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Everything you need to know about the PS5

Get the full lowdown on Sony’s game changer…

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The PS5 hit shelves back in November 2020. And since then, it’s become one of the most popular games consoles you can buy – selling over 50 million units by December last year. Those are some whopping numbers, but it’s pretty easy to see why.

It’s a huge graphical and performance leap compared to the last generation of consoles and has an epic library of games that you can’t play anywhere else. Sold yet? If you’re not, you definitely will be after having a read of this.

So, here’s everything you’ll ever need to know about the PlayStation 5

Sony offer two different types of PS5 to suit different kinds of gamers. While they share almost all of the same features, there are a couple of things that set them apart. Here’s what makes both of them tick…

What is the PS5 Disc Edition?

The PS5 Disc Edition has a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray disc drive, letting you play game discs, DVDs and Blu-ray films. If you like to physically own your games – and don’t mind them taking up the extra shelf space – it’s definitely the one for you. Especially if you’ve also got all your old PS4 games lying about still (don’t forget that the PS5 is backwards compatible and can run all of those as well).

What is the PS5 Digital Edition?

The PS5 Digital Edition is exactly what it sounds like – a digital-only console that doesn’t have a disc drive. It’s ideal if you don’t own any physical games or movies and prefer to download them from the PlayStation Store instead.

Because there’s no disc drive, it’s also a little bit slimmer compared to the standard PS5. So, it might actually fit in that slot in the unit under your TV! And as there’s fewer moving parts, it’s the cheaper of the two – making it the more affordable option if you’re gaming on a budget.

Let’s say you want to borrow some physical games from a friend at some point though. Well, with the Disc Drive for PS5 Digital Edition consoles, you can. Just clip it onto your console, and you’ll turn your PS5 from a digital machine, into a full blown physical one. Nice.

That all depends on which version of the console you end up going for. You can check out the prices down below…

Here’s how both versions of the PS5 stack up side by side…

Specifications PS5 Disc Edition PS5 Digital Edition
Disc drive  4K Ultra HD Blu-ray  None (disc drive add-on available) 
Storage  1TB M.2 SSD   1TB M.2 SSD 
CPU  3.5GHz, 8-core AMD Zen 2  3.5GHz, 8-core AMD Zen 2 
GPU  10.3 teraflop RDNA 2 GPU  10.3 teraflop RDNA 2 GPU
Memory (RAM)  16GB GDDR6  16GB GDDR6
Ports   x2 USB-C, x2 USB 3.1, x1 Ethernet  X2 USB-C, x2 USB 3.1, x1 Ethernet 
HDMI out  Up to 4K resolution at 120Hz (with HDMI 2.1)  Up to 4K resolution at 120HZ (with HDMI 2.1) 
Weight  3.2kg  2.6kg 
Dimensions  14.1" (H) x 8.5" (D) x 3.7" (W)  14.1" (H) x 8.5" (D) x 3.14" (W) 

How to upgrade storage of the PS5

Want a bit more space for all your favourite games? No worries. It’s actually super easy to bump up that built-in 1TB hard storage drive and add some extra room. We’d recommend you upgrade your gaming with the Crucial T500 M.2 SSD.

It’ll beef up your storage with another 1 or 2TBs, so you won’t have to keep deleting old games to make way for the new ones. Oh, and all those load times with whizz by too. Meaning you can spend more time playing, and less staring at a loading bar. That’s a win-win!

The PS5 has some of the best exclusives in the whole of gaming. Here are a few that you really can’t afford to miss…

  • Spider-Man 2 - Suit up to protect the streets of New York from Venom, Kraven the Hunter, and other baddies from the Marvel universe. But remember – with great power comes great responsibility…

  • Helldivers 2 – Super Earth is in danger! Sign up with the Helldivers and take the fight to the Automaton and Terminid menace in epic third-person battles. Grab your plasma rifle and armour up.

  • God of War Ragnarök – Tear your way through Norse gods and mythical beasts with your trusty Leviathan axe and the legendary Blades of Chaos. It’s the end of the world as you know it, and only you can save the realm.

  • The Last of Us Part II Remastered – The United States has been devastated by the cordyceps pandemic. And now everyone is either a crazy zombie who wants to make you their next meal, or a raider looking to rob you of your supplies. Watch out.

  • Rise of the Ronin – As a masterclass samurai, roam 19th century Japan and write your own destiny. Face off in deadly katana duels, defeat sneaky ninjas and meet a cast of weird and wonderful historical characters.

  • Gran Turismo 7 – This one’s for the petrol heads among you. Tear up the track in your dream super car, and nail that top spot on the podium in high octane online races.

