Alongside the Xbox Series X, the PS5 has ushered in the next-gen of gaming, offering blistering speeds, incredible native 4K, and – in the case of Sony's console – a new DualSense controller that takes haptic feedback to a whole new level.
But there’s more to this new box of tricks than striking good looks and impressive internal specs. It’s packed with hidden features and carefully integrated utilities that make it not just a gaming powerhouse, but a multi-faceted entertainment centre that’s more capable than you might think.
So we’ve trawled through this latest piece of hardware to uncover its most useful secrets to maximise the performance and usability of your PS5.
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View your playtimes for all your games
To view individual game times, select your avatar on the Home screen, then select ‘Profile’, then ‘Games’ to view each game and its corresponding playtime value. You can also view your stats for your PS4 games – including how many trophies you’ve collected and how far you are from reaching platinum for that respective title.
Hold down the PS Button to instantly go Home
If you want to jump directly back to Home, you just need to hold down the PS Button for a few seconds and you’ll be whisked back to the hub of your flashy new console. A handy feature if you want to get a full picture of your bespoke PS5 setup.
Avoid spoilers with the help of your PS5
To avoid spoilers from shared content, simply head to ‘Settings’ > ‘Save Data and Game/App Settings’ > ‘Spoiler Warnings’ and toggle the feature on. Now you can use your PS5 and avoid content that will spoil potential story beats – either those marked as spoilers by the developer, or in relation to any content related to the game. This is for PS5 games only.
Preserve your DualSense’s battery
To preserve the battery life of the DualSense controller, especially when not in use while the console is still switched on, head to the ‘Settings’ page and adjust the battery options. You can set the DualSense to go idle at 10-minute, 30-minute and 60-minute intervals.
Record videos in 4K
You’ll need to adjust your settings to do this, so head to ‘Settings’ > ‘Captures and Broadcasts’ > ‘Shortcuts for Create Button’ and adjust the options to your requirements. Then select ‘Video Clip Format’ > ‘File Type’ > ‘Most Efficient (WebM)’ and change ‘Manual Recording Resolution’ to ‘3840 X 2160’. Instant 4K recordings!
Take screenshots quickly with the Create button
The Create button replaces the PS4’s Share button and works in largely the same way. If you want to take screenshots a lot faster, simply hold down the Create button for a few seconds. You can also adjust its settings to create shortcuts and to extend the recording length of clips.
Don’t use the DualSense in-built mic for chat
The DualSense controller is a full sensory experience, including having a built-in mic. While this has been created for use in-game, it’s not really meant to be used for party chat or audio capture. We’d advise using a headset so that the DualSense mic can be used for specific in-game features.
Mute the DualSense mic automatically
The mic in the DualSense switches on automatically when you start up the console, but you can easily change this in your PS5’s settings. Go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Sound’ > ‘Microphone’ > ‘Microphone Status When Logged In’ and simply set this option to ‘Mute’ to ensure the mic is always muted as a default.
Listen to music & more while playing
Playing a game without music? Grinding and need a soundtrack to make it less monotonous? PS5 supports the ability to play music or podcasts in the background, much like with your phone or tablet. Download the Spotify app and it will continue to play your audio of choice while you load up a game.
Access in-game modes faster with Activity Cards
While PS5 doesn’t have Xbox Series X’s Quick Resume feature, it does have something relatively similar in the form of Activity Cards. These are effectively shortcuts to specific in-game modes or levels, which you can customise to suit your needs. Ideal for logging into Battle Royale in Call of Duty: Warzone, or FUT in FIFA.
PS5 has a well-hidden web browser
Much like previous consoles, PS5 doesn’t have an official web browsing app (well not yet at least), but that doesn’t mean the functionality isn’t there – you just need to know where to look. Go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Users and Accounts’ > ‘Link with Other Services’ > ‘Twitter’ and you’ll be taken to an authorisation page. Simply back out of it and voila!
There’s a much faster shortcut to the Search function
If you need to search you PS5, or other apps, you can utilise the in-built Search function. However, you don’t need to trawl through the Home screen to find it. Simply tap the triangle button and it’ll take you straight there – handy if you want to switch to another game or app.
Use trophy videos to capture your best moments
The PS4 introduced a feature that captures a screenshot automatically whenever you unlock a trophy; well, the PS5 has gone one better, adding in the ability to capture video footage of said in-game milestone. This is setup automatically and can be toggled on or off in ‘Settings’ > ‘Captures and Broadcasts’ > ‘Trophies’.
Turn off the Home screen music
Much like the PS3, and PS4 before it, PS5 supports the ability to change the music that plays on the Home screen. You can disable this feature by going to ‘Settings’ > ‘Sound’ > ‘Home Screen Music’ and toggling the feature off. This is a big help when playing apps like Spotify in the background.
Compose messages with speech
Ever wanted to dictate messages to a friend – or a random player – with your voice? Well, now you can with the PS5’s audio dictation feature. When the message screen is open, simply click the microphone icon on the keyboard and start talking – you can even use the DualSense mic to do this.
Adjust your notification settings
Finding your notifications annoying? Much like the PS4, PS5 supports the ability to customise these on-screen prompts and updates to make them far less egregious. Go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Notifications’ and change everything from where and when notifications appear, including when in certain apps.
Create bespoke presets for your games
Your settings for each game can often be very different, ranging from difficulty adjustments to the use of subtitles and disability support options. To retain these settings when shifting between games, you can create presets that save these choices, just go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Saved Data and Game/App Settings’ > Game Presets’.
Build your own PS Store wishlist
Everyone loves a wishlist, full of the games you want or can’t quite afford yet. PS5 supports this feature when browsing the PS Store. All you have to do it click the ‘Wishlist+’ button on each game’s respective page in the store. Click the ‘Heart’ button on-screen at any time to view your current list.
Manage storage woes with the PS App
Storage space is always at a premium, and we all remember how fast we ran out of space in the first few weeks of owning a PS4. Thankfully, it’s much easier to manage your storage options with PS5, including doing so from the PS App on your smartphone or tablet, which syncs up with your registered console.
You can now edit your screenshots
The Create button does more than just capture screenshots and videos – it also serves as neat little creation suite for editing your captures. You can now edit and crop your screenshots at will – simply go to the Media Gallery, select the screenshot and select its options, then hit ‘Edit’ to begin your creative endeavours.