allocation. Your server quality and number of players hinge on the server’s memory. 2GB of RAM could support up to 10 players before lag creeps into the game. Virtual CPU allocation affects gameplay smoothness; the more CPUs or higher quality CPUs powering your server, the better. As mentioned earlier, if you just want to play with a handful of friends, a basic plan should suffice. If you’re hoping to grow a community, however, you must invest money into a high-end hosting subscription.

Let’s take a look at PebbleHost for this example. Its Budget plan lets you choose the Minecraft version you want to run, including the latest edition. PebbleHost also lets you specify the type of server you want to run, including the PC Java edition, the highly customized Spigot version, and the console/mobile Bedrock edition. For example, a server for either vanilla Minecraft (the base PC Java edition) or Minecraft 1.17 costs $5 per month and comes with a recommended 5GB RAM allocation.

The basic server creation steps are more or less the same, regardless of the service you choose. Here’s a quick walkthrough of what you should do:

Select the plan suitable for the RAM total that you’ll need to properly run Minecraft.

Configure your server, specifying the region, game version, and add-ons.

Review your information, create an account with the provider if needed, and submit your payment information. Once the payment is confirmed, you’ll receive information about how to access your server.

Copy the IP address that the hosting service gives you to access your server. Note that you must use the version of Minecraft you signed up for when purchasing the VPS.

Launch Minecraft, click the Multiplayer tab, and then click the Add Server tab. Enter the server information there.

That’s it! Enjoy your new, server-hosted Minecraft world, and share the IP address with friends so you can play together.

The process is a bit more involved If you wish to take a more hands-on approach and host a Minecraft server on your own PC. You can create a Minecraft server with a PC running either the Linux or Mac operating system, and the process is generally the same. However, we’ll walk you through creating a Minecraft server on a Windows PC.

Get Minecraft Java Edition and the Latest Java

There are a few key pieces of software you need to get started if you want to host the Minecraft server on your PC. Firstly, you need Minecraft Java Edition. If you own any other version of Minecraft, be it the console or Windows 10 editions, you cannot host your own custom server. If you have Minecraft Java, then you must install Java (or update to the latest version).

Head over to the Java Devkit page, or click and search for Windows x64 Installer.

Click the download link, accept the terms of service, and run the file when it finishes downloading.

This opens an installation wizard. Go through the installation process, and close the window when it’s complete.

Create a Folder, Download the Jar File

Once you’ve gotten Minecraft Java and the latest version of Java, you can get started on that server. For simplicity’s sake, you should create a folder for all your files.

Right-click your desktop, scroll down to New, and select Folder.

Give this folder a name of your choosing. For this example, lets simply name it Server.

Now, you must grab additional key files, including the server JAR file. Fortunately Mojang Studios, Minecraft’s developer, hosts the files.

When I logged into my Minecraft Account a few days ago, the statistics page said over 19 million people had purchased the game. Including 8,000 in the last 24hrs. So that’s well out of date by now.

Minecraft is incredibly popular, an undisputed creativity tool that many kids want to spend all day playing. In September 2014 Microsoft paid 2.5 billion to purchase Minecraft citing among other reasons: “It’s the one game parents want their kids to play.” (Washington Post)

Being an effective Minecraft parent requires taking an active and supervisory role.

When my primary school son started playing Minecraft, I opened an account too because I wanted to know what he was doing and I could also see it was going to be fun for me.

This is the first in a series of articles introducing game play, issues for parents, educational application and advice from experts of all ages.

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

The Basic Guide to Minecraft

What is Minecraft

Minecraft is a game where you build things with blocks. It’s a sandbox game, meaning the building experience is limited only by imagination and practice. Like playing in a physical sand pit. It’s about mining and building, and surviving (if played in Survival Mode).

There are no levels or points to achieve. You imagine. You Mine. You Craft. You make it happen. This is the key to its enormous popularity over a wide range of ages. It’s the reason kids don’t even care that the graphics are clunky looking.

There are four gameplay Modes in Minecraft. The two main ones are Creative and Survival.

Creative Mode

The ultimate building mode with an unlimited supply of bricks ready-made for building a virtual world of mountains, towns, people and more. You never die and to move around you can fly. To see the extent of what can be built, visit The Best Minecraft Projects Ever.

Survival Mode

The sun rises and sets in twenty minute days and you have to make everything you need to survive – to build a shelter, catch food and face overnight attacks. To build with wood, you have to cut down a tree. To use an axe, you have to make one. The creatures who attack overnight are low level scary (no blood) and if you don’t survive, you respawn (return to life) in a safe place in the game.