You can only play these titles right here on PS5. Sorry Xbox and Nintendo fans! If you want to get in on the action, you’ll have to switch sides…

The best of the rest

It’s not just exclusive titles though. There are plenty of other amazing third-party PlayStation games to get stuck into too:

  • EA Sports FC 24 - Fancy yourself as the next José Mourinho? Put your tactics to the test and take your club to glory, rising up the divisions and winning titles in Career Mode. Or, kick things off with the biggest mode in sports gaming, Ultimate Team, and build your dream squad from footie’s greatest players.

  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III - Lock and load! As part of Task Force 141 - the most elite special forces team in the world - you’ll blast your way through a bombastic, cinematic campaign. But if you’ve got a competitive side, you can always take to the battlefield in hectic multiplayer shootouts instead.

With a PlayStation Plus subscription, you can play games online with your mates and other gamers around the world. It’s not one size fits all though. And Sony have created a few different types of the service to suit how you like to play. It’s split into three tiers. And the higher you go, the more content and goodies you get:

  • Essential – On top of the standard multiplayer access, Sony will also give you one PS5 game and two PS4 titles every single month. Plus, cloud storage (handy for extra save space) and bonus discounts.

  • Extra – The middle level comes with everything in the Essential package, as well as a massive game library to get stuck into. In all, there are about 400 PS4 and PS5 games to try out, from hard hitting blockbusters, to indie gems.

  • Premium – This includes everything from the other two tiers. But it also lets you download retro titles from the PS1, PS2 and PSP era, and stream old PS3 games too. So, if you’re after a hit of nostalgia, this one’s for you!

For even more info on all things PS Plus, check out our deep dive piece – PlayStation Plus tiers explained.

If you're into VR gaming, you'll need to get yourself the PS VR2 headset. With PlayStation VR you can dive headfirst into new worlds. You'll be put smack bang in the shoes of the main character, seeing and experiencing everything as if you were actually there!

And there's no faffing about with loads of plugs and leads to get going either. Just plug the one USB Type-C cable into your PS5 and you're ready to get playing.

How to turn your PS5 on

Turning on the PS5 (using the power button):

  1. Find the power button on the front of the PS5.

  2. For the PS5 Standard Edition, it’s just below the disc slot. For the Digital Edition, it’s the only button at the front.

  3. Press the button. You’ll hear a short beep, and the console will power on.

Turning on the PS5 (using the DualSense Controller):

  1. Make sure your DualSense Controller is paired with your PS5.

  2. Press the PlayStation (PS) button on the controller.

  3. The console will turn on, shown with a beep and the front light bar.

How to turn your PS5 off

Turning off the PS5 (using the power button):

  1. Press and hold down the power button on the console.

  2. After one beep, the console will enter Rest Mode. Keep holding the button until you hear another beep, and it’ll fully shut down.

Turning off the PS5 (using the DualSense Controller):

  1. Press the PlayStation (PS) button on your controller. It’ll bring up the Control Centre.

  2. Navigate down to the power icon on the bottom right of the screen.

  3. Choose ‘Turn off PS5’ from the list of options.

What is Rest Mode?

Rest Mode is exactly what it says on the tin. It puts your PS5 into a lower-power state, letting it run different tasks in the background.

In Rest Mode, your PS5 can:

  • Charge controllers – Connect your controllers with the USB-C cable and top them up ready for your next gaming sesh.

  • Download and install updates – Updates are pretty big nowadays. So, download game and system software improvements while you do something else.

  • Resume activities – Start playing that mission again from where you left off without a full reboot.

  • Remote Play – Access your PS5 from anywhere in the house through Remote Play on PlayStation Portal or another device. Yep, you can get a few multiplayer rounds in while you’re sat in bed!

  • Save Power – The console uses less power than when it’s completely on. It’s not entirely off though.

How to connect a PS5 controller

Connecting a PS5 DualSense Controller is really straightforward. Here’s what you’ll need to do…

Wired connection:

  1. Plug the controller into your PS5 with the USB-C cable that came in the box.

  2. Press the PlayStation button on the controller. The light bar will glow, letting you know the controller is paired and ready to use.

Wireless connection:

  1. Once you’ve paired a controller with a cable, you can hook up any extra controllers wirelessly.

  2. On another controller, press and hold the PlayStation button until the light bar starts blinking.

  3. Your PS5 should then automatically recognise and pair the controller. Once it’s paired, the light bar will stop flashing and stay lit.

How to fix stick drift on PS5 controller

Stick drift refers to when the analogue sticks on a controller register an input – even when they’re not being touched. Spooky. This can cause your character to move in ways you don’t want them to, throwing off your aim, or moving you into a dangerous spot. And neither of those are good on the battlefield!

Here’s how you can fix it:

  • Clean the analogue sticks – First, turn off the controller and the console. Grab a can of compressed air and spray it around the base of the sticks. Move the stick around so that the air can reach every nook and cranny.

