If you’ve managed to procure a PS5, first let us offer our congratulations. The console is currently still pretty rare, and although the situation is improving somewhat, getting a PS5 still involves an adrenaline-pumping race against the clock when stock does become available. If there is a PS5 sitting pretty underneath your TV, you’ll know this is a powerful machine indeed, but you might be wondering what you should do with it now you have one. Here are the top 10 things you should do to take full advantage of the power of your new console!
1. Play Astro’s Playroom
Astro’s Playroom is a free pack-in game that every PS5 owner can access, and we’d strongly recommend doing so. Far from being a cynical showcase for the new console, Astro’s Playroom is a joyous romp through two and a half decades of PlayStation nostalgia. Every piece of PlayStation hardware you can remember is represented here, and there are plenty of wonderful Easter eggs and secrets to discover that make this 3D platformer a surprisingly worthwhile proposition.
2. Play some old PS4 games
The PS5’s shiny new SSD makes playing PS4 games a much more enjoyable experience as well. Once you’ve installed the games to your drive, fire them up and watch the load times disappear before your very eyes. Games like Bloodborne, which could be excruciating to play at times, are now zippy and quick, meaning that every time you die, it’s no longer time to grab your phone to play Crossy Road while you wait to get back into the action.
3. Sign up to PS Plus
Asking for a subscription fee on top of the already exorbitant asking price for the PS5 might seem like a bit much, but trust us, PS Plus is worth it. If you shop around, you can grab a 12-month subscription for relatively little money, and you’ll get three games each month, online play capabilities, and pretty impressive discounts in the store. You’ll also be able to access the PS Plus Collection, a sort of hall of fame for the PS4 that contains some of Sony’s last-gen console’s greatest hits.
4. Use your DualSense mic to play online
If you’ve got buddies with PS5s and you want to play some online games, you won’t need to buy a headset. Of course, doing so will enhance your audio experience significantly, but the DualSense controller’s built-in mic and speaker will serve as a de facto headset, allowing you to play online without buying any extra peripherals. The DualSense’s audio equipment is surprisingly high-quality, and while it won’t compete with a dedicated pair of headphones, it’ll more than suffice for a gaming session.
5. Use the Create button to share some unforgettable moments
The DualShock 4’s Share button had lots of potential, but it was unfortunately restricted by lacklustre software that never felt like it was designed to actually help you share content with your friends. The DualSense’s Create button has fixed that issue. Now, you can take screenshots and videos, edit them on the fly, and even upload them to social media or share them directly with other users. Try it out on your favourite game and you’ll see one reason why the DualSense is such a marked improvement. Speaking of which…
6. Play around with the DualSense
Astro’s Playroom will provide a more than adequate environment for testing the new functionality of the DualSense controller. It’s been designed to show off the new adaptive triggers and haptic feedback, and it’s also a darn good game in its own right. If you’re hankering for more DualSense fun, check out Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales or Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, which make great use of the adaptive triggers and should do the rest of the work in convincing you the controller is amazing.
7. Check out your play times
The PS5 comes complete with a brand new feature that allows you to see how long you’ve played games for. This works retroactively, too, so you can see how much time you spent playing your PS4 collection. All you need to do is head into your Control Centre by pressing the central PlayStation button, then select your profile picture. From there, head into Profile, then Games, and take a look through your hall of fame. You might be surprised by how long you’ve spent with some games!
8. Hook up some storage
Naturally, the PS5 natively supports external storage drives, and it’s a good thing too. The internal SSD is lightning-quick, but it’s not particularly spacious, so you’re going to start filling it up with games pretty fast, especially if you’ve got the Digital Edition of the console. The best PS5 external drives have fast read and write speeds, big capacities, and solid encryption. Samsung, Seagate, and Crucial all offer pretty good options, but try to aim for an SSD rather than an HDD for optimal speeds.
9. Upgrade PS4 games for free
Certain PS4 games – that is to say, those that are cross-generation – support upgrading to the PS5 version for free. These games include Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Borderlands 3, and Remedy’s mind-melting third-person shooter Control, among others. If you picked up the PS4 versions of these games at launch and now want to take advantage of the PS5’s superior hardware, you should find the option to upgrade on the menu. Note that this is a distinct feature from Boost Mode, which improves the performance of PS4 games via backwards compatibility.
10. Browse the new PlayStation Store
Sony has reworked the PlayStation Store to make it more user-friendly on the PS5, so it’s worth browsing through the selection to see if there’s anything that catches your eye. Games have been organised into useful categories, and the overall layout is much more easy on the eye this time around as well. You’ll also note that the PS Store is integrated into the PS5’s operating system, so you won’t see any load times whatsoever when you switch to it from the menu. Cool, right?