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PS5 Hacks That Will Make Your System Even More Overpowered

The PlayStation 5 is one of the most powerful gaming consoles ever created. It doesn't just have extreme power and next-level graphics to offer. The console also comes with Sony's high-tech DualSense controller, which boasts advanced haptic feedback and a slew of other features that can bring your gaming experience to the next level.

The PS5 offers a ridiculous amount of functionality and customization options to gamers. Because of that, there are probably some PS5 settings that are ruining your fun in certain games. After fixing those issues, you're closer than ever to getting the most out of your console, but there's still room to grow.

It's not enough to have your settings in tip-top shape. If you want to experience PS5 exclusives like "Marvel's Spider-Man 2" or potentially industry-defining titles like "Starfield" at the highest quality possible, you're going to need to put in some legwork. Think of the PS5 as a blank canvas – an expensive, high-powered blank canvas. There's so much you can do to make the console even better than it already is. Whether you're a hardcore techie who's good with a soldering iron, or just someone looking to lightly spruce up your gaming experience, at least one of these hacks is going to give you what you need.

Delete pre-installed apps

It's hard to believe there was once a time when cutting edge games only took up a few megabytes of storage. Even compared to two generations ago, modern consoles come with an unbelievable amount of built-in storage to keep up with the needs of the latest AAA games. And yet, it isn't enough.

Every gamer knows the pain of running out of storage space. The latest update for your favorite title drops, but when you go to play, you get that dreaded error message. It's time to clear some space before your download can begin. The PS5 ships with a 1 terabyte hard drive, but about 200 gigabytes of that space is taken up by pre-installed software. Anyone who's tried to stock up on games knows that the remaining 800GB goes away pretty quickly.

Most of what comes pre-installed on the PS5 is pretty important. The console needs an operating system and certain programs to be able to function as a gaming device. However, if you're really trying to save on space, you'll want to make cuts where you can. One suggestion: Every PS5 comes with a free game, "Astro's Playroom," which offers fun ways to explore the DualSense controller's features. "Astro's Playroom" is a short experience that most PS5 gamers probably only played during the first week they had the console. The game takes up nearly 11GB of space, so deleting it just like you would any other game you're done with is probably the easiest way to get a bit of breathing room on your hard drive.

Turn off trophy videos

You don't have to be a hardcore completionist to truly appreciate in-game trophies. There's just something about unlocking a virtually meaningless reward that's still guaranteed to flood anyone's brain with dopamine. Even if you're a real trophy hunter, you've probably referred to your trophy count in a particular game as a metric for how much you enjoyed playing it.

Sony's done trophies since before the PS5, but the console does offer a new way of celebrating your achievements. When you unlock a trophy in a PS5 game, you'll get a pop-up notification just like you would on PS4. The difference happens behind the scenes. The PS5 also takes a short video capture of the moments leading up to you snagging the trophy. In theory, you can come back and relive your glory or share your favorite trophy moments with friends.

In practice, most of us forget about our trophy videos entirely. If you aren't frequently rewatching them, they might actually be a detriment to your gaming experience. Those videos pile up over time, consuming more than their fair share of hard drive space. Deleting all the videos is easy enough, but you can deal with the problem in advance by shutting off trophy videos altogether. The toggle switch is in the Trophies section of the Capture and Broadcasts settings menu.

Add another solid state drive

There are a handful of different ways to manage the storage space on your PS5's hard drive. However, no matter what you do to maximize your hard drive, it's eventually going to run out of space. Luckily, solving that problem is fairly straightforward on PS5.

It's entirely possible to add a second solid state drive to a PS5. The console supports M.2 solid state drives in five different types: 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280, 22110. With enough money for the parts and a little bit of work, quadrupling your console's storage space is pretty easy. Most SSDs of the appropriate type will fit inside a PS5, and as long as you account for a heatsink and heat transfer sheet, you should be able to install any SSD you choose.

Installing an SSD into a PS5 involves just a few steps, but opening up the console's back panel is one of them. It'd be a good idea to read PlayStation's official instructions for the process more than once before attempting it, just to be safe. Anyone who finds the prospect of opening their PS5 too daunting shouldn't worry. It's also possible to attach an external SSD to a PS5. You just have to be willing to give up a USB slot while you're using the external drive.

