The PS4 & PS4 Pro might be so “last year” – but this doesn’t mean we should stop writing about them! On the contrary, together we have an important article sharing our top 30 PS4 tips, tricks and hidden features – some of which might be new to you after all these years.
There’s a lot to read – and some of these “secrets” are probably common knowledge to you, but you might still find one or two you didn’t know about. So go through our list and see if there are any hidden secrets on the PS4 & PS4 Pro that you didn’t know about!
1: Double Click the Share Button on the DualShock 4 to Record Gameplay
Every console gamer should know about the PS share button. After all, it’s how you open up the menu. What console gamers may not know is that you can record gameplay.
One tap brings up the menu, two taps will take an in-game screenshot. With a quick double tap, you can start gathering clips for your latest montage. It’s that easy.
You can even mess with the settings to make a single tap record your gameplay (keep reading to find out how to do this).
2: Charge the DualShock 4 With your Phone Charger
Worried about keeping your DualShock 4 controllers juiced up all the time? Turns out, the new design removes the reliance on your console as a charging station.
Now you can charge your DualShock 4 controller anywhere where there is an outlet and a standard USB cable. Since it doesn’t take much charge to juice up a DualShock 4 controller, a phone charger will work just fine.
No longer do you have to worry about keeping your PlayStation 4 powered on just to charge your controller. You can charge just about anywhere, which may save on your electricity bill as an added bonus.
3: Sync Your PS4 with Your TV
If your TV is compatible, this feature is worth messing around with. Unfortunately, this depends on what kind of TV you own. Sony TV’s will likely support syncing while other out-of-date TV’s won’t.
If yours does have support, head over to settings > system > enable HDMI device link. Once you enable syncing, you can use your TV’s remote to control the PS menu. Your PlayStation has apps such as Spotify and Netflix that are great to use on a television.
With the remote, it feels like you’re watching regular TV, which feels nice. When you turn your TV off, your console will go into standby mode. Alternatively, your TV will turn off with your console.
Such a fun and underrated feature!
4: Control the PS4 Dashboard and Apps with Your TV Remote
In addition to being able to browse Netflix, you can also control your entire PlayStation 4 Dashboard with your televisions remote. If browsing with a TV remote is easier to you, this feature can be a godsend.
You could connect a device such as a Roku to browse apps, but a PlayStation 4 has so much more to offer, plus you can skip the cost of an individual device.
If you don’t already have an alternative device to use for apps and streaming, the PlayStation 4 is a perfectly viable option.
This way, you can also access various other gaming options, not just the traditional PS4 ones.
5: Use Your Phone as a Keyboard
Every console user knows how annoying typing with a controller can be. How long does it even take to type in a 20-character email address? The answer is: Way too long.
Turns out, with the advent of cloud technology, you can connect both your PSN and phone together using the PlayStation app. Just like that, you can type using your phone’s keyboard. No more joysticks!
How To Use Your Phone As Keyboard:
- Use the PlayStation App connection settings
- Log into PSN with both your phone and console
- Choose the keyboard icon on the top left in the second screen option
Being able to type with your phone’s keyboard will save you a surprising amount of time.
6: Use Voice Commands Through the Headset Mic
By prefacing your command with “PlayStation”, you have access to a series of useful voice commands. Want to turn your console off? Say “PlayStation off”. Want to up the volume just a bit? Say “PlayStation volume up”.
You can even use game-specific commands. For example, if you’re playing Battlefield, the game may come with functions that you can access through PlayStation voice commands.
The optional PlayStation camera comes with extra microphones, but you can also use the default headset mic. Though, if you have trouble getting your voice across, the PlayStation camera may be a good investment.
7: Share Your Game Library With Your Friends
Have you ever wanted to try a game out before purchasing it? Ever wanted to show your friend something cool without having to be in the room?
With every update, Sony packs their PlayStation 4 with even more features. One of these features is share play, which many gamers don’t even know about.
Share play allows you to hand off games to a friend and give them full control. At this point, the receiver has full control of your library and you can watch them play right on your screen.
Pretty cool huh? Share play can be useful for showing your friend something cool in a particular game. Share play can also be used to finally try out that game your passionate friend won’t shut up about.
8: Know How to Reset Your DualShock 4
DualShock 4 controllers generally prove to be great pieces of technology and usually work well. However, nothing works 100% of the time. Your controller may run into a problem or two over its lifetime.
Sometimes the best diagnosis is a complete reset. Luckily, Sony has made this process easy. With the use of a single pin, you can completely reset your controller’s firmware.
Just look for “reset” and a small hole. Poke the button in the hole and you’re all good. If all goes well, resetting your controller will fix whatever problem you were encountering.
9: Customize The Share Button Functionality
You may know that the PS share button has functions based on certain button presses. Pressing it once brings up the menu. Holding the button takes an in-game screenshot.
Did you know you can change which actions perform what? If you want to take a screenshot with a quick tap, you can accomplish that by messing around with the settings.
