10 Ways To Master Your PlayStation 4

10 Tricks to Turn You Into a PS4 Master

Whether you've just unwrapped a brand new PS4 or you've had one since launch day in November 2013, you probably haven't explored everything Sony's powerhouse console has to offer — no doubt you've been too busy gaming. Join us on a tour of 10 of our favourite PS4 tips, from upgrading its internals to streaming games to your laptop.

1) Hook up a keyboard and mouse

10 Tricks to Turn You Into a PS4 Master

Using a keyboard and mouse with your PS4 is as easy as plugging them into the front of your console. OK, you might not want to use them to go on the rampage in GTA V, but if you're doing some form-filling or web browsing then it's a lot easier than fiddling around with the DualShock 4. Most devices will work with no extra configuration required.

You can even use wireless Bluetooth kit if you want to lounge back on your sofa while typing, and after just a few seconds you should be in business (head to Devices in Settings to pair them). Some games support mouse and keyboard controls, but most don't, lest you gain an unfair advantage over other online players with standard controllers.

2) Use the PlayStation app for messaging

10 Tricks to Turn You Into a PS4 Master

Sony has a couple of PlayStation apps available for Android and iOS that let you use your mobile as a handy second screen for your console. One of the best features of these apps is the messaging component. You can use it to chat to fellow gamers without having to switch from gameplay on the PS4 or even have your console switched on at all.

Some games support the use of the mobile app as a second screen, and you can also use it as a remote control for your PS4 as well. With both phone and console on the same network, choose Settings, PlayStation App Connection Settings and Add Device on your PS4, then Connect to PS4 and Second Screen from inside the mobile app.

3) Turn on voice commands

10 Tricks to Turn You Into a PS4 Master

Thanks to Siri, Google Now, the Amazon Echo et al, we're all much more used to barking instructions at our electronics these days, and the PS4 doesn't necessarily have to be left out of the party. If you want to be able to control the console using your voice, you need a headset with a microphone, or you can use the microphone in the PlayStation Camera.

Go to Settings then System and ensure the Operate PS4 with Voice option is enabled on the Voice Operation Settings menu. From the same screen you can get help with using the feature as well as see a full list of supported commands: it lets you breeze through menus, take screenshots, launch apps and menus, turn off the PS4 and more besides.

4) Save games to USB

10 Tricks to Turn You Into a PS4 Master

If you're upgrading your PS4's hard drive, playing on someone else's machine, or planning to backup your precious gaming achievements, it's easy enough to transfer your saved game data to a connected USB drive or external hard drive. Importing data back the other way (on a new machine for example) is equally straightforward.

From Settings choose Application Saved Data Management and you get the options to move data between the local PS4, your connected USB drive, and the PlayStation Plus online locker. You can also transfer screenshots to a USB device by choosing Capture Gallery from the main PS4 menu, browsing to the images and hitting Options.

5) Play all of your media files

10 Tricks to Turn You Into a PS4 Master

If you can get a USB stick or external drive hooked up to your PS4, then you can play media files off it. Just make sure the drive in question is FAT32 formatted (rather than NTFS), that your files are stored in folders, and that they're saved with the correct codecs. The likes of MKV, AVI, MP4, JPEG, BMP, MP3, and AAC are all supported, Sony says.

It's not the only option for getting your media files on your Sony gaming console. The ever-wonderful Plex app is one way of getting content from your computer to your PS4 (and it's free), but if you want a slightly more complex route then you can set up a DLNA server and use this to beam music, video and photos over to the PlayStation box.

6) Install an SSD for faster load times

10 Tricks to Turn You Into a PS4 Master

Fixing a solid-state drive inside your PlayStation 4 isn't going to give it any extra processing oomph, but it can do wonders for game loading times. It's especially effective for those games that insist on having enormous saves (we're looking at you, Witcher 3). The process isn't difficult and only takes a few minutes from start to finish.

You'll find plenty of step-by-step guides on the web. Our friends at Lifehacker have one of the most comprehensive guides out there, though as we say it's not a hugely complex process. Just make sure you back up all of your save games, screenshots and other bits of personal data to an external hard drive before you swap out the main one in the system.

7) Keep your kids safe

10 Tricks to Turn You Into a PS4 Master

If you want to put a limit on what your kids can and can't do on the PS4 then Sony has you covered. You can set up accounts for your little ones, block games and movies rated too old for your children, restrict access to the web browser and keep an watchful eye on their activities. It's pretty much like setting up separate accounts for your kids on Windows.

From Settings go to Parental Controls then Restrict Use of PS4 Features to get this configured in the way you want. You can't set individual permissions for individual accounts, which means this is a bit more tricky to make use of if you've got two children of very different ages. You can set up sub accounts from the same Parental Controls screen.

8) Play games on Mac or Windows

10 Tricks to Turn You Into a PS4 Master

You can finally play PlayStation 4 games remotely on a Mac or Windows machine, if you have a strong enough wifi signal. (Sony recommends 12Mbps upload and download speeds for best results.) Head to the PS4 Remote Play page to grab the necessary software for your machine of choice, then follow the instructions to get it set up.

On your PS4, go to Settings, then Remote Play Connection Settings and check the box marked Enable Remote Play. Activate the console as your primary system via the PlayStation Network/Account Management screen and enable remote play in rest mode (if you want) via Set Features Available in Rest Mode under Power Save Settings.

9) Dim your DualShock 4

10 Tricks to Turn You Into a PS4 Master

You can't turn the light on the back of the DualShock 4 controller completely off (it's required to spot you on the PlayStation Camera for one thing). But you can dim it down a little, if it's ruining your carefully lit gaming experience. Hold down the PlayStation button on the controller and select Adjust Sound and Devices when the menu appears.