Upgrade your controller

When the PS5 launched, it came with the most advanced controller PlayStation had ever released. The DualSense was immediately a massive upgrade from the PS4's DualShock 4 controller, but now it's been outclassed. Sony released the DualSense Edge to some pretty great reviews in early 2023.

The controller comes with a handful of improvements over the original DualSense. It lets players completely customize their experience, down to including multiple varieties of joystick caps and adjustable trigger lengths. It also packs in other customization options like swappable profiles loaded with different control schemes for different games. That said, by far the most immediately noticeable additions to the Edge controller are the two extra buttons attached to the back.

Some gamers might not be convinced by the Edge, either because it has a slightly shorter battery life than the original DualSense or because it costs $200 on its own. The good news is that gamers don't have to trade in their original DualSense controllers to gain access to one of the Edge's best features. It's possible to install a remap kit into a DualSense controller and add the two rear buttons yourself. Pre-made kits make the process simple enough, though it does involve opening your controller and getting into the nitty gritty of its parts. Because it's such an easy and affordable process, it's one of the best ways to instantly improve your PS5 gaming experience.

Downgrade your controller?

The PS5 might be one of the best gaming consoles ever made, but that doesn't mean it's perfect. Everyone will have their own nitpicks with the system, but one complaint that many fans share is the PS5's input delay problem. More than a handful of gamers have reported experiencing a noticeable delay between what they're doing with their controllers and what's actually happening on the screen.

There are several different factors that can create input delay, ranging from the PS5's software to a particular game's performance to your own TV settings. Every PS5 update allows Sony to address some potential problems with the console, but in the meantime, gamers frustrated by input delay want to know what they can do to improve the situation.

The good news is that a simple "hack" might be able to help. Usually when we think of improving a console's performance, we imagine high-tech solutions to complicated problems. Here, that isn't the case. By going back to your lower-tech gaming roots and connecting your DualSense controller to your PS5 with a USB cable, you might actually be able to fix your input delay. Much like how your PS5's internet connection can be improved by an ethernet cable, your DualSense might perform better if it's wired in.

Regularly clear the cache

Some troubleshooting solutions are nearly universal. If you've ever called a tech support line, you've probably been asked to turn your device off and turn it back on. Simple resets like that can work wonders. Rebooting your system is part of routine maintenance that you should be doing with any device. Your PS5 would probably benefit from this, but there's another simple process that's all but guaranteed to speed up your console's performance.

There are all sorts of reasons why clearing your PS5's cache might be useful. Almost every app creates and uses temporary files while it runs, and those files get stored in the cache. All that junk adds up over time, and it can cause any number of problems from connectivity issues to full on crashes. Clearing your cache on a regular basis will ensure that your PS5 never gets bogged down by junk files that can easily get corrupted.

To clear the cache, you'll have to boot the PS5 into safe mode. After shutting the system down, hold the power button until it beeps twice. You'll be greeted by a menu of various safe mode options that all might come in handy later, but right now "Rebuild Database" is the button you need. Select the option with your controller, and let the console do the rest of the work. This is a great place to start any time you begin to experience slowdowns or other issues with your PS5.

Take advantage of game presets

Sometimes it doesn't take opening cases, rooting around in files, or doing any other kind of elaborate hack to improve your gaming experience. The PS5 offers a number of tools and options aimed at letting players get the most out of all their games. We all probably took a quick scroll through the console's many settings when we first plugged it in, but when there's so much gaming to be done, it's easy to overlook some of the PS5's best features.

Gaming presets are buried a little way into the PS5's various settings menus, but you don't want to forget about them. You can access the preset options under the Saved Data and Game/App Settings menu. You can use these presets to set a standard for all of your games, so you don't have to adjust settings in every individual game you play. You can pre-determine preferred game difficulty, subtitles options, and even camera controls.

