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The bundled gamepad isn’t the only way to control your PlayStation. Not only can you use a mouse and keyboard, but you can also use voice commands like you would with a smart speaker. Simply say your instructions out loud and your console will obey.
Voice control is a quick and convenient way of performing functions like turning off your PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5, and launching games. And there are plenty more voice commands to explore.
How to use voice commands on the PlayStation 4
On the PlayStation 4, voice control works via the official PlayStation Camera accessory or any connected headset with a microphone, but you’ll need to enable the feature first. Press and hold the PlayStation button to bring up the quick menu, choose Settings, and then pick System and Voice Operation Settings to turn on Operate PS4 with Voice.
[Related: Best PS4 games to play on PS5]
Before you start talking to your console, you need to say “Playstation” and wait for the microphone icon to appear on screen. You can also press and hold L2 on the DualShock controller to get the console to start listening, but this only works on the home screen. When the mic shows up you can start talking and say multiple instructions in a row.
There are some basic commands that are going to work just about everywhere, including “yes” to agree to a confirmation prompt, “cancel” to reject a confirmation prompt, and “back” to return to a previous screen. You’ll also be able to say the name of any game or app on your console to launch it, but this will only work from the PS4 home screen.
To turn your console off with your voice, open the power options by saying “start power” and then either use the “enter rest mode” command (to put the PS4 into rest mode) or say “turn off PS4” (to turn the console off completely). Unfortunately, no matter whether the console is in rest mode or fully switched off, there’s no way to turn on the PlayStation 4 using your voice as there is on the Xbox.
You can also get around the various different screens in the console interface with your voice—just say “start…” followed by the name of the screen you want to jump to. Available options here include the PlayStation Store, settings, notifications, friends, messages, party, profile, and trophies. You can manage gameplay captures with voice commands as well: say “take screenshot” to do just that, or “start video clip” to begin recording gameplay.
At the time of writing, Sony doesn’t have an official full list of all the PS4 voice commands you can use, but you can see them all through the Voice Operating Settings page under System in Settings: Just choose Commands for Voice Operation. Alternatively, use the voice command “all commands” to see the list.
How to use voice commands on the PlayStation 5
Using your voice to control the PS5 is currently labeled as a “preview” feature, which makes us think it’s perhaps not fully finished, or at least there’s more functionality to come. But it works well already, and there are plenty of voice commands for you to play around with. Unfortunately, they’re not exactly the same as on the PS4.
For the PlayStation 5, you can use the PlayStation Camera (PS5 edition) as a mic, or any connected headset with a mic. As the bundled DualSense controllers also have a mic on them, you can just talk into that as well. Just make sure the microphone is turned on, which you can do by pressing the small button between the joysticks, right under the PS button—it lights up orange when enabled.
To activate this preview feature on your PS5, get to the main Settings page by selecting the cog icon in the top right corner of the home screen, then choose Voice Command (Preview) and turn on the Enable Voice Command toggle switch. It’s a good idea to enable Listen for “Hey PlayStation!” too, otherwise you’ll have to tap the PS button and select Voice every time you want to talk.
The “Hey PlayStation” command will get your console listening, and then you’ve got lots of options. For a start you can say “open…” followed by the name of any app or game you’ve got installed—it’s a quick and convenient way of launching something, especially if it’s got a short name that’s simple to say. You can also use “find…” followed by a game or app title if you’re looking for something in the PlayStation Store.
You’ll also be able to control media playback on any app playing movies or music through your console: For example, commands such as “pause”, “resume” and “fast forward” will do exactly what you’d expect. If you want to make a gameplay video, “capture that” will record the last few minutes of action. You can be more specific by adding a time period to the command (just say “capture the last five minutes”), but if you don’t, the PS5 will use the default duration of 30 seconds instead.
As with the PS4, there’s no official list on the web of all the voice commands supported by the PS5 at the time of writing, but a quick search will reveal plenty of unofficial ones. You can also choose Voice Command (Preview) and then Learn More from Settings on the console itself to see a list of some of the supported commands.