Sony’s latest update to its PlayStation 4 console, version 7.00, brings a host of new conveniences that make it easier for players to add more players to their online party, adds chat transcription support, and improves audio quality thanks to some behind-the-scenes improvements.
But the most appealing feature might be the updated Remote Play service, which now works with both Android and iOS devices, controller support included. That means you’ve now got a way to free up the TV and still enjoy your PlayStation 4 games on your PC, Mac, smartphone, or tablet.
Still, there are a few footnotes to consider before you start gaming on a screen other than your TV. To use the PS4 Remote Play feature, you’ll need to configure a couple of things — besides your PS4, obviously.
What You Need For PlayStation 4 Remote Play
You’ll need a PC or Mac running the free PS4 Remote Play app (you can download it here). If you’re on an Android or iOS device, you’ll need to grab the Remote Play app from Google Play or the App Store.
You’ll also need a broadband internet connection, a DualShock 4 controller, and a PS4 game that doesn’t require a VR headset or a specialized controller. To minimize latency, you should use an Ethernet cable to connect your console to your wireless router or modem (you should do the same on the device you’re streaming to, if possible).
Prep Your PlayStation 4
Once you’ve installed the requisite PS4 Remote Play app from whatever app store you’re using, you’ll need to configure your PS4. First, update your PS4’s software to the most current version, 7.00. To do so, visit Settings > System Software Update, and let your console get to work. Then you’ll need to identify your console as the “primary” console. Visit Settings > Account Management > Activate as Your Primary PS4.
Next, enable Remote Play on the console itself. Visit Settings > Remote Play Connection Settings > Enable Remote Play. If you don’t want to walk over to your console to turn it on every time you want to get away from it, you can visit Settings > Power Save Settings > Set Features Available in Rest Mode, then select “Stay Connected to the Internet” and “Enable Turning On PS4 From Network.”
Next Up, Pairing Your Controller
So you’ve got your PS4 ready to go, and the PS4 Remote Play app installed on your remote device. Now it’s time to pair your DualShock 4 controller, either with a Micro-USB cable on a PC or Mac, or via Bluetooth on any Remote Play compatible device with Bluetooth support (or a Bluetooth adapter).
You can pair the controller to your PC either with a Micro-USB cable or via Bluetooth. First, find your PC’s Bluetooth settings by heading to Start > Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices. Hold both the Share and PS button for four seconds until the controller’s light bar starts to flash. On your PC, select the plus to add a new Bluetooth device.
On your Mac, you can pair via Bluetooth, but you’ll need to be running the latest version of macOS Catalina, released earlier this week (though you might want to hold off on updating until all your apps are compatible). Put your controller in pairing mode, visit the System Preferences app on your Mac, hit the Bluetooth icon, and add your device.
iOS and Android devices can pair to your DualShock 4 the same way they pair with any traditional Bluetooth device. But you’ll need to be running Android 10, iOS 13, or iPadOS 13 to actually use the controller instead of the inferior on-screen controls.
Link Your Devices
After you’ve installed the PS4 Remote Play app and paired your DualShock 4 controller to your remote device, you’ll need to visit the console’s Remote Play Connection Settings page you visited earlier, and select Add Device.
You can fiddle with frame rate and resolution settings by picking Open Preferences in the Remote Play app on your remote device before you begin playing. On your remote device, open the app and select Start to locate and pair your device to your PS4. Then sign in with your PlayStation Network account and enjoy gaming your day away while someone else uses the TV to enjoy their stories.
Get an Accessory or Two
Sure, you’re all set up and ready to play, but if you’ve placed your smartphone in a precarious position while you’re playing, you’d be well-served with a key accessory: a phone mount. A search on Amazon for “PS4 phone mount” will yield a few options from obscure accessory makers, so make sure the mount will fit your phone model and read some customer reviews before you drop $15 on one.
That phone mount will allow you to clip your smartphone to your DualShock 4 controller, and adjust the viewing angle to fit your needs. If you plan on using Remote Play often, a phone mount might be the one missing piece of the puzzle that keeps you away from your TV for good.