Sony’s PlayStation 4 has voice commands, just like the Xbox One. They’re just not as heavily advertised. PS4 voice commands work with a standard headset, so you don’t need any special hardware–unlike the Xbox One, which requires a Kinect for voice control.
The PlayStation 4 doesn’t offer as many commands as the Xbox One does. However, voice commands were improved somewhat with PlayStation firmware update 2.00, released back in October 2014.
How to Enable Voice Commands
You can issue voice commands in one of two ways:
- With a PlayStation Camera: If you have the optional PlayStation Camera accessory for your PS4, you can just speak out loud and issue voice commands through the camera’s microphone.
- Through a Headset: You can connect a headset to the audio jack on your PS4’s controller and speak voice commands into the headset. The basic mono headset included with the PS4 works fine for this. However, you can also use another headset with a microphone, even a wireless Bluetooth headset. As long as you can connect a headset with a microphone to your PlayStation 4–no matter how you do it–you’re good to go.
Before testing this out, you’ll also want to ensure voice commands are enabled on the PS4. To do so, head to Settings > System > Voice Operation Settings and ensure the “Operate PS4 with Voice” option is enabled.
How to Make Your PS4 Listen for Commands
To start issuing a voice command, say “PlayStation” out loud. After about a second, a microphone will appear on your screen. This is your indication that you can start speaking voice command. The PS4 will listen for ten seconds–if you don’t say anything within that time, it will stop listening.
You can also press the “L2” button on your controller to make your PS4 start listening for voice commands, but this only works when you’re at the home screen.
You need to pause for a second after saying “PlayStation”–you can’t simply say “PlayStation [command]” without pausing, or it won’t hear your command.
If there’s a lot of ambient noise near you, the PS4 may have trouble hearing you. You may also need to speak more slowly and enunciate more clearly if the software can’t understand you. Voice commands won’t work at all while you’re voice chatting online in a party.
The Different Commands You Can Use
Once your PlayStation 4 is listening for commands, you can speak several commands from anywhere:
- Take Screen Shot: Save a screenshot.
- Start Video Clip: Start recording and save the next 15 minutes of gameplay. If you’ve configured your PS4 to record shorter gameplay clips–like 10 minute clips–it will record a shorter clip instead.
- Save Video Clip: Save the last 15 minutes of gameplay to a video clip. If you’ve configured your PS4 to record shorter gameplay clips, it will record a shorter clip instead.
- Start Broadcast: Start broadcasting your gameplay.
- Stop Broadcast: Stop broadcasting your gameplay.
- Home Screen: Return to the PS4’s home screen.
- All Commands: Display the available voice commands on the current screen.
- Fewer Commands: Hide the list of available commands.
- Log In: Go to the Switch User screen.
- User #: Select a user on the Switch User screen. For example, “User 1” will select the first user in the list and “User 2” will select the second user in the list.
- Yes: Agree to a confirmation prompt on the screen.
- Cancel: Cancel at a confirmation prompt on the screen.
- Back: Go back to the previous screen.
- Back to Game: Go back to the currently active game you’re playing.
- Start PlayStation Store: Open the PlayStation Store.
- Start Notifications: Open the Notifications Screen.
- Start Friends: Open the Friends screen.
- Start Messages: Open the Messages screen.
- Start Party: Open the Party screen.
- Start Profile: Open the profile screen.
- Start Trophies: Open the Trophies screen.
- Start Settings: Open the Settings screen.
- Start Power: Open the Power screen.
- Enter Rest Mode: Put the PS4 into rest mode. This only works from the power menu screen.
- Turn Off PS4: Power off the PS4. This only works from the power menu screen.
The following voice commands must be spoken on the PS4’s home screen:
- [Game Name] or [App Name]: Select a game or app just by saying its name. For example, you can say “Amazon” to select the Amazon Instant Video app. This only works if the game or app is already installed. This also works for built-in apps–for example, you can say “Internet Browser” to select the Internet browser app.
- Start: Start the currently selected game or application.
- What’s New: Go to the What’s New section.
- Library: Go to the Library section.
- TV and Video: Go to the TV and Video section.
For example, let’s say you’re currently using Amazon Instant Video and you want to start using the Netflix app. You’d say “PlayStation, Home Screen, Netflix, Start, Yes” to do this. This string of commands would make the PS4 start listening, take you to the home screen, select the Netflix app, tell the PS4 to start it, and agree to close the current app to do so.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to turn a PlayStation on from Rest Mode with your voice like the “Xbox, On” command on an Xbox One. You’ll have to either press the PlayStation button on your controller or power button on the console. But the voice commands it does have are still pretty useful.