21 ways to get the best out of your PS4

The PlayStation 4 is a beast of a gaming machine, but there’s a lot more to Sony’s console than just spending hours trying to beat that ridiculously difficult boss in Bloodborne, or farming Destiny’s planets for engrams and glimmer.

playstation 4 console

Since its release, numerous software updates have added plenty of new nifty features to compliment some of the old favourites, and there’s more to come in system software update 3.00. With PS4 sales continuing to rise as we begin the run up to holiday season, we thought it would be an ideal time for a recap. So, without further ado, check out our guide on how to get the best out of your PS4.

Play games
Yes, we know, it’s pretty obvious that the PS4’s main function is as a gaming machine, but we simply couldn’t leave it off the list.

There’s dozens of brilliant games currently available to buy, and the best place to search for them is via the PlayStation Store.

Here, you can filter to search for the top rated and most popular games, or filter by your favourite genre.

playing games on ps4

We also review most PS4 games, so you can always check out our review section to find out which games we rate highly.

Visit the PlayStation Store often
Sony is frequently adding new deals and offers to the PSN Store, including a deal of the week, price drops and digital discounts on games, themes and DLC.

playstation store offers

Sometimes the deals are only available for a set amount of time, so be sure to check back often to make sure you don’t miss that bargain!

Join PlayStation Plus
It will cost you to join up to PS Plus, but the benefits are tremendous with around 60+ games a year available entirely for free, and exclusive discounts on a range of PS4, PS4 and PS Vita titles.

playstation plus instant game collection

If you hope to play online on your game’s console, then you’ll also need to sign up for the subscription service to engage in multiplayer mayhem. There’s also the added incentive of cloud storage of up to 10GB (in update 3.00).

Download games while you’re away
There’s nothing worse than booting up the PS4, heading for the PlayStation Store to buy the latest game and then having to wait four hours for the damn thing to download.

downloading metal gear solid 5

So, save the hassle by using the PlayStation app on your smartphone, or the desktop PlayStation Store. Log into your account and start downloading the game. It’s easy, just follow these instructions on how to download purchases to your PS4.

Pre load PS4 games
If you’re pre-order a game, then you can preload it to your console prior to release to ensure you don’t have to wait hours on launch day for the file to download.

preloading witcher 3

As long as the PS4 is in standby mode this will happen automatically, and you can just get on with your gaming. There’s even a cool countdown timer.


Hire games and stream them to your console
Check out PlayStation Now, which currently offers some of the best PlayStation 3 games to rent or buy.

The service allows you to stream games without having to download them, so gives you instant access.

playstation now subscription

We do recommend having a wired internet connection from the PS4 to your router to ensure a lag-free stream.

The service is currently in its beta trial, but there’s still a lot of games to choose from.

Watch what other people are playing
Select the Live from PlayStation icon from the dashboard and you can view the games live that your friends and other gamers are currently streaming.

live from playstation dashboard

You can use the search function to find your favourite titles, and you’ll even be able to interact with some of the players. After the next major system software update (v3.00), you’ll also be able to send a request to a friend to watch them stream.

Stream yourself
Press SHARE on your DualShock 4 controller and you can stream games too. There’s the option to broadcast yourself as well if you have the PlayStation camera, or you can choose just to have your voice heard, or even just the game audio.

how to stream on ps4

You’ll need to set up either a Twitch or a UStream account, but once you’ve done that it’s a one-click login for all future streaming activities. You may even gain yourself some fans! Streaming some of these games could be a good laugh.

After System Software update v3.00, you’ll also be able to stream to YouTube

Create interesting, compelling video and then share it
At any point while you’re playing the PS4 you can press the Share button on the controller and it will save the last 15 minutes of video.

sharefactory project

That clip can then be opened in the SHAREFactory app, which is a great tool for editing video and adding cool things like transitions and commentary. You can add additional clips too, and then share that video onto the likes of YouTube, Facebook and Twitter(after update 3.00). Maybe you could offer some pro tips on your favourite titles?

Take a pretty picture
A simple press of the SHARE button on the DualShock 4 controller allows you to take a screenshot of the game you’re playing.

press the share button

You can then choose an online service, such as Facebook or Twitter and send it out into the social media scene to show off your latest exploits.

Let a friend share your game
Share Play on PS4 has added the ability in certain games to let another player, on another console, play your game, or even join you for some local co-op action.

how to share play

Once again, press share on the DS4 and select ‘Start Share Play’. They’ll receive an invite and will either join you or take over your screen for a period of 60 minutes. It’s a great way to let a friend a demo a decent portion of a game or even help you out!


Find new friends easily
Available after PS4 system software update 3.00, the new communities feature will allow you to search for players who have similar interests. You can also create your own PlayStation community, which others can join, and chat away!

Stop notifications from popping up
There’s nothing worse than watching a movie or playing a game when you’re about to land that perfect sniper head-shot when a notification pops up from a friend and disturbs your moment. Well, there’s no need to put up with them.

Head to:
– Settings > Notifications

There’s a list of all the notifications available. Just select the ones you want to turn off.

Make space
Unless you’ve upgraded to a super-duper hard-drive you can run out of space fast. Conserve space by deleting stuff on your PS4 HD. If you don’t need it anymore, get rid of it. So, we’re talking about old game saves, or digital titles or apps that you have no intention of ever using again.

You can also save space by subscribing to PlayStation Plus and getting access to the cloud service to save game files. Users will be able to save up to 10GB of files after System Software update 3.00 kicks in.

Customize the DS4 controller buttons
Maybe the current button-mapping set-up doesn’t suit your play-style? Well, you can totally change the layout.

Go to:
– Settings > Accessibility > Button Assignments

You can now remap any button on the PS4 controller, event the bumpers.

customise button assignments

Check out this excellent video tutorial which takes you through the steps to customise the DualShock 4 buttons.

Charge the DualShock 4 when you’re away
It’s so frustrating when you’re keen to jump straight into a game and discover that the DS4 is about to run out of juice.

Prevent this from happening by plugging your controller with its lead into the PlayStation 4 before you head off for bed or go out. Turn the console off in Rest Mode by selecting Power from the function screen. You’ll never have to worry again!

Dim the light bar
The light bar of the DS4 saps the battery. As it’s largely for there for aesthetic reasons, you might as well dim it to conserve some energy.

– Hold down the PlayStation button for a few seconds and select Adjust Devices.

– Scroll down to ‘Brightness of DualShock 4 lightbar” and change the settings to ‘Dim’.

Check out demos
Check the demo section on the PlayStation Store before you buy as you may save yourself some money if the game turns out to be disappointing.

Watch TV and movies
The PS4 also a wide range of apps that allow you watch TV shows and films. There’s Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Plex and others. There’s even a YouTube app so you can pretty much guarantee there’s always something to watch outside of your gaming time.

netflix on playstation store

Watch porn
Hey, we’re all adults. Well, you certainly have to be if you’re in the market for adult movies, so why not check out the SugarDVD app. It allows you to rent, download and instantly stream adult movies on PS4.

Remote Play
You can play the PS4 almost anywhere thanks to the Remote Play option, which allows you to use PS Vita as a second screen.

how to remote play between ps4 and vita

Access the PS4 link app on your Vita and navigate the console dashboard to play your games on the small screen. You’ll need a very strong wi-fi connection!

Are there any cool PS4 features that you recommend?