Sony’s PS4 Remote Play service is nothing new; since the introduction of the PS4, Sony has offered a way for gamers to remotely access their consoles and play their favourite games. Unlike a similar service on offer by Microsoft for the Xbox One, you can remotely play your favourite PS4 games from anywhere in the world – as long as you’ve got a decent enough internet connection.
While it was initially limited to PS Vita and PS TV devices, Sony has since made PS4 Remote Play available on Mac, PC, Android (our sister site Tech Advisor has a tutorial on playing PS4 games on PC and Mac if that’s more your thing) and most recently, iOS.
Here’s how to play PS4 games on an iPhone or iPad, along with a few tips to improve your game streaming experience.
How to set up PS4 Remote Play on iOS
The good news is that setting up PS4 Remote Play on your iPhone or iPad is a relatively simple process. All you need is your iOS device and access to your PS4.
- Download and install the PS4 Remote Play app on your iPhone or iPad
- On your PS4, head to Settings > Remote Play Connection Settings and make sure ‘Enable Remote Play’ is enabled.
- Open the PS4 Remote Play app and sign in with your PlayStation Network account.
- The app will then search for your PS4 via the internet – this is a bit hit and miss. If it finds it, you should then be able to connect to the PS4 and play games. If not…
- If the app can’t locate your console, head to Settings > Remote Play Connection Settings on your PS4 and select Add Device. A code should be displayed on-screen.
- Tap ‘Register Manually’ on the PS4 Remote Play app, and input the code displayed on your console.
- The app should then be able to locate your PS4 and begin streaming.
Optimising the experience
While you’re technically ready to go once you’ve connected your PS4 to the app, there are a few steps you should follow to enhance the overall game streaming experience.
Tweak the streaming settings
The first thing you should do after setting up the connection in the Remote Play app is to adjust the streaming settings. To do this, tap the gear in the upper-right corner of the app (before you begin streaming) and tap Video Quality for Remote Play.
The default is standard (540p) and while that may be passable on an iPhone, you’ll certainly notice the soft look if gaming on an iPad. If you want a clearer streaming experience, you can crank it up to 720p or even full 1080p if you’ve got a PS4 Pro, but there’s a downside; it could have a negative effect on performance.
While you’ll only need a relatively slow internet connection to stream at 540p, you’ll need a decent internet connection both at home and wherever you’re connected to the internet to achieve a near lag-free experience at 720p or 1080p.
As well as adjusting the resolution, you can also adjust the frame rate from the settings menu. You’re free to select a higher framerate for a smoother gameplay experience, but as with resolution, a higher framerate requires a faster internet connection to perform to an adequate standard.
Use an MFI controller
While you can use the official DualShock 4 controller when using PS4 Remote Play on a PC or a Mac, the same cannot be said for iOS. To get around this, Sony has created touchscreen controls to emulate the PS4’s DualShock 4, but as seasoned iOS gamers will know, controller schemes based around the traditional controller layout don’t translate well to touch, and that’s much the case here.
The experience is much-improved when using an MFi controller like the SteelSeries Nimbus, allowing you to interact with your games in almost the same way as with a DualShock 4 controller – we’ve got a roundup of the best MFi controllers if you need inspiration.
We say almost because not all MFi controllers were designed with this in mind, and thus don’t offer the array of buttons needed to successfully map a DualShock 4 controller. For example, you may not be able to access the Share or Options menu, or trigger any action that requires touchpad or L3/R3 input.
So yes, while an MFI controller will majorly improve the PS4 Remote Play experience on an iPhone or iPad, it’s not perfect.