The PS5 has been out for a while, but that doesn't mean that everybody has got their hands on one! With stock still limited and consoles always being expensive, it's worth explaining some of the more interesting tricks that the PS5 is capable of, with little features and useful qualities to help players have more fun, faster. Even beyond the PS5 launch games, haptic feeback and 3D audio, there's a lot of reasons to recommend the PS5, with fun, less obvious details that make gaming as painless as possible.
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In fact, some of these PS5 features may be completely unheard of to you, but they're absolutely worth knowing about if you want to make the most out of the hardware, especially before you get stuck into all of those upcoming PS5 games releasing at the end of this year. Here, we've listed 10 PS5 tips that you probably didn't know about, and why you should try them out as soon as you get it set up.
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Detach the stand, or swap it around
Unlike the Xbox Series X, the PS5's positioning stand is actually detachable, and for good reason. While your boxed console will come with the stand fixed at the bottom for positioning upright, that set-up may actually be too tall for your home entertainment feng shui, especially given how big the PS5 is.
With that in mind, you can switch the stand to the PS5's base panel instead, allowing you to position it horizontally. All you need is a screwdriver (or just a thin-enough coin), a delicate pair of hands, and five minutes of patience. The upright mode requires you to screw in the stand, though the sideways mode just clips in without needing the screw. The PS5 is ginormous either way, but now there's some manoeuvrability about how you position and where.
Make use of your old DualShock 4s
While PlayStation had originally stated that the PS4's DualShock 4 controllers wouldn't be forward compatible with PS5, you can use them when playing backwards-compatible PS4 games on the next-gen hardware.
This means that you shouldn't throw out your DualShock 4s just yet, especially if you can't afford a second DualSense controller right now, and find yourself looking for a good couch co-op game in the back catalogue to play with the family. Simply delve back into your PS4 library, hand DualShock 4s around, and your evenings are sorted.
Use Game Boost to auto-enhance PS4 games
Similar to the Xbox Series X's HDR machine learning tech, the PS5 is capable of automatically remastering backwards compatible PS4 games without any developer input, via something that Sony is calling Game Boost.
Game Boost is active automatically on the PS5 and does not need to be turned on, enhancing certain select PS4 games with better loading times, improved frame rates and resolutions. Just make sure you have the latest updates for both your PS5 and the game in question! Game Boost is a great excuse to replay your old favourites with a facelift, and a perfect opportunity to keep you occupied during those annual gaming summer droughts.
Save storage by streaming your backwards compatible titles
Speaking of PS5 backward compatibility, there are a number of ways to bring your PS4 games onto your PS5's hard drive, the easiest being simply accessing your digital library from the main menu and downloading them directly from the PSN Store.
If you're tight on memory, however, PlayStation's Remote Play feature allows you to stream PS4 games onto your PS5 without taking up a single bit of data. You'll need to have your PS4 running on the same wi-fi network, of course, but otherwise this is a great way to enjoy your backwards compatible games without having to worry about the memory they'll be taking up in your PS5's hard drive.
Skip straight to the good stuff with selective installs
Right back when Sony first started sharing details about its next-generation plans, PS5 lead architect Mark Cerny confirmed (opens in new tab) that the console will allow users to install only select parts of games onto the system, thus bypassing the high memory requirements of many AAA titles.
This is something that some games already allow for on PS4, but Cerny has promised its successor will offer a "finer-grained access to the data", such as the ability to delete sections of a title without removing the entire application from your system. We don't have the clearest picture of what this selective installation looks like on PS5, but at least we know it's confirmed ahead of launch.
Customise your console with detachable panels
In a recent PS5 breakdown, Sony's VP of mechanical design Yasuhiro Ootori revealed that the console's gleaming white panels can be rather easily detached, already making way for a number of third party replacements which will allow users to more openly express themselves via the next-gen system.
Sony themselves are selling five different colours of panel at time of writing on their site, though there's a lot more for sale from third parties - as always, make sure you research which are the most reliable and well-recommended retailers before spending money, but otherwise go check the swathe of PS5 custom concepts on the internet, and have a think about what you might want your console to look like.
Join parties without a headset using the DualSense mic
In a significant upgrade from its predecessor, the DualSense controller features an in-built microphone that can be used to chat to friends in your party without the need for an external headset. Keep in mind that while this feature can be toggled with the button labelled with the microphone on the PS5 controller, it automatically turns on when you boot up the console (though you can change this in the settings so its default status is off).
The controller microphone isn't phenomenal, but it serves as an "it'll do in a pinch" replacement that means players won't necessarily have to shell out money on a microphone or headset if they can't afford it. Better still, those in your household who aren't playing can also join in the camaraderie, finally free from having to only listen to one side of the conversation.
Use PS5 Activities to jump into specific game modes straight from the main menu
Sick and tired of having to boot up GTA 5, to then log into GTA Online, to then join a friend's lobby, before finally reaching your favourite PvP playlist? Your new PlayStation should offer a way to cut through all of that preamble, via a new UI option called PS5 Activities. This will allow PS5 users to access a specific part of a game straight from the system's main menu, as Mark Cerny explained last year (opens in new tab).
"Multiplayer game servers will provide the console with the set of joinable activities in real time," says Cerny. "Single-player games will provide information like what missions you could do and what rewards you might receive for completing them – and all of those choices will be visible in the UI. As a player you just jump right into whatever you like."
Hit the Create button to commemorate your greatest achievements
The DualShock 4's Share Button has been replaced by the DualSense's Create button. By pressing it, you can open up a menu to capture and share screenshots and footage, and by holding it down, you can start recording automatically.
What this means is a more customisable and seamless capture recording, editing, and sharing experience; one that'll encourage you to share your gaming feats with the rest of the world on your next-generation console.
Set up couch co-op with ease using the DualSense's light bar
Another new feature of the DualSense controller is its revamped touchbar, which now sends more information to the user through its in-built lighting system. One such piece of information is your Player Status during couch co-op sessions, with the number of lights at the top of the bar telegraphing which player you are in the game.
No more having to figure out which controller isn't working, who Player Three is, or which cheeky teammate keeps accidentally hitting the PS button. Just turn on the controllers, look at the lights, and pass them round respectively. Admittedly this is dependant on the game you're playing actually programming in this feature, but Sony is clearly set on having people use the technology they provide.
For more, be sure to check out all the biggest upcoming games of 2021 (opens in new tab) on the way, or check out our many PS5 guides below: