PS4 Tips and Tricks

Whether you upgraded from the PS3 or are switching over from the Xbox 360, here are a few tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your new PS4.

Rest Mode
Rest Mode puts the PS4 into a low power state but still allows the PS4 to charge controllers, as well as download updates, patches, and games. The 2.50 firmware update introduced Suspend/Resume, which allows players to put the PS4 into Rest Mode and not need to shut down an active gaming session.

Players can be in the middle of playing a game, put the PS4 into Rest Mode, and come back later to resume the game right where they left off. That is how it is supposed to work at least, though occasionally when you resume the game will restart back at the title screen without saving. I recommend always saving your game before putting the PS4 into Rest Mode.

PSN Cloud Storage

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As part of the Firmware 3.0 update, Sony increased the cloud storage for game saves from 1GB to 10GB. Yes, you need PS Plus, but, since it is a requirement for playing online, you probably already have that: online multiplayer, Instant Game Collection, discounts, and cloud storage makes PS Plus a no-brainer. In the settings you can select which games backup their saves to the cloud.

Those who own multiple PS4s can save their game on one PS4 and continue the game on another. Where I use this feature the most is backing up the saves of the big RPGs I play. If I lose my saved game for Call of Duty: Black Ops III I am not going to be that upset. But if I lose my Fallout 4 save, my PS4 is going out the window and I will have missed out on the second half of one of the best games of the year. Just remember to occasionally check your cloud storage as 10GB does not take long to fill up. Simply go to Settings and then to Application Saved Data Management.

PlayStation App and PlayStation Messages App

PlayStation has two apps for your smartphone that can really make life easier. The PlayStation App allows you see which friends are online, accept and send friend requests, and go to the PS Store. Nothing is worse after a long day at work then having to wait for your games to download. On the first Tuesday of every month, I put my PS4 into Rest Mode, use the app to download the PS Plus games while at work, and then come home and enjoy. Also, Sony recently spun off messaging into its own app call PlayStation Messages. This may not seem like much but it is much easier to send a message using your phone rather than the DualShock 4.

Media Player

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The Media Player app, available for free from the PlayStation Store, gives players the ability to view videos, photos, or listen to music on their PS4. This works by plugging a USB stick into your PS4 or by connecting to a home server. I doubt many people actually use this app to watch family videos or show off vacation photos to their family. However, the ability to listen to a podcast or listen to your own music while playing a game is invaluable. Whenever I am grinding in a RPG or playing match after match of Rocket League, I am always listening to something via this app.

Light Bar

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Until the majority of PS4 owners own a PlayStation VR, the light bar will not serve a purpose for most PS4 owners. In fact, many people dislike the light bar because it adds more drain to the DualShock 4. Some people have also complained that they can see the light bar reflected in their TV. In response to the criticism, PS4 firmware 1.70 update enabled people to not completely turn off, but dim the light bar. You can also go here to turn off the speaker in the controller if you wish.

There are two ways to dim the light bar. Go to Settings, then Devices, and finally Controllers. You can also hold down the Home Button and then Adjust Sound and Devices.

Share Button

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The Share button has made it easier than ever to share screenshots and stream video. Simply press the Share button to upload a video clip, save a screenshot, or start Share Play. You can also press the options button to bring up the Share Settings.

I recommend going through the Broadcast Settings before you start your first stream to make sure your microphone audio is turned on and the other settings are set up the way you want. Press the Share Button, then Options and finally Broadcast Settings.

SHAREfactory

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Just like the Media Player app, you have to go to the Store to download SHAREfactory. The SHAREfactory app allows players to easily edit their videos recorded using the Share Button. Using SHAREfactory, you can cut out sections of a video, add themes, add effects, add stickers, add text, and even record commentary with the PS4 camera and do picture-in-picture. It has never been easier to record, edit, and upload videos from a game console.

PS Nation Forums, Podcast and Site

The chances are any problems or questions you have, others have had as well. Luckily, the forums are a great place to have your questions answered. Want tips for streaming as a beginner? PS Nation has streamers. Plus if there is an issue or question that is attracting enough attention, we will write an article about it.

For example, Glenn has written an excellent article, How To Upgrade the Hard Drive in Your PS4.

I strongly suggest checking it out sooner rather than later as upgrading the hard drive is easier and less time-consuming if done early, when you haven’t got as much to re-download.

If you are not sure what accessories and games you need, check out PS Nation’s PS4 Holiday 2015 Guide. Raj covers what accessories are available for the PS4 including PS Nation’s recommended headset and steering wheel. He also lists some of 2015’s best games in each genre to ensure you do not miss out on this year’s must play games.

Finally, you can e-mail the site at [email protected] with a question or query. Glenn and Josh will do their best to answer it on the weekly podcast, which you can find here:

Written by Matt Engelbart

Matt Engelbart

I love all things video games. When I am not gaming I am watching the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals, BBQing, and reading.

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