The World of Minecraft

At the start of each Minecraft session a random Minecraft world is generated. Minecraft can choose, you can use a seed you make up (specified numbers and letters like a name or birthday or you can find an interesting world seed from one of the many lists on-line. A shared seed will let a friend generate the same Minecraft world.

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

A Checklist for New (and not so new) Minecraft Parents

Almost 20 million people play Minecraft. Children love it. Educators are using it in schools. But for a parent, getting started can be overwhelming.

Are you ready to be involved?

Minecraft parents need to be prepared to participate, supervise and embrace the learning curve. Fortunately there’s a wealth of information on-line and a number of books specifically for parents such A Parent’s Guide to Minecraft (Peachpit Press).

The level of supervision required increases markedly with internet access whether it is playing in a public multiplayer environment, downloading mods or accessing tutorials on YouTube.

Younger children especially, playing singleplayer offline, will need help mastering some of the game skills.

Screen time management is essential as Minecraft has virtually no end point (see House Rules).

As a Minecraft parent, I believe the learning and creativity Minecraft encourages is well worth the commitment.

Which version to purchase?

Minecraft is available on PC, games consoles and hand-held devices (Pocket Edition). The PC version is more fully featured with extra unique biomes and mods. It’s the most popular platform. The Pocket Edition is easier to play and cheaper but game play is more limited.

How many accounts?

Each Minecraft account must be registered to a different email address. Ideally a child should have their own account. Children can share an account but only one can play at any time and they are using the same game files. This means they can destroy, either accidentally or on purpose, their sibling’s builds and collected items. While items are always available in Creative Mode, there is no Undo function. Everything has to be rebuilt and may involve many tearful hours of repeated work. If children have separate Minecraft accounts with separate user profiles on the PC they don’t share files.

Multiplayer – yes or no?

Single player off-line is the safest and easiest game mode to control. However, as children get older, they want to play with their friends. Multiplayer Minecraft fosters teamwork and social skills. Multiplayer options range from a Local Area Network, a self-hosted server or a public server. A public server is not a protected environment or intended specifically for children but parents can supervise to improve safety or choose a known family-friendly server.

House Rules

Minecraft is a game of endless possibilities and many children find it hard to stop playing. Clear boundaries for Minecraft screen time need to be set. If siblings are sharing an account guidelines for the use of each other’s items and builds are needed. Finally if children are using online servers parents need to be aware of who they are playing with and what they are communicating. It may be appropriate to remove the chat option.

More questions?

An excellent and practical website for new (and experienced) Minecraft parents is MineMum which contains comprehensive but easy to understand information from a parental point of view, including a discussion of the safety issues with different multiplayer options.

Also check out the Brisbane Kids Minecraft Explanation by a Child and how to host a Minecraft Party.

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

Minecraft is an exciting and engaging game where players spend hours exploring an infinite world. Players have complete control over every aspect of the game, and you can choose to build the grandest castles or the simplest of homes.

While Minecraft is a blast when played on your own, it opens a new world of fun when played with friends. If you want to play Minecraft multiplayer on your PC, there is more than one option. You can either play with your friends or connect with over 126 million gamers who regularly play Minecraft.

Let’s take a look at how you can play Minecraft with friends on PC.

Play Minecraft multiplayer on public servers

Most Java users use Minecraft servers to link up with other players. These servers are easy to join, and you will find lots of versions and game modes. You will find PvP, creative, or survival servers with online players, and all you need to do is join the server and connect with those players.

Furthermore, public servers are not only for Java players. Cross-platform Minecraft players can also find the server of their choice.

Typically, you can join a server by copying the server’s IP address you wish to join. Then, navigate to the multiplayer screen in your Minecraft client and click on Direct Connection or Add server. Here, you have to paste the IP address into the Server Address box and click Join Server.

If your friend is already running a private server, either through third-party hosting services or their PC, you will need the server’s IP address. Once you have the IP address, copy and paste it to join.

Play in Minecraft Realms

Realms are not cross-platform, but they work for both Minecraft Java and Bedrock Edition. Realms are the personal servers of Minecraft and one of the easiest ways to create a private world to build and craft with your friends. Take a look at the steps to create a Realm.

  • Java Edition

First, players have to purchase a subscription for Realm. You may activate the thirty-day free trial and cancel anytime if you don’t like it.

After you’ve opted for the free trial or have the subscription plan, open Minecraft and select Minecraft Realms. Click to start your new Realm if this is your first time creating a Realm. You can name your Realm and even enter a description before selecting the world type. You can choose between uploading a previously saved world, generating a new world, or exploring the world templates, experiences, and adventures of the Realm.

