If you’re one of the lucky people who got a PlayStation 4 over the Christmas break, well done! You now own the most advanced gaming machine outside of a PC that’s available to the South African public. But do you know all of its tricks yet? We’ll show you a few things we picked up in our time with the PS4 that we’ve found to be incredibly useful, interesting or just plain cool.

Quick-sharing

Sony has made sharing whatever you’re doing on your PS4 as easy as pressing a button – literally! But did you know that you don’t have to actually enter the sharing menu to capture a screenshot or video? To capture a video, simply tap the Share button twice and the PS4 will start recording, and to grab a screenshot, press and hold the button down for a few seconds and voila, instant screenshot without any menu-navigating hassle.

You can even change how the Share button works if you like: press the Option button on your controller, then go to Share Settings, Share Button Control Type, then Easy Screenshots and set the Share button up to capture screenshots with a single press and to bring up the Sharing menu when you hold it in. It’s all up to you.

Use your phone or tablet as a virtual keyboard

Onscreen keyboards are the pits when all you have is a game controller to “type” with. Solve that problem by downloading the PlayStation App, and using your smartphone or tablet as an input device. The app is available in both iOS and Android storefronts, and once you’ve connected your chosen gadget to your PS4, all you have to do is choose Second Screen and press on the keyboard icon at the top of the screen to start typing.

Telling players apart

If you’ve got a bunch of people over and you’re all playing games together, it can get a little confusing as to who is which player. Sony knows this, and so included a nifty trick that only requires that you memorise a colour sequence to know who’s who. Each connected Dual Shock 4 controller will glow one of four colours to indicate who is which player: player 1 is blue, player 2 is red, player 3 is green and player 4 is pink. Easy!

Knowing your charging status

Have you noticed the orange light on your Dual Shock 4 controllers pulsing as they are being charged? This shows you how much charge is left: quicker pulses mean the battery is quite empty and slower pulses tell you the controller is almost fully charged. A solid orange means the controller is good to go.

Settings Access

Just like with the PlayStation 3, a quick way to access some basic PS4 settings even when you’re mid-game is to press and hold the PlayStation button on the PS4’s controller. Here you can turn the controller off and see how much battery it has left, among a few other things.

And there you have it. As we discover even more tips and tricks, we’ll be sure to share them with you in future posts.

Featured Image Credit: Sony

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.