  • Recalibrate the controller – With a paperclip (or something pointy of the same size), press the small reset button on the back of the controller near the L2 button. You’ll need to hold it down for about five seconds. Once that’s done, connect the PS5 with the USB-C cable and press the PlayStation button to re-pair the controller.

  • Update firmware – Make sure your PS5 has the latest system software updates installed. And, if it’s available, download new controller firmware through the settings menu.

  • Sony support – If the above aren’t working, get in touch with Sony. They might be able to sort a repair or send out a replacement. And if your controller is still under warranty, this service may be free.

How to game share on PS5

PS5 Console Sharing lets you share your digital game library with any mates who also own a PS5. So, you’ll save yourself some cash, and won’t have to shell out on every single title.

Here’s how to set it up:

Step 1: Set your PS5 as primary on your friend’s account

  1. Log in with your friend’s account – On your PS5, log out of your account and log in with your friend’s PlayStation Network (PSN) account.

  2. Go to settings – Head to settings from the main menu.

  3. Users and accounts – Select ‘Users and Accounts’ then ‘Other’.

  4. Console Sharing and Offline Play – From the list, choose ‘Console Sharing and Offline Play’. Then select ‘Enable’ to set your PS5 as the main console for your friend’s account. This’ll let you access and play games that are owned by your friend.

Step 2: Download and play games

  1. Switch back to your account – Log out of your mate’s account and log back into your own PSN account.

  2. Access the games – Go to your game library. You should now be able to see your friend’s games that you can download.

  3. Download and start playing – And that’s basically it. Find a game you want to play and then download it on your own account. It’s that easy.

How to refund a game on PS5

To refund a game on PS5, you’ll have to check first that you actually can. Sony’s policy usually allows refunds within 14 days of you buying the game. But you’ll only be due one if the game hasn’t been downloaded or streamed yet. They might also make an exception if there are game breaking bugs or compatibility problems.

Got all that? Here’s how to refund a PS5 game…

Requesting your refund:

  1. Head to the PlayStation Support website.

  2. Look for the ‘Refunds and Returns’ section. This might be hiding under a bigger category like ‘Games and Add-ons’.

  3. Contact them over live chat or on the phone. You’ll have to give them some details about your purchase, like the order number and the reason you want a refund.

  4. Follow the instructions from support and confirm anymore account info they might need.

  5. Your refund should then be processed back to the card/account you used to buy the game.

Through the PS App or PlayStation Store website:

  1. Open the PlayStation App or go to the PlayStation Store website.

  2. Log in with your PSN account.

  3. Head to your account settings, then purchase history.

  4. Pick the game you want to refund and look for the option to request one.

  5. You may then be redirected to contact support directly.

How to use Remote Play

PS5 Remote Play lets you stream and play your games on any compatible gadget, whether that’s the PlayStation Portal, a PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, or Android device.

Here’s how to set it up and use it…

On your PS5 console:

  1. Turn on Remote Play – Go to ‘Settings’, select ‘System’, then go to ‘Remote Play’ and enable it.

  2. Set your PS5 as the primary console – Head to ‘Settings’ > ‘Users and Accounts’ > ‘Other’ > then choose ‘Console Sharing and Offline Play’ and make sure it’s switched on.

  3. Put the console in Rest Mode – In ‘Settings’, choose ‘System’, go to ‘Power Saving’, select ‘Features Available in Rest Mode’, then enable ‘Stay Connected to the Internet’ and ‘Enable Turning on PS5 from Network’.

On your remote device:

  1. Download and install the PS Remote Play App – On a PC or Mac, go to the official PlayStation Remote Play website and download the app. For iPhone, iPad, or Android gadgets, download it from the App Store or Google Play Store.

  2. Connect your device to the PS5 – Fire up the PS Remote Play app on your device. Sign in with your PlayStation Network account, then select PS5 from the list of available tech. The app will then search for your PS5 and connect to it.

  3. Tweak settings – All connected? If you need to, you can adjust the streaming quality settings (resolution, frame rate etc) within the app to match the strength of your network.

Playing games:

  1. Start a game – Once you’re connected and up and running, navigate to the PS5 interface with your remote device and start any game exactly like you would on the console.

  2. Pick a controller – You can either use the on-screen controls or hook up a Dual Sense or DualShock 4 controller for better control.

Performance tips:

  • Make sure your PS5 and remote device have a strong, stable internet connection.

  • If you can, use a wired Ethernet connection – it’ll reduce any latency.

  • Close any other apps on your device to free up power for remote play.

Looking for something epic to play on your PS5? Then check out our upcoming games page. We’ve rounded up all of the latest info on the biggest future titles. And we’ve even got a few special discount codes when you pre-order your copy too. So, what are you waiting for? Get ahead of the game!

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