Our guide to the Sony PS4 gives you loads of tips and tricks to get the best out of your PlayStation 4, be it the original, the Slim model or the Pro.
If you didn’t splash out on a PlayStation 4 at launch, then surely the Slim model and PS4 Pro have you tempted – or you’ve already splooged the cash to get some current-gen gaming on the go. Either way, you’ll want to know what the PS4 can really do, beyond play some thrilling titles like Uncharted.
After all, a PS4 can do a lot more than just play games and stream media; we’re talking about the hidden features and secret tricks that you didn’t even know existed. Here’s our guide to the best bits of the PS4, from hidden treats to quick fixes and clever tricks.
These are the best PS4 tips and tricks you need to know.
PS4 tips and tricks: How to extend controller battery life
Charging your controller every other time you play is a hassle nobody wants, and while the DualShock 4 isn’t terrible for longevity, it could be better. Here’s a quick tip to help save your PS4 controller’s battery life.
That bright blue light was always going to chew through the battery and, frankly, annoy most people. Thankfully you can turn it down. Go to Settings, Devices, Controllers, Brightness and turn that blue beacon to the lowest setting.
PS4 tips and tricks: How to appear offline
We’re not going to judge you for wanting to appear offline to friends and co-workers. Sometimes being ill during a work day means a spot of gaming is needed, to restore mental and physical health, right?
You can set yourself to appear offline at any time simply by going to your profile section. Of course at that point you’re already ‘online’ and may have been spotted. To avoid this, you can also turn on the console, don’t login, select Profile and press the Option button and section Login With Offline Status. Sneak into the gaming world without being spotted, like a snotty gaming ninja.
PS4 tips and tricks: How to multitask
Jumping between apps, just like on a phone, is an option with the PS4. If you’ve got Netflix open but want to get back to a game between episodes, you can do so quickly. Or perhaps you’re gaming with a walkthrough guide open in a web browser and you need to hop quickly between the two.
Simply double tap the PS button and you can flit back to the last app you had open. A minimalist feature, but it works.
PS4 tips and tricks: How to use your phone as a keyboard
Entering text is always a faff with a console controller. Sure the PS4 lets you use the touch sensitive pad on the DualShock 4 to flit about the keyboard more easily but it’s not as good as a real keyboard.
Your phone offers the next best thing. You can connect this, or a wireless Bluetooth keyboard, for use with the console. For the phone, download the PlayStation 4 App and select “Connect to a PS4” when on the same Wi-Fi. For a Bluetooth keyboard go to Settings, Devices, Bluetooth Devices and connect.
PS4 tips and tricks: How to setup and turn on low power mode
If you want to leave the room to get some grub, maybe make a call, perhaps take a shower, run a half marathon, sleep, go to work, take in a show (okay, you get the idea), the PlayStation 4 will wait for you, no matter what you’re doing. So when you get back you just pick up the controller and carry on from where you left off.
Another advantage of low power standby mode is that you can leave controllers charging or updates downloading and installing – without leaving the console on at full power.
Initially you’ll need to go into Settings to decide what parts of this you want turned on. By pressing and holding the PS button on your controller you’ll be able to pick power off or low power mode. If you choose the latter, the PS4 will take you to the right area to allow permissions; then in future you can just select low power mode and walk away.
There is also a curfew mode that you can set so it’ll power off entirely after a certain time, should you want to. This is found in the Power Save Settings menu.
PS4 tips and tricks: How to take control of your downloads
If you’ve usually got a heap of downloads lined up, like us, then you might want to prioritise certain ones. Now you can do just that by pausing and starting from within the Notifications menu under Downloads. Start, pause or stop downloads as and when you want.
PS4 tips and tricks: Embrace cloud saving and get some free games
If you want to backup your saves in the cloud, play games online or get access to Sony’s monthly free download you’ll need a PS Plus account.
This is like Xbox Live and only costs £40 per year. Worth it for the free games alone, but also if you’re a multiplayer gamer it’s a must.
Pro tip: even if you don’t want to download a game one month, make sure you select Add To Library then you can download it at a later stage.
PS4 tips and tricks: How to connect your controller
It might sound silly but when you first get your hands on that DualShock 4 controller it might not be connected, or you could be taking it to a mate’s machine. So you need to sync the controller to the console.
The simple answer here is to have a USB cable handy. Plug in the controller, press the PS button and you’re on and connected. You can leave it plugged in to charge or take it out and get going wire-free. It will then stay connected to that console in the future.