You have long been able to stream games from PlayStation 4 to Android devices, but Sony has recently released its Remote Play app for iOS. Here's how to do it all, and how it is to use it.
What is the PS4 Remote Play?
As the name suggests, PS4 Remote Play is a way to stream games directly from your PlayStation 4 to another device, remotely. It has been available on Windows, Mac and Android for a while, but it just landed on iOS last week.
If you want to get it rolling on another device, you can check out our installation guides for Windows and Mac here, or Android here. Otherwise, you follow up on setting it up on iOS, along with some thoughts on how well it works, especially when compared to other devices.
How to set up remote play on your iPhone or iPad
First things first You need to install the PS4 Remote Play app on your iDevice. It is compatible with both iPhone and iPad. You also need to make sure your iDevice and PS4 are on the same Wi-Fi network.
With that installed, turn on PlayStation 4 and make sure Remote Play is enabled.
From there, scroll down to Remote Play Connection Settings and click it.
The best option here is "Enable Remote Play". Make sure it is enabled.
Do not run out of this menu anyway, as you will need it in the next step. For now, turn to your iDevice and launch the PS4 Remote Play app.
As soon as you start, it displays a simple screen with a large old Start button. Tap it and sign in to your Sony account.
The app starts to search for your PlayStation immediately.
In my experience this is here and miss – sometimes it will find it right away; Other times it will take ages (or not find it at all). To make it easier, go back to your PS4 and click the "Add Device" menu (still under Remote Play Connection settings).
Back on your iDevice, tap "Register manually" and then enter the code displayed on your PS4.
That's all that is. It should be connected, and you are ready to rock and roll. You just need to do this once – after that you should be able to start Remote Play anywhere, even if you are away from home.
Tweaking Remote Play's Options
After you have created everything, you may want to take a quick second to make sure you get the best experience.
From the Remote Play main screen (before connecting to PS4), press the gear icon in the upper right corner. The most important thing to focus on here is the Video Quality for Remote Play option, which will determine how well your game looks – or how bad it works, heh.
The resolution for Remote Play is set to Standard (540p) by default, which is probably okay on an iPhone screen, but looks pretty pixelated on the iPad. The thing is, it gives a good stream and something higher is likely to make the experience worse.
It is also worth mentioning here that the 1080p option is only available for PS4 Pros. The usual PS4 is limited to 720p at its peak.
Beyond the resolution, you can also adjust the Frame Rate here. Again, higher will look better, but can also lead to performance disappearing. If a higher frame rate hits a bottleneck caused by internet speeds, the resulting play will be crooked and lawful, resulting in a lower frame rate. So sometimes the setting of Frame Rate to Standard (the default setting) is a better idea.
Otherwise, it is the menu where you can log out of your Sony account or change the PS4 you log into for Remote Play.
Using Remote Play on an iDevice: Ugh, the controls
With remote play on Android, Windows or Mac, you get a huge benefit: you can use the PS4's DualShock 4 with these devices. With iOS it is not possible, which is one of the major reasons why Sony took so long to release Remote Play on iDevices.
The solution here (at the end of Sony) is to offer touch controls on IOS. I want to talk a little about it now, because it's a core part of the Remote Play experience on iOS.
Usually, you touch controls for action games are quite awful, especially when these games were designed with the game controller in mind. It may not come as a surprise, but Remote Play on iOS is no different.
Play games like God of War or Red Dead Redemption 2 -you know, game with complex control system – is a completely horrible, almost unplayable experience with Remote Play. When you have to hit consecutive (or full) button combinations to execute the correct tube, just press the controls just do not cut it.