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PS4 tips and tricks guide

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PS4 tips
PS4 tips

If you have just bought a PS4, you’ve secured access to the majority of the next decade’s most exciting games. Well done.

However, it’s a new console and we’re all just getting used to it. Sony’s going to make loads of improvements, and add plenty of new features, over the next 12 months. For now, though, we’ve had a dig into the system to find the little tweaks and improvements you can make yourself, right now.

Read on to find out all about our top PS4 tips and tricks.

How to take a screenshot
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The PS4 makes it easier than ever to take and share things like screenshots of your games in action. To take a screenshot, press the Share button for a full second or so. This should make a sub-menu pop-up that offers the option to upload a screenshot of what was just on-screen.

Perhaps even more useful, you can also send a screenshot directly to your friends through the messaging function of the PS4.

How to upload your game videos to Facebook
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Uploading your game videos is also dead easy. The PS4 automatically caches the last 15 minutes of your gaming, so everything you do is there and already captured.

Press the Share button quickly and the share menu will pop-up. This offers an option to upload a video. Select it and you can then edit from your last 15 minutes of gameplay. It’ll be broken up into clips depending on how many times you pressed the share button – which causes the PS4 to start a new clip.

You can alter the start and end of the clip to take out any boring bits, using the R2 button, and then you just need a title and a comment – if you like – before uploading to Facebook.

How to multitask – app switching

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If you have run multiple apps in a session, there’s a very easy way to switch between them with a PS4. Just press the PS button quickly twice and the PS4 will automatically switch to the last app you used.

One way we can think of making good use of this is to switch to a game walkthrough while playing something particularly tricky, or to switch to the IMDb website while watching a TV show or film.

How to download PS4 PS Plus games without a PS4
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If you’ve not yet bought a PS4 but are thinking of getting one – or are going to be away from your console for a while – there is a way to get your free PS Plus PS4 games through the browser.

Head to the Sony Entertainment store website, login to your PSN account and head to the PS Plus section. You’ll then be able to virtually purchase PS4 games without access to an actual PS4.

How to make your PS4 auto switch-off
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If you have a habit of leaving your PlayStation on all night, you can set the console to auto power-off after a certain time of not being used. It’s a good idea to use unless you’re downloading games from PSN overnight.

To set your PS4’s curfew, go to the Power Save settings menu. There are different options for gaming and video playback, and you can set the console to either power off completely or go into standby.

Use standby mode to download updates

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One of the neatest – and most modern – things about the way the PS4 operates is that you can download and install games while the system is in standby. Not only does this mean it’ll consume less power while doing these low-level tasks, it should also make the console a little bit quieter - useful if you're downloading at nighttime.

To make sure the PS4 has permission to do these things in standby, go to the Power Saving Setting menu in the main Settings menu and select the ‘functions available in standby’ option. One of the things you can select here is the PS4’s ability to connect to the internet. Make sure it’s selected and you’re good to go.

Charge your controller while in standby mode
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Just as useful as the ability to install and download games in standby - being able to charge your DualShock gamepads in standby. No longer will you have to spend half your time watching the low battery warning twinkle away.

Once again, the option to allow standby controller charging is in the Settings > Power Saving Setting > Set Functions Available in Standby Mode. USB power will be one of the options here.

It's just as well, too, as the new Dual Shock controller doesn't last as on a full charge as the PS3 one.

How to get Cloud saves
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This isn’t so much a tip as something to note – in order to get Cloud saving for your games, you’ll need to have a PS Plus account. This is the paid subscription side of PSN – the PlayStation equivalent of Xbox Live.

It costs around £40 for a year’s subscription, and other things on offer with it include free games every month and access to multiplayer PS4 gaming. You don’t need it for things like Netflix streaming, but the free games alone make it worth inve

How to keep your game saves on a USB stick

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If PS Plus doesn’t sound like an attractive option now you’ve spent all that cash on a PS4, you can backup your save games to a USB drive pretty easily. It doesn’t require a subscription, just a USB stick.

To save your game files to a USB stick, plug the thing into your PS4 and go to Settings > Application Saved Data Management > Storage. In this menu you’ll see an option for ‘Copy to USB storage device’. We’ve not heard of there being any particular issue of PS4 hard drives failing, but if there's a game you’ve been playing for dozens – or hundreds – of hours, we seriously recommend this form of backup as it only takes a minute.

Using Remote Play with your Vita
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One of the neatest features of the PS4, and one you don’t get with an Xbox One, is Remote Play. It’s been around since the PS3 days, but now any PS4 game can be played on your Vita – previously hardly anything worked.

The first step is to make sure your Vita’s firmware is up-to-date. Without the post-PS4 update, it won’t have the required Link app.

Next, you need to link together your PS4 and your Vita. Go to Settings > PS Vita Connection Settings and select Enable Remote Play. We also recommend selecting the ‘connect directly’ option, as that lets the PS4 and Vita connect over Wi-Fi Direct. This doesn’t actually rely on an internet connection.

Now click on Add Device, and go into the Link app on your Vita, and enter the four-number code the PS4 displays. Now you’re ready. From this point on, if you want to switch to your Vita you only need to head to the Link app on the Vita and it will seek out a connection.

Have more PS4 tips we’ve missed out on? Let us know in the comments.


Next, read our round-up of the best PS4 games
 

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