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Playing games on your PS4 is an unbeatable experience. However, sometimes you may not have access to a TV or an external screen, but you have your laptop with you.
So how to play PS4 on a laptop exactly? This comprehensive guide will show you how to do it with and without an HDMI cable.
And for the best part, at the end of this guide, we also have a bonus tip for you that you probably didn’t know about.
So, let’s dive right in.
Table of Contents
- How Can You Use Your Laptop as a Monitor for Your PS4?
- Sony Remote Play
- Built-in Recording Function
- OBS Recording Software
- Use a Video Capture Card
- Bonus Method to Play PS4 on a Laