As a PS4 owner, I’m sure you wondered just what else can my console do other than play games?
I’ve been curious about this myself so I researched the internet to find out exactly what 30 hidden cool, tips and tricks are living inside the PS4 just waiting to be found out!
1. Your PS4 has facial Recognition!
The PlayStation Camera that comes with Playstation VR(buy a VR bundle from Amazon here) actually allows you to log in to your PS4 without using a controller! Futuristic right?
Personally I would rather press the PS button on my Dualshock 4 but it’s cool to see the camera hardware saves a persons facial data with facial recognition being fully implemented for your PS4.
Now I would only really use it if your PS4 is in a family household and you would like facial recognition to be able to unlock specific logins but other than that it is a cool novelty rather than a useful feature.
Check out this tutorial on YouTube on how to set up facial recognition for your PS4 for yourself. But you can get there from Settings > Login Settings > Enable Face Recognition
2. You can remap your PS4 controller’s button layout!
Now if you ever wanted to change your Dualshock buttons configuration you can! This is found under accessibility but you can only change one user’s controller profile at a time and it will affect every game for that user.
Now, remember if your game says “square” to do a specific action and you changed “square” to “triangle” you will need to remember how the button layout was changed. so take note!
I personally wouldn’t change the button layout myself but maybe if your an Xbox user it would make sense. Check out the tutorial play on how to change your PS4 controller’s button layout
3. Speed Up Your Typing With Motion Controls (Or Use Your SmartPhone!
We all know how annoying it is to type out emails and passwords on a PS4 but whenever the keyboard appears if you press down on the right control stick you turn on motion control allowing you to type with motion controls, kinda like the Switch/Wii.
Or even faster download the Playstation App which you can access for both iPhone & Android. Simply log in to your PlayStation account and go to Settings > PlayStation App Connection Settings on your PS4. Follow the steps and you can start typing with your phone, see what friends are online and many other cool features.
Check out this video on how to set up a smartphone/tablet chat to make it easier.
4.Stream PS4 Games Straight To Your Mac/PC!
Have you ever been in that situation when you really want to play your favourite game but can’t as your TV is not available? This is a thing of the past as due to the 3.5 update you can stream PS4 games straight to your PC/Mac!
Simply Install Remote Play software and connect your PS4 controller to your PC/Mac with a USB cable and ensure both your computer and PS4 are using the same Wi-Fi. Really it’s a lot easier than you think and assuming you have a solid internet connection you should be playing in no time!
This opens up playing God Of War on the toilet if your into that sort of thing! Even if your not, check out the video tutorial on how to stream games on your PS4 down below.
5. Play Every PS4 Game On A Switch!
Continuing with streaming No, I’m not crazy you can actually play every PS4 game from Death Stranding to God Of War on your switch!
You first need to hack your Switch to access android and not have the latest 8.0 firmware installed, and then put your Switch into recovery mode. Seeing the Hideo Kojima 2019 game Death Stranding played on the Switch is really a sight to behold!
You can even play any PS4 game on the Switch whilst using an Xbox One controller! A sort of weird but amazing Triforce of all the big gaming companies.
It’s a shame you can’t do these exploits on a vanilla console but Nintendo has been working with Xbox recently so an Xbox handheld on a Switch like a device, isn’t out of the question and really it would be so cool but I don’t expect a Nintendo Playstation crossover ever happening.
Check out this tutorial by the fantastic gaming Youtuber Kevin Kenson to get started
6. Your PS4 Can Save Your Progress In The Cloud
Now imagine you have 70+ hours on the Witcher 3 and your PS4/hardrive becomes corrupted! Oh, the agony! Make sure this doesn’t happen to you and use cloud saves so your save progress is safely backed up into the cloud.
Simply go to Settings > Application Saved Data Management to ensure your data is uploaded to the cloud, you should back up your saves to a USB drive just in case which unlike Nintendo with the Switch Sony allows you to do.
7.When Stuck Use SharePlay!
This feature is best explained by Sony, but it allows any friend to watch you play a game and take control even if they don’t have the game and they can even engage in local multiplayer!
