PS5: 8 features you need to try on your new PlayStation

E Ackerman / CNET

O PS5 it’s a mere launch day and while games are undoubtedly the most important part of any console release, the new PS5 user interface is also amazing. We have analyzed the options in depth and found some tips and tricks to help boost your PlayStation experience.

Some are handled perfectly during setup, but others are buried in a mountain of settings and options. We thought it was worth breaking.

Here’s what we think is worth doing when you turn on your PS5 for the first time, to help customize your PS5 experience to your specific preferences.

1. Check your privacy settings

During the initial PS5 setup, you will be asked to select a series of four different privacy settings with names like “Social and open” or “Solo and focused”. Basically, it allows you to control your online profile and what others can see.

But these settings can be further divided into those categories, giving you full control over whether it will appear in the search results or who can add you as a friend, etc.

These settings can be found on the “Users and accounts” tab in the settings.

2. Select your power settings

The PS5 offers the ability to better control the amount of energy your PS5 is pulling, especially when you put it in “sleep mode”. As with privacy settings, you can choose between profiles during setup, with presets that can be further divided if you want to dive deeper. These presets determine how long it takes for your PS5 to shut down when idle and also whether or not the console will automatically download updates – very useful if you want to avoid the dreaded system update when you want to play something online.

3. Mess with the HDR sliders

ps5-cropped-for-door.png

This photo makes the PS5 look much smaller than it really is.

Sony

If you have an HDR-compatible TV, you will definitely want to make sure that these settings are correct.

Again, the PS5 allows you to change the contrast and brightness during setup, but personally, I have switched with these settings a few times, mainly because if you change the TV settings after setup (say, for a Game Mode) these HDR settings will be affected. It makes sense to go back and optimize. Especially if you are as demanding with image quality as I am! (I spent an awkward time correcting these settings.)

4. Try the submenu

Possibly, my favorite parts of the PS5 UI is the submenu that you can open while in the game. Basically, if you press the large PlayStation button in the middle of the controller, this submenu appears in the game. Very nice.

Older consoles have had some variations of this feature for some time, but I’m a huge fan of the PS5 version. It is discreet, subtle and allows customization.

You can access the settings, change the sound levels and add additional devices, such as headphones. You can even link your Spotify account and choose music from the submenu. VR options are also available here, which will be a great help to those who are trying to fix VR problems right away.

You can also easily switch between recently played games in this submenu, eliminating the need to go to the home page to start a new game.

But my favorite part: you can customize your submenu. You can even add PS5 accessibility options to the sub, which I imagine will be incredibly useful for players with disabilities.

5. Choose between performance and resolution

Those of you with a PS4 Pro will probably know that games are getting a little bit for PC. Games like God of War and Horizon Zero Dawn let you choose whether you prefer the PS4 Pro to focus its extra processing power on resolution or performance (which essentially means frame-rate).

Personally, I always prefer a focus on performance over resolution. And if you have a TV that doesn’t do 4K, you definitely prefer performance over resolution.

Either way, to avoid the hassle of re-selecting your preferences for each game, the PS5 allows you to select a default option in the settings. Go to Game Settings / Saved Data Applications and select game presets.

6. Choose your default difficulty

In the game’s presets section, there are many good things – you can even choose which difficulty you prefer by default.

Personally, this is not something I would be doing. I think the difficulty of the game is very subjective and varies a lot between games. But I know there are people out there who like to start the most difficult setup right away, and vice versa, people who just like to play history.

7. Check your controller settings and have a fixer

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Definitely mess with the controller settings.

E Ackerman / CNET

This is an absolute necessity.

This is not exactly a new thing, but the PS5 allows you to configure the default controller settings applicable to all games. First of all, you can “reverse” your pattern in first person shooter games or third person games with camera controls.

I’m constantly having to dive into the game’s settings to change that, so that’s a must for me.

You have probably heard that the PS5 DualSense controller is a breakthrough in terms of adaptive triggers and vibration functions. You can also make changes to the intensity of the effect. Personally, I wouldn’t touch that. I’m very happy with the pattern, but it’s there if you want to adjust it.

8. Choose spoiler settings

I couldn’t believe it exists, but it does!

You can control the level of spoilers you will see when browsing the PlayStation Store. You can choose to eliminate “all” potential spoilers or eliminate spoilers as determined by the game’s developers.

Therefore, if you are extremely sensitive to spoilers, you can go to the Game Settings / Saved Data application section and click on Game Defaults. The option is there.


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