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Tips and tricks on getting the most out of your PlayStation 4 Pro

Moving out of the console generation, the PlayStation 4 Pro is the go-to machine for playing Sony’s first-party games (along with a slew of other great titles). The PS4 Pro is much more powerful than the base PS4, and although you’ll see an performance improvement out of the box, there are some settings you should tweak to get the most of your console. Here are some tips and tricks to get the most out of your PS4 Pro, at least until the PS5 launches.

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Improvements to expect

PlayStation 4 Pro review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends
  • 4K resolution and HDR on certain games: A handful of PlayStation 4 games have been optimized to display in an upscaled 4K resolution on the PlayStation 4 Pro. A selection of these also supports high-dynamic range, or “HDR,” giving your games more vibrant colors. We have a comprehensive list of supported games available here.
  • Better PlayStation VR performance: Certain PlayStation VR titles, such as Battlezone and Rez Infinite, were designed to take advantage of the improved performance boost of the PlayStation 4 Pro. These games often benefit from crisper visuals and more particle effects, and may generally run at a higher resolution.
  • Bigger hard drive: The original PlayStation 4 only came with a 500GB hard drive, but the Pro includes 1TB of space. A portion of this the hard drive is reserved for the system software, but you still have much more room to work with when considering the file size of today’s AAA games.
  • Wi-Fi options: The PlayStation 4 Pro includes a 5GHZ Wi-Fi option, which can lead to faster download times on large games. It is likely enabled by default if your router supports it, but you can do so manually by pressing the “options” button when setting up your internet connection through the console.

How to use a vertical stand

The PlayStation 4 Pro has a larger footprint than the original PlayStation 4 or the redesigned “slim” model, and in its standard horizontal position, it can eat up quite a bit of space on your shelf on entertainment center — space that you might need if you have other consoles or PlayStation VR. To better use that space, consider installing the PlayStation 4 vertical stand. It has been completely redesigned to fit the newer consoles, and though it does look a lot nicer than the old version once it’s set up, the process is a little bit tricky.

  • Take the stand out of the box, along with the included pieces of plastic. Be careful to not lose the single screw also included, as this is required to install the stand.
  • You should have small pieces of black plastic — one with an image of the “slim” PlayStation 4, and one with an image of the Pro. Grab the one with the Pro image and put aside the other one.
  • This piece of plastic has four PlayStation button symbols jutting out of it. Line these up with the symbols on the bottom of your PlayStation 4 Pro and push the plastic into place.
  • Take the stand itself and place it on top, with the PlayStation 4 Pro image pointing up so that the screw hole is clear. Sandwich these two pieces together and put the screw through this opening.
  • Screw the stand into place until it’s tight.

With the stand installed, you will have more space on your shelf, and the system looks a whole lot more elegant! (We think so, anyway).

How to transfer data from your original PlayStation 4

PlayStation 4 Pro review
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

If this is your first PlayStation 4, there’s no need to worry about this step. But as the Pro is more of an incremental update than a brand-new console, there’s a good chance you may already have a PlayStation 4, on which you’ve downloaded games, saved your data, and created a personal profile. Luckily, moving those files to your new system is a piece of cake. Here are the basics to get your data transferred.

  • On your original system — provided you have a PlayStation Plus subscription, upload any relevant saved data to the cloud to ensure that it isn’t lost in case of a problem. Sync your trophies by clicking the “trophies” icon on the system dashboard, as well.
  • On your PlayStation 4 Pro, turn the system on and run through the initial setup instructions. Install the latest system software, let it reboot, and sign in to your PSN account.
  • Connect the two systems with an Ethernet cable. Once the PlayStation 4 Pro restarts, it will ask if you wish to perform a system transfer. Confirm this and let the system transfer process begin: It shouldn’t take more than a few hours. Once it’s complete, the console will ask if you want to make the PlayStation 4 Pro your “primary” system. Confirm this, as it is the only way you can play any downloaded software should your internet go down. Now you’re ready to play all your games on the PlayStation 4 Pro!

If you would like a more detailed walkthrough of how to transfer data from a PS4 to a PS4 Pro, we have a step-by-step guide about that process.

How to change 4K resolution settings

The biggest draw of the PlayStation 4 Pro is its ability to play games at 4K resolution. The process requires changing some settings on both your PlayStation 4 Pro and your television.

  • On your TV, there should be a setting called “display,” “video,” “resolution,” or something similar. Select this and choose to enable 4K resolution. Also make sure that your console is connected to a high-speed HDMI port, as some HDMI ports may only support 1080p.
  • On your PlayStation 4, go to “settings,” “sound and screen,” and “video output settings.” The resolution should be “automatic,” but this can be changed to 2160p — that’s 4K — if it doesn’t appear to be functioning properly. You should now be good to go.
  • If you have the PlayStation VR processor box attached to your system and are splitting your HDMI signal through it, you can still play games in 4K on your television. All you have to do turn off the headset. This will not work for HDR content — you must plug the HDMI cord directly from the PlayStation 4 Pro into your television for that.

How to change HDR settings

In addition to 4K resolution, you can also play games on the PlayStation 4 Pro with HDR, or high-dynamic range. This feature, available on many new 4K displays, allows for brilliantly dark blacks and bright whites that can completely transform a game. Please note that the PlayStation 4 only supports HDR10 and not Dolby Vision HDR.

  • With the included “premium” HDMI cable, connect your PlayStation 4 Pro to your HDR-supported television.
  • Next, enable HDR on your television. This process varies by manufacturer, so we’ve included brand-specific instructions below.
    • Sony: Go to your HDMI settings and choose “Enhanced Format.”
    • Vizio: Go to “inputs” and choose “HDMI Color Subsampling,” then enable it.
    • Samsung: Go to “picture” from the menu, then choose “picture options,” and “HDMI UHD Color.” You can now turn HDR on for individual HDMI ports.
    • LG: Go to “settings” and “general,” then select “HDMI Ultra HD Deep Colour.” You can now turn HDR on for individual HDMI ports.
  • Now, turn on your PlayStation 4 Pro, go to “settings,” “sound and screen,” and “video output settings” to confirm that your television is now supporting an HDR signal.
  • If it isn’t, make sure that the HDR setting is on “automatic.” This will let your console automatically detect when an HDR-supported game is being played.

For more information on the nuances of high-dynamic range, we have a handy explainer that goes into much more detail.

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