How to Connect your Smartphone or Tablet to the PS4

The PS4 is the perfect step into the next generation. Improved graphics, user interface, network, and the best controller ever made. As part of PS4’s ongoing campaign of psychological warfare against the Xbox One, Sony has once again taken something Xbox does and made it easier, and better.

This handy guide will give you a step by step process to connect your smartphone or tablet to your PS4 and unlike most guides, this one will tell you what you can do once the connection is established. Because here at PS4 Experts, we like to give you all the information, not just the bare minimum. We’re awesome like that.

Step 1: “Locate your smartphone/tablet and make sure it’s updated.”

How to Connect your Smartphone or Tablet to the PS4The PlayStation App as it is so aptly known, is compatible with both IOS and Android devices.

Now before you go rushing out to download it, make sure your IOS device is at least version 6.0 and your Android device should be at least 4.0. Once you’ve confirmed that, go into your respective app store and search “PlayStation”. You’ll see it pop up here and you can proceed to download it.

Step 2: “Open the app and login to your PSN account.”

Open the app and login to your PSN account.Once the app has been installed, you can open it to see a main menu filled with delicious options. Your first move here should be to sign in to your PSN account. To do so, go to settings in the bottom right corner, then select “Sign In”. Once you’ve done this, you’ll have a lovely miniaturized version of your PS4 in the palm of your hand.

Step 3: “Connect your Smartphone or Tablet to your PS4”

Connect your Smartphone or Tablet to your PS4This last step will bring the full suite of features to your device. In the bottom left corner of the main app screen, select “Connect to PS4”. Doing this will walk you through a method of syncing your device to your console.

On the PS4 you can go to settings > PlayStation app connection settings > add new device. Your television will display a number code that you will then input on your phone in the app. That’s all there is to it, now you have your phone or tablet fully connected with your PS4!

So now that I’ve assisted in building Skynet, what can I do with the PlayStation app?

Bringing yourself one step closer to being ruled by machines grants you a wealth of new things you can do with your phone or tablet in regards to your system. For starters, you’ll have a constant feed to your PSN profile.

This means that wherever you are, you can see what your friends are doing, you can send and receive messages, and you can view trophies. It is essentially like having your PS4 with you, minus the ability to play games from the console.

You can also make purchases on the PlayStation Store with the app, and if your PS4 is on standby, you can begin downloads on your system while on the app, so when you get home it’s all ready for you. This is probably my favorite feature because it gives you the ability to impulse buy wherever you are and some of my best purchases have happened on a spur of the moment basis.

PlayStation app

In addition to being always connected and up to date, the PlayStation app also acts as a second screen. The feature allows you to type messages on your phone as opposed to using the on screen keyboard.

Why Stop There? Connect All The Things!

Beyond your smartphone, Sony has also added the ability to connect your laptop and your Vita to the system. You can stream games via remote play this way, and on the PC you can access PlayStation Now.

While the PlayStation App is somewhat limited in its scope, these devices will allow you to fully stream games from your PS4 over a Wi-Fi connection.

So let's start with the little handheld that could:

Connecting Your Vita to The PS4

With the 3.00 firmware update on the PlayStation Vita, you should have an app on the system called "PS4 Link" Selecting this will get you set up with a connection that binds your PS4 and Vita together like two peas in a pod.

With this setup in place, you can stream games to your vita and play them with the same quality you would see on the TV screen, just on a smaller and a more portable scale.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • The PS4 needs to be on for this to work (but you can wake it from standby using the Vita by enabling the feature in the PS4's power settings
  • For best results, both the PS4 and the Vita should be on the same wireless network and, ideally, the Vita should be near your router
  • Not every game will work for this, it will need to support remote play, which you can see on the back of the game's box

Now, you can also directly connect your PS4 to your Vita to reduce lag, but you'll need to be in the same room as your PS4 for this to work properly.

To do this, you'll just need to go into the PS Vita connection settings and check the box for Connect Directly With PS Vita.

Connecting Your Laptop to Your PS4

PlayStation Now is a growing service where you can stream PS3 titles to your PS4 or Windows PC and achieve a version of backwards compatibility as a result.

Remote play is also available on your PC laptop, as well as Mac computers. To get started, you'll need a DualShock 4, a USB cable (or wireless receiver), and a strong Wi-Fi connection.

If you must have that wireless connection, you can order a Wireless receiverto make your DualShock 4 compatible wirelessly with your PC.

With all of that, you'll just need to download the app for your computer to start the process. You can find it for both Windows and Mac at this link.

As of its latest udpate, the app now allows you to set the video quality of your stream up to 1080p, but your performance will vary based on the strength of your internet connection.

You can set the preferred video quality by going to your settings or preferences on the app and selecting "video quality for remote play."

Once you've downloaded the app on your PC or Mac, enable remote play in your PS4's settings by going to "settings" > "Remote Play Connection Settings" > check the box for "Enable Remote Play."

Much like connecting with the Vita, you'll need to make sure this system is activated as your primary PS4 (an issue most of us won't need to worry about). In the PS4's power saving settings, you can also tweak the features available in rest mode which will allow you to boot the system from rest mode via your PC or Mac.

Should you connect your devices to your PS4?

Absolutely. The PlayStation app is easy to download, as are other companion apps and they serve only to elevate your capacity to enjoy your system and stay connected.

Don’t think about the fact that you’re constantly connected to your system. Just be thankful it isn’t spying on you. At least with this it won’t know what you’re doing.

Top this off with remote play on your Vita, PC, or Mac, and there's no reason not to connect everything together and enjoy your PS4 games anywhere you want in your house. Now, if someone is using the TV, you have other options!

Do you have the PlayStation app? What do you think of this new craze connecting smartphones and tablets to consoles? Do you utilize remote play on your Vita or computer? Let us know in the comments!

Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Insert Date: 01/28/2014
Updated: 2/16/17

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Thank you for the article. I was wondering if you know how this connection between the PS4 and smartphone is established? Do they connect to each other via Bluetooth, AD-Hoc, or Internet? Also, if I were to invest in a Vita, would the games that provide a second screen experience on phones and/or tablets also provide the same experience with a connected Vita or is the Vita/PS4 union only for remote play?

Connection Options

Hello, The connection between the PS4 and Smartphone is done via internet and by using the same PlayStation Network account on both devices. The same goes for the Vita if you're using remote play via internet. Both devices need to be on the same network As mentioned in the update post, you can connect your Vita directly to your PS4 if you're in the same room for remote play. I imagine this is done via Bluetooth or Ad-Hoc as you suggested, but I couldn't find an exact answer. In terms of the Vita's functionality, the primary use is for remote play, however, the system does allow you to access your messages, friends, and other online features when you login with your PSN account. It doesn't have the exact same second screen experiences as a smartphone, though. I personally love my Vita, but it's not something Sony will be supporting much in the future, so an investment is really dependent on whether you want specific games for it that are already out. While you can use it for remote play, there aren't many more games coming out for it, and Sony has discountinued PlayStation Now on it. For remote play, you would almost be better off using the steps I added to the article to enable your PC or Mac to do remote play the same way a Vita does. At the very least, your computer's screen will be larger :) Hopefully that answers all your questions, but feel free to let me know if you need anything else! - Bradley