Did you score a PS4 Pro or Slim for Christmas? Welcome to the tribe! Or maybe you’re sprucing up your PlayStation knowledge for 2018. No matter why you’re here, we’ve got eight practical tips and hidden features to try on your PlayStation.
Trying to type out emails and passwords on a PS4 is brutal, but there are a couple ways to ease your frustration. When the PS4 keyboard comes onscreen, press down on the right control stick to turn on motion control. This will let you type with motion controls, using your PS4 DualShock 4 like a Wii Remote.
You can also use the PlayStation app. Download it for iPhone or Android, log in to your PlayStation account, then go to Settings > PlayStation App Connection Settings on your PS4. Follow the prompts and turn on the second screen in the app to type on the console, and control other things.
If you live with a TV hog, don’t worry about negotiating play time. You can stream games directly from your PS4 to any Mac or Windows PC. No big whoop! Just install Sony’s Remote Play software, and connect your DualShock 4 to your computer with a USB charging cable or this fancy Sony wireless dongle. Make sure your computer and PS4 are on the same Wi-Fi network, then stream away. It’s a lot easier and simpler than you think it will be.
If you have a regular gang of gamers you chat and play with, simplify the process of making a chat party by creating a friend list. Go into Friends > Add Favorite Group and pick the friends you want to include. Next time you make a chat party, you can select them all at once. Easy peasy. To chat with them more frequently, download the PS Messages app for Android or iPhone. It’s basically an instant messenger for PS4.
If you want to keep tabs on your bestie in a possibly creepy way, you can do that, too. Go to Settings > Notifications > Notifications When Friends Go Online and select your super best friends of choice.
Reclusing yourself off from the world is easy, too. The quickest way is to hit the Options button when you’re on the login screen. It will let you log in with an “Offline” status, keeping what you do more private. You should also check out your privacy settings in Settings > Account > Privacy Settings. There, you can control who sees your gaming activity, public information, and PS social media info.
The PS4 DualShock 4 controller gets wretched battery life. It seems to get less than 8 hours on a charge, when it’s new, and only gets worse as time wears on. It’s maddening when the controller dies in the middle of a game session, especially if you compare it to the 40-ish hours that a controller for the Nintendo Switch or Xbox One enjoy. There is one way to improve the situation, at least a little.
Hold down the PlayStation button to bring up a quick menu. Go to Sound/Devices and make the following changes: Turn the volume down to zero, change the light bar to Dim, and set the controller to turn off “After 10 Minutes.” It’s not much, but these changes will make a small difference. You’ll still want to buy a charging dock and have a second DualShock 4 ready at all times, though.
Broadcasting your gameplay or taking screenshots at fun moments has become a modern pastime, but it often takes more menu hopping than it’s worth. To simplify the process, press the Share button on controller and go to Sharing and Broadcast Settings > Share button control type, Select “Easy Screenshots” and your sharing life will get a lot simpler. Use the opportunity to tweak other settings and set up Facebook or Twitch.
Much like the Nintendo Switch, your PS4 can turn on your TV or switch its input with a simple press of the PlayStation button on your DualShock 4. It’s easy, too (assuming your TV has the feature). Go to Settings > System > Enable HDMI Device Link. Check it and your done. If your TV isn’t behaving, go into your TV settings and enable it. Usually, the setting has the word ‘Link’ in it, but it’s one of those features that has a different name everywhere. Consult this list of names for the feature if you get lost.
I’ve never found a good reason to remap the buttons on my controller, but you might. If you want to tinker with them, go to Settings > Accessibility > Button Assignments. Knock yourself out!
If this is the most obvious tip on this whole list, great! You’re already saving your games to the cloud and that’s awesome. I’ve lost an entire console of game saves before and it’s not fun. Go to Settings > Application Saved Data Management and make sure it’s set to upload your saves to the cloud. It never hurts to back them up to a USB drive as well, if you value your progress.
There are a lot of hidden menus to check out and fun settings. Did you know it connects to Spotify and can act as a speaker to play music from the service? Or that some games let you use smartphones as controllers? You can also plug in keyboards, mice, and wireless headsets. There’s a lot of fun to be had. We made a whole list of fun accessories and PlayStation items you could scoop up, as well.
If you’re looking for some offbeat games to try, there are a ton. Here are a few of our favorites from 2017, and some awesome games coming in 2018.
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