PS5 vertical or horizontal placement: How to change orientations

(Image credit: Sony)

Should you place your PS5 vertical or horizontal? Your console orientation, whether you place it upright or on its side, is something that's worth keeping in mind, as the PlayStation 5 is a chonky console and having the freedom to place it at an angle of your choice is useful for trying to get it to fit into your gaming setup.

If you do want to switch positions in either direction, angling your PS5 horizontal or vertical, we'll lay out how you do it here. No matter which you choose, you'll need both the stand/base that should be included in the box with the console (a flat, circular black plastic stand with a small rotating arm), as well as the special screw that comes with the base (and is sometimes stored inside it). You'll also want a matching screwdriver or flat coin to turn the screw accordingly.

PS5 vertical damage, design flaws and liquid metal explained


(Image credit: Future)

Recent concerns that the vertical positioning of the PS5 can result in damage owing to a design flaw have some weight to them. While we cannot confirm ourselves, this report from cites multiple experts who claim that vertical positioning can sometimes cause the liquid metal inside the PlayStation 5 to become displaced and spill out of its dedicated container.

Because this liquid metal is used as part of the cooling system, when it's displaced the console can overheat and the liquid metal can even get into sections of the PS5 it shouldn't be in - and we all know that electronics and liquid don't mix well. The effects of this issue range from noisier fans, as the console has to cool itself more than normal, to full-on short-circuits and shutdowns as the liquid damages the motherboard and renders the PS5 unusable - not good.

This is reportedly less of a concern when the console is placed horizontally, as the storage for the liquid metal is built in such a way that even if the seal is breached, it's less likely for the liquid to spill out (much in the same way that a bowl placed upright won't have anything fall out of it). That's not to say that it can't happen, but the issue appears to be far more prominent and common for those who keep their PS5s vertical in the long-term.

For that reason, we heavily suggest that those with PS5s keep them horizontal for the time being as a precaution where possible. We may see more details in the future concerning the veracity of these claims and possible solutions, but for now we advise erring on the side of caution.

How set up a PS5 horizontal position


(Image credit: Sony)

As you've probably noticed, the design of the PS5 has moved away from the straight lines of previous consoles, and that means there isn't actually a flat surface to place the PS5 horizontal on – this is true for both models, though it's more obvious with the prominent disc drive than for the digital version. Either way, you'll need to attach the supplied base before using your PS5 in the horizontal position.

First, when looking straight upwards along the slope of the base, check that the hooks are roughly in the 10 o'clock position – this should be the default position it comes out of the box, but if not you can rotate the hooks until they click into place. Next, look for the row of PlayStation symbols on the lower rear panel, and align the hooks so that they connect at either end of the row, then firmly press in the base. You can now position the PS5 horizontally, but bear in mind that the base is not solidly attached in this position, so if you try to drag your console and the non-slip pads grip then the base could slide off.

How to set up a PS5 vertical position


(Image credit: Sony)

We heavily suggest reading the following section on vertical damage before turning your PS5 vertical.

Although there is a flat surface on the side/bottom of the console, it's narrow and liable to topple over, so to place the PS5 vertical you'll again need to attach the supplied base. When looking straight upwards along the slope of the base, check that the hooks are aligned in the 12 o'clock position – if not then rotate the hooks until they click into place there.

Flip the base over, and you'll see a panel has opened to reveal a screw, along with a small recess to hold the screw hole cap. Remove the screw hole cap from the side/bottom of the console, place it in the base recess, then remove the screw. Attach the base to the console, then pass the screw through the central hole and secure it in place – the screw has been designed to be tightened with either a blade/flat head screwdriver, or a coin or similarly shaped item. Once the base is secured, you can safely position your PS5 vertically.

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Iain Wilson
Guides Editor

Iain originally joined Future in 2012 to write guides for CVG, PSM3, and Xbox World, before moving on to join GamesRadar in 2013 as Guides Editor. His words have also appeared in OPM, OXM, PC Gamer, GamesMaster, and SFX. He is better known to many as ‘Mr Trophy’, due to his slightly unhealthy obsession with amassing intangible PlayStation silverware, and he now has over 500 Platinum pots weighing down the shelves of his virtual award cabinet. He does not care for Xbox Achievements.

With contributions from