Once you’ve finished creating your Realm, select Configure Realm and click on Players. Then, click Invite Player and type the username of your friend before clicking Invite Player again. An invitation to join your Realm will be sent to your friend, and your friend or friends have to accept the invitation to join your Realm.

  • Bedrock Edition

Minecraft Bedroom Edition (BE) is slightly different. You have to start Minecraft BE > click Play > head to Worlds and select Create New > select Create New World again > click Creare on Realms from the left pane > choose two to ten players for your Realm.

For a two-player Realm, you have to name your Realm, agree to the terms & conditions and click Create Realm. For a ten-player Realm, you have to select Buy Now from the navigation and start a free trial after agreeing to the terms & conditions.

Play with your friends on a LAN (local area network)

If you want to play with your friends connected to the same network through ethernet or other, you can play on a local area network or LAN.

In the Java edition, you need to choose a host computer and launch Minecraft > click Single Player and create a new world or open an existing one > once you have entered the world, press Escape > click on Open to LAN and select Creative, Adventure, Survival or the default game mode >turn cheat commands on or off > click on Start LAN game and the game will be hosted.

Here, it is crucial to note that when you choose a host computer, select a fast enough computer to run a server for other players so that everyone can play Minecraft without experiencing performance issues. After you have hosted the game, only those players who are on the same network can join. Also, all the players must be on the same server version.

Playing Minecraft multiplayer on Xbox, Nintendo Switch or Playstation

Those who prefer playing Minecraft on their Nintendo Switch, Xbox, or Playstation can play with their friends on the same screen. On a split-screen mode, you can play with up to three people at a time. To play Minecraft on a split-screen mode, you have to open Minecraft and connect the controllers. At the same time, the game automatically sets the number of players > click on Help & Options on the Menu > click on Settings > click Enable Player Split-screen Vertical.

The only problem with playing Minecraft on Xbox or Nintendo Switch is that you cannot include your other friends, and you only have to play with those who are next to you.

Minecraft is one of the most popular and sought-after games. Gaming enthusiasts always have a blast when playing this game as they get to build and craft according to their preferences. But if you want to play the game with your friends, you need to have the same game version as your friends and be on the same server version. If your game version is different from the server version, you have to update or change the game version.

Hopefully, the steps and tips mentioned above have cleared your doubts on how you can play Minecraft with your friends on PC. The easiest method would be to join a Minecraft server and connect with hundreds of online players. But if you want complete privacy, you can set up a LAN connection to only invite people with who you want to share the game.

Setting ground rules at home is essential, but remember, your kids can play games from a friend’s computer as well as at an Internet café. To help protect your children at home, talk to them about the dangers of online gaming, be ready to listen if they seem upset about something that happened while they were on the computer, and encourage them to use wisdom when deciding what types of online games to play. You can help keep your child’s gaming experiences safe, age-appropriate, friendly, fun, and even educational by educating yourself about the gaming community, game ratings, and how to use the privacy and safety tools built into the games. Check out the safety features and parental controls offered by all the major gaming consoles including Xbox, Wii, and PlayStation.

Teach your child to:

  • Use voice chat wisely
  • Be aware of voice masking technology – while masking can be a safety feature, predators can use it to pretend to be someone they are not.
  • Beware of strangers. While there are both safe and dangerous strangers, they are still strangers. We advise that younger gamers, under 15, only play with people they know in person and that are parent-approved.
  • Use suitable screen names (gamertags) – don’t use your actual name
  • Be aware of cyberbullies (griefers)
  • Never give out personal information about him/herself or that of another player.
  • Kick out any players that make them feel uncomfortable (ignore/block), and tell a trusted adult.
  • Report abusive or inappropriate behavior in the reporting area of the game.
  • Remember that use of games and other technology is a privilege, not a right.

