Setting Up Your Playstation 4

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Whether you’ve been a PS4 owner since launch or only just picked one up, there are lots of settings and hidden features you may not be aware of that can seriously improve your gaming experience. We’ve answered the most common question asked about the PlayStation 4 in this handy guide, to ensure you get the most out of your Sony console.

How do I put PS4 into Rest Mode?

First, go to Settings > Power Saving Settings > Set Features Available in Rest Mode and select the options you want to use. Supply Power to USB Ports will allow you to keep charging any controllers that are plugged in after the console is turned off, while Stay Connected to the Internet will allow your PS4 to download update files and content so your games are ready to play when you return, and upload your saved data to online storage. If you choose Keep Application Suspended, you can jump straight back into your game or app and continue from where you left off.

Once you have at least one of those options selected, either press the power button on the PS4, select Power on the home screen, or hold the PS button on the controller and select Power on the Quick Menu to enter Rest Mode. You’ll know it’s activated as the light bar (original model) or power button (Slim/Pro models) will turn orange.

How do I make PS4 controller charge last longer?

By going through Settings > Devices > Controllers, you can reduce the Brightness of DUALSHOCK 4 Light Bar from Bright (Standard) to Medium or Dim, which may help to prolong the charge. You can also visit Settings > Power Saving Settings > Set Time Until Controllers Turn Off and select your preferred time, so if you’re watching a show or away from your PS4 while it’s turned on then your controller will automatically power down while idle to stop the battery draining.

How do I use headphones / headsets with PS4?

For most headphones and headsets, you can simply plug them into the 3.5mm jack socket on the controller. If you want all of the sound, rather than just chat, to go to the headphones / headset then hold down the PS button to access the Quick Menu and choose Sound/Devices > Output to Headphones > All Audio.

If your headset works on optical audio then connect it to the Digital Out (Optical) port on the back of the PS4 and you’ll be sorted. However, the PS4 Slim console does not feature a Digital Out (Optical) port, so you’ll need to use either an adapter designed for your particular headset or a general audio converter adapter.

How do I download PS4 games?

To download games, select the PlayStation Store icon to the left of the home screen then either browse or search for the titles you’re interested in. There are plenty of demos and other free downloads to try out, but if you want to purchase any games then you’ll need to either register a bank card on your account or apply store credit by redeeming a code. If you’ve purchased an item but not downloaded it to your PS4, you can access it by going to the Library on your home screen then choosing Purchased on the left hand menu.

If your PS4 is in Rest Mode (see above) then you can send downloads to it remotely. Use the PlayStation Store link on the PlayStation app or visit the PlayStation Store on a computer then click on your account and choose the Download List option. This will show all the items available on your account, with the newest first, then simply hit Download to your PS4 to set them downloading on your console, ready for when you return to it.

What do “Cross-Buy”, “Cross-Save”, and “Cross-Play” mean?

These are all terms you could potentially see against games on the PlayStation Store. “Cross-Buy” means if you purchase the game you can access it on multiple platforms, such as PS4, PS3 and PS Vita. “Cross-Save” means you can transfer your saved game progress between the different platforms, and “Cross-Play” means players on different platforms can interact together.

How do I put PS4 into Safe Mode?

To enter Safe Mode, you need to turn off the PS4 completely (not in Rest Mode) then press and hold the power button for around 7 seconds until you hear a second beep. Plug in a controller with the USB cable to access the Safe Mode menu, where you have a number of options including restoring default settings, rebuilding the database, and initialising the PS4. Note that some of these options can have a serious impact on your console, including complete loss of data, so make sure you know what you are doing and have adequate back ups before using Safe Mode.

How do I update PS4 Firmware?

You should automatically receive a notification on your PS4 when a new Firmware update is available, at which point you can either follow the link from that notification or go to Settings > System Software Update to set the process in motion. For important updates, you won’t be able to go online until you’ve completed the update, so it’s best to do it as soon as possible.

If you need to update the Firmware but can’t connect your PS4 to the internet for whatever reason, then you can download it onto a USB drive and install that way instead. Visit the PS4 System Software Update site then scroll down to Update using a computer and follow the process listed there.

How do I check how much space is available on PS4 hard drive?

Go through Settings > System Storage Management for a summary of what is stored on your PS4 hard drive and how much free space is available. If you’re running short of space then you can delete some items via this screen, by picking Applications, Capture Gallery, Saved Data, or Themes, then hitting Options and selecting Delete to choose which content to get rid of. Remember that if you delete any games or apps, you can re-download them at any point from Library > Purchased to recover them.

How do I replace PS4 hard drive?

If you’re using the original PS4 hard drive then you’ve only got 500GB of space to play with, or maybe 1TB if you have a newer model. Either way, if you have a lot of games then it’s not going to take long to fill it completely, but the good news is you can easily replace the PS4 hard drive with a larger one. The replacement hard drive needs to be a 2.5inch SATA II drive running at least 5,400RPM and no more than 9.5mm thick – for suggested options, check out our best hard drives for PS4.

With the new drive in hand, you just need a small crosshead screwdriver to carry out the replacement, and as you aren’t opening up your console completely it won’t invalidate your warranty. For the full process, follow our how to upgrade PS4 hard drive guide for the original model console, or how to replace and upgrade your PS4 Pro hard drive for the Slim and Pro models.

Can I use an external hard drive with PS4?

As long as your PS4 is running firmware update 4.50 or later, you can now use an external hard drive to store your games and applications. Simply connect your drive to the PS4, head to Settings > Devices > USB Storage Devices and select it, then choose the Format as Extended Storage option to get it prepped. Once ready, you can install any download games as well as disc based installs onto your external hard drive, and also use this to transfer games between PS4s.