Play PS4 Games On PC

Between The Last of Us, Uncharted, Horizon Zero Dawn and Journey, the PlayStation platform has some of the best games of the last decade. But unfortunately, unlike the exclusives of the console of Xbox One of Microsoft, the best ones of PlayStation 4 are not available in the PC.

Or at least they were not. You can now play PS4 games on your PC by streaming them from your console via a local network or the Internet with Remote Play, a previously reserved feature for your PlayStation Vita handheld and select smartphones and tablets. (Soon, you can also use the Sony PlayStation Now service to stream select PS4 games to your PC from the cloud as well, but for now it only supports PS3 games).

Let’s start with some basic considerations before going into the steps.

What you will need

You will need a computer running Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 (almost any modern hardware will); A PlayStation 4 or PS4 Pro; A DualShock 4 controller ($ 44 on Amazon); And the official Sony DualShock 4 wireless adapter ($ 22.50 in Newegg) or a Micro-USB to USB cable. You will also need an active PlayStation Online account.

Your experience will be defined by the quality of your network connection. If both the PS4 and PC are connected in the same local network, it is likely to work very well.

When you play on local Wi-Fi, entry delay can be a problem if the connection is not perfect. I live in a dense urban apartment building, and the interference of neighbors’ Wi-Fi networks makes playing fencers like Battlefield 1 on Wi-Fi very difficult. You’ll see better results in a more pristine network environment, or if you’re playing games that are not about quick reflexes.

Your mileage probably varies depending on location and other circumstances when it comes to playing over the internet, but it is compatible.

PlayStation 4 vs PlayStation 4 Pro

Both consoles of the current generation of Sony support Remote Play, but given the hardware gap between the two machines, there are some understandable differences. More importantly, the classic PS4 has a limit of 720p, while the more powerful PlayStation 4 Pro can transmit at 1080p, assuming your network connection can handle it.

Now let’s get started.


1. Configure your PS4

Firstly, your PS4 should be activated as your main console for the remote game to work with. If you’ve only used a PS4, this is usually the case, so skip this step. But if not, turn on the PS4 and go to Settings in the top menu bar. From there, go to the PlayStation Network and Account Management section, then select Activate as my primary PS4.

Verify that Remote Playback is also enabled. Just go to the same section of the PlayStation Network setup and select the Enable Remote Play option.

When you’re ready to play, you’ll need to keep your PS4 turned on, or leave it in sleep mode for your computer to contact through the network.

To do so from sleep mode, you must also ensure that Remote Play can be run from sleep mode to begin. Usually, it is by default, but if you want to check, go to Settings, then Settings for Power Saver. Select Set available features in standby mode and make sure that Enable PS4 on the network is enabled. Of course, Stay Connected to the Internet should also be enabled.

From here, put your PS4 into sleep mode and head to your PC!

2. Install and configure Remote Play on your PC

Download the Remote Play application from the Sony Remote Play website and perform the installation wizard. You can now run the program.

After you’ve started it up, your first step should be to configure it. You may end up improving this later, but you have to choose a starting point. Click Settings in the application and you will be presented with some options.

You can configure the resolution. The standard is 540p, which is the resolution of the Vita. If you have a PS4, you can upload this to 720p. Do you have a PS4 Pro? Enjoy 1080p!

You can also choose between two frame rate options: standard and high. Standard will put less stress on your network, but will make the game choppier. High is equivalent to the usual 60fps console game cap, but will require a very strong network connection, and also disables the game recording function of the PS4.

3. Connect your controller

You must use a standard Sony DualShock 4 driver to use Remote Playback. If you want to play without cables, you will need to have the official DualShock 4 wireless USB adapter.

Sony claims that USB cabling is also supported, but the driver situation for the DualShock 4 in Windows is less than ideal in this method. This is poorly explained by Sony’s instructions, but it puts the dongle into sync mode too. The two devices should sync, so you can start playing.

4. Connect to the PS4

From the Remote Play app’s main screen, click Start. You’ll be asked to sign into the PlayStation Network; just enter your login and password and it should be a breeze.

The computer will search for the PS4 for a moment, then you’ll be taken directly to the PlayStation 4’s home screen, streaming from your console to your PC. From here, you can use the controller to browse menus or play games just like you would on your console. You can even use your PC’s microphone and keyboard to chat with friends and type text input.

When you’re done playing, hold down the PlayStation button on the DualShock 4, go to Power, then Enter Rest Mode to put the PS4 to sleep and end the connection.


Final considerations

In most cases, you should be playing your PS4 games on your PC with no problem—as long as you have a good network connection, anyway. There are a couple of things that might trip you up, though.

Failure to find your PlayStation just by clicking Start in the Remote Play app means that you have to connect the two devices manually. To do that, they must be on the same local network. Click Register Manually in the bottom-left corner of the application while it’s searching for the PS4 to do this. It’s a simple wizard process.

Finally, note that some games do not support Remote Play. Sony doesn’t keep a public list of the games that do or don’t work with this feature, but rest easy knowing that the vast majority of PS4 games are Remote Play friendly….