As a parent:

  • Review games and ratings posted by games and apps before you download or buy games to make sure they are age-appropriate. The Internet is a parent’s best friend for getting up to date information on safety, tools and gaming features.
  • Play the game yourself by spending time alongside your child to learn about the game. Kids love to teach parents and will enjoy the interaction.
  • Build an atmosphere of trust with your child regarding all of his/her online activities. Have regular ongoing conversations with your child about the games they are playing, their gaming experiences (both good and bad), and who they are talking to. Use these opportunities to keep the safety conversation current and ongoing.
  • Use parental controls for games used by your child. (Here’s a resource to show you how). Additionally, set and save parental controls provided within the game or gaming app. Remember if you set controls provided by the game itself, you will also need to do the same on the gaming platform used by your child. (Xbox, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Windows 10 and iOS). Remember, games can be played on multiple devices (consoles, phones,tablets), so controls need to be set on each device.
  • Keep your parent password private. Believe it or not, some parents have their kid set up parental controls which can defeat the purpose.
  • Here are some basic guidelines for setting parental control tools:
    • Set time limits. Gaming can be addictive, so set boundaries for when and how long your child can play.
    • Filter mature language
    • Determine if your child is mature enough for voice chat, if not, turn it off. Be aware your child may hear profanity or other unwanted language via voice chats features.
    • Have your child check with you before attempting to enter any credit card information. Consider setting controls to require your parent PIN on purchases and to restrict access to games, including free games in the online store via your PIN.
    • Know who your child is playing with. Limit the players your child can play with to parent-approved players, ie, kids you and your child know. (Note, your child cannot detect a disquised predator. Predators groom many children at a time and are patient with gathering details on the child and accessing their vulnerability for grooming.)
    • Consider limiting access to web browsing, which is unrestricted Internet access and opens up all of the good and bad on the Internet.
    • Consider disallowing the webcam use while gaming – instead, consider use of an avatar, especially for under 14+ gamers.
    • Consider disallowing voice masking technology
    • Be aware that there are numerous blogs, youtube videos etc that show kids how to disable parental controls.
  • Keep up with new gaming functions introduced by the game as they often change and can put your child at risk. For instance, a game feature was added to Fortnite Battle Royale allowing users to connect with strangers through both text and voice chat. The NSPCC reported that 1 in 4 youth aged 11-18 have been contacted on Fortnite by someone they don’t know. (2018). Gaming developers like Microsoft and Epic often have features on their websites whereby a parent can received updated changes to gaming functions.
  • Follow Enough Is Enough ® ’s Rules ‘N Tools for online safety.
  • Talk to your child about coming to you if anyone bullies them, asks them for inappropriate pictures or makes them feel uncomfortable
  • Keep all software current (security system, operating system) to protect against viruses and spyware.
  • Balance screen time with live play, outdoor time and face to face interactions.
  • Keep a close eye on how the game may be affecting your child in a negative way. Remember, the games can be violent, are often highly addictive. Warning signs of a problem are increasing agitation when play time is restricted, becoming more sedentary and less interested in outdoor play, increased isolation, aggression and depression. Seek professional help if your child exhibits the last three of these behaviors.

Here are some helpful articles and links specific to popular games:

Apex Legnds (Protect Young Eyes)

Fortnite (Protect Young Eyes)

Fortnite (NSPCC Issues Child Safety Warning on Fortnite)

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

Over the weekend, my two older kids plunged head first into the world of Minecraft, and save the couple of desperate tweets and Facebook posts asking for help, I was pretty much on my own getting them started.

If you’ve got a kid who wants to play Minecraft, here’s a complete introductory guide for parents to help kids get started.

What is Minecraft?

Minecraft is a creative building game that allows players to build a virtual 3-D world using square blocks. There are two modes of play: Creative and Survival. The creative mode gives players an unlimited supply of resources, including health, and the ability to fly. In survival mode, players must find resources to maintain their hunger and health, which includes making tools and building a shelter before night falls and the zombies, creepers and other hostile mobs come out.

Ways to Play Minecraft

There are essentially three different gaming platforms where you kids can play Minecraft: on a mobile gadget (iOS/Android), XBOX, and on a PC/Mac. All of them allow your kids to play the game a bit differently, so take a peek at these tips before you decide which one you want to commit to.

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

Mobile:The Minecraft Pocket Edition (above) for iOS and Android is called “Minecraft Lite” by all the kids. Basically, it allows your kids to play the game in both survival and creative mode, and they can play with other kids if they’re on the same WIFI, however, the game itself is extremely limited: no modifications, no super cool features.

Who should use this: Kids who already love Minecraft and want to be able to play on the go.

XBOX:Even though the Minecraft XBOX downloadable game is a little outdated, I’ve heard that it’s great for beginners who might not be too handy with keyboard shortcuts and a mouse (which is what you’ll need for the PC/MAC version). Plus, up to four kids can play at the same time (though be aware online play can occur too). There are some modifications for this game, however, a serious Minecrafter will grow out of this play method very quickly.

Keep your eye out for the XBOX 360 Minecraft version which should be hitting shelves at the end of April.

Who should use this: Kids just getting started on Minecraft who might not yet be ready for the seriousness of the PC/MAC version.

