Perfect Your PlayStation 4 Experience In Three Quick Moves

by Matt Bertz on Oct 19, 2015 at 01:05 PM

Thanks to its improved online experience, attractive price point, and slight edge in hardware performance, the PlayStation 4 came out of the gates at a full sprint, putting itself well ahead of the rival Xbox One in the latest console race. But despite its lengthy list of improvements over the troubled PlayStation 3, not all is well with the console. 

After spending the last couple years using the PS4 as my predominant console for third-party games (still waiting on that deluge of promising first-party content, Sony!), I keep returning to three major gripes. Instead of living with the problems, I'm being pro-active about formulating solutions with some savvy purchasing decisions.

Get A Bigger Hard Drive

If you are an early adopter stuck with a 500GB hard drive, this is the most pressing issue for those who do more than dabble in the occasional release (and an issue that many Xbox One owners share). Two years into owning the PS4, I seemingly have to uninstall an older game every time I buy a new one. This becomes especially problematic if you want to keep bigger games on your drive that continue to grow with add-on DLC like Destiny, Grand Theft Auto, and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, so you can return to experience the new content as it's released.

If you're as sick of this storage management minigame as I am, it's time to replace your hard drive. Consumers shopping for a new PS4 today have a variety of 1TB bundles to choose from, but those of us banging our heads on the ceiling can find several 2.5-inch, 1TB hard drive replacements for around $50. If you want to get a slight performance boost, make sure you buy a 7200RPM hard drive, or spend a little more for a hybrid or SSD option.

Gamers who tend to buy all the major releases may want to skip the 1TB solution and go straight for 2TB. Most of these drives are available for around $100. For a detailed walkthrough on how to install a new hard drive on your PlayStation 4, head here.

Ditch The First-Party Controller

The DualShock 4 is the best controller Sony has made to date, but it still lags behind the superior Xbox One controller, mainly because it's not tough enough to withstand everyday use. Between sticky shoulder buttons and analog sticks that wear to the point of being ripped, I've already gone through two controllers. No more.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, you can turn to the experts at Scuf to find a controller that can take a pounding. The choice of competitive FPS players, the Scuf 4PS controllers give you the same great frame of the DualShock 4, with the added benefit of customizable paddles that let you keep your fingers on the thumbsticks instead of reaching over for a button. Serious shooter fans can also get trigger extenders or taller thumbsticks (either concave or domed) that won't wear as quickly. The added durability and functionality will cost you (pricing starts at $119) but I've already spend almost that much on my two previous controllers. 

Pick Up A Universal Remote

Have you ever watched someone try to pause or rewind a video with a game controller? Even long-time gamers sometimes struggle to remember the controls, and non-gamers have no idea what to do. You can circumvent this by buying a universal media remote. Most universal remotes don't have Bluetooth support, which won't help your cause, but a few options are available now. Sony and PDP teamed up to make a PlayStation-branded option that sells for $30. If you're looking for a more luxurious option you could invest in a $350 Logitech Harmony Elite remote, which can speak to any of your electronic devices. The other option on the table is the Harmony Hub, which turns your smart phone into a remote control for $99.


These three changes all cost money, but they've made my day-to-day experience with the PS4 much better.