Have you just got a PlayStation 4? If so, welcome aboard. Or maybe you’ve owned one for a while. Either way, the PS4 is a superb console that can do a whole lot more than simply play games.
We’re going to run through some ways to get the most out of your PS4. Because this is a machine packed with features, like listening to music, gaming remotely, or streaming.
1. Play Some Excellent Games
If there’s one thing the PS4 excels at, it’s playing excellent games. There’s no shortage of amazing experiences to dive into. Whether it’s swinging through the city in Marvel’s Spider-Man, uncovering lost treasure in Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, or delving into Norse mythology in God of War, there’s something for everyone.
There are plenty of amazing PS4 exclusives, but Sony’s console is also home to cross-platform titles from big developers and indie studios alike. So why not open the PlayStation Store on the PS4 and get browsing.
2. Sign Up for PlayStation Plus
PlayStation Plus is a subscription service available in three tiers: Essential, Extra, and Premium. Whatever tier you opt for, you get the ability to play multiplayer online, free monthly games, exclusive discounts, and cloud storage. It’s well worth it.
If you go for the more expensive Extra or Premium tiers, you’ll benefit from additional features like access to a large catalog of current and classic games. See our breakdown of the PlayStation Plus tiers for more information.
3. Connect With Friends
If you have friends who also own a PS4, link up with them. Select Friends from the main menu, search their username, and select the Send Friend Request button.
Having someone on your friend list will mean you can message them, share screenshots and videos, view their trophies, add them to a multiplayer party, and more. Go on, be social.
4. Increase Your Storage Capacity
The current versions of the PS4 have 1TB hard drive space, but you’ll soon find this gets full. Every game has to be installed to the console—even those you have on disc—and there are some games, like Red Dead Redemption 2, that need more than 100GB.
Alternatively, select Custom > Select Image to choose your own image, or Find in PlayStation Store to purchase new themes, many of which are animated. Some games will also come with a theme, sometimes as a pre-order bonus.
Take this to the next level by finding out how to organize every aspect of your PS4 to fit your liking.
7. Play Remotely on Another Device
You don’t have to play PS4 games on the PS4. As odd as that might sound, a service called PlayStation Remote Play lets you stream your games to an Android device, iPhone, iPad, Windows PC, or Mac. You need the free PS Remote app and a strong internet connection to get started.
With your PS4 switched on, you can start playing from any of your devices. Or if you’re midway through a gaming session on the TV, you can switch to another device and pick up where you left off. Find out more at Sony’s Remote Play website.
8. Use the PlayStation Mobile App
If you want to take your PS4 experience on the go, you need to grab the official PlayStation mobile app. The app is available free for Android and iOS. Sony used to split the functions into separate apps, but thankfully everything is now under one roof.
The app lets you remotely download games to your console, chat to friends with voice and text (much quicker than using a controller), browse your trophy collection, shop for games, and more.
9. Listen to Music
Thanks to Spotify, it’s easy to listen to music on your PS4. To begin, download the Spotify app from the PlayStation Store and link your account to the console.
The app runs in the background, meaning you can use Spotify on your PS4 while you game. Hold the PlayStation button on your controller to open a menu to control the audio, or use the Spotify app on your phone and select the console as the streaming device.
10. Track Your Trophies
What’s the point of playing all these games if you can’t brag to your friends about how good you are? Handily, trophies—the PlayStation equivalent of Xbox achievements—let you do just that. They are graded by difficulty, with the platinum trophy being the trickiest.
Select Trophies from the main menu to see all the games you have earned trophies for. Delve into each to see how rare a trophy is (how many other players have got the same trophy), see a screenshot captured automatically when you earned it, and compare your winnings against your friends.
The tips here should help you get more from your PS4 straight out of the box, but why not go further? There are plenty of accessories out there, like a headset or the PlayStation Camera, that will enhance your experience even more.