The PlayStation 4 comes with parental controls, after all, it isn’t just adults that play video games; children do, too. With those parental controls, you can use a system known as “master account” and “sub account” to limit certain aspects of the PlayStation 4 that a child may not fully understand; in fact, there are plenty of stories you can find about children accidentally spending money. It happens, and it’s best to be proactive.

But what exactly is a sub account and a master account? What makes the two different, and why would you upgrade it to a master account?

What a Master Account Can Do:

  • Master Accounts are the standard type of accounts used on the PlayStation™Network.
  • Master Accounts can be created by registered users of the PlayStation™Network who are at least 18 years old.
  • Master Account holders can adjust parental control settings such as monthly spending limits or restrictions on voice/video chat for associated Sub Accounts.
  • Master Account can have a total of six sub accounts associated with it at the same time.

What a Sub Account Can Do:

  • Sub Accounts must be created for users under 18 years old.
  • Sub Accounts must be created in association with a Master Account.
  • Some sub account activities can be monitored by the associated Master Account holder.
  • Sub account holders cannot create wallets but can make use of the associated Master Account’s wallet to pay for products and services.
  • The settings of a Sub Account can be initially set up when the Sub Account is created and later edited by the associated Master Account.
  • Once a sub account holder turns 18, you can upgrade it to a Master Account on the Sony Entertainment Network website.

As you may well have noticed, or experienced yourself, the sub account has some restrictions that make it easier to ensure a child under the age of 18 doesn’t get into any shenanigans. But that’s the key component: age. When your child has turned 18, the training wheels can come off and they’ll have full access to everything their account has to offer. They have their own master account to use now.

So the question is, how do you create a PS4 sub account and upgrade it to a master account?

Creating a PS4 Sub Account

If your child is under the age of 18 and you feel that a sub account is the best course of action, then you’ll need to know how to create one.

Here’s what you do:

1. Start by powering on the PS4 either by pressing the PlayStation button on the DualShock 4 controller, just below the touchpad or by pressing the Power button. [NOTE] If the PlayStation 4 is not powering on when the PlayStation button is pressed, insert a USB into the controller and console, then use the PS button.

2. When you come to the list of users, choose the master account, which is most likely your account.

3. On the XMB, that’s the PlayStation dashboard, move up. You’ll reveal a number of menu options. Move all the way to the right until you come to Settings. It’s icon is a toolbox. Select it with the “X” button.

Parental Controls

4. In Settings, scroll down to Parental Controls and select it. You’ll find it near the top of the menu.

Sub Account Management

5. In the next menu, choose Sub Account Management.

Create New Sub Account

6. Now choose Create New Sub Account. You will be asked to read the limitations.

Create User

7. Next, select Create User.

child’s date of birth

8. Provide your child’s date of birth. When finished, select Next.

further instructions

9. Your account will be sent an email for further instructions. Visit your inbox and read them over. You will have to finish creating the sub account via a PC.

Upgrading a PS4 Sub Account to Master Account

When your child turns 18 and they log into their account, they will be recognized of their new status and opportunity to upgrade from a sub account to a master account.

1. Open Settings by moving up and finding it on the right hand side. Its icon is a toolbox.

Account Management

2. In Settings, highlight and select Account Management.

Account Information

3. Next, choose Account Information.

Update Your Account

4. Now choose Update Your Account. It’s at the top.

Update Your Account

5. Select Update Your Account again.

6. Read Sony’s Terms of Service and User Agreement and, if you agree with their terms, select Accept.

7. When the process is finished–it will take a few moments–you will be asked to sign out and sign back in.

Your account is now a fully upgraded master account. Enjoy!