There are so many reasons to love video games, and all of them are wonderful. Games are fun! Games let us win, and some of those victories are hard-fought. We can escape through the games we play – visit a world, inhabit a character, or experience something profound that may not be easy to reach in our daily lives. Games can connect us – with people we love, with powerful experiences from our past, or to a world of other players. And games can give us the freedom to do so much, even if that is just being yourself.

When it comes to interacting with each other online, we want to ensure a welcoming and joyful experience for all players, regardless of age, on our PlayStation platforms, including those most vulnerable. All players deserve to have fantastic social experiences where respect and safety are mutual – and the good news is that we provide you with the tools, so you or your family members can take control of your PlayStation gaming experience. 

At Sony Interactive Entertainment, we gather insights and feedback by working with various specialists, including our Employee Networks, industry partners, and experts, as well as listening to sentiment from our community to continuously examine and improve our tools and policies.

In this blog, I’ll share five ways to adjust your settings and take control of your gaming environment and experience when playing online. Using these tips, you can be confident that you and your family are having the most fun possible while on PlayStation Network.

1. Get familiar with the rules. With PlayStation, we aim to ensure a welcoming and respectful experience for all players from the moment you join our platforms. You can find more information about our policies such as the PlayStation Network Code of Conduct and the PlayStation Network Policy Against Hate Speech on our website. We want to ensure that PlayStation Network (PSN) is the best place to play for everyone, and to do that, all users must respect the rights of others. When creating an account (including a Child account), all users agree to follow the rules set out in the Code of Conduct.

We have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to hate speech – there are no exceptions for using hateful language or slurs in any form and our moderation teams are reviewing every case reported on our platforms.

2. Adjust your settings to take control of who you want to interact with. When it comes to taking control of your online experience, there are two main features at your disposal:

Block feature: If player communication becomes disruptive, this feature gives you the power to stop it immediately, or prevent it from the beginning. When you block a player, you won’t receive friend requests, messages, or invitations to games from each other. Blocked players can’t view your profile, posts, or personal information. They also can’t add you to parties, watch your broadcasts, or your game screen during Share Screen.

If you decide to give someone another chance, you can also unblock that person. Remember, you are in control of your experience!

Privacy settings: With this feature, you can limit how visible you are to other users on PSN using privacy settings. You can customize the following features: 

  • Gaming & Media: Choose who can see your shared media and recent activities.
  • Friends & Connections: Control who can send you Friend requests, follow your account, and see your connections.
  • Personal Information & Messaging: Choose who can see your real name and communicate with you.

If you’re a PlayStation 5 user, you have access to four preset profiles in your privacy settings. You can choose one from the below options that work best for you:

  • Social & Open: This means you’re open to all requests and messages. Any player can see your profile information.
  • Team Player: With this setting, any player can see most of your profile information, but they need to at least be friends of friends to invite you to chat.
  • Friend Focused: This profile offers a bit more privacy—only your friends can see your information and invite you to chat.
  • Solo & Focused: The most private profile option—no player can see your profile information or invite you to chat, even if you’ve added them as a friend. 

3. Take advantage of our Parental Control feature as Family Manager. PS4 and PS5 both offer parental controls to help parents feel confident and in control of their children’s gaming experience. Parental controls set by the family manager will override any privacy settings selected by a child account. Options allow parents, for example, to set spending limits, adjust time settings, restrict communication, block entertainment by age rating, or accept or reject Ask to Play. Our youngest gamers can enjoy their own fantastic adventure with PlayStation, but the parents get to create that map, and ensure it’s just right for your children’s needs.

4. Know how and when to report. If something still happens after controlling the environment as best as possible, players can report inappropriate behavior. When considering this option, please remember:

  • It’s important to report someone as soon as something happens.
  • Report player by console or mobile device to PlayStation Safety team.
  • You can report many things such as in-game behavior, things created or shared within a game, something created or shared outside of a game, or something in profile.
  • You have multiple opportunities to block players while reporting.
  • If our PlayStation Safety team determines something is offensive, they will take action by for example removing the content, restrictions being placed on a user’s account, or player suspension.
  • Reporting someone multiple times does not automatically apply a temporary suspension or a permanent suspension. Sending multiple false reports may result in restrictions to the account which is submitting false reporting.

5. Find your next gaming adventure. As listed above, our consoles provide many options that allow you to choose the settings that work best for you or your family, so that only leaves you with one additional consideration: What games to play? Finding a video game to play can sometimes be an overwhelming task especially as a parent, but there are great platforms like the Family Video Game Database which provide you with additional insights. Here are also some of my personal favorites that I enjoy playing with my family, friends, the PlayStation community, or sometimes by myself:

  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart (PS5) – An interdimensional adventure and timeless story of friendship. A perfect game for families and players ages 10+. 
  • Sackboy: A Big Adventure (PS4, PS5) – Provides breathtaking action with a huge, fun and frantic 3D multiplayer platform adventure for you and your family. Co-op mode available.
  • ASTRO’s Playroom (PS5) – ASTRO and his crew take you on a magical exploration of the PS5 console as this game comes pre-installed. It is a fun way for players and families to get familiar with the DualSense controller functions. 
  • MLB The Show 21 (PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S) – Rookie players and returning seasoned vets can experience the fun and exciting moments of baseball.
  • Chicory: A Colorful Tale (PS4, PS5) – A top-down adventure game for families where you can color the world by using painting powers to explore, solve puzzles, or help your animal friends. 
  • Kena: Bridge of Spirits (PS4, PS5) – Embark on a captivating adventure featuring an unique companion mechanic and thrilling combat. An adventure for you and your family.

We all play a part when it comes to our interactions online, and taking control is a first step. Let’s work together to create a joyful experience for all players. As an avid gamer and mother myself, I hope my tips are helpful for navigating your own experience, or the experience of your children, on our PlayStation platforms.