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

Get the most from your PlayStation 4

PS4 tips and tricks

13. Use voice commands

Not just a feature of the Xbox One's Kinect, PS4 also responds to voice commands. Prefacing each statement with "PlayStation" you can tell the PS4 to take screenshots, play games (by saying the game name and then "start"), go back to the home screen, select applications and power off. Excellent recognition software even means it's possible to say different versions of a game name ie. "Black Flag" or "Assassin's Creed" and the PS4 will respond accordingly. There is a mic built into the optional PlayStation Camera but this will work equally well with the headset microphone. Voice commands can also be used in game such as Thief, which allows you to sneakily whistle to distract guards.

PS4 tips and tricks

14. Multitask

It's not full multitasking but if you want to flick between applications on the PS4, a double tap of the PS button will quickly switch between the two most recent apps. This means if you are checking the trophies required for an elusive platinum you can switch easily between the game and the trophy application without having to go to the home screen and trawl along to the desired section. As a side note, if you press the home button once mid game, the game will be paused and you are free to browse to other settings without the game closing.

PS4 tips and tricks

15. Make the most of PS Plus

PS Plus has always been a great source of free games and PSN discounts for its £39.99 a year price tag but as of June 2014 the service is getting better for PS4 users with two guaranteed games every month. New games appear on the first Wednesday of the month (Tuesday in NA) and will be free until the first Wednesday of the following month so make sure you get downloading during that time. Even clicking buy and not downloading immediately will make sure the game is yours as long as your subscription lasts.

PS4 tips and tricks

16. Download games remotely

Not just a pretty keyboard accessory, your phone can also set your PS4 to download new games while you are out and about. Using the store on the PlayStation App you can browse for new content and if your PS4 is on standby with its power save settings with 'connect to the internet' selected then you can set games downloading immediately after purchase so they are ready for you arriving home.

PS4 tips and tricks

17. Do touch

Initially a questionable addition to the DualShock 4, the touch pad is a surprisingly useful interface now that developers have started to embrace more interesting uses. First party games such as Killzone Shadow Fall use the pad for control of the OWL Drone while Infamous Second Son utilises it as a finger print scanner. Plus, if you're looking for some touch controlled air hockey – exactly what your eighth gen console was made for - look no further than the ridiculously addictive version within the free AR PlayRoom application. You can also flick robots from your controller in a considerably more surreal version of your living room.

PS4 tips and tricks

18. Turn down the light bar

Unavailable as a feature at launch but implemented at the request of the community after TV reflection issues and questions about battery life, you can now change the brightness of the light bar on the DualShock 4 between three settings. While it can't be turned off entirely due to its use by the PlayStation Camera for recognition, if you hold the PS button and select 'adjust devices' you'll find the menu to let you select between bright, medium and dim settings.

PS4 tips and tricks

19. Get moving

The PlayStation Move wand and its accompanying motion controller are both compatible with PS4 and especially exciting for use with the unique Johann Sebastian Joust in new release Sportsfriends. However, Move on PS4 is not compatible with the PlayStation Eye PS3 camera and now uses the optional PlayStation Camera instead. Make sure the controller is calibrated properly before each use to minimise any changes you need to make once the game has loaded up.

PS4 tips and tricks

20. Don't be camera shy

It might be an optional extra but investing in the Wall-E alike PlayStation Camera brings the PS4 a number of exciting extra features as well as the standard movement control for games such as Just Dance. You can teach the PS4 your facial features from various angles and it will always log you in automatically if you are holding the controller. Ideal, as even if you have a number of registered users sitting on the sofa together, the PS4 will cleverly pair the light bar up with the face above the DualShock. The PlayStation Camera is also excellent for adding both audio and video during livestreams.

PS4 tips and tricks

21. Admire your trophy cabinet

If your desire for shiny treasures resembles Lara Croft's then the trophy section on PS4 is a very attractive glistening cabinet of precious metals. Not just allowing you to see your own achievements, PS4 lets you to see the rarity of each individual trophy on a worldwide scale. Ranging from common to ultra-rare, you can see the percentage of other players who have unlocked a particular achievement. Comparing with friends is also now within the app itself, so you can measure up to your PSN rivals with a press of a button.

PS4 tips and tricks

22. Visit the library

Storing all your purchased apps and games, the Library section is where you can view everything linked to your PSN ID without the hassle of having to visit the store and check your downloads. All your DLC is here too and if you are looking for other related items, then you'll find them here as well as your recent activity and your trophy progress in game. It's an ideal place to find everything in one location.

PS4 tips and tricks

23. Set up a passcode

If you're looking for an extra layer of security that isn't just your face then you can easily set up a passcode in your login settings. Parental control settings also utilises a passcode procedure where you can restrict games, applications and Blu-Rays that have age ratings, disable the internet browser and block user generated video and pictures. You can also restrict the content shown in the PlayStation Store and set store spending limits to make sure no one's buying what they shouldn't.

PS4 tips and tricks

24. Keep up to date

PS4's equivalent of your Facebook wall but without the 'most recent' problem, the activity feed shows off what your PSN friends have been up to. Initially just showing everyone playing the exact same four games on launch, it's now much more interesting and gives you information on what trophies have been earned, what new releases are being played and any shared video content from your online friends.

PS4 tips and tricks

25. Watch PlayStation Live

Scrolling along to the end of your line of applications, you'll find Live from PlayStation where you can watch other PS4 users on both Twitch and UStream. A search function means you can hunt for specific games and a handy interactive section means you can choose to opt into participate rather than just view the action from afar. Plus, if you have the particular game that you are watching someone stream there's a link to start the game yourself if you feel like you could be doing a better job.

  • Check out our PS4 review