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#1
Old 09-05-2013, 10:28 AM
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Managing multiple profiles & xbox live on Xbox 360?

What is the best way for a family to manage their Xbox 360 accounts? I've had mine for a couple months and the way I'm doing it just doesn't seem right. Here are my goals:

1. Everyone has their own profile.

2. Everyone can play online games.

3. Only my profile can buy add-ons / games etc.

When I got the system, I purchased one year of Xbox live gold membership and applied that to my own profile. The kids each have their own profiles. But they are unable to play online, so they end up needing to sign in on my profile to play with their friends.

I tried enabling one of the kids' accounts with Xbox live free version (silver?) but I'm not sure if that solves the issue.

Also, when they do multiplayer, they are unable to have one Xbox live account combined with one non-xbox-live account, so that can be frustrating. How do families typically manage all this junk? Seems like it should be simpler. It seems crazy that MS would expect each member of a household to pay for their own Xbox live gold account.
#2
Old 09-05-2013, 01:56 PM
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Xbox live silver doesn't let you play multiplayer, but does let you buy stuff, so it's kinda the opposite of what you were looking for.

They used to sell "family" packs of gold memberships for a vaguely reasonable price, but I don't think they do anymore, oddly.

The "correct" solution, according to Microsoft, is for everyone to have a gold account, because you can't play online without one, and then you can easily restrict people from buying things on an account by account basis using parental controls etc.

In practice, I don't think many people do this. I think most households have a single gold account, and I don't know how they control purchases. I don't have kids, so this isn't an issue for me.
#3
Old 09-05-2013, 02:07 PM
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The "correct" solution, according to Microsoft, is for everyone to have a gold account, because you can't play online without one, and then you can easily restrict people from buying things on an account by account basis using parental controls etc.
Yeesh, that's what I was afraid of, but that is terribly short-sighted by MS to think that people are going to pay for an additional gold account for each of their kids.

So I guess the answer is I have to go back to letting them use my profile for all online play, but I don't see any way I can make it prompt for password before making purchases. Once you login to the profile, it's open season as far as I can tell. I'll just have to make sufficient threats not to buy anything... but this completely nullifies any sort of parental controls I could otherwise setup. Dumb.
#4
Old 09-05-2013, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sterling Archer View Post
Yeesh, that's what I was afraid of, but that is terribly short-sighted by MS to think that people are going to pay for an additional gold account for each of their kids.

So I guess the answer is I have to go back to letting them use my profile for all online play, but I don't see any way I can make it prompt for password before making purchases. Once you login to the profile, it's open season as far as I can tell. I'll just have to make sufficient threats not to buy anything... but this completely nullifies any sort of parental controls I could otherwise setup. Dumb.
The Xbox One was going to fix this, but the gamer community threw a hissy fit about used games so MS had to yank it.

http://nbcnews.com/technology/ho...res-6C10887557
http://ign.com/articles/2013/09/...-time-is-right

Still a chance that it will be fixed in a future update though.

Last edited by Omniscient; 09-05-2013 at 04:08 PM.
#5
Old 09-05-2013, 05:40 PM
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Remove any and all credit card information from your account. Now your kids can't buy anything but can still play online.

Last edited by Justin_Bailey; 09-05-2013 at 05:40 PM.
#6
Old 09-06-2013, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Justin_Bailey View Post
Remove any and all credit card information from your account. Now your kids can't buy anything but can still play online.
I was going to suggest this, except it requires him to put it all back in (and then maybe clear it again? I don't remember if XBL auto-saves this info or not.) every time he purchases, so his solution may be the better one.
#7
Old 09-06-2013, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Airk View Post
I was going to suggest this, except it requires him to put it all back in (and then maybe clear it again? I don't remember if XBL auto-saves this info or not.) every time he purchases, so his solution may be the better one.
True, it would. But if you don't want the kids to buy things online, not giving them access to the credit card info (and having to re-input each time you want to buy something) is a small price to pay. It's also the only sure way on a system like this.
#8
Old 09-06-2013, 10:55 AM
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Right, and what a pain that would be for every $2 dlc purchase. Remember, it's not just acct# and exp date. It's billing address too. Maybe I could change the exp date so the card wouldn't go through for anyone else?

I just wish it worked more like Apple's system on iOS devices, where you can require password entries on certain activities -- like purchases. If I could allow access to my own profile, but create parental controls so that a password is required for MA games and purchases, that'd be perfect, but that doesn't seem to be how MS wants you to use it. They want me to block the entire profile, which means kids can't do ANYthing online without their own Gold accounts for $60/year. Yeah, right -- that adds up quick with 3 kids.
#9
Old 09-06-2013, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Sterling Archer View Post
Right, and what a pain that would be for every $2 dlc purchase. Remember, it's not just acct# and exp date. It's billing address too. Maybe I could change the exp date so the card wouldn't go through for anyone else?

I just wish it worked more like Apple's system on iOS devices, where you can require password entries on certain activities -- like purchases. If I could allow access to my own profile, but create parental controls so that a password is required for MA games and purchases, that'd be perfect, but that doesn't seem to be how MS wants you to use it. They want me to block the entire profile, which means kids can't do ANYthing online without their own Gold accounts for $60/year. Yeah, right -- that adds up quick with 3 kids.
Actually, I just had a brainstorm.

Create a SILVER account. Put your credit card info into that one. Password it. Don't let anyone else into it. This is now the "buying account." - Remember. You don't need gold to buy stuff.

Now clear all credit card info from the gold account. This now the "Playing stuff" account. It has gold, so it can do any online stuff you need. Whoever wants to play online games logs into this account.

This doesn't solve the "what do you do with local multiplayer" issue, but you can generally resolve that with local throwaway profiles.

Edit: This is me operating under the assumption that stuff bought with the silver account will be available to the gold account on the same box. This may not be true, but if it isn't true, then they'd also be expecting you to buy four copies of all DLC if you had 4 gold accounts, which seems...unlikely. Just may want to test it on something cheap before you buy a bunch of stuff.

Last edited by Airk; 09-06-2013 at 12:44 PM.
#10
Old 09-06-2013, 02:16 PM
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Nice, I like it! It's not a perfect solution (still unable to use parental controls) but it's better than what I'm doing now.
#11
Old 09-06-2013, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Sterling Archer View Post
Nice, I like it! It's not a perfect solution (still unable to use parental controls) but it's better than what I'm doing now.
I'm a little confused; What's to stop you from setting parental controls on the gold account? I presume you can turn them off if you need to use it. Or are you saying that having all the kids sharing one account means you can't have different controls for each of them? (In which case, yeah, no luck. =/ )
#12
Old 09-06-2013, 05:07 PM
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Because I want to restrict the other users, not myself. And disabling them / enabling them all the time is a pain. The parental controls is a lower priority than preventing purchases, though, so I think your idea to make a purchasing account with silver is a great one.
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