Nearly two years after it first hit–and promptly left–shelves, the PS5 is finally becoming more commonplace and less legend. If you are one of the growing many to have grabbed one of these next-gen consoles, you’re likely already having a good time with it. The console itself is already a vast improvement from the PS4, but there may be more you can do to enhance the experience. Take a look at these five ways you can elevate your PS5 gaming experience and see if you can’t get something more out of a good thing.
Customize your controller
The PS4 had a thriving community for custom controllers designed for different types of games and gamers. While the PS5’s DualSense controller is an improvement over the old design, if you’re going from a custom PS4 controller to the base-model PS5 one, you might see better performance that still doesn’t quite fit what you want. However, you can still customize your own PS5 controller and get all the hardware improvements plus the individually catered designs you’re used to.
Though PS5 games are still largely also still made to be compatible with the PS4, you can still enhance your gaming experience by upgrading every facet of it, even if you’re playing familiar titles.
Get an immersive headset
Game design has come a long way, but sound may have made even greater leaps and bounds. With titles like Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice or Alien: Isolation, sound wasn’t just a suggestion or a backdrop. Now, if you’re playing games competitively, positional audio is practically a requirement without which you’re severely at a disadvantage. Luckily, technology has grown in tandem with the need for higher-quality audio equipment.
Whether you’re looking for an immersive story experience or a competitive edge, a quality headset can take your gaming up a level and put you into the world on your screen. Sony’s own Pulse 3D headset is a common recommendation as it seamlessly integrates with the PS5.
See the whole picture with a wide (or multi) screen monitor or television
The PS5’s graphic capabilities are a significant improvement from the PS4, as should be expected considering the seven-year gap between console releases. The PS5 supports 8K graphics at 60Hz at a 120Hz refresh rate. If you can find a screen to match it, you should expect crisp visuals in incredible detail. Finding the monitor might be the issue though.
The monitor or TV you use largely boils down to your personal preference, but there are a few things to look out for. First, you’ll want a screen that can support 4K. Without that, you won’t get to enjoy the smooth performance of the PS5. You may also want to look out for a TV or monitor with a max output rate of 120Hz. Some Sony TVs claim to have that and be “PS5 ready,” but you can go to another brand if it’s more affordable and provides the same specs.
Get a subscription to PlayStation Plus: Essential
As with many things coming over from the era of the PS4, some things are new but familiar. That translates to PlayStation Plus, too. Where there used to be a singular subscription model that gave you access to online gaming and other exclusives, now there is a three-tier system. PS Plus Essential is the most affordable of the three, followed by Extra and Premium. Some features of PS Plus Essential will sound familiar to legacy gamers, though there are some new additions.
Like the original PlayStation Plus, Essential gives you access to online gaming for your compatible titles. With it also comes access to two free games every month. You have access to that game library for the life of your PlayStation Plus subscription. PS5 games are also in the process of being added. You also get exclusive content like player skins, items, discounts, and cloud storage of up to 100GB for PS4 games and now 1000 for PS5 games.
What’s new is the PlayStation Plus Collection and Game Help. The PS Plus Collection is a set of 20 fan-favorite games from the PS4 era. Those include titles like Detroit: Become Human, Days Gone, Until Dawn, God of War (2018), and Bloodborne. All of these titles can become available in your PS5 library for free, though they will only play up the best performance of a PS4 as they are not remasters.
The final new addition is Game Help. Rather than consulting a spoiler-filled guide, now you can get spoiler-free hints and tips for some supported PS5 games. All of this is available in the PlayStation Plus: Essential 12 month subscription, which is on sale for a limited time at only $55 (Reg. $59).
Find your community
Gaming online is fun, but it is also an innately social endeavor. Just having internet access doesn’t immediately give you all of the fun experiences online gaming can afford. There has been significant discussion of how social elements in game enhances and changes the experience for each player. Oftentimes those discussions are in the framework of developers trying to retain their audience, but there’s a reason social elements influence retention: playing games with people is usually fun for gamers.
The PS5 is at an interesting point in its development. There is a plethora of games available with cross-platform gaming, and as the console becomes more widely available, more games will likely become PS5 exclusives. Online gaming at this stage doesn’t just give you access to some exclusive facets of popular games. It also lets you connect with growing communities and find new ways to make games fun.
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