25 PS4 tips and tricks for getting the most out of your console

Get the most from your PlayStation 4

PS4 tips and tricks

That lovely parallelogram has been snug under your TV for a number of months now and you've probably discovered all kinds of tricks it can do.

But a slew of software updates since release mean you might have missed some vital points.

Despite a few E3 promises still working on being fulfilled, Sony's 8th generation console has been gifted some spectacular features so far and whether it's making the most of sharing or discovering the PlayStation app, we've gathered 25 must know tips to make the most out of your PS4 right now.

PS4 tips and tricks

1. Make headphones wireless

Well, wireless when it comes to stretching between the sofa and the screen that is. A 3.5mm jack handily positioned on the DualShock 4 means you can plug your own headphones or headset into the controller. The default setting is for chat audio only but this can be easily tweaked by holding down the PS button in game and selecting 'adjust devices' on the resulting menu. Select the 'output to headphones' option and choose 'all audio'. Voila, the digital crackling of Watch Dogs is in your ears and, if you have an inline mic you can use this for in game chat or even commentary recording for Twitch.

PS4 tips and tricks

2. Use your phone as a keyboard

Previously it was a serious slog to enter messages using the analogue sticks on PS3, with only an ugly wireless keypad peripheral available to ease the pain. Thankfully, PS4 delivers a choice of interfaces and, as well as a helpful touchpad input, allows you to use the PlayStation App as a second screen for text entry. With your phone and PS4 on the same Wi-Fi network you can pair them via the PlayStation App connection settings on the PS4. Then, with both logged in to the same PSN ID, select the second screen option, choose the keyboard icon at the top left and, as if by magic, PlayStation messaging becomes fun again.

PS4 tips and tricks

3. Pre-load your games

It's not here just yet but come Destiny time – that'll be September the 9th this year – the ability to pre-load games won't just belong to smug PC gamers. Starting with Bungie's futuristic FPS, PS4 will allow us to pre-load all games that can be pre-ordered on the PlayStation Store several days before the release date. With no more watching a loading bar on launch day this is a much needed addition that'll remove a lot of the desire to venture out on day one when games will be ready to play as soon as the clock passes midnight.

PS4 tips and tricks

4. Start remote playing

If the last entry wasn't enough of a reason to stay in bed then the remote play features of PS4 should seal the deal. Whether someone else wants the TV or you just fancy playing 8th gen games in the bath, the capability to stream to the PlayStation Vita is a slick process that just requires you to have both devices signed into the same PSN ID. You can connect directly to the PS4 or via your wireless network if you are too far away from the console itself. Make sure that 'enable turning on PS4 from network' is selected in your power save settings and you'll be able to turn on the PS4 remotely from the Vita.

PS4 tips and tricks

5. Use your Vita as an extra DualShock

If you've not shelled out for an additional controller yet and fancy some two player action on PS4 then you'll be happy to hear that your trusty Vita doubles up as an additional DualShock. Set up remote play as usual with the Vita. This will automatically turn off any connected controller and allow the handheld to control the on screen action. When you want a friend to join in, have them press the PS button on the DualShock and log in as another user or guest and you'll have co-op Lego Marvel on the go in no time.

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6. Record your skills

PS4, whether you tell it to or not, always diligently records the last 15 minutes of your gameplay just in case you perform some incredible feat and fancy showing it to the world or just want to keep it for yourself as a digital memento. To hoard a period of gaming history all you need to do is hit the share button or opt to save a video to your captures folder. This can then be uploaded directly to Facebook and thus, the world. If you actively want to record something, press the share button twice to start recording and once when you want to end the clip. Again, this can only be up to 15 minutes in length.

PS4 tips and tricks

7. Personalize the share button

The default set up of the share button means that a quick press will bring up the share menu and a longer press is needed to take a screenshot. However, an 'easy screenshots' mode is available that allows you to reverse the settings and means you'll never have to leave the action if you want to take a quick snap of the scenery/carnage. This setting can be found within the options menu of the share screen.

PS4 tips and tricks

8. Let viewers interact via livestreaming

With both Twitch and Ustream support built into the PS4, it's easy to get your gaming online for all to see. A press of the share button in-game will give you the option to stream on either platform and a helpful settings screen allows you to add footage and audio from the PlayStation Camera, display comments from viewers and change the quality of the upload depending on your network speeds. Some games even allow Twitch viewers to have a say in the action with commenters adding more horror to the procedurally generated scare-fest Daylight and deciding Lara's fate when she is wounded in Tomb Raider.

PS4 tips and tricks

9. Prepare for Project Morpheus

It's not here yet but the Oculus Rift-rivalling virtual reality headset is on its way to PS4. A little Daft Punk in its stylings, Project Morpheus impressed at its initial showing and already has games confirmed for the platform, as well as the usual tech demos. It was also recently revealed to be the reason behind the DualShock 4's distinctive colour changing light bar so expect plenty of motion input as well as traditional Dual Shock controls.

PS4 tips and tricks

10. Use the Share Factory

A big part of the recent 1.70 update was the Share Factory. A free editing app, it delivers more personalisation options for your videos with the ability to add commentary, soundtracks and effects to your footage. You can add a unique PS4 intro and outro to each video you post and it delivers a user friendly interface for editing and splicing clips together. Videos can be uploaded directly to Facebook from the PS4 or alternatively you can save them to a USB stick in order to upload to YouTube via your computer.

PS4 tips and tricks

11. Get social

Hooking up your PS4 to Facebook is a great way of importing a profile photo and ensuring easy sharing with friends without having to make much of an effort. It also means your real name can now be revealed to the world if you accept specific requests from your PSN friends. A Facebook settings page allows you to make sure that you aren't spamming friends with every single trophy pop and you can easily personalise who sees what activity. A new update also means you can post multiple images to both your Facebook and Twitter profiles. So much for not spamming your non-gamer friends…

PS4 tips and tricks

12. Charge while you sleep

While in standby mode – indicated by sleepy orange lighting – the PS4 is happy to download updates, games and, usefully, charge those ailing DualShocks. Make sure that supply power from USB ports is selected within your power savings settings and you shouldn't find yourself running out of juice after an hour's game time. Also worth keeping in mind is the new micro USB socket which means compatible phone chargers will let you charge a controller on the fly without having to stretch a cable from the console.