The Nintendo 3DS is capable of more than playing games. Users can also access the Internet, buy games electronically via the Nintendo eShop, play video clips, and more.
Though the Nintendo 3DS is a great family system, not every parent is comfortable with their child having full access to every single one of its functions. That's why Nintendo included a thorough set of Parental Controls for the handheld.
This guide outlines each of the Nintendo 3DS's functions that you can restrict via the Parental Controls. To learn how to access the general Parental Controls menu and set up your personal identification number (PIN), read How to Set Up Parental Controls on the Nintendo 3DS.
Most restrictions placed on the Nintendo 3DS can be bypassed by inputting the four-digit PIN you were asked to choose when first setting up Parental Controls. If the PIN is not entered or is incorrect, the restrictions remain.
Restrict Games by Software Rating: Most games purchased at retail and online have a content rating issued by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB). By tapping "Software Rating" when setting restrictions on your Nintendo 3DS, you can block your child from playing games that bear certain letter ratings from the ESRB.
Internet Browser: If you choose to restrict your Nintendo 3DS's Internet Browser settings, your child will not be able to access the Internet using the Nintendo 3DS.
Nintendo 3DS Shopping Services: By restricting the Nintendo 3DS's Shopping Services, you'll disable the user's ability to purchase games and apps with credit cards and prepaid cards on the Nintendo 3DS eShop.
Display of 3D Images: If you disable the Nintendo 3DS's ability to display 3D images, all games and apps will be displayed in 2D. Some parents may choose to disable the Nintendo 3DS's 3D capabilities due to concerns about the effect of 3D images on very young children. For detailed information on how to disable the 3DS's 3D display, read How to Disable 3D Images on the Nintendo 3DS.
Sharing Images / Audio / Video: You can restrict the transfer and sharing of photos, images, audio, and video data that might contain private information. This excludes data sent by Nintendo DS games and apps.
Online Interaction: Restricts Internet communication by disallowing the exchange of photos and other potentially private of information through games and other software that can be played through an Internet connection. Again, this excludes Nintendo DS games that are being played on the Nintendo 3DS.
StreetPass: Disables data exchange between Nintendo 3DS owners using the StreetPass function.
Friend Registration: Restricts the registration of new friends. When you register someone as a friend on your Nintendo 3DS, you can see what games your friends are playing, and exchange messages with one another.
DS Download Play: Disables DS Download Play, which allows users to download demos and play wireless multiplayer titles.
Viewing Distributed Videos: Occasionally, Nintendo 3DS owners will receive video downloads if their system is connected to the Internet. These videos can be restricted so that only family-friendly material will be distributed. This is the only Parental Control setting that is ON by default.
When you're done tinkering with your Parental Control settings, don't forget to tap the "Done" button at the bottom right of the list to save your changes.