Star Wars Battlefront has faced some mixed reviews in its first week; it’s a fun couch co-op game, but reviewers almost unanimously mourn the lack of both more single and multiplayer content. Nevertheless, it’s a really fun game, and even more fun to play with your kids. Just one tip: first, get ’em a fake I.D.
Before you hop in the car and drive to some shady alley downtown, you won’t need a real fake I.D. But it might take some number-fudging and superfluous accounts to get your children playing Star Wars Battlefront online. Keep reading for a step-by-step process to get them online.
First, I’ve got to tell you: if you’ve got a child that’s just now getting into the Star Wars universe, Star Wars Battlefront is super fun. Even if your child has no first/third person shooter experience, they can easily take to Battlefront and have fun in the offline modes. But there are plenty of reasons to play online – the best of which is to play with family. My brother-in-law owns Battlefrontas well, and our first thought was that he and my son would have fun playing one of the wave-survival games together. Also, if you’re not able to connect, you cannot earn credits toward unlocks or rank up in the game.
Sounds great! So what’s the problem?!
Problem is: Star Wars Battlefront is rated “T for Teen” by the ESRB. By definition, the game takes place in battles. Battles are violent, violence isn’t kid-friendly, you get the idea. For this reason, modern consoles have parental controls (see them for XB1, PS4). The best thing about these controls is that you, the parent, can set which kinds of games you are letting your child play. Because the ESRB isn’t raising your kid, the decision as to whether your child plays a game or not should be up to you. And I’m not here to tell you that Star Wars Battlefront is or isn’t appropriate for your child – that’s up to you. I’m telling you that I feel that it’s appropriate for mine. I’d previously opened up the game restrictions on my son’s Xbox account so that he could play other games. So, I assumed my son would be able to play Battlefront. But in the game, trying to go to the multiplayer menu, he was faced with a message:
“You are not allowed to access online features”
Sigh. I re-checked the parental controls and my son was, indeed able to play T-rated games. He was actually allowed to play M-rated games. So what was the deal?
I did a little digging. EA suggests that you make sure you’re playing “on an account registered to a user of-age…” This is the crux of it all; EA doesn’t suggest that you check your parental controls. They just want the user to be “of-age”. This is a hint as to how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Before we go any further, I’m going to tell you this: if it’s no big deal to you that your child just plays Battlefront on your XBL / PSN account, then you’re done. You can go have fun. But if your child is on their own account, keep reading…
I did more digging, and turns out I wasn’t the only one to have this problem. Forum users reported that their children were having trouble getting online with the game as well. Users had turned off parental restrictions for “T” and “M” rated games as I had. Eventually in the forums, people came to the conclusion that users needed to go through this exhaustive and dishonest process (this is specific to Xbox Live):
- Log into your (parent) Microsoft account page from a computer.
- Set child’s date of birth so that they are 16 years old or older (goodbye childhood!)
- Create an EA/Origin account for your child on the Origin site.
- Set child’s date of birth so that they are 16 years old or older.
- Download the Origin game client.
- Once installed, open and logged in, select the “Friends” tab.
- Link your child’s Xbox Live to Origin (it might tell you that it can’t find friends through Origin, and that’s okay).
- Close Origin client.
- Take a deep breath.
- Turn on Xbox One console.
- Log into Xbox Live with your child’s account.
- Start Star Wars Battlefront.
- At the main menu, if it hasn’t automatically connected this time, press Y to connect.
The unwritten fifteenth step: have a drink. Because not only did you just have to create accounts and download PC clients just to get your child onto a console game, but you had to fudge the numbers and tell two systems that your child is older than they are. I’m sure that method violates both Microsoft and EA’s Terms of Service, but parents are left with no other option. I hope that the steps above helped.
Star Wars Battlefront is a blast to play with your kids (and your nieces, nephews and cousins) and it’d be a shame for the above steps to be the only way parents could get their kids online playing this game. I hate having an incorrect birth date on my son’s accounts, but the tools that have been given to me through parental controls on the console have failed me as a decision-making parent.
Have you been able to get your child online playing Star Wars Battlefront in a less exhaustive way? Tell us in the comments!