In a world dominated by screens, it’s only natural that we want our gaming experiences to be as seamless and integrated as possible. Developers spent many years chasing “second screen” gaming concepts, but none of them — from Xbox SmartGlass to the Wii U — ever felt right. In the years since, Sony has cultivated some less ambitious, but genuinely useful ways to bring your smartphone and PlayStation 4 together. Here’s how to connect your phone to a PS4.
How to use the PlayStation Mobile app
The PlayStation mobile app allows you to browse PlayStation profiles, compare trophies, and purchase content from within the app. It will then automatically download to your console as long as it’s active or in standby mode. The app lacks some functionality such as messaging ,which has been moved to a stand-alone app, but it remains a worthwhile companion for PS4 owners. If you need to message a friend on PlayStation Network (PSN) or check your PlayStation account from your phone, you can also use Sony’s new My PlayStation social portal in your web browser.
Either way, we’ll take you through the process of connecting your phone to a PS4, step by step.
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, livestreams, and the PlayStation Store.
Step 2: Sync your smartphone or tablet with your PS4
Previously available in the same app, the Second Screen experience is now only accessible via a separate app. Head to the app store on your mobile device and search for PS4 Second Screen. You can also find a link to your respective app store by hitting the PlayStation symbol at the bottom of the page and selecting Second Screen. Open the app and you’ll automatically be signed in under the same account as the main PlayStation app, and you’ll see any available PS4 systems that are ready to use.
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 biggest 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.
Using My PlayStation
If you don’t want to use a dedicated app to control your PlayStation friends’ list and a second app to message your friends, Sony also gives you access to your PSN profile through its My PlayStation service in your phone’s web browser. Introduced in February 2018, My PlayStation lets you message friends, view trophies, and update your profile on the go. It does not, however, allow you to connect directly with your console like the dedicated app does.
To use it, just head to my.playstation.com and sign in with your PlayStation Network account. You can also find it by visiting the PlayStation homepage and signing in — the My PlayStation tile will be in the top-right corner. Once you’ve signed in, you can view your friends list, trophies, and profile by clicking on the drop-down menu at the top of the screen. To message individual friends, go to their profile and select the Send Message option.
Using PS4 Remote Play
In March 2019, Sony also released a separate free iOS app called “PS4 Remote Play,” which gives iPhone and iPad users the ability to stream games from their PS4 console to their mobile devices over Wi-Fi.
Controlling your PS4 via Remote Play is very simple. Just download the app and ensure that your PS4 is on. Open the app and log in to your PlayStation Network account, then search for your PS4 via internet. If this doesn’t work, you can also manually enter a code.
Once this process is complete (it can take a few minutes) you will be fully able to control your PS4 with your phone, complete with virtual buttons! Unfortunately, you can’t use a DualShock 4 controller yet, but it’s a pretty neat feature if you need to check on a download while you’re away.