This is a unique feature to Sony, use it whenever your friend wants to try out a game or you’re stuck in a hard boss fight or puzzle. Now remember both you and your friend need to have active Playstation + accounts for share play to work.
All you need to do to use share play is whilst playing a game press the Share button> Start Share Play. A connection test will start then simply choose a friend that you want to share your game with. Simple
8. You Can Find Out Secret Trophies!
If your anything like me you get great satisfaction from achieving trophies in your games, but did you know you can find out what hidden achievements are?
Playstation 4.0 update allows you to simply press square to “show hidden information” whenever your at a games trophy list to reveal the name and description! This cool feature will save you hours upon hours in trophy hunting.
A simple search for the trophies name on Youtube and you will find many tutorials helping you collect the trophy, so happy hunting!
9. You can Remote play PS4 games on a PS Vita!
The successor to the PSP the PS Vita didn’t do too well commercially due to poor third party support but it was actually a good system and had a lot of excellent features, one of these is the ability to remote play any PS4 game straight to your PS Vita!
You can stop a TV session and immediately starting playing on your Vita without losing your data, and even continue your party chat and messages across both platforms.
Check out this handy tutorial on how to set up remote play and dust our your Vita and get started! Or buy a Vita straight fro Amazon here
10.Jam To Spotify As You Enjoy Your Favourite Games!
Unlike Nintendo, Microsoft & Sony see the potential for gaming consoles to be fully realised home entertainment systems. You Can use your Playstation to listen to your favourite Spotify playlists via linking up your Spotify account with your PSN whilst enjoying your favourite games.
You still need a phone to select a song but the music will be played through your TV! This is useful if you don’t have a smart TV or want an easy way to play music through your Television whilst enjoying your favourite games.
Check out this easy tutorial on how to set it up
11. Have Applications Running And Switch Through Them Easily!
Just like a PC, your PS4 can run multiple applications at the same time. If you’re stuck on a game you can open up Youtube and check for a walkthrough whilst your game is running, you do not need to close either application.
Unfortunately, you cannot play two games at the same time but if you double press the PS button on your controller you will quickly shift from the game or media application you’re running to the last screen you were viewing in the PlayStations Menus.
So if you’re playing a game and then quickly view your friend messages, simply double-tap the PS button to get back to your game quickly and easily!
12. Easily Manage Your Friends List & Appear Offline!
Like me, I’m sure you have a regular group of buddies that you regularly play games and talk in a party with, but did you know you can simplify the annoying process of adding friends to a party?
Simply go to Friends > Add Favorite Group and select your best PSN amigos. Now, whenever you next create a party you will send an invite to your group of favourite friends instead of individual requests saving you time.
If you chat often download the PS Messages app for Android or iPhone which is an instant messenger just for PS4. This is useful if you only know certain friends from online and don’t have their social media information.
Unlike Xbox, you don’t get a notification when friends are online normally so go to Settings > Notifications > Notifications When Friends Go Online to never miss when your PSN buddies login.
However, what if you want to play your PS4 but are feeling antisocial or just want to play a single-player game? You can easily set your online status to appear offline so no one can bother you with pesky party invites. Simply go to Options on your login screen and appear offline. If you want further privacy settings to go to Settings > Account > Privacy Settings to control who sees your public information and gaming activity.
13. Maximise Your Playstation 4 Dualshock 4 Battery!
The Dualshock 4 is a fantastic controller with many cool features like the light bar and motion controls. Although the battery life is honestly pathetic lasting around 8 hours when brand new and this only decreases with time. The Nintendo Switch Pro controller lasts 40 hours in comparison.
Although there are ways to extend it, hold down the PS button and go to “sound/devices” and do the following changes. Turn the volume down to zero, change the light bar to dim, and make the controller turn off “after 10 minutes”.
These changes will make a big difference to your battery life but perhaps your controller is faulty check out my video here explaining the steps to troubleshoot your controller. Or buy an external power bank(get one from Amazon here ) so you can charge your controller from anywhere.
14. Easily Share Videos/ Screenshots With Your Friends & Social Media!
One cool feature the PS4 has over the Xbox One is it’s share button, this allows you to share screenshots and video of your gameplay easily on Facebook or Twitch. Although you can make the process even easier.