Pick Brightness of DualShock 4 Light Bar from the list of options on screen and you get three more settings to choose from: Bright (Standard), Medium and Dim. Make your choice and the DualShock 4 light adjusts instantly. Apparently the light emitted by the controller is also going to be utilised by Sony's upcoming virtual reality headset too.

10) Take faster screenshots

10 Tricks to Turn You Into a PS4 Master

By default, pressing the Share button on the top of the DualShock 4 controller brings up the Display menu, but you can change this behaviour if necessary. Press Options on the Share menu, choose Sharing and Broadcast Settings, then pick Share Button Control Type. Here you can change the way the Share button works when you briefly tap it.

Choose Easy Screenshots and a quick press (rather than a long press) of the Share button takes a screenshot and lets you stay focused on your gaming. You'll then need to press and hold the button to bring up the Display menu; as before, pressing the Share button twice is used to start or stop video recording. You can swap back to the defaults at any time.


    I laughed out loud when I read the remote play requires 12Mbps download AND UPLOAD speed. Then I realised it not a joke.

      maybe if you're connecting over the Internet, but on a home wireless network I have 10 Mbps down and only 1 Mbps up and it works flawlessly

      Last edited 09/06/16 12:52 pm

        Home network doesnt count in this case.
        But 12mb down/up doesnt sound right, unless the connection test screen on the PS4 is a blatent lie.
        According to the connection test, my PS4 using a 4g connection is 20 down, 2-3up
        Does remote play fine to the vita/OSX on another 4g connection.

        I bought a shared plan on vodafone specifically to do this and it works fine, a little bit of lag, but not much for something like the division or uncharted.

        Hell I could even get an image through the telstra air hotspot with the PS4 being on a 4g connection.

      yeah us Australians are screwed. I wish I could play Fallout 4 at work!

      I'm on NBN (yay) with fibre to the premise and bought a 100 Mbps plan - not bragging, this is going somewhere.
      I've never seen 100 Mbps. Closest is in the 60-70 range but usually ~30Mbps.
      I've since actually dropped back to a 25 plan because at the moment I really don't have the need for the extra occasional 30 mbps.
      I have run the Network status test in the options about half a dozen times.
      I have NEVER seen over 10mbps with a direct ethernet connection.
      I started to look up if SONY was throttling but got a bit bored by the discussions so never got to the bottom of it.
      Interesting if the requirement is 12 if it is throttled at 10.

    I've recently been having an issue where my PS4 struggles to connect with the PSN. I have a strong WiFi signal, and my PS4 does manage to connect to the internet, but the connection has been terrible lately. I haven't changed a thing, and I'm struggling to fix it.

    Has anyone else encountered anything similar?

      Yep same here. I've not been able to download the uncharted 4 update since it came out. No idea why.

    Ah, I remember when using a mobile as a second screen was the way of the glorious future. What a week that was.

      I remember when the PSP was going to be used as a second screen and only one game used it as a rear vision mirror. Then the Vita came along with the promise of being able to let you instantly pick up from where you left off on your PS3, and the closest we got was cross-save on a limited number of games.

    did the PS4 to PC remote play ever arrive? i might have missed that news.

      It did and it works pretty well, but the max res is 720p so some games look pretty terrible.

    Re Media Player - FAT and exFAT formatted USB storage devices are supported.

    All i want from my ps4 is a fucking eject disc button on the front of the console. Why there is none is stupid beyond words.

      There is. It's the little vertical line below the cd slot, the above button is power.

      There is, right next to where you insert your disc there's two very thin buttons, the 'eject disc' button is the bottom one. The top one is for power.

        Thank you! I stand corrected. Still stupidly designed but glad i finally found it! Thanks again :)


          Last edited 03/08/16 8:29 pm

            I've been gaming since 1985. Haven't read a manual in years. Most games don't even come with them anymore because pretty much everything is self explanatory so they are pointless. I'm 31 years old and been gaming all my life - if i can't clearly see a fucking button on the front of a console (neither could my wife, just by the way) then that says to me it's a pretty poor design.
            Do a google search and you'll see many other people had the same issue.
            I admitted fault but i stand by the fact it's poorly designed.

      There is, I can't remember exactly the configuration but if the power button is at the top of the console, then the eject button is at the bottom. Reversed if the other way around :p

      You need really good eyesight to find it. If the PS4 turns OFF, you pressed the wrong button.

        Yeah, those two buttons really should be better marked.

        Although I've got to be honest - I don't recall having ever actually used either one of them anyway :P

        Thanks! I found them but geez it was difficult! Very poorly designed... but now i know it kinda makes sense, haha.

      Stupid beyond words... when you cant find a button on the front of a console lol

        I'll cop that. But the way it's designed is stupid beyond words. I just got on the floor and had to squint and use the light on my phone to see the power and eject buttons. The icons could fit on top of a goddamn pin head.

      Ah, it's the mysterious and elusive 11th way to master your PS4. Reading the manual.

    1) Hook up a keyboard and mouse;

    Correct me if i'm wrong is that a pic of the Razer Turret? If so, anyone know if that is compatible with the PS4?

    Pic could be for illustration purposes only. >.<


    SSDs are good if you want faster load times but not if you want bigger storage space for digital games. Even then, games often install GB of data from the disc and patches can also get large. I'm currently looking at getting a 1.5/2TB drive for mine.

    One thing that annoys me about the PS4 is that it doesn't allow external storage for games. I'd much rather buy an external drive than backup my games, install a drive, then restore my games.

      I hope the new PS4 has SATA3 support for SSDs.

    The Media App was pretty good and played pretty much every video I put onto a USB stick and plugged in.

    Then they updated it and all the 60fps videos that played without a hitch prior to the update, wouldn't work anymore. The video would play fine, the audio however did not.

    Tip #9... learn to count?

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now