14 things every new PS5 owner should try or consider

PlayStation 5 shown in front of a grid background.

Owning a new console can be overwhelming. Let us guide you through some of the early steps to owning a PS5.
picture: Sony / Kotaku

If you’re reading this, it means you’ve finally found the PlayStation 5. Which, according to Sony, will only become more popular because it claims to be Overcoming annoying supply issues. While some people will likely jump from the PlayStation 4 to the new console, there will be many who aren’t fully familiar with the system, its games, and services, and may need a guiding hand on where to start. Well, I’ve been playing this thing since it launched in November 2020, so let me cut through some of the noise and give you some tips on how to get the most out of your PlayStation 5 on day one.

Set it up properly

First, once you take the PlayStation 5 out of its box, you’ll notice that it comes with a stand that allows you to set it up to either stand upright or lay it on its side. Obviously, how you choose to set it up will likely be determined by the layout of your entertainment center, but if you’re going landscape, make sure you don’t follow former Kotaku frontman Ari Notis and Put the thing upside down. If you have the version with a disc drive, the side with the disc slot will be located on the bottom. Yes, it sounds weird and you’re right to hate it, but that’s how a console is supposed to lay on its side. Sony forgot this same once and Pull up an ad featuring the PlayStation 5 upside down. It was embarrassing for them, and it would be embarrassing for you if someone who knew better saw it.

An upside-down PlayStation 5 is shown in the entertainment center with an enlarged view of the console superimposed.

If your PS5 sits like this, you’re doing it wrong.
screenshot: Sony / Kotaku

Modify your access settings

For those who need to make changes to the PlayStation 5’s basic accessibility, the system accessibility options found in the Settings menu are fairly comprehensive. It has options to invert and correct colors, change text size and intensity, enable a screen reader or display closed captions, and choose the intensity of the DualSense controller’s vibrations and haptic feedback. It’s a good place to start for any PlayStation 5 user, as setting these things to your liking now means you’ll run into fewer problems later.

Turn off the screenshot notification

If, like myself, you are a screenshot sicko and always hitting that share button when you’re playing games, one of the first things you need to do before you play any games is turn off the PS5’s screenshot notification icon. The reason for this is because, unlike the Switch, Xbox, and Steam, PlayStation screenshots make a full capture of everything on the screen at the moment you hit the button, rather than just the game you’re playing.

For a lot of early adopters, the PlayStation 5’s screenshot confirmation notification was a menace, as it made rapidly taking screenshots a pain in the ass because it would linger just long enough to get in the way of great shots. Then, by the time it was gone, the image you were trying to capture had come and gone. Sony didn’t give users the option to turn the notification off entirely until just under a year after the console launched, and it is still on by default.

To turn it off, go to the Settings menu, scroll down to the bottom and click on Captures and Broadcasts. Here you’ll find the Captures menu, which has one selection called “Shortcuts for Create Button.” In that menu, there’s a switch you can flip next to “Display Save Confirmation for Screenshots,” and let’s go ahead and turn that off before we do anything else.

While you’re in the Captures and Broadcasts menu, it’s also worth remapping the screenshot and video capture button, as well, because the default options are also weirdly incongruous with how other systems operate. From the Captures tab, go to Shortcuts for Create Button. The first selection is for button mapping, and you’ll want to switch this from the standard setup to Easy Screenshots. This will allow you to take screenshots instantly with a single press of the create button, rather than having to hold it down. This makes it easy to make sure your timing is right and to take multiple screenshots in a short period of time. This, on top with removing the screenshot notification, is the ideal way to capture screenshots.

Customize your general notifications

While you’re here in the Settings menu, it’s probably also worth messing around with some broader settings, like your notifications. Personally, I’ve turned a lot of my PS5’s notifications off because the novelty of being made aware of my friends’ online status wore off in the Xbox 360 era. But the notifications menu has a fair amount of options to customize what you do and don’t want to be notified of while you’re playing games, as well as when you want to be notified about them. This includes general game notifications like when you earn a trophy, social features like friend requests and game invites, and even game-specific updates like when something on your wishlist has been updated in some way. Once here, you can set certain parameters for when the notifications will pop, such as hiding them during games, while watching videos, or broadcasts.

A screen showing different notification types for the PlayStation 5, with options for when they appear.

