Brittney Griner Back in US Blur Your Home on Google Maps Gift Picks From CNET Editors 17 Superb Gift Ideas Guillermo del Toro's 'Pinocchio' 'Harry & Meghan' on Netflix Prepping for 'Avatar 2' Lensa AI Selfies
Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?
No, thank you
Accept

8 Tricks to Supercharge Your PlayStation 5 Experience

The PS5 even has spoiler settings you can tweak.

Dualsense wireless controller in cosmic red
The PS5 controller is one of our favorites.
Sony

Games are the most important part of the PlayStation experience, but don't forget your settings. The PS5's user interface is a treasure trove of extremely cool options well worth exploring. Here are a few tips and tricks to help supercharge your PlayStation experience. 

Some are handled seamlessly during setup, but others are buried under a mountain of settings and options. We thought it was worth breaking down.

Here's what we think is worth doing when you either first turn on a new PS5 or want to dive deeper into the settings of the one you've been using. These options will help you tailor the PS5 experience to your own specific preferences.

1. Explore your privacy settings

During the initial PS5 setup you'll be asked to select from a series of four different privacy settings with names like "Social and Open" or "Solo and Focused." It's essentially letting you control your online profile and what others can see. 

But those settings can be broken down further within those categories, giving you complete control over whether you'll show up in search results, or who can add you as a friend, for example.

These settings can be found under the Users and Accounts tab in settings.

2. Choose your power settings 

The PS5 gives you the ability to better control how much power your PS5 is pulling, mostly when you put it into rest mode. As with the privacy settings, you'll be able to choose between profiles during setup, with presets that can be broken down further if you feel like diving deeper. Those presets determine how long it takes for your PS5 to power down when idle and also whether or not the console will automatically download updates -- useful if you want to avoid the dreaded system update when you want to play something online. 

3. Experiment with HDR sliders

PS5 standing on end next to a game controller

This photo makes the PS5 seem way smaller than it actually is.

Sony

If you have a TV that's HDR-capable, you'll definitely want to make sure you have these settings right. 

Again, the PS5 allows you to tinker with the contrast and brightness during setup but, personally, I went back and forth with these settings a few times, mainly because if you change the settings on your TV after setup (say, to a Game Mode) those HDR settings will be affected. It makes sense to go back and optimize. Especially if you're as picky about picture quality as I am. (I've spent an embarrassing amount of time fixing these settings.)

4. Use the submenu 

Possibly my favorite part of the PS5's UI is the submenu you can bring up in game. Basically, if you push the big PlayStation button in the middle of the controller, this submenu pops up. Very nifty.

Older consoles have had some variation of this feature for a while now, but I'm a huge fan of the PS5's version. It's unobtrusive, subtle and allows for customization. 

You can access settings, mess around with sound levels and add additional devices like headphones. You can even link your Spotify account and choose music from the submenu. VR options are also available from here, which will be a big help for those trying to fix VR issues on the fly.

You can easily switch between recently played games in this submenu as well, negating the need to go to the homepage to start a new game. 

But my favorite part: It's possible to customize your submenu. You can even add the PS5's accessibility options to the sub, which I'd imagine could be incredibly helpful for gamers with disabilities.

5. Choose performance or resolution 

Some games offer PC-like graphics setting options. Games such as Guardians of the Galaxy and Spider-Man: Miles Morales let you choose whether you'd prefer the PS5 to focus its extra processing power on resolution or performance, which essentially means frame rate.

Personally, I always prefer a focus on performance over resolution. And if you have a TV that doesn't do 4K, you'll definitely prefer performance over resolution, although the performance settings can disable ray-tracing and other graphical extras. 

Either way, to save you the hassle of selecting your preferences anew with each game, the PS5 allows you to select a default choice in the settings. Head to Saved Data Game/App settings and select game presets.

Now playing: Watch this: Microsoft plus Activision Blizzard: What it means for...
7:03

6. Pick your default difficulty

In the game presets section there's a lot of good stuff -- you can even choose which difficulty you prefer as a default. 

Personally, that's not something I'd be doing. I reckon game difficulty is way too subjective and differs wildly between games. But I know there are folks out there who like to immediately crank to the toughest setting, and, vice versa, people who just like to play games for the story.  

7. Check your controller settings and have a tinker

Game controller in black and white

Definitely mess about with the controller settings.

Dan Ackerman/CNET

This is an absolute must. 

This isn't exactly a new thing, but the PS5 lets you set up default controller settings that are applicable to all games. First and foremost, you can make "invert" your default on first-person shooters or in third-person games with camera controls. 

I'm constantly having to dive into game settings to change that, so that's a must for me.

You probably already know that the PS5 DualSense controller is a big leap forward in terms of its adaptive triggers and vibrate functions. You can also make changes to the intensity of the effect. Personally I wouldn't touch it. I'm very happy with the default, but it's there if you want to tweak it.

8. Choose your spoiler settings

I couldn't believe this one exists but it does.

You can actually control the level of spoilers you will see when navigating through the PlayStation Store. You can select between eliminating "all" potential spoilers, or eliminating spoilers as determined by the games' developers. 

So if you happen to be incredibly sensitive to spoilers, you can head to the Saved Data Game/App section of the settings and click on Game Presets. The option is in there.

Now playing: Watch this: PS5's new UI revealed! Full features breakdown
4:23