Is Minecraft safe for children?


Minecraft is one of the most popular games for children and young people. But how safe is it? Here’s an overview of some of the parental controls and safety features that can help to keep your child safe on the platform.

What is Minecraft?

Minecraft is an online game where players can build their own environment and communities. Some people refer to it as an ‘online LEGO’ as you use virtual building blocks to create your own online spaces. These are known on Minecraft as ‘Worlds’. The game lets you play alone or with friends.

The platform has public servers that can be accessed by anyone with an account on the platform. All servers have a chat function where players can talk to each other.

Minecraft has a PEGI age rating of 7+.

"Minecraft gives young people the tools to be creative and express themselves online. There is no set way to play, they can build their own online worlds in any way they want which is exciting. However, we do also hear from young people who have experienced bullying or come across upsetting content which can ruin their experience of the platform."
Local Campaigns Manager

What is Minecraft Realms?

Minecraft Realms is a subscription service that allows players to set up their own servers. These servers are private and whoever owns the server can invite up to ten players to join.

Is Minecraft safe?

The game gives users the option to play in single or multiplayer mode. When playing multiplayer mode, players can communicate with one another via a chat box. This could put your child at risk of being exposed to inappropriate language or content.

You can also send private messages known as ‘Whispers’. This feature could put your child at risk of receiving unwanted contact.

What safety features are available on Minecraft?

Switch off chat when playing multi-player

You can switch off the chat function to stop your child from communicating with others. To do this select ‘Options’ and then ‘Multiplayer settings’. Then choose ‘Chat settings’ and select ‘Chat: Hidden’. This setting has been enabled if it highlights blue.

Manage multi-player mode

Help manage who can access their own builds by disabling multi-player mode. To do this go to ‘Edit my world’ and select ‘Multiplayer settings’. Click the slider next to ‘Multiplayer game’ to prevent other players from accessing their build.

Enable profanity filter

When enabled, this feature helps to stop your child seeing inappropriate language in public servers. To access this, go to: · ‘My account’ · Select ‘Java Realms Profanity Filter’. The filter is on if the toggle is green. On children’s accounts this is set up by default and can’t be switched off.

Tips to help keep your child safe on Minecraft

Set up parental controls on your child’s device

As well as the safety features available on Minecraft, you can set up parental controls on the device your child is playing on. For more information visit the gaming companies' website.

  • Xbox
  • Nintendo Switch
  • Playstation

Find child-friendly servers

Explore Minecraft before you let your child use it and choose child-friendly servers for them to play on. You could ask friends or family members who have children which servers they use or try searching ‘child-friendly servers on Minecraft’ for recommendations and reviews.

Talk about chat features

Talk to your child about who they are playing with. Tell them that in-game chat should be about the game only. If someone asks them something private, or to message on another app, then they should speak to you or another trusted adult.

Set time limits

Minecraft can be a very immersive and time-consuming game, so you could try to agree on an amount of time that is acceptable (keep it realistic) that includes regular breaks from the screen.

Consider video-sharing platforms

Many children watch Minecraft videos / tutorials (for ideas on new things to create) on YouTube, or sites like Discord. Some tutorials can include bad language or inappropriate comments. To avoid your child encountering this, encourage them to watch some of the 'best for children' YouTube Minecraft channels, e.g., Stampy.

Worried about a child?

Contact our Helpline by calling 0808 800 5000 or emailing [email protected].

Children can contact Childline any time to get support themselves.

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