To mess with this, just go to the share settings within the PS menu. Within the share settings, you can mess around with several options and really understand what that little button is capable of.
10: Quick-Switch Between Apps And Games
Need to check a notification in one of your PlayStation apps but in the middle of a game? With a quick double tap of the PS button, your most recently used app and your game can be toggled back and forth.
This is useful for those who need to take care of small tasks while there is some downtime (respawn time for example) in games. If that’s not the case, this function still serves as a handy feature that can save a bit of time.
11: Motion-Controlled Typing
Does using motion controls as a medium for typing fascinate you? Maybe you think it’s a bit unnecessary. Using motion-controlled typing may seem that way at first, but it can serve as a useful way to fill out forms once you get the hang of it.
You can pair your phone (see tip #5) with your console and use it to type. After pairing your phone, you can press in the right joystick to enable motion-controlled typing.
This concept may seem odd to those who are new, but it proves to be lots of fun once you pass the short learning curve. For the skeptical, at least give it a try, you never know how useful this feature can actually be.
12: Light Bar Brightness Reduction
Concerns about the controller’s battery life led to a simple, yet useful feature which allows you to reduce the controller’s light bar. Doing so is simple, just hold the PS button and click on ‘adjust settings’. From there, you can find the option to select between bright, moderate, and dim.
If you need to save an hour or two on battery life, this is one simple trick that can help you do that. Even if you own convenient accessories such as a popular DualShock 4 charging station, it never hurts to boost that battery life just a bit.
The trade-off is a no brainer since a bright light offers little value to your gaming experience.
13: Swap Your PS4 Hard Drive for One with More Storage
Do you worry about running out of space on your hard drive? Do you have to delete some precious content just to download the latest games, movies, TV shows or apps? Sony created their PlayStation 4 with this concern in mind and designed their components to be replaceable.
The hard drive is one common component that can be replaced. Many gamers have storage space issues, so it’s common to swap a 500GB drive with a 2TB. The process is pretty straightforward, and choosing the correct hard drive is a fairly simple process.
14: Add Narrations/Voice-Overs to Your Gameplay
By going to Options > Share Settings > Video Clip Settings > Microphone Audio you can add a voice-over to any recording. This is an easy way to commentate your strategy, thought process, or you can just brag.
With a mixture of video editing, recording, and voice-overs, creating gameplay videos becomes that much easier.
15: Signing in via PlayStation Camera
Logging in isn’t exactly the most enjoyable part of owning a PlayStation 4. Luckily, Sony added facial recognition to its camera to log in for you.
Facial recognition can be useful because you don’t have to worry about other nosy people logging into your PSN! After all, nobody can copy your face. Even if this isn’t useful to you, it’s safe to say that facial recognition is a futuristic feature that just feels good to use.
If you have an opportunity to feel like you’re in the sci-fi universe, why pass it up?
16: Play Spotify and MP3s while You Game
Everybody loves music. Sony recognized this fact and decided to partner up with one of the most popular music streaming services, Spotify. Now you can control the music that drives your overall gaming experience. No more reliance on game soundtracks.
By pairing your phone with your PSN account, you have full control over Spotify. This is nice because you don’t have to open an in-game menu just to skip songs or to turn up the volume.
Another convenient option is to double press the PS button to bring up the Spotify menu. From here, you can perform basic actions such as turning up the volume and using R1 to skip the current song.
17: Download Games Remotely
Who’d think that you can use your console without actually having to be at your console? In this day and age, that’s no longer such a grandiose thought.
By connecting your phone with your PlayStation 4, you have the option to download games to your console from any location.
Doing this is simple:
- Go to your download list
- Select the ‘download to PS4’ option
- You can now relax knowing your game will be fully downloaded when you get home
The future is great, isn’t it? You no longer have to get home from work knowing you can’t play your new game because of the long download time. A game’s download time suddenly becomes a mere afterthought.
18: Charge Your Devices in Standby Mode
Find yourself holding a controller or PlayStation Gold Wireless Headset that is about to die? There are different ways to conveniently charge a controller, such as a DualShock 4 charging station or using a standard USB. Another viable way to boost your controller up is using your console when it is in rest mode.
To do this, go into PlayStation’s cross media bar > settings > power saver settings > functions in rest mode > change supply power to USB. From here, you can change this setting to “always” or “off”. Check the off box and you’re all set!
Charging in standby mode is a good way to wake up to a fully charged controller without having to run the electricity bill all night.
19: Pre-load Your Pre-Ordered Games
You know those games that take hours to download that you can’t even play yet? Well, you can pre-download them so you can play the instant they come out.
Nobody likes waiting hours staring at a loading bar the day a game comes out. With PlayStation 4’s handy automation features, you can now download the game before it even comes out.
To do this, just set up automatic downloads in your PlayStation 4 settings. You only have to do this once, and any game you pre-order will be auto downloaded. No work on your part.
Just one thing: make sure you have enough room on your hard drive. Either delete some unnecessary files, or upgrade that baby.
