Now You have a brand new PS4 Console in your home,
you probably haven’t explored everything Sony’s powerhouse console has
to offer—no doubt you’ve been too busy gaming. Join us on a tour of 10
of our favorite PS4 Hack, from upgrading its internals to streaming
games to your laptop.
1) Save games to USB
If you’re upgrading your PS4's hard drive, playing on someone else’s
machine, or planning to backup your precious gaming achievements, it’s
easy enough to transfer your saved game data to a connected USB drive or
external hard drive. Importing data back the other way (on a new
machine for example) is equally straightforward.
choose Application Saved Data Management
and you get the options to move data between the local PS4, your
connected USB drive, and the PlayStation Plus online locker. You can
also transfer screenshots to a USB device by choosing Capture Gallery
from the main PS4 menu, browsing to the images and hitting Options
2) Play all of your media files
If you can get a USB stick or external drive hooked up to your PS4,
then you can play media files off it. Just make sure the drive in
question is FAT32 formatted (rather than NTFS), that your files are
stored in folders, and that they’re saved with the correct codecs. The
likes of MKV, AVI, MP4, JPEG, BMP, MP3, and AAC are all supported, Sony says
It’s not the only option for getting your media files on your Sony gaming console. The ever-wonderful Plex app
is one way of getting content from your computer to your PS4 (and it’s
free), but if you want a slightly more complex route then you can set up
a DLNA server
and use this to beam music, video and photos over to the PlayStation box.
3) Integrate a keyboard and mouse
Using a keyboard and mouse with your PS4 is as easy as plugging them
into the front of your console. Okay, you might not want to use them to
go on the rampage in GTA V,
but if you’re doing some form-filling or web browsing then it’s a lot
easier than fiddling around with the DualShock 4. Most devices will work
with no extra configuration required.
You can even use wireless Bluetooth kit if you want to lounge back on
your sofa while typing, and after just a few seconds you should be in
business (head to Devices
to pair them). Some games support mouse and keyboard controls, but most
don’t, lest you gain an unfair advantage over other online players with
4) Turn on voice commands
Thanks to Siri, Google Now
the Amazon Echo et al, we’re all much more used to barking instructions
at our electronics these days, and the PS4 doesn’t necessarily have to
be left out of the party. If you want to be able to control the console
using your voice, you need a headset with a microphone, or you can use
the microphone in the PlayStation Camera.
Go to Settings
and ensure the Operate PS4 with Voice
option is enabled on the Voice Operation Settings
menu. From the same screen you can get help with using the feature as
well as see a full list of supported commands: it lets you breeze
through menus, take screenshots, launch apps and menus, turn off the PS4
and more besides.
5) Use the PlayStation app for messaging
Sony has a couple of PlayStation apps available for Android
that let you use your mobile as a handy second screen for your console.
One of the best features of these apps is the messaging component. You
can use it to chat to fellow gamers without having to switch from
gameplay on the PS4 or even have your console switched on at all.
Some games support the use of the mobile app as a second screen, and
you can also use it as a remote control for your PS4 as well. With both
phone and console on the same network, choose Settings
, PlayStation App Connection Settings
and Add Device
on your PS4, then Connect to PS4
and Second Screen
from inside the mobile app.
6) Play games on Mac or Windows
You can finally play PlayStation 4 games remotely on a Mac or Windows machine
, if you have a strong enough wifi signal. (Sony recommends 12Mbps upload and download speeds for best results.) Head to the PS4 Remote Play page
to grab the necessary software for your machine of choice, then follow the instructions to get it set up.
On your PS4, go to Settings
, then Remote Play Connection Settings
and check the box marked Enable Remote Play
. Activate the console as your primary system via the PlayStation Network/Account Management screen
and enable remote play in rest mode (if you want) via Set Features Available in Rest Mode
under Power Save Settings
7) Install an SSD for faster load times
Fixing a solid-state drive inside your PlayStation 4 isn’t going to give it any extra processing oomph, but it can do wonders for game loading times
. It’s especially effective for those games that insist on having enormous saves (we’re looking at you, Witcher 3
). The process isn’t difficult and only takes a few minutes from start to finish.
You’ll find plenty of step-by-step guides
on the web. Our friends at Lifehacker have one of the most comprehensive guides
out there, though as we say it’s not a hugely complex process. Just
make sure you back up all of your save games, screenshots and other bits
of personal data to an external hard drive before you swap out the main
one in the system.
8) Keep your kids safe
If you want to put a limit on what your kids can and can’t do on the
PS4 then Sony has you covered. You can set up accounts for your little
ones, block games and movies rated too old for your children, restrict
access to the web browser and keep an watchful eye on their activities.
It’s pretty much like setting up separate accounts for your kids on
go to Parental Controls
then Restrict Use of PS4 Features
to get this configured in the way you want. You can’t set individual
permissions for individual accounts, which means this is a bit more
tricky to make use of if you’ve got two children of very different ages.
You can set up sub accounts from the same Parental Controls
9) Take faster screenshots
By default, pressing the Share
button on the top of
the DualShock 4 controller brings up the Display menu, but you can
change this behavior if necessary. Press Options
on the Share menu, choose Sharing and Broadcast Settings
, then pick Share Button Control Type
. Here you can change the way the Share button works when you briefly tap it.
Choose Easy Screenshots
and a quick press (rather than a long press) of the Share
button takes a screenshot and lets you stay focused on your gaming.
You’ll then need to press and hold the button to bring up the Display
menu; as before, pressing the Share
button twice is used to start or stop video recording. You can swap back to the defaults at any time.
10) Dim your DualShock 4
You can’t turn the light on the back of the DualShock 4 controller
completely off (it’s required to spot you on the PlayStation Camera for
one thing). But you can dim it down a little, if it’s ruining your
carefully lit gaming experience. Hold down the PlayStation
button on the controller and select Adjust Sound and Devices
when the menu appears.
Pick Brightness of DualShock 4 Light Bar
from the list of options on screen and you get three more settings to choose from: Bright (Standard)
Make your choice and the DualShock 4 light adjusts instantly.
Apparently the light emitted by the controller is also going to be
utilized by Sony’s upcoming virtual reality headset