It’s finally PS5 time. Sony’s new console boasts a more immersive experience with 3D audio and the DualSense’s haptic feedback and adaptive triggers, but that’s not all that’s new. The UI has undergone a significant refresh with the introduction of cards (and integrated game help), a customizable control center, new shortcut options, and new ways to play with friends via share screen and game share. The PS5 isn’t completely foreign, compared to previous Sony consoles, but getting down the basics of save data transfer, 3D audio, preset options, and more will make your PS5 experience even smoother.
IGN’s PS5 guide has you covered with a full set of guides including explainers for every feature and answers for every question.
When starting your PlayStation 5 you’ll be guided through all the setup steps, including how to use your PSN account on your PS5. But that’s just the beginning. Here are the first things you’ll want to do with your PlayStation 5 before you start gaming.
- From how to get all your games (and game save data) downloading and the settings you’ll want to adjust while you wait. Transferring data from your PS4 to your PS5 can be done via the Cloud if you PS Plus or via USB if you don’t have PS Plus or don’t have an internet connection. You’ll also want to dig into accessibility settings and preset game options which can be found within Settings > Saved Data and Game/App Settings. Use our Things to do First interactive checklist to ensure you get every step covered.
- You can continue using the parental controls you may have already set up on the PS4 but you can also manage your family account for the first time. The steps can start directly on your console under Settings > Family and Parental Controls. Be sure to have your phone handy for easier sign in and because you’ll be directed to the PlayStation website if you’re starting from scratch.
Cards and Game Help Explained
Cards are one of the newest features on the PS5. They provide a slew of information such as party related updates (ex. voice chat and screen share), news, game help, recent captures, trophy progress, and more. The game help cards are exclusive to those who have a PlayStation Plus membership.
Game help comes in the form of cards associated with a game objective, such as getting every collectible in an area or finishing a quest. Tap the PlayStation button, while in-game, to pull up the cards. Select a card to see the objective and select the objective to watch a video showing the solution; sometimes explainer text accompanies these videos.
These clips can be viewed full-screen, overlayed, or pinned to the side. Unfortunately, you cannot play the game while the clip is playing so you’ll need to watch the solution and then continue. Even if you don’t want game help, these game help cards can help you track your progress and even execute a form of fast travel. If you select an objective in another area you can hit resume and automatically go there.
How to Share Your Screen and Games With Friends
You can share your screen with friends, allowing them to watch you play your games even while they’re playing their games (with yours picture-in-picture or pinned to the side).
All you need to do is create a party with the friend(s) you want to share a screen with. Select your party and then join voice chat. View voice chat and you can select the double monitor icon to share your screen. From there, your party members will be invited to view your screen.
Once you’re already sharing your screen, you’ll have the option to select Share Screen | Share Play to start sharing your games with a friend. From here just select the play mode: Visitor Plays as You (they try your games or step in to help you get through a rough section) or Play with the Visitor (Play your games together with the visitor).
Other How-To Guides
Skip the guesswork and use these how-to guides to learn the PS5 basics and discover settings and features you may have missed otherwise. You can find the full list of them here but below are some of the most important.
- How to Expand Storage
- How to Preset Game Options
- How to Disable Adaptive Triggers
- How to See Playtime Statistics
- How to Create Parties – Game Base Guide
- How to Capture and Record Video on PS5
- How to Stream From PS5 to Twitch and YouTube
PS5 Games Lists
At the end of the day, a new console is nothing without some great games to play on it. Below are a few lists that can help you sift through the PS5 library. Keep in mind the PS5 is backwards compatible with the PS4 with the exception of a few games.
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IGN’s PS5 guide also includes more information on the hardware and additional PS5 accessories, including a list of PS4 devices compatible with PS5. Now that you’re ready to take advantage of all the fun and useful PS5 features be sure to use these game guides to help you on your next adventure. Some of these are still in progress but there are plenty of helpful tips to learn from.
Janet Garcia is IGN’s associate guides editor. You can @ her with your PS5 questions and ask her about her favorite Bugsnax on Twitter @Gameonysus. The PS5 guide was written by her and other members of the IGN Guides team.