You’ve probably heard a lot about Minecraft if you have kids. They may have even asked you to join them, helping them build structures or go on adventures. The good news is that Minecraft isn’t as confusing or complicated as it may seem. As long as you take the proper online precautions, it’s not dangerous or risky at all for your kids. That said, here’s what you need to know about Minecraft to help you get acquainted with this game and so you can feel confident knowing your child is safe while playing online.
What Is Minecraft?
Minecraft is a video game that is played on computers and other devices in which players are in a 3D world with no defined objective or goal (giving it the label of being a “sandbox” video game), just an achievement system. The game is first-person and is composed of a world of rough 3D objects, which players can move to create things. Players can also “mine” blocks to build new things, hence giving the game the name “Minecraft”. The game was released in November 2011 and is the best-selling video game of all time, with over 200 million copies sold.
Is Minecraft Content Suitable for Kids?
Yes! In the UK, Minecraft is rated PEGI 7, meaning it’s suitable for kids age 7 and above by the PEGI (Pan European Game Information). In the US, it’s rated for ages 10 and over by the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board).
Unlike many other popular games, there is little war and death in Minecraft, most of which is to survive. In addition, due to the nature of the game, in which players must be creative and adapt to their environment, Minecraft can help to build creativity and ingenuity in kids.
How Do You Sign Up for Minecraft?
In 2014, Minecraft was purchased by Microsoft, so the first step is signing up for a Microsoft account. If you are a parent, you will need to create a Family Account after signing up for your personal Microsoft account. Within your Family Account, you will be able to create an account for a child.
Once that is done, set the various RealmsAccess settings within the child’s account to control chats, game sharing, and more. Outside of the Microsoft account, devices such as the Xbox, Playstation, and Nintendo Switch not only provide built-in safety and privacy features, but also provide parental control features such as limits on screen time, managing online safety, and user interaction limits,
Does Playing Minecraft Come With Risks?
Minecraft can come with some gameplay risks, such as too much screen time or your child chatting with users you don’t want them to. However, with the simple instructions listed above, you can fully protect your child to the point of having peace of mind knowing they will be safe.
Outside of the game itself, you will want to make sure that you eliminate risks that put you in a precarious situation such as being scammed. Below, we outline the things to look for in a Minecraft server host to help keep your child’s Minecraft connection safe and secure while they play.
What Makes a Great Minecraft Server Host?
When your child is playing Minecraft, it may be in your best interest to choose a Minecraft server host that allows for better security, performance, and the ability to use mod packs. However, it can be tricky to find the right Minecraft server host. Here are eight key characteristics to look out for:
- Low Latency: Latency is lag between your server and computer. To have better gameplay, you want as low latency as possible. One way to do this is to find a server host that is as close to you as possible. Then, you want to make sure that their network is optimized and can handle a high volume of data.
- Customer Support: This goes without saying. You want to have a Minecraft server host that responds to your needs as quickly as possible and is friendly. Find a host who wants to have you as a customer and acts like it! Phone support can be helpful, but in this modern-day, chat support is far superior as there is a variety of ways a host can assist you, from human to AI, to database lookups. This chat support should be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with no days off.
- Powerful Hardware: You want hardware running at high frequencies to cut down on loading time, preferably Enterprise, NVMe Drives, DDR4, and Xeon CPUs.
- No Overselling: Overselling is like what happens when a hotel overbooks: there are too many people with too few rooms. This happens in hosting too, so you want to avoid this. A good Minecraft server host will be transparent about their resources, so make sure to ask.
- Easy-to-Use Control Panels: What this means is that once you are all set up, you want a straightforward way to operate your server. This is separate from the Minecraft game itself. Once you set up your Microsoft and Minecraft accounts, you then need to “link” them with your server. Having easy-to-use control panels will make this a breeze.
- DDoS Protection: A DDoS attack is basically a coordinated attack from a malicious person using a network of machines. These are very common, affecting 35% of companies, so you want to make sure that your Minecraft server host is fully protected both internally and on all the servers they offer.
- Free Sub-Domains and Dedicated IPs: Some Minecraft server hosts will charge you for your sub-domain and/or dedicated IP. You will need a sub-domain or dedicated IP to connect to your server, so this is one of those hidden fees that you should ask about upfront to make sure it is included.
- Backups: There is nothing worse than creating this great Minecraft universe, to only have it wiped out because of misconfiguration, corruption of worlds, accidental deletion of files, or even bad mod/game updates. Backups should be done on a regular and consistent basis. Internal backups should keep seven days’ worth of data, while external backups keep up to a year, so if you even decide to quit Minecraft, you have peace of mind knowing you can always pick up where you left off.
Minecraft is one of the most popular online games worldwide, especially among kids. With this guide, you’ll not only be able to manage your child’s game play more effectively but you’ll also be able to keep them safe and secure while they play.