The eighth generation of console gaming has been dominated by the PlayStation 4, ever since its brilliant launch in 2013 that left Xbox in the dust. Microsoft is still trying to perform damage control to this day, but as of right now it seems that the PlayStation and Sony have established themselves as a console that will help gamers access a vast store of quality games with an amazing mass appeal. The sheer wealth of exclusives that the PS4 boasts is nothing to scoff at, and makes the meager collection of Microsoft look extremely sparse by comparison. From Uncharted to Horizon: Zero Dawn — any true gamer will find something to love that's exclusive to PlayStation.
However, even the most hardcore PlayStation fans may not even know what their console is capable of. Trust us when we tell you that the power of the PlayStation console simply shouldn't be underestimated, and we strongly urge you to explore every nook and cranny of your console's settings so that you can enable a degree of functionality, unlike anything you've ever experienced before. Of course, doing so might be a bit of a pain, so to make this journey easier for you, here are 25 features of the PS4 that you should definitely utilize to their fullest extent.
25 Don't Show Anyone That You're Online
Sometimes, you just want to play a single-player game in peace. The last thing you want while you're trying to platinum your game is to be distracted by a request from your friend to play one more match in Call Of Duty. These messages can end up breaking your immersion, and are better off being avoided.
Well, there's an easy way to appear offline to your friends.
Simply select the profile icon from your PS4's home screen, and choose the Online Status option. From the pop-up menu that appears, simply go for the Appear Offline status. Voila! Now you can remain online without blatantly showing your friends that you're apparently up for another stupid multiplayer game.
24 Take Quick And Easy Screenshots
There's a reason why the Share button has been integrated into your PlayStation controller — in the age of social media, people prefer to stay connected at all times. And what better way is there to facilitate this connectivity than to allow gamers to take beautiful screenshots and share it with the world?
You can enable a feature to help you take instant screenshots.
While the normal way to take screenshots is by holding down the Share button, you can enable a feature in Settings that will allow you to take a screenshot by simply tapping the Share button. Just select Options from the Share menu, go to Sharing and Broadcast Settings, and alter the Share Button Control Type setting by switching it over to "Easy Screenshots."
23 Use Motion-Controlled Typing To Save Time
It doesn't take an expert to say that typing on the console is an absolute pain. Individually selecting every letter is not exactly a breeze, and can make your fingers ache with monotony (if that's even possible) after a while of constant messaging and typing. However, there's an easier way to type out whatever you want.
This method involves your controller's gyroscope.
Basically, while you're typing, you can press R3 to enable motion-controlled typing. By doing so, you will be able to use your controller's motion control technology to type out anything you need to with ease. It's certainly a faster and less headache-inducing way to type, which is certainly a major draw for obvious reasons.
22 Increase The Storage Space Of Your PS4 With A Hard Drive
One of the major complaints of this current generation of console gaming is that the size of games are getting bigger and bigger, to the point where the console itself doesn't have any space left over after a while. This is especially true for people who buy games digitally, since constantly installing and uninstalling games can become a huge pain after a while.
Thankfully, Sony came up with a solution to this problem.
An update last year enabled a much-needed functionality on the PlayStation 4, which basically allowed gamers to format a hard drive for the specific purpose of increasing storage space. While this does mean that you need to shell out extra money for a hard drive, it might actually be worth it in the long run — especially if you prefer downloading digital games as opposed to purchasing physical copies.
21 Double-Tap The PS Button To Instantly Switch Between Your Recent Screens
The PlayStation 4 isn't a console meant solely for gaming — you can use it for a whole host of multimedia and socializing purposes which makes it one of the best entertainment platforms that you can get. While it's understandable that navigating the UI might be somewhat cumbersome with a DualShock controller, you can certainly make things easier on yourself.
Quickly switching between your recent screens is a great place to start.
By double-tapping the PS button, you'll be able to switch between your current and most recent screen with ease. This is a great trick that can allow you to — among other things — switch out between your game and your messages with ease, which is the dream of any gamer... obviously.
