With many of us forced apart by COVID-19, keeping in touch with friends and family is really important.  We probably all wish we could chat with those members of our family who live in different households on a daily basis, but it’s easy to run out of things to say when every “what have you been up to today” is answered with a predictable “we stayed home”.   

Online gaming, on the other hand, offers a method of staying in touch without the need to chit chat, where you can share positive experiences, working together or competing in fun and outlandish scenarios.  It’s like getting together for board-game night, only you don’t have to be there in person and, let’s face it, way more fun. 

So, let’s say one of the kids left a console in your house when they moved out, or you’re inspired to buy one, how do you set up an online gaming profile?

On all consoles, when you fire them up, they will prompt you to Select a Profile, or Create One.  If you don’t have your own profile, it’s a good idea to set one up rather than use someone else’s, otherwise you might accidentally purchase something on their debit card.  The rest of the steps differ, so we’ve broken them down by console.

PS4

Once you’ve set up your profile, you’ll see a range of options including starting whatever game disk you’ve loaded into the console. 

Toggle upwards and you’ll find a new menu, toggle right until you reach Settings (it looks like a little toolkit) and click on it, scroll down and click on Network, then click on Set up Internet Connection and pop in your WiFi router’s details or, if you don’t have a Gigaclear Powered by Linksys Smart Router, you can select LAN and use an ethernet cable to directly connect your router to your Playstation 4 for a more reliable connection.

Then it’s a simple matter of heading back to the main menu and selecting Playstation Plus.  You’ll have the option to start a free trial that will last two weeks, after that you’ll have to pay either as a monthly subscription or for the full year, the choice is yours.

Nintendo Switch

Firing up a Nintendo Switch for the first time, you’ll be prompted to connect to the Wi-Fi and set up a profile automatically.  Once you’ve done that, toggle down to the mini-menu and select the eShop, once the eShop has loaded, scroll down through the menu to Nintendo Switch Online and select Membership Options.  You’ll get a 7-day free trial with Nintendo and then you can choose a subscription that’s either monthly, quarterly or half-yearly.

Xbox One

Once you’ve set up your profile and you’re in the main menu area, open the sidebar menu by toggling left.  Select Settings, then All Settings, then Network Settings to enter in your Gigaclear Powered by Linksys router details and make sure you’re connected to the internet.

Navigate back to All Settings and click on Subscriptions where you can choose the level of access you want for Xbox Live.  You’ll get a free trial of up to 14-days.

Use your free trial to see if you enjoy online gaming with family and friends, but make sure you cancel your subscription before the trial ends or you will be charged. 

 

Game recommendations to follow in part 2. Happy gaming!

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