The PS5 has a fair amount of noise it can make, but it can be as quiet or loud as you want.
Screenshot: Sony / Kotaku

Activate Automatic Updates

Something you definitely need to be cognizant of in this digital age is whether or not your system and games are getting updated properly. In the case of online games, you won’t be able to play them at all if you’ve not downloaded the latest patch or system software update. Sometimes these updates don’t start downloading unless you’ve turned the console on, but you can set them to download automatically while the PS5 is in rest mode, and that’s what you want.

To turn automatic updates on for your system software, go to the settings wheel, click on the System menu, navigate over to System Software Update and Settings and make sure both Download Update Files Automatically and Install Update Files Automatically are flipped on. For game updates, go to the Settings menu, scroll down to Saved Data and Game/App Settings, and you’ll find a tab for Automatic Updates. Make sure both Auto-Download and Auto-Install in Rest Mode are turned on.

Link your other services

The PlayStation 5 is mostly a gaming box, but it connects to other services, such as music, streaming, and social media. If you want to connect your other accounts to your PS5, head to the Settings menu, click on Users and Account. Here, you’ll see a Link with Other Services menu, which allows you to connect your Apple Music or Spotify account to listen to music while you play, Twitch to stream natively from your device, and Twitter and YouTube to share gameplay screenshots and clips. If you use any of those services, it’s good to sign into those early on so you won’t be caught up typing your username and password when you actually need those features.

Login automatically

If you’re the only person using your PS5, you can save yourself a few seconds every time you turn on your console by setting it for your profile to log in automatically. In the Users and Accounts section, scroll down to Login Settings and flip the switch next to “Log In to PS5 Automatically.” This will be applied to whatever account you’re logged into when you switch it on. So if you have multiple accounts on the console, make sure you’re using the one you want this to apply to.

Consider a storage capacity upgrade

Fact: Games these days are bigger than ever. On paper, the PS5 has an 825GB solid-state drive (SSD). But a chunk of that is occupied by the operating system and other system-essential files, leaving about 667GB for your own use—in other words, like, two Ubisoft games plus half a Call of duty. You may lose some The elusive and ill-defined “Other” category of your storage capacity.

The PS5 Storage listing shows 67.4GB of space it takes up

The “Other” field, which has no official description, can easily take up 10 percent of your available storage space.
screenshot: Sony / Kotaku

You can invest in an external drive, but it comes with limitations. While you can store PS5 games externally, you can’t play them off USB storage, and you’ll have to move them back to your console’s storage to play — faster than re-downloading from scratch, but still slower than clicking a button. X” and wait 10 seconds for the game to load. (PS4 games run just fine from USB storage, albeit with a bit slower loading.) To really boost your storage capacity, You must install SSD upgrade. It’s not as challenging as you think. All you need is a screwdriver, a compatible M.2 drive, and about 10 minutes of free time.

Check out PlayStation Plus subscriptions

If you’re new to a PlayStation console, or looking to get the most out of your new system after upgrading, it’s worth looking into the different levels of PlayStation Plus. PS5 has access to a larger catalog than PS4, where you’ll get access to PS5 games offered Also as part of the subscription. If you’re only interested in online play and a couple of “free” games per month, the standard PlayStation Plus Essentials bundle will be more than enough, and can be purchased either monthly for $9.99, quarterly for $24.99, or annually for $59.99. The next level up is PlayStation Plus Extra, which includes all of the above, plus a catalog of around 400 PS4 and PS5 games that you can download to your system and play as long as you keep the subscription. Extra will run you $14.99 per month, $39.99 quarterly, and $99.99 for a one-year subscription.

The highest tier is called PlayStation Plus Premium, and it not only includes 400 downloadable games, but also over 300 additional games from the PS1, PS2, PS3 and PSP catalogs. Notably, PS3 games can only be streamed to your console at this time, so if you don’t have an internet connection it can handle that (Sony It recommends a download speed of at least 5 Mbps to stream games, but speaking personally from living in an area where the best I could get was 15mbps download speed and I’m still having trouble, your mileage may vary), and it might not be worth the extra money if you’re hoping to It streams games. The premium costs $17.99 per month, $49.99 quarterly, and $119.99 for a year.

Kratos and Atreus walk on top of a snowy mountain in God of War on PS4 played on PS5.

