There was a time when gaming consoles didn’t need to have any UI at all — you would pop a cartridge in, power up, and start playing. Now our consoles are essentially full-fledged computers, however, with internal storage, apps, and web connectivity, so you necessarily spend a lot more time poking around menus than you used to. Fortunately, Sony recognizes this, and allows for users to re-skin their system menus with custom themes for your PlayStation 4. These range from simple color swaps to fully animated, “dynamic” themes, inspired by your favorite games.
To install a theme after you’ve purchased it from the PlayStation Store, simply navigate to Settings, then Theme Settings, and simply select your chosen theme from the list and press X.
If you want to give your PS4 menus a new look, but need a little help making a decision, we’ve put together a list of our favorite themes.
Even if you’ve never gone out in search of antiquities with Nathan Drake, this animated underwater shipwreck inspired by the Uncharted series of cinematic action/adventure games will give your console a nice atmosphere of adventure.
People love space, cats, and lasers, so combining the three seems like an easy win. This fun, animated theme in which cats shoot lasers out of their eyes while floating in space might be a call back to one of SNL’s early digital shorts.
One of the most serene options we’ve seen, this theme based on Campo Santo’s excellent narrative title Firewatch features a beautiful vista from the game with trees swaying in parallax in addition to music from the soundtrack.
Rocket League‘s position as a modern classic is unassailable at this point, so if you’re one of the millions of devotees to Psyonix’s automotive soccer game, you might as well show it with this slick theme featuring some dramatically framed stills and nice blue icons to match.
A lot of the themes available for your PS4 are abstract and minimal; this is definitely neither. This animated theme based on the classic Oddworld series of platforming adventure games features plenty of active elements, like Mudokons trudging through the back, or Ave polishing your screen.
Longtime PlayStation fans may get a nostalgic kick out of this original PlayStation (PS1) anniversary theme in the image of Sony’s original console. The light gray background is subtly textured with the PlayStation’s iconic four button shapes, which also periodically fly across the screen in colorful, 3D form.
Thatgamecompany’s Journey is one of the most iconic PlayStation-exclusives of all time, so it makes perfect sense to bring those gorgeous visuals to your system’s UI. Starting off all your gaming sessions with this sweeping vista will make all of your adventures a little more epic.
Countless themes available for the PS4 reference games, but this is one of the only ones that actually is a game, too! Bad guys run at your character in silhouette, and you can use the thumbstick to kill them, Tarantino-style. A kill counter racks up in the corner and you get a special victory screen for hitting 100.
“Why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast foods?” “People are idiots, Leslie.” Follow the lead of the great Ron Swanson and Leslie Knope with this theme that serves up a different delectable breakfast food photo for each day of the week.
Where many game-derived themes simply port their visuals directly, this Dark Souls III theme takes a more stylized approach, with beautiful results. Rendered in black and white, illustrated visuals on a weathered parchment texture, a knight wanders from left to right, encountering various iconic locations from the game.
Supergiant’s Transistor had some interesting gameplay, but stood out to us the most for its gorgeous visuals and music, both of which translate beautifully into this dynamic, cyberpunk-style theme. Even if you’ve never even heard of the game, though, this is just a marvelously slick, sci-fi skin for your PS4.
Where many themes from games feature dramatic scenery, this static theme from episodic adventure Life is Strange instead has a hand-made, drawing and collage look right out of the journal of artsy teenage protagonist Max. Throw on some shoegaze and get ready to feel your feelings.
In stark contrast to some of the more animated and visually busy themes, we love this free theme from the racing game Driveclub for its bold simplicity, featuring graphic images of cars emblazoned across a clean, red background.
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