20 Preserve Your Controller Battery By Dimming The Light Bar
As is the case with any wireless controller, managing your battery can prove to be a pain in the rear at times. After all, who has the time to look at how much battery their controller has while they're in the middle of an intense boss fight? The answer to that is no one. Instead, one has to frantically search for the charger the moment that dreaded "low battery" warning comes up on the screen.
But there's an easy way to extend the lifespan of your controller's battery.
You see, the light bar of your Dualshock might look cool, but after a while, you'll inevitably stop paying attention to it. At this point, this light bar just ends up doing nothing more than draining your precious battery. To minimize the damage, simply long press the PS button on your controller and go to Sound and Devices. From there, you can tweak the brightness settings to whatever suits your fancy.
19 Alter The Volume Of Your Controller's Speaker
A new feature that Sony has included in the newest PlayStation controllers is the addition of a speaker on your controller. This helps add a whole new dynamic when it comes to your auditory experience, and might even augment immersion to a certain extent. However, the quality of these speakers aren't all that great, and prolonged listening can prove to be quite difficult after a while.
So, to combat this problem, you can adjust this speaker volume with ease.
This can be done by holding down the PS button and going to the option that reads "Volume Control (Speaker for Controller)." Change the volume according to whatever suits your fancy, and your ears will remain relatively unscathed.
18 Plug In Your Earphones To Enable A Greater Degree Of Audio Functionality
Perhaps the best feature that could be integrated into the PS4, the audio jack on the controller has proven to be one of the best additions to the eighth console generation. With the addition of this particular headphone jack, one can now finally game in peace without bothering anybody else.
In fact, the sheer amount of functionality enabled by this feature is nothing to scoff at.
Aside from rerouting all audio to your headphones, one can customize this feature according to their own preference. For instance, one can only allow chat audio to be transmitted through your headphones, which is certainly quite useful in some situations. The mic on your headphones will also allow you to talk and issue voice commands with ease.
17 Get Notified When Select Friends Come Online
Gaming alone might be fine for a while, but there comes a time when you specifically want to spend some quality time with your pals. And what better way is there to bond than over a video game? Unfortunately, couch co-op and multiplayer is quickly becoming obsolete in favor of online play, and trying to catch a hold of your friend might be somewhat cumbersome.
But don't worry — Sony has it all figured out for you.
Select the Notification option from the Settings tab, then select the option, "When Friends Go Online." Select the people from your list of friends whom you want to be notified about, and you'll never miss an opportunity to connect with your best buds — that too from the comfort of your own home.
16 Customize The Theme Of Your PS4 So That You Don't Get Bored Of The Same Old
The stock theme of the PS4 looks amazing, don't get us wrong. It's just that watching the same old home screen over and over again can become quite grating after a while. To prevent this monotony from reaching a breaking point, it's highly recommended that you freshen up the look of your PS4.
Changing themes is a great place to start.
Go to Settings, then select Themes. You might have a limited number of options at a first glance, but the PlayStation Store boasts a vast collection of themes that will suit your fancy. By doing this, you will essentially ensure that your brain doesn't melt from having to look at the same stock theme over and over again.
15 Add Free PS+ Games To Your Library Without Having To Download Them
The initial introduction of the PlayStation Plus service was met with a great ton of disapproval from longtime fans of Sony. At a glance, it seemed that Sony was just trying to increase their profits by adopting the same pay-to-play-online scheme that Microsoft had adopted with its Xbox Live program. However, the sheer number of benefits that one can enjoy by subscribing to PS+ is pretty amazing, and completely justifies the price.
One such benefit is the free game of the month that Sony provides.
Unfortunately, the hard drive space of the PS4 might not be enough for a person to download each and every game that's being offered, but you don't have to face this problem. Simply add the free game to your library, and you can essentially download it whenever you want — even after the monthly period is over!
14 Use Rest Mode To Keep Your Game Suspended Without Consuming Too Much Power
One new feature that has been introduced to the PlayStation 4 is Rest Mode, an innovative feature that will allow you to keep you PS4 suspended in what can only be described as a state of limbo until you want to resume your game. In fact, one of the major benefits of Rest Mode is nothing to scoff at.
You can keep your game paused indefinitely, without having to turn off your PS4.