“There is no mountain high enough to prevent me from reaching you (the place where my wife wants me to scatter her ashes).”
screenshot: Sony

Check out the PlayStation Plus collection

If you’ve been waiting for me to get to the actually playing the games part, the reason we’ve put that off until now is because of the PS5 exclusive feature called PlayStation Plus Collection. If you look at the different subscription levels and decide to cut the cash, you’ll also get access to a separate selection of PS4 games as part of your fork. There aren’t many, but there are some significant PS4 hitters here that you don’t need to buy outright. Whether it is playing God of War before buying Ragnarokor take the most economical way of playing The Last of Us: Remastered instead of buying part One A remake, the PlayStation Plus collection is a convenient and relatively cheap way to try out some of the high spots in the PS4 catalog instead of going out and buying them.

While PlayStation Plus Premium was A controversial addition for some, but as a new PS5 owner, this game and PlayStation Plus combo are cost-effective ways to try out plenty of games if you’re a new PS5 owner. So look What’s in the catalog And keep track of what you can play without having to buy outright.

Download some free games

If you’ve subscribed to PlayStation Plus at this point, you already have an incredible number of games to play on your PS5 without actually buying anything, but the PS5 has plenty of free games too. This includes competitive games such as Fortnite And Monitoring 2Story-based service games such as war frameworkand even The Sims 4which is only It recently became a free game. Keep in mind that there will be microtransactions in these games, but it’s still something you can get started without having to spend the whole $70 on a game right out of the gate.

Restore old save files

For new PS5 owners who were previously PS4 owners, there are a few options for downloading your PS4 save data to your new console. This can be done by migrating it to an external hard drive to add to your PS5, or by using the PS5’s native transfer feature, although this will require you to keep the PS4. In the System menu, go to System Software, then Data Transfer. Make sure that both systems are on and connected to the same wifi network. Then follow the instructions on the screen.

If you don’t have a PS4 but have a PlayStation Plus subscription, you can transfer through the service’s cloud storage. You’ll find this in the Saved Data and Game/App Settings menu, which contains tabs for accessing saved data for both PS5 and PS4 games. Click on the cloud storage option and choose the games for which you want to download your saved data. While you’re here, make sure to turn on the auto-upload option for both your PS4 and PS5 save data, as this will avoid you having to manually upload save files to your PS Plus account.

Astro runs on the beach away from purple enemies in Astro's Playroom on PS5.

“Let’s go, lesbians!”
screenshot: Sony

game Astro Game Room

Now, we can start playing some games. But you must play Astro Game Room first. It comes pre-installed in all PS5 consoles, and it’s a triple threat. It’s an exhilarating platformer, a nice guided walk through the DualSense’s various tactile features, and a nice tribute to PlayStation’s history.

play Astro Game Room It was a fun early PS5 experience when I got to play it at launch. Not only was it fun to watch the PlayStation characters recreate using their robot star, but it also gave me a chance to fully understand the haptic feedback capabilities and adaptations of the DualSense controller. Catalysts. Even before you get into the game itself, it has a full demo section where it lets you test out these features for yourself. It’s a good first-time experience for those who want to know how it feels to have a controller vibrate in the context of a game, or feel the trigger pull back as you fire a weapon. And if you’re anything like me, it might also tell you those features aren’t for you, and turn them off, like I did. It’s a great game and a solid test to see if these great features really add anything to your gaming experience. So it’s a good place to start your PS5 journey.

But what are the upcoming games?

Of course, what every new console owner wants to know is what are the best games on the system? What are the biggest hitters who might not be on these services that are worth your time and money? Luckily , my city He has a collection of the 15 biggest standouts from the console’s first two years herefeaturing the likes of God of War RagnarokAnd Horizon Forbidden WestAnd Sheikh’s ring.

Admittedly, many of these games were across the generations with the PS4, but they are still great games in their own right. We are still in the transitional phase between generations where a TRUE PS5 exclusives are few and far between, but 2023 appears to be the year Sony and other studios feel comfortable leaving the PS4 behind. So it’s good to be here now, newcomer, because it looks like the PS5 will start to hit its stride this year.

As someone who got a PlayStation 5 at launch and spent a lot of those early months playing PS4 games on it, it’s a bit surprising to see how much of it is so readily available for so low a cost to new players in 2023. Between PlayStation Plus Premium and other free games, You can play a lot of really great games without having to shell out $70 for a full-priced game and get a lot of the system. If you bought a PS5, chances are you bought a couple of boxed games to go along with it. But in this subscription-based market, it’s a good idea to be aware of your options before you start spending too much when there are cheaper options out there. Play Station In an interesting place, if a bit divisive nowbut make no mistake, the system has a lot to offer if you’re looking in the right places.

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