When you have your PS4 next to a monitor or TV, it’s convenient to hook up your console to your setup for quick and easy gaming. However, if you own something like a Mac or a laptop, you may need to do a little more legwork to play games on your screen. Let’s take a look at how you can connect PS4 to your laptop or Mac.
The Problem with Using a PS4’s HDMI Cable on a Laptop or Mac
If you use a traditional computer and monitor setup that uses HDMI connections, plugging in a PS4 is easy. If your monitor has two HDMI ports, plug in your PS4 into the second port and switch between the inputs. On the other hand, if your monitor only has one HDMI port, you can use an HDMI splitter to toggle between your computer and the console.
Your laptop and/or Mac has an HDMI port, so that solves that, right? Unfortunately, the HDMI ports on your computer are different from those on a monitor. Monitor HDMI ports listen for data because a monitor’s primary job is to display information. Your laptop or Mac’s HDMI ports, however, are designed to send data instead.
As a result, if you plugged in your PS4’s HDMI cable into the HDMI port, nothing will happen. That’s because your laptop wants to send data down the HDMI port, but your PS4 also wants to send data down the cable.
How to Play PS4 Games on a Laptop or Mac
Fortunately, all is not lost. If you did want to play PS4 games on a laptop or Mac, you can use PS4 remote play.
PS4 remote play is an app for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. It lets you connect to your PS4 remotely, as long as you have a fast Internet connection. When you first use it, it’s eerie to see your PS4 turn on “by itself.” However, once it’s running, you can see and interact with your PS4’s screen from any device.
To use PS4 remote play on a laptop or Mac, download it from the website. While you wait, hunt around for a USB cable and a PS4 controller, then plug them into your system. While you can use your keyboard to navigate your PS4. you’re limited to only the arrow keys to move, Enter to confirm things, and Esc to go back.
Once the app is downloaded, boot it up and log in with your PS4 credentials. Then, click Start to search for your PS4.
If the app finds it, it will turn on your console and show you a feed. If you’re next to your PS4 when this happens, it should beep and boot up “by itself.”
Now you can use your PS4 controller to play games or use the keyboard to perform basic menu navigation.
Turning Off the PS4
Once you’re done gaming, you may be tempted to hit the cross at the top-right of the window. However, if you do this, all it does is close the remote connection to the console; the console itself will continue to run.
To turn off the PS4, press the PlayStation button and select the power options from the menu. With a PS4 controller, this is easy; it’s the shiny button in the middle with a PlayStation logo on it. Without a controller, you need to wiggle the mouse over the window to get the bottom bar to appear, then click the middle button with the logo.
Now that you know how to connect a PS4 to a laptop or Mac, don’t forget to save and back up your game data after you are done gaming.
Get our stories delivered to your inbox.