For a Safer Fortnite

Unless you live under a rock or have no interaction with children and large majority of adults, then you have heard of Fortnite. It’s an awesome game! Admittedly I don’t play it enough to be any good, I’m more of the RPG and less of the FPS genres. Don’t worry if you don’t know what that means, you’re probably better off.

My son loves this game as well and has had a blast playing with his friends from school that are local and some that have moved states. I’ve been into gaming since Missile Command, so I understand the fun these games bring but as I’ve been in IT for so long I also understand the fears it brings to parents. I thought I would share what the different platforms (Xbox, pc, Nintendo, PlayStation) have to offer in terms of filtering/monitoring Fortnite. I don’t go into the configuration of these settings, those would have to be their own post, so maybe later

Fortnite for PC

Your options for the PC aren’t as robust as Xbox. You can:

  • Set filters on mature language; this applies to text chat only.
  • Turn of chat altogether
  • Turn of suggested friends
  • Hide your screenname from the public
  • Use private chat only; however, there is no way to enforce this and lock it down.

These are a sample of what is available, but it would be nice to block any chat from anyone but verified friend accounts. I allow my son to use the private chat feature when he plays with friends but there is no way that I’ve found that will force private chat with friends.

The next two systems are consoles where the parental controls and privacy are not game specific. Meaning that the settings cover the console and users on those consoles.

Xbox One,

The Xbox has some really nice controls in-place that cover a broad range of functionality within the system. Couple the Xbox controls with Microsoft Family service and you really drill down and customize the experience for your child.

Xbox doesn’t have any specific settings for Fortnite rather they are general to the system and application ratings.

  • Which games can be played.
  • Which movies and TV shows can be watched.
  • How long each family member can use the console on a daily or weekly basis.
  • Whether or not a family member can access Xbox Live.

I’ll not go into too many details here but utilizing the Microsoft Family service allows for more features such as:

  • Website filtering (allow / block certain sites)
  • Set restrictions on who you can chat with (friends, everyone)
  • Make adjustments to social aspects such as allowing friend requests and sharing activity.

PlayStation 4

Unlike the Xbox, the PS4 only allows you to block voice chat completely. This can render some games pointless to play with friends.

  • Set monthly spending limits
  • Restrict access to Network Features
  • Set age rating levels for games, Blu-ray Discs and DVD videos
  • Disable use of Web Browser and PlayStation VR

There is the ability to configure a web filter but that requires a separate paid subscription. Xbox really have the best controls across all three of these system types.

The big takeaway here is this: Fortnite is a hot game right now and it appeals to the older crowd as well. So, keep in mind that there are more than kids on the game chat.

-Chris

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