Even if you don't have any interest in most of the gaming preset options, you should still take a pass through the menu. The gaming presets screen is also where you can decide to set your PS5 to Performance Mode or Resolution Mode. If you've got a giant 4K display and want the best picture quality possible, go for Resolution Mode. On the other hand, if your main concern is maximizing your frame rate, then Performance Mode is the way to go.

Get yourself a casing mod

Why not boost your PS5 with a hack that's both incredibly flashy and legitimately useful? Modding the PS5's casing is more intimidating than most of the other options that we've covered, but it can also be quite rewarding. A custom case gives your PS5 its own identity, and depending on how far you want to take the upgrade, it can also give your console some increased functionality.

Sony knows that gamers want the option to customize how their PS5 looks, so the company's made the basics incredibly easy. There are even official PS5 console covers that offer a borderline effortless way to instantly change the color of your PS5's casing. Adding a cover to your console is without a doubt the easiest way to make it your own.

Maybe a simple color swap isn't enough, though. Crafty gamers have gone quite a bit further in the realm of casing mods. Some have added plexiglass panels to show off the guts of their console. Others have attached multicolored LEDs to their PS5, adding a professional-level light show to their typical gaming sessions. One particularly dedicated team of modders built a case from scratch that adds a watercooling system to the PS5, guaranteeing it doesn't overheat in any circumstance. The only limit here is your imagination ... and maybe your ability to solder. Just know that you're definitely voiding your warrantee here.

Boost your PS4 games

There have been times when the start of a new console generation turns out to be bittersweet. It's always exciting when big hardware improvements increase the quality of games, but sometimes it can be sad to leave behind all the best games from the previous generation. The PS5 dodges that problem by allowing backward compatibility with PS4 games, but it goes a step further by also giving those games access to its significantly better hardware.

If you're frequently playing PS4 titles on your PS5, you need to make sure that you have Game Boost enabled. Game Boost essentially lends the power of the PS5 to older games, making sure that they run at their absolute best. Say goodbye to any frame rate dips that might have existed on older hardware. With Game Boost, the PS5 can run dozens of PS4 era games at 60 frames-per-second at 4K resolution. 

Once you have this setting enabled, all you need to do is make sure that your PS5 and the game you're trying to play are both up to date with the latest patches.

Consider an ultrawide monitor

If you want your games to look as good as possible, you have more to consider than just a console. It won't matter if you're playing on a PS5 or a PS2 if your gaming setup is using the same CRT TV it's been plugged into since the late 90s. You've got to upgrade your display if you want to get the most out of your PS5.

Grabbing a new TV or monitor comes with a handful of considerations: Do you need something with a 4K resolution? Is 120hz enough? How big is too big? Every question you have about monitors has already sparked an accompanying online debate that never ends. Your personal tastes and budget will ultimately make the decision for you.

PS5 on 34 inch ultrawide
u/Accurate_Hearing_700 in

While working through your internal debate, though, it might be worth considering an ultrawide monitor. With a 21:9 aspect ratio, ultrawides give gamers an expanded field of vision that can absolutely help them get a leg up on their enemies. The PS5 is compatible with ultrawide monitors, but there's a catch: The console is only designed to use a 16:9 aspect ratio. PS5 games on an ultrawide monitor either have black borders on the left and right sides, or they get awkwardly stretched across the screen. Still, if you're someone who uses a PS5 and a PC on the same display, there's no reason not to snag an ultrawide monitor for your gaming rig.

Taking advantage of the variable refresh rate

The PS5 was already a powerful console when it launched, but in the years since, it's picked up some additional features that make it even better. There's another option that can easily get lost amidst the PS5's many different setting options, and depending on your gaming setup, it might be even more valuable than the PS5's game presets.

In April 2022, Sony pushed out a PS5 update that brought variable refresh rate (VVR) to the console. VRR puts the PS5 fully in control of your display. By syncing your display's refresh rate with the console itself, VRR can sharpen visuals and reduce lag at the same time. After the console update, Sony also began retroactively updating a slew of games to make sure the PS5's biggest titles could take advantage of VRR.

Unfortunately, VRR comes with one major downside: It's not compatible with every display out there. Only certain TVs and monitors work with VRR, so this is another case in which getting the most out of your PS5 might require updating a different piece of hardware.