Simply press the share button and navigate to “Sharing and Broadcast Settings > Share button control type“ and select “easy screenshots” to take a screenshot from only one press of the share button. This makes screenshots way easier as there is no awkward menu to navigate making screenshots instant.
15. Use Your PS4 Like A Remote To Turn On Your TV!
Similar to the Nintendo Switch your Dualshock 4 can act like a remote to turn on your TV! Very handy if you’ve lost your remote to the couch monster.
Assuming your TV has the feature navigate to Settings > System > Enable HDMI Device Link and it should work. Now the setting will usually have “link” in the name but it will vary with your television. Check out this list to find out what your television calls the HDMI device link feature.
16. You Can Play Any PS4 Game On Your Smartphone/Tablet!
Sorry, Google Stadia you’re late as amazingly you can play any PS4 game on your smartphone/tablet without jailbreaking your device! Simply download remote play(official PlayStation website) on IOS/Android so your girlfriend can watch in peace Netflix whilst you continue enjoying God Of War. Everyone’s happy!
Now you will need a solid Wi-Fi connection as there can be some notable input lag, but the good news you can use your Dualshock 4 controller with any android/IOS device! Simply set up your Bluetooth and you’re good to go.
Check out this handy video on how to set it up, it really isn’t that difficult
17. Your PS4 Has A Zoom Feature!
Now if your eyesight is bad or you’ve misplaced your glasses you actually zoom in with your PS4! Simply navigate to Settings > Accessibility > Zoom and activate it.
Now, whenever you want to use the feature from “square + PS” to zoom the screen at any time you wish.
18. You Can Organise Player Events!
Ever wanted to play Fortnite or Call Of Duty at a specific time with your buddies? Many you’re busy during the week and only can play at certain times and dates. Luckily PlayStation has a built-in feature to help you do exactly this,
In the top menu go to events which has a calendar icon, you can see upcoming special game tournaments like fighting tournaments for Tekken and other seasonal events. Although better still you can create your own.
Simply navigate to create an event and select it, you can name the event set a date, time, duration time and how many players you want and then send an invitation to whoever you want to join the event. It’s an excellent way to mobilise a group of players to play large multiplayer games like Battlefield or organise a cool Tekken 7 tournaments to see who’s the best fighter or host players for your Livestream!
Check out this handy tutorial on how to set it up.
19. Your PS4 Can Become A Gaming PC!
Now basically every single modern device can act as an emulator for SNES/DS games etc, doing the same for your PS4 is definitely possible but it takes a lot of effort as your console needs to be jailbroken which voids the warranty.
You can do this via Linux distro which will come with custom Linux drivers, emulators and even Steam! Now follow the video below for a guide on how to achieve this, it is reasonably technical but it’s nice to have the option.
20.Download Games/Updates Away From Home!
Now I’ve mentioned the PlayStation App before but it’s a must to get all the functionality from your PS4.
We all know how annoying it can be to come home from a long hard day of work/school ready, looking forward to playing your favourite game only to be slapped in the face with a massive patch that could take hours to download 🙁
Fortunately, the PlayStation App(download here) allows your downloads to be issued remotely! The app will communicate with your PS4 ensuring you never wait for a download again! Check out the video below on how to do it.
21. Protect Your Children By Using Parental Controls
If you’re a parent I know you want to monitor your kid’s gaming habits as playing 6 hours a day is not good for anyone! Luckily the PlayStation 4 has a wide variety of parental control methods with “playtime” being the standout.
You can easily see how long your children have played each game, and restrict or give playtime depending on how much play allowance you want your child to have. Give them more if they get good grades at school, reduce playtime if they misbehave/get bad grades.
Check out this video on how to do so, but I highly recommend you restrict your child smartphone access ahead of their gaming as excessive smartphone usage is PROVEN to be very bad for children’s development.
22.Increase Your PS4’s Resolution
The PS4 Pro brings 4K upscaling and a frame rate boost to certain games like God OF War & Horizon Zero Dawn, although if you only had a 1080p screen little improvement would be seen.
But, with the 5.5 updates to the PS4s firmware, Sony introduced a “super-sampling option” which you can find under the Video Output Settings. Once enabled you will see a solid increase in performance with a 1080p monitor with more recent games.
