Making sure Circle manages your consoles
Have a gaming console like an Xbox or Playstation at home or a desktop computer and want to make sure Circle is managing it correctly? Make sure you've assigned it correctly in Circle!
Ethernet and Wi-Fi connections
Most gaming consoles and desktop computers have the ability to connect to the Internet over Wi-Fi as well as via an Ethernet cable connected to your router. If you've got a gaming console or desktop Circle isn't managing make sure you've assigned both connections to the appropriate profile. (You might not have one of those connections enabled, if so don't worry about it!)
Circle will see both of these connections as a different device with a different MAC address. Each should be assigned to the same profile for Circle to manage your gaming rig correctly.
Still need help after working through the above? Check out this article for when Circle isn't filtering the way you want it to.
Gaming Sessions and Circle
For some types of online gaming a direct connection is made between players. In these instances Circle will not be able to stop an ongoing connection but will keep a new connection from being made. Games like Fortnite, Overwatch, and others use common servers and web domains to start connections for rounds, but after these rounds start they utilize direct player to player connections. Since these types of connections are not categorized by Circle and utilize a protocol that requires a certain command to disconnect, Circle will not stop those using its restriction.
An example may help:
Johnny is playing Fortnite. He connects to a match using Epicgames.com and then a direct player to player connection. Circle tracks this connection and sees that Johnny plays over his time limit for Online Gaming. Any new connections will be stopped. But because Johnny is still in his Fortnite round his current connection remains up until the round ends. Once that occurs the connection to Epicgames.com is filtered and Johnny cannot start a new round.
How does Circle manage local gaming like on Minecraft?
Minecraft is available to play both offline without an Internet connection and online in multiplayer, Internet-based versions. Circle manages Minecraft differently depending on how a person is playing or connected to others, so here are some specifics.
Playing multiplayer mode on a local network can be managed by your Circle device. While the game play does not require actually going all the way online, the connection between devices on that local network is seen by your Circle device, and Circle settings will be applied.
Online multiplayer (includes solo player online playing with others)
The Circle device is able to know when a device is going online. When someone goes online to play Minecraft and joins a known Minecraft server, the Circle device tracks that game play and applies normal filtering and time limit parameters. Note that your Circle device does not know many Minecraft servers because they are set up by individual players.
Pausing and BedTime mode will always manage this kind of Minecraft game play.
Solo offline play
Playing Minecraft in solo mode does not require an Internet connection. As such, the Circle device does not see any of that Minecraft play and your Circle settings will not be applied.