How to Set Parental Controls for Wii

May 22, 2017

Setting limits on appropriate content and communications is incredibly simple on the Nintendo Wii, even if control options are relatively limited.


How Do Wii Parental Controls Work?

Nintendo designed content control for the Wii and Wii mini around ESRB ratings, allowing parents to set the highest possible content rating usable without inputting their PIN. You can also restrict unapproved access to:

  • The Internet Channel (web browsing)
  • The News Channel
  • User Generated Content and Online Communication
  • Use of Wii Points in the Wii Shop Channel

In order to prevent tampering or accidental damage, activating Wii parental controls will automatically block access to key administrative settings. Users will no longer be able to modify Internet or WiiConnect24 settings, apply system updates, or format system memory without inputting a PIN.

What These Ratings Mean

ESRB ratings are set based on the most mature elements present in the final release of a game and the frequency with which they are encountered.

If you set the content control level of your Wii to “Everyone 10+”, any content rated “Teen” or higher will require direct approval by PIN each time it is accessed.

EARLY CHILDHOOD

Games appropriate for very young users and designed for their use. This designation was discontinued in 2014 and folded into the “Everyone” rating but may be an option on older consoles.

Examples: Jump Start Pet Rescue, Sesame Street: Ready, Set, Grover!

EVERYONE

Excepting mild, cartoonish violence, these games avoid controversial or potentially offensive content.

Examples: Wii Sports, Mario Kart

EVERYONE 10+

While not severe or graphic, the violence in these games is slightly more realistic than in those rated “Everyone”. They also tend to be more complex and could be frustrating for younger users.

Examples: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, Skylanders

TEEN

“Teen” is where games begin to feature content most often considered inappropriate for children. Violence is increasingly realistic, though not gory, and users will likely encounter strong language, suggestive themes, or crude humor.

Examples: Metroid Prime, Super Smash Bros Brawl

MATURE

These games are intended only for older teens and adults. They frequently contain explicit sexual content, realistic and intense violence, or mature themes.

Examples: Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles, No More Heroes

Setting Up Parental Controls

Unlike the Nintendo Switch, content control setup on the Wii is entirely local and can be completed without a Nintendo account or smartphone app.

  • From your home screen, start by clicking on Wii Options (the Wii button in the lower left) and selecting Settings from the options menu.
  • Click the blue arrow to the right to bring up the second page of system settings.
  • Select Parental Controls.

If this is your first time accessing the Parental Controls menu, you will be prompted to set a four-digit PIN (and a secret question to recover it) before continuing.

Once you’re set up, you’ll be returned to the main parental controls menu.

  • Choose Game Settings and PIN.
  • Click Highest Game Rating Allowed and select your content control level.
  • Confirm your selection to return to the Parental Controls menu.

If you want to control additional features on Internet-connected Wii consoles, select Other Settings from the parental controls menu. This is where you can allow or restrict access to web browsing, online communication, the News channel, and use of Points in the Wii Shop.

When you are finished, select Settings Complete from the main parental controls menu to save and apply your choices.

If You Lose Your PIN

It’s possible to reset your Wii’s parental control PIN on Nintendo’s website if you forget both it and your secret question. Nintendo will provide you with a twenty-four hour “Master Key” which your Wii will accept as a valid PIN, allowing you to reset your PIN and secret question from the Parental Controls menu.

There is a charge of $0.50 for this service to help prevent children from resetting your PIN.