The Sony PlayStation 4 (PS4) is, without doubt, one of the most powerful gaming consoles. It comes with all the exhilarating quests and role-playing games you want, and the controls are rather easy to master. This has made it a very popular console among gamers.
The problem, however, is that the user interface, while much more straightforward than in the past, still conceals many useful functions underneath. This applies even to the much improved Pro version. It means that unless you’ve taken time to explore and uncover these hidden features, you may never get full value from your PS4.
With that in mind, we've prepared a list of tips and tricks to help you uncover some cool features on the PS4 that you probably didn't know about, so you can unlock the full potential of your console.
How to ensure you’re getting HDR and 4K
In most cases, your PS4 Pro will automatically detect a 4K HDR TV when you first boot the device. But, even if it doesn’t, there is no need to panic. It takes only a few seconds to ensure that you’re getting HDR and 4K.
- Head to “PlayStation Settings”
- Click on “Sound and Screen,” and
- Select “Video Output Settings”
Here, you can set the resolution at 2160p – RGB for 4K HDR. Alternatively, set it to “Automatic” so that the system can automatically select the best resolution on a game by game basis.
Set your status as offline
One problem with online gaming is that even in the middle of a life and death battle , you’ll often have friends and fellow gamers continually texting you. If you find this irritating, there is something you can do about it –set your status as offline.
When you set your status as offline, no one can send you messages. The process for setting your status as “offline” is as follows;
- On the home screen, go to “Profile”
- Click “Set Status as Offline”
- From the drop-down, select “Appear Offline.”
That’s it. From there on, you’ll appear offline to all your friends and fellow gamers. They will still get a notification when you log in, though. If you want to stop this as well, click the “Options” button on the DualShock 4 Controller during login and select “Log in and Appear Offline.”
Boost older games for PS4 Pro
If you've upgraded to PS4 Pro, you’ll have realized that games are much faster and the experience is a lot more satisfying. The main reason for this is the new overclocked processor and potent GPU. To ensure even more fulfilling gaming experiences, all games designed after the release of the PS4 Pro make greater use of the additional power.
So, what if you want to enjoy an older game that was designed without the PS4 Pro in mind? No need to worry. PS4 Pro comes with a Boost Mode to optimize such games to work better with the PS4 Pro. To enable Boost Mode,
- Go to “PlayStation Settings”
- Click on “System”
- Select “Boost Mode”
With that, you’re ready to enjoy more satisfying gaming experiences even when playing older PS4 games!
Use Remote Play on PC and Mac
Remote Play is a unique feature designed to help you carry your gaming experience wherever you go. To use the feature, you’ll need the Remote Play app. The app can be easily downloaded from the Windows and MacOS sites.
Once you’ve installed Remote Play, go to PlayStation Settings and select “Remote Play Connection Settings.” This will lead you through the rest of the set-up process.
After you’ve set up Remote Play, you can connect it to your backup gaming PC or Mac, then start enjoying your favorite games by playing using the DualShock 4 Controller which should also be connected to the PC/Mac you’re using.
Use voice commands on PS4
Everyone loves voice commands! Instead of pressing a button, all you need to do is to yell at your device, and your commands will be respected. The even better news is that unlike the Xbox One that requires a Kinect to deliver voice commands, the PS4 only needs a powerful headphone or earphone to accomplish the same.
To get started;
- Go to “PlayStation Settings”
- Click on “System,” and
- Select “Voice Operation Settings.”
This will take you to a screen where you can change settings related to voice commands. The first thing you need to do is check the box next to “Operate PS4 with Voice.” From that point, just say “PlayStation” followed by your commands to control the game.
Transfer saved game data to external storage (e.g., flash drive)
It’s no secret that gamers tend to wait until they’ve tested a friend’s device before buying one for themselves. If you’ve just bought your console after a few weeks of playing on your friend’s device, here’s how to transfer your gaming data to a USB drive en route to your new device;
- Go to “PlayStation Settings”
- Click on “Application Saved Data Management”
- Select “Saved Data in System Storage”
- Click on “Copy to USB Storage Device.”
That’s it. To transfer the data from the USB storage device to your PS4 Console, connect the device to your console, follow the steps above, and then in the last part select “Copy to System Storage.”
Turn your TV on automatically
Tired of locating the TV remote every time you want to play a game on your console? You can set the TV to turn on automatically whenever the PS4 device is turned on.
Simply go to “PlayStation Settings” and check the box for “Enable HDMI Device Link.”
Get PlayStation games for free
You don’t always have to buy games on your PS4. There are hundreds of games that you can play for free on your console, as long as you’re willing to live with endless in-app ads during the gaming session.
Additionally, PlayStation Plus members (priced at around $10 a month or $70 a year) get at least two free games each month, as well as PS Vita and PS3 games at no extra cost.
Modify your PS4 look with themes
Finally, at some point, you’re bound to get bored of the stock blue panel in the background of your PS4. Or, the icons may begin to appear too old-school for your likes. If so, you can customize the device to give the screen and icons a more refreshing appearance. Just follow the steps below;
- Open the “PlayStation Settings” menu
- Select “Themes”
- Open the “Select Theme” option
- Select the theme of your choice.
You’ll be surprised how many awesome themes the PlayStation has to offer. Better still, if none of the available themes pleases you, just head to the PlayStation official website to download additional themes.
Now, Enjoy Your PS4 Even More!
The PlayStation was made to help you have fun. And, it shouldn’t just be about the games, you should also be able to gain full control of your console so you can play with a lot more confidence. The ten tips discussed here should help you uncover some little hacks for easier control of the console so you can get the most value from your PS4.