In a world dominated by screens, it’s only natural that we want our gaming experiences to be as seamless and integrated as possible. The “second screen” fantasy spent years as an undeveloped experience, with devices like the Wii U that just didn’t feel right. Sony’s PlayStation mobile app feels like a natural extension of the console itself, however, given much of the functionality you can find on your television screen is also accessible from your smartphone or tablet.
Using the app is as simple as signing in to an existing PSN account and exploring. Once done, you can browse PlayStation profiles, compare trophies, and purchase content from directly within the app, which will then automatically download to your console as long as it’s active or in Standby Mode. The app lacks some functionality — messaging has been moved to a standalone app, for instance — but it remains a worthwhile companion for PS4 owners.
That said, here’s how to pair the app with your console.
Step 1: Download the PlayStation app
Before downloading the PlayStation application for iOS or Android, you’ll want to update your smartphone or tablet to the latest version of the operating system. For iOS users, you’ll want at least version 6.0, while Android users will need version 4.0 at the very least. Once updated, head over to either iTunes or Google Play and enter “PlayStation” in the search field to locate the app.
Tap the Install button to begin downloading the app to your smartphone or tablet as you would normally, and launch it once installed. You’ll be prompted to sign in to your PSN account, which you’ll need to do. After signing in, you’ll have access to most of the app’s features, including Events, live streams, and the PlayStation Store.
Step 2: Sync your smartphone or tablet with your PS4
To begin the syncing process, tap the Connect to PS4 button in the bottom-left corner of the PlayStation application and select the Second Screen option. From there, you’ll want to choose your console from the network. Once you select it, a code should appear on your TV screen. Type it into the text field on your smartphone or tablet, select Register, and voilà, your devices will begin syncing.
Step 3: Use the app
With your smartphone or tablet now synced to your PS4, you have access to a wide range of features. The most impactful difference you’ll notice once your phone and console are linked? Several PS4 games, such as Metal Gear Solid V and Watch Dogs, feature companion functionality you can use while gaming.
The Battlefield 4 app, for instance, provides access to your PSN friends and your multiplayer stats, and even lets you customize your weapons and character loadouts on your mobile device. The PlayStation App did once provide access to a messaging service, but communicating with friends and enemies has been relocated to the PlayStation Messages App, which is also free and available on both Android and iOS. Happy gaming!