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How to play PS4 games on your iPhone with Remote Play

Macworld | Mar 13, 2019

Sony finally brought its PS4 Remote Play app to the App Store, which means you can now stream games from your PS4 straight to your iPhone. In this video, Macworld’s Leif Johnson shows you how to set it up and provides a few pointers.

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Hey, everyone! You can now play PlayStation 4 games on your iPhone with Sony's PS4 Remote Play app! Today we're going to show you how to set it up, and what you need to keep in mind for the best possible experience.

So keep in mind that this isn't replacing the PS4 itself--we're essentially streaming the game from the console to your iPhone with the help of an app. You've been able to do this for years with the unofficial R-Play app, but now we're happy to see official support from Sony.

And being able to play PS4 games on an iPhone is super cool! But you should know that the possibilities are, well, limited.

Because of the inevitable latency involved and issues with button mapping, Remote Play is best used for turn-based games or "walking simulators" rather than action games like God of War. Even so, it's a cool option to have and it costs nothing to set up.

So what do you need? First off, stellar Wi-Fi is a must for a smooth experience. Second, you'll need a PlayStation 4 running at least Sony's 6.50 firmware.

You'll also need an iPhone running at least iOS 12.1 with the PS4 Remote Play app installed from the App Store. And it's not necessary, but I would highly recommend using a MFI controller such as the Rotor Riot or the SteelSeries Nimbus.

Now let's run though the steps on how to set up Remote Play between your PS4 and iPhone.

Step 1, install the PS4 Remote Play app from the App Store. This is the easy one!

Step 2. Turn on your PS4 and log into the desired account. If you need to update your PS4 to the latest firmware, you can do so by scrolling to *Settings* on your PS4 and then selecting *System Software Update*.

Step 3. Make sure your iPhone and PS4 are on the same Wi-Fi network so they'll be able to talk to each other.

Step 4. Open the PS4 Remote Play app. First you'll want to head to the Settings in the upper right and log in to your PSN account. Once you've done that, go back to the main screen and hit the big blue "Start" button. After that, the app will start looking for your console.

Step 5. If your PS4 fails to connect (and it likely will if you're on an older PS4), you'll see a prompt in the app asking for a code that will allow you connect the devices manually. On the PS4, go to Settings then Remote Play Connection Settings and then to Add Devices, where you'll see the code. You'll have 300 seconds to enter the 8-digit code into the prompt on your phone before it disappears.

Step 6. Tap the white space of the app to make the keypad go away, then click Register in the lower right.

And with that, you're in! You'll immediately see an overlay resembling the buttons of a Sony DualShock 4 controller. Portrait mode is cool because it's like playing a Game Boy, but the screen will be super tiny. You'll basically get to use the full screen in landscape mode, but the button overlay will obscure much of the action.

So for the best possible experience, I highly recommend using a controller. You can't use a Sony DualShock 4 with your iPhone, but MFi (or "Made for iPhone") controllers like the SteelSeries Nimbus or the Gamevice make for decent alternatives.

It's usually very easy to hook one up via Bluetooth and once it's done, most of the DualShock 4 overlay in the Remote Play app should automatically disappear.

Just keep in mind that the button schemes for MFi controllers don't always perfectly align with those on the DualShock 4. On the Gamevice, for instance, you can't press down on either of the two thumbsticks, which can cause problems in games that rely on them such as God of War. The only MFi controller that allows the use of these buttons is the Rotor Riot, and it's currently hard to find.

You'll also have latency issues when using an MFi controller, much as you will when using Remote Play in general. Because of this, I wouldn't use Remote Play with games that require rapid reaction times. You wouldn't want it for playing Apex Legends, in other words, but it's fine for turn-based games or lightly interactive games like Telltale's *Walking Dead* series.

And to finish up, here are a few things to keep in mind. To quit using Remote Play, simply leave the app. Also, If you feel like your connection can't handle the stream, you can change the streaming quality in Remote Play's settings.

Since you'll lose a connection every time you leave the app, you'll need to hit *Start* to reconnect every time. Fortunately, it'll be easier on future attempts.

If you interact with the physical DualShock 4 on your PS4, the Remote Play app will drop its connection. The same thing happens when you turn off your PS4. And to reiterate, the PS4 and the iPhone running Remote Play need to be on the same Wi-Fi network since playing over LTE doesn't work. I've seen some folks saying they've been able to access it through other Wi-Fi connections, but I've been unable to do so on my first-generation PS4.

With all that, you're off to the races! Enjoy playing PlayStation games on your iPhone, and be sure to subscribe for future Apple related news, reviews, and tutorials.
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