PC/MAC:So the Minecraft PC/MAC game is actual computer software that you need to purchase ($26.95) and download to your computer for each player, unless you have two kids that don’t mind sharing (though then they can’t play with each other in the same world). It requires keyboard and a physical mouse (for right click purposes). However, it is the way serious gamers play the game, because there are modifications and all sorts of cool add-ons that happen on a pretty much daily basis. Plus, if kids want to play Minecraft with their friends, this is really the only way they can do that.

Who should use this:A child who wants the full Minecraft experience and is pretty handy with keyboard and mouse.

Creative vs. Survival Mode

Once you decide which method you’re going to use, your kids will need to name their world and then choose a mode. Most avid players use survival mode, which presents more of a challenge, though it can be a little difficult at first since you’re basically dropped into a world and left to your own devices to make tools to build your house.

Though people still have fun in creative mode, like this guy who made a Star Wars Imperial Walker. Whoa!

My daughter (8) was a little stressed out at first trying to figure everything out and wanted to read anything she could find to help her, while my son (6) pretty much knew he could delete the world if it didn’t work out and start again so he was happy to just play around and figure it out on his own.

My suggestion: Take a peek at this How to Survive Your First Night YouTube video from Paul Soares Jr., a well-known Minecraft expert who makes family-friendly videos. This will help your kids get started without getting too frustrated.

Concerns for Parents

There are a few things parents should be aware of before kids play Minecraft.

First, there are zombies, creepers, and other hostile mobs that come out at night. If you’ve got a sensitive child, you’ll want to be careful and perhaps use creative mode, or play along with them in survival mode. It can be very disconcerting to be left without shelter in the dark, which is when the scary things come out. But it’s important to know that you can delete the world and start over before that happens.

Also, you can kill animals for food, which might be an issue for some folks. This is not a requirement of the game. In fact, my daughter is now farming chickens and there are fruits and other things you can grow without having to eat meat.

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

And finally, there is the issue of multiplayer game mode, which allows your kids to play with other Minecrafters worldwide. I’d suggest starting first with singleplayer mode, which means it’s only your kid in the game and no one else. Then if they ask about playing competitively, you can set them up with a sibling or friend on the same WIFI in your house (on different computers) or on the same secure LAN (local), which is what a lot of parents use to monitor their kids.

At least then you know they are only playing with, say, school friends or the cousins.

Parents can also set up a server for their kids at a low monthly cost and then give out that protected information only to designated friends, which is a great way for kids to play safely but still interact with others in the game.

Minecraft Bottom Line: This is a really smart, creative game that even I enjoy playing (shhhh). And even better, there’s exceptional educational value, which is an important for me as a parent if my kids are going to play something for an extended period of time.

Just ask my very excited daughter who figured out how to make glass by melting sand in her furnace and has already created a two-story mansion out of the side of a cliff.

[Thanks to fellow Minecraft parents Whitney and Joe-Bob, as well as teen expert Ben for their help!]

How to set up minecraft so your kids can play online with friends

Minecraft is a powerful game that has taken the world by storm. Creating custom worlds and spending thousands of hours perfecting them is fun to do alone, but so much better with friends. You may wonder how to add friends on Minecraft so that you can show off your sweet creations, or see your friends’.

You can play with other players on Minecraft in several ways including splitscreen, on an online server, on Minecraft Realms, or on a Local Area Network (LAN) connection.

What You Need To Play With Other Minecraft Players

Other than playing splitscreen, if you want to play online you are going to need to be connected to the internet. Make sure you are plugged in with your ethernet cable or on an active WiFi connection to get started. You should also make sure you are on the same server as the current version of the game you are playing. You can avoid any issues by making sure your Minecraft game is fully updated with any patches that are out.

Adding Friends on Minecraft for PC

  1. To add friends for Minecraft, you will first need the Xbox App. You can find and download the Xbox App here.
  2. Sign into your Xbox account in the app. If you do not have one, create one first through the app and sign in.
  3. Open the app and click on “Xbox Social”

4. On the Social tab, you can see your friends list, or you can search for your friends via their Gamertag, and invite them to your party.

How To Play Minecraft With Friends on LAN

You can play Minecraft with other players in your household through a Local Area Network (LAN) connection. If other players are connected to your network, complete the follow steps to play with them:

  1. Start Minecraft and press play.
  2. Press the ESC key and click “Open a LAN”
  3. Select the game mode you want to start, then click Start LAN World.
  4. Now your friends can join your game when they select Multiplayer as long as they are on your network.