Although I still wouldn’t buy a PS4 Pro if I didn’t have a 4K TV as most of what your paying for is the 4K video output and improved framerates. Check out this video for a more detailed analysis of super sampling mode
23. Enjoy Homebrew Games
Homebrew refers to unofficial games produced by non-professional developers that are not officially licensed by the console developer. The Atari 2006 way back in 1977 was when Homebrew first started getting popular.
Companies sometimes release a development kit to help would-be developers but this usually isn’t the case. The console needs to be jailbroken and in 2017 The PS4 was, allowing you to play many different homebrew titles and even play PS1 & PS2 games and run steam on your PS4
Check out this handy tutorial on how to jailbreak your PS4
24.Improve Your PS4’s Performance By Rebuilding The Database
Like a computer, your PS4’s performance will slow down over time. If you notice performance issues or your menu behaving sluggish or your frame rates stuttering during gameplay or cutscenes then maybe it’s time to rebuild your database.
You should do this every couple of months to maximise the performance of your console and it’s done by accessing your consoles “safe mode”. Check this easy tutorial on how to improve your PS4s performance and make it run smoothly again.
25. You Can Use A Xbox Controller!
Whilst I personally like the Dualshock 4 the issue a lot of people have with is it’s quite small and can be uncomfortable for longer gaming session, the Xbox controller is considered a lot more comfortable with way better battery life. However, you can actually play your PS4 using a Keyboard or an Xbox controller!
This is done via a Gam3Gear gaming adapter (best price from Amazon here) and it’s compatible with almost any controller & across multiple platforms and PC. It also includes moded controllers that don’t void your warranty and game mods from series such as Battlefield and Halo and much more.
Simply plug the hardware into your PS4 and everything should be ready to go, you might actually save money in the long run as you will only need one controller across multiple systems including PS4, Xbox One and PC as controllers can be quite expensive.
Check out this guide on how to get started.
26. You Can Customise The Quick Menu
Whilst the PS4 quick menu has dramatically changed throughout its lifecycle, you can actually click “customise” to completely change the order of the menu to suit your own unique needs. Customise as you see fit.
27. You Can Upgrade Your PS4’s Hardrive!
Now your PS4 will either have a 500GB/1TB hard drive and if your anything like me you must have deleted countless games and other files just so you could play other games. This pains me 🙁 but it doesn’t have to be this way for you!
Like a PC you can install a new 2TB hard drive that only costs around $66(from Amazon here). This will save you from the pain of constantly deleting your games and hard-earned save file progress.
You might think “oh no installing a hard drive is too difficult for me”! but really it isn’t that hard and you can find an easy step by step tutorial that walks you through the progress down below.
28. Your PS4 Can Do Voice Commands Like Alexa!
If you have the PlayStation camera or have a microphone connected to your PS4 you can issue numerous commands to your PS4, from putting your PS4 to rest mode to playing a specific game.
Cool right? Simply say “PlayStation” followed by any command once everything is set up. Watch the video below on how to set it up and a demonstration of the cool commands you can do!
29. You Can Completly Erase Your PS4’s Data
Now if you want to upgrade to a PS4 Pro or soon enough a PS5 you can “initialise” your PS4 under settings>Initalise to erase all private data from your PS4. Make sure you do a backup using an external hard drive(you can find the best one for PS4 on my page here) so you still have your data.
You want to initialise your PS4 whenever you’re selling it to protect all your private information, “quick” is the fastest option but your data can still be retrieved whilst “full” will completely remove every bit of your data and is second best to getting a hammer and completely destroying your hard drive(well if we’re selling we don’t want that now do we?)
Check out this handy guide in case you get stuck
30. You Can Use Bluetooth Headphones For Your PS4
The Dualshock 4 includes a headphone jack so you can easily use headphones to prevent your gaming session from annoying your roommates/girlfriend or parents.
However, if you don’t like wires you can still use your favourite set of Bluetooth headphones even though the PS4 does not normally support it. This is done via purchasing a Bluetooth dongle that will also work for a variety of different devices and the Nintendo Switch. (Get the best price on Amazon here)
Check out this video of the same transmitter/dongle for a guide on how to set it up.