20: You Can Make Headphones Wireless
Many gamers prefer the crisp, bassy sound a good pair of headphones can provide when it comes to gaming. Luckily for you, Sony made it easy to plug your headset in with great ease by providing a 3.5mm jack.
That’s pretty much all you have to do. Pretty easy, huh? The default settings don’t capture all audio, but changing that is fairly easy.
To get all sound to your headphones:
- Hold the PS button
- Click on ‘adjusting devices’
- Select ‘output to headphones option’
There you go, you can now enjoy your games without bothering anybody else. Explosions create a bigger boom, enemies become easier to detect, and epic game music sounds amazing. Can’t beat that!
21: You Can Watch PlayStation Live
PlayStation Live allows you to view streams from Twitch, Ustream, and Youtube. If you’re looking for specific streamers or games, the handy search function will get you up to speed.
Do you want Overwatch streams? Search ‘Overwatch’ and see what’s happening! Sony provided yet another feature that brings an activity to the internet console menu. Not having to use a separate computer can be handy in many cases.
For example, what if you want to watch a stream right on your TV? Well conveniently enough, your console is already plugged into your TV!
22: Your PlayStation Trophy Cabinet
Are you the type of guy that cares about statistics and competitive gaming? PlayStation embraces gamer’s competitive sides with the PlayStation trophy cabinet.
Not only can you look at each of your achievements, you can also compare with your friends and the world. For example, there’s a feature that gives you a percentage of the amount of players that unlocked a specific achievement.
You can also compare your ranking with your PSN friends. If you’re serious about achievements, there’s also a global scoreboard that will keep you busy for months to come.
23: Set Up a Passcode
If you’re the extra cautious type of gamer, setting up an n-digit passcode is fairly easy. Just go to your login setting, and the option should be on the menu.
It’s worth noting that you can also set parental control features. Parental control features allow you to limit certain games, movies, and applications.
Another neat feature is the ability to limit what shows up in store and set spending limits. Some of you have kids that are a bit too curious. These features should keep your child and your bank account safe.
24: Power Save Mode
Need to save power? Consoles can take up a little bit too much power sometimes. Putting your console in power saving mode should ease the use just a bit. By going to your power saver settings, you can set your PlayStation 4 to switch off at certain times.
You can also set functions in standby mode and automatically switch off your DualShock 4 controller. These settings can be handy since electricity bills are a valid concern. Also, this will help save the battery life of your controller.
25: Look at a Game’s Patch Notes
Want to get the latest on a game’s update? Sometimes, gamers want to see what exactly is taking an hour to download. Now, this process is fairly easy.
Highlight the game and press the “options” button on your DualShock 4. You should see an “update history” option. Click on that, and you have access to every patch and its corresponding notes. What a neat and useful feature.
Sure beats digging for patch notes on forums and blogs.
26: Stop Annoying “Friend Party Chat” Notifications
Notifications are often useful and relevant to what you want. However, some notifications can be too frequent without much use at all. To many, friend party chat notifications fall into this category.
If you manage to get to it, turning these notifications off is easy peasy. Go to settings, select the notifications menu, and uncheck the box titled “when friends join a party”. Bam, done!
You can also scroll through the other boxes and check off other unnecessary notifications. If you’re like us, you don’t like little boxes constantly interrupting your gameplay.
27: No more Random Messages from Other Gamers
Not everybody likes to play nice online. Sometimes, you’ll receive some not so welcoming messages from other gamers. If they’re not on your friend’s list, chances are, you don’t want to interact with them.
To avoid this, you can choose who messages you by going to your privacy settings. Among limiting who can message you, there are other helpful options to tinker around with as well.
28: Remap Your DualShock 4 Buttons
Do you have trouble with the default button layout? Don’t know that there is a way to change it? There actually is a way to change the default button layout, it’s just a relatively obscure feature.
To do this, you need to go to your accessibility settings. From there, scroll down to “button assignments” and select the “custom button assignments” option. After that, you can have fun and mess with whatever buttons and actions you want.
Some gamers actually need to rearrange buttons. Some gamers simply enjoy the process. Either way, it’s worth messing around with the arrangement a bit.
29: Give Your PS4 A Name
Want a more interesting name than “PlayStation 4”? Changing the name of your system is easy. Head on over to settings > system > system information and start tinkering with the settings.
From here, you can change your console to whichever name suits your needs. If we were to guess, it’d be something that makes you chuckle every time you power on your PlayStation 4.
30: Limit How Many Apps And Games Show Up On Your Home Screen
The PlayStation 4 menu is both user-friendly and easy on the eye. However, some of us prefer a little less clutter on the home page. To do this, go to settings > system > limit number of apps displayed on home screen.
From there, you should be able to morph your home screen to something that suits your eye a bit better. On the flip side, you can also increase the amount of apps/games displayed, just select the other option in the system menu.
Whatever floats your boat.
No matter if you’re late to the party or not, the PlayStation 4 here will still be here for at least a couple of years (if not more). Hopefully you found our list of tricks useful and you’ll be able to get more out of your console now.