The best part about this is that the power consumption in rest mode is not even remotely excessive, which basically means that you never have to turn off your game... ever. So, the next time you meet your friends, you can freely boast about the fact that you finished The Witcher 3 in one sitting.
Who even cares about the fine details anyway?
13 Rest Mode Will Allow You To Charge Your Controller With Ease
Rest Mode truly is one of the most helpful features for gamers, and Sony must be duly commended for implementing such an innovative addition that has completely revamped console gaming — and also left the Xbox One in the dust as well. The sheer number of conveniences enabled by this service is nothing short of astounding, and one such convenience needs to be singled out in particular.
You can charge your controllers in Rest Mode.
It might seem like a small thing, but the fact of the matter is that charging your controller can prove to be a huge pain. So, this small feature will ultimately pay dividends when it comes to improving your overall gaming experience.
12 Download Games And Updates In The Background With Rest Mode
As games have become more and more technologically advanced over time, so have their overall size as well. It's hard to believe that games used to be smaller than 10 gigabytes, because that's certainly not the case anymore. It's funny that this has happened just as digital sales have increased, since now people need to wait for ages until their 100 GB game is downloaded. And don't even get us started on the random updates that take their sweet time as well.
This problem has been mitigated with the advent of Rest Mode.
Now, instead of having to keep your console on until the update is downloaded, you can simply choose to place your PlayStation in Rest Mode overnight. Hopefully, by the time you wake up, the game or update that you want to download will be complete.
11 Charge Your Controllers Wherever And Whenever You Want
A major change in the new PS4 controller that we feel needs to be addressed is the new charging port, which utilizes the standard USB 2.0 port as opposed to a specific one that was sported on the previous PS3 DualShock controllers. Not only does this negate the need for batteries (which the Xbox One is guilty of), but it also enables one major convenience that will help augment your gaming experience considerably.
You can charge your controller from pretty much any power outlet.
The charger that you used for your Android phone can now be used to charge your controller, which is obviously pretty amazing for obvious reasons. While the USB 3.0 charger might be becoming more prominent nowadays, it still doesn't take away from the fact that charging these controllers is still pretty darn convenient.
10 The HDMI Device Link Feature Is Plain Awesome
Imagine integrating your PS4 with your TV to such an extent that the level of functionality you'll enable will truly be something else altogether. This can be accomplished with ease through the HDMI Device Link feature of the PS4. This feature's especially useful since the PS4 has become more than just a simple gaming console — it's a gateway to a whole new world of entertainment.
And linking this console with your TV will enable a greater degree of functionality.
By selecting the Enable HDMI Device Link option on your PS4, the sheer number of features that will be opened up to you is — quite frankly — astounding. Just to give you a taste of these features, your PS4 will turn on and off automatically with your TV, which will automatically switch over to the correct HDMI port.
9 Share Your Gameplay Footage With The Push Of A Button
The Share button on the DualShock controller truly has enabled a whole host of opportunities for social media savvy gamers. Aside from quickly taking and sharing screenshots, there are also many other ways in which this simple button can augment your gaming experience.
For starters, you can stream gameplay footage to your friends.
To accomplish this, simply press the Share button and choose Broadcast Gameplay. Once you've chosen the streaming service of your choice, you're all set. Now, the whole world can see you fail spectacularly as you try and defeat Martyr Logarious for what feels like the umpteenth time.
Git gud, scrub.
8 Create A Group Of Your Favorite Gamer Friends
Communicating with people on the PS4 can prove to be a huge pain. After all, trying to type anything with a controller is an extremely time-consuming process, and the fact of the matter is that trying to form a collective that will play a particular game together is nothing short of exhausting.
Thankfully, this problem is nullified with a nifty little feature on the PS4.
Basically, instead of having to individually communicate with all your friends, you can simply form a group to send collective messages. This can be done by going to the Friends tab in Settings and selecting Add Favorite Group. Choose the friends you want to game with, and you're all set!
7 The PS4's Quick Menu Is A Dream Come True
It seems that the major focus of the PlayStation 4 was on improving the overall level of gaming immersion to a considerable extent, and one can confidently say that they've certainly achieved this goal. This has been achieved through multiple innovations, but the focal point of this entry has to be the Quick Menu system, which promotes a seamless gaming experience.
All the important system options are available to you in the palm of your hand.
With this service, you can basically alter the settings of the PS4 on the fly, without having to leave your game. This can prove to be incredibly helpful, since any nitpick can be fixed with ease without having to abandon your game altogether.
6 Compare Your Digital Trophy Haul With Others
Trophies have always been a divisive element of modern gaming. Gamers who prefer this system think of it as another element of the game that will allow them to obtain bragging rights and also develop a sense of self-satisfaction as well. However, detractors have stated that trophies are basically nothing more than inconsequential digital achievements that only end up extending the playtime of the game. Whatever your opinion might be about this system, it's still quite fun to show and compare your trophy haul with your friends.
This is exactly what Sony wanted to promote.
If you want to compare trophies on the PlayStation 4, simply select the Trophies option and select Compare Trophies. Now, all you need to do is select one of the many friends on your list... and instantly feel bad about the fact that aren't even close to what they've managed to achieve.
5 A Wired Ethernet Connection Will Do Wonders For Your Connectivity
The age of wireless internet is upon us, that's for sure. Wires are quickly becoming obsolete, and it's only a matter of time before we end up living in an age where the entire concept of wires doesn't even exist. However, when it comes to maintaining reliable connectivity, the fact of the matter is that a wired connection is infinitely better in this regard.
And when it comes to console gaming, reliable internet is a must.
After all, how many times has slow internet impeded your multiplayer experience? How many times have you been forced to stare at your PlayStation home screen until the game that you want to play is downloaded or updated? Setting up a wired ethernet connection will do wonders for your overall gaming experience if these problems constantly plague your experience.
4 Voice Commands Provide A Greater Degree Of Functionality
Voice technology is quickly growing to become one of the most preferred modes of navigation. The strides that this technology has taken over time is nothing to scoff at, and it's only a matter of time before we start using this technology in our everyday lives.
Sony has already integrated this technology seamlessly with their home console.
If using a controller to navigate the menus seems like too much of a hassle for you, then don't worry — we've got the perfect solution for you. Simply attach a mic (which can be done through the headphone jack) and utter the word "PlayStation." While we can list out all the commands that you can say, why not let your console do that for you? Just say "All Commands," and you'll be presented with a whole host of commands.
3 Combine The PlayStation App And The Console For A Seamless Experience
Smartphones have pretty much taken over our lives, and a large number of technologies are already utilizing this technology to it's fullest extent by integrating their services with creative smartphone apps. Enabling this level of functionality is truly amazing, and you can bet that Sony is obviously not in the back seat when it comes to this technology.
There's an official PlayStation app that you can download.
By linking this app with your console, you will be able to access information that you generally had to use your console to survey. Some of this information involves checking out who's online, sending messages, and purchasing games that you can download automatically — even when you're not home.
2 Spotify And The PS4 Are A Match Made In Heaven
One of the best music streaming apps, it must be said that Spotify has grown to become a global phenomenon when it comes to shaping the music industry as we know it. The brilliant algorithms and playlists of this service pretty much guarantee that you will never have to manually discover songs again — Spotify will just do that for you.
So, obviously, connecting your console with Spotify will prove to be incredibly rewarding.
To enable this functionality, the first thing you need to make sure of is that your PlayStation and mobile should be connected to the same network. This obviously goes without saying, and once you've done this, all you need to do is open up Spotify and play a song. Tap on the Connected Devices option at the bottom, and select "PS4" to blast music from your console with ease.
1 Don't Even Show That You've Logged Into Your PlayStation Account
While it might be possible for you to hide your online status on the PS4, the fact of the matter is that there's still fleeting moment when you're still shown to be online when you log in. And sometimes, that's more than enough for one of your annoying friends to pick up on the fact that you are willfully trying to ignore him or her.
Get rid of this awkward moment once and for all.
How, you ask? It's simple — when the PS4 turns on and you're given the option to choose your profile, don't press X like you normally would. Instead, press the Options button to bring up a pop-in window. After you've done this, select "Log In With Online Status [Appear Offline]" option. Now, you'll be able to connect to the internet without notifying any of your friends.