5 PS4 Hacks That Actually Work

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You've played the latest FIFA and destroyed your mates on Call of Duty, but there are loads of less obvious tricks that'll make your PS4 even more awesome. Here's a fistful...

Sure, we get it, not everyone can spend their valuable time scouring the internet or – God forbid – reading the instruction manual to discover nifty little tricks that can squeeze some extra juice from their PlayStation 4. Those viral funnies can’t exactly look at themselves, can they? It’s fine, we understand – you’re all super busy.

Luckily, we’re not. Well, actually, we sort of are (Hi boss!), but learning all there is to know about gaming is what we do. Tough gig, right? So, you go ahead and continue to like those endless memes, while we relay the inside line on all the things you can do with your PS4 that you never even knew about.

These ‘life hacks’ – if you’re so inclined – could change the way you play your console forever. Or not. Just don’t hold us responsible if it turns out to be the latter… please.

1. Make Better Use of the Share Button

From day one, one of the great selling points of the Sony PlayStation 4 has been the ability to instantly share images and video across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube with the aptly named ‘share’ button. Well, we say instantly – we actually mean via a series of button presses and jumping through digital hoops.

There is a way to simplify things, however, that unhelpfully is only explained to you the very first time you switch on your console. Instead of tapping the button to bring up the share menu, hold it down to instantly take a photo or press it twice in quick succession to start recording video. It’s the simplified way to capture those epic moments of gaming without tapping endless buttons.

2. Use Your Phone As a Keyboard

All our PlayStation friends think we’re desperately unsociable, but in truth the reason they never hear from us is because typing out a message on a gamepad is such a painful ordeal. But thankfully, there is a simpler way to ease any typing woes you may endure.

If you download the PlayStation app on iOS or Android (yes, there is one), and connect it to your PS4 over Wi-Fi, you can then use your sexy, slinky smartphone as a keyboard to type as much text as you like. So, dear chums, no longer shall frustration compel you to launch your controller out of the nearest window. Save your legs (and your cash).

3. Pre-Load New Games So You Can Play Straight Away

There’s an important reason why some of your mates pre-order games digitally, and it’s not just to skip the queue at the local game store in town.

Pre-ordering a game on your PS4 allows your console to download it in the background. Yes, you can download the entire game – not just a demo or a beta – before it even launches.

Sadly, you can’t actually play it though – the game itself will be locked off until its official launch day. Ooh, Sony, you saucy tease! However, it does mean that as soon as the official PlayStation game is released, you can play it from the word go. It’ll be worth the wait, we can assure you.

4. Play Your Mates’ Games On Your PS4, Or Vice Versa

Ever heard of Share Play on PS4? Despite having been built into the console since launch, surprisingly no-one seems to talk about it. In short, it’s a way of letting your friends have a go on any of your PS4 games, even if they don’t own them.

Rather than having to invite them over to your place, make them cups of tea and generally keep them entertained, Share Play lets any of your buds with a PS4 play any of your games on their own console, all streamed via the internet from your machine.

Just what they do with that play time, of course, is up to both of you. Want them to beat that tricky boss you just can’t overcome? Let them take care of it for you. Want to thrash them at FIFA 17, but they skipped it because they’re more of a Pro Evo kind of guy? Doesn’t matter, you can play each other at either – providing at least one of you owns any of the games you want to take on.

Plus, you’ll also save on tea bags. Win win.

5. Try Buying a Refurbished Console

Of course, the biggest hack of all is to pay less for your PS4 in the first place. Rather than parting with several hundred quid for a new machine, eBay’s Tech Refurb site offers consoles of all shapes and sizes that have been restored to launch quality, meaning you can get a refurbished PS4 refurbished PS4 that runs like new for a fraction of the price.

You can then either give the money you save to a good cause, or blow it on more and more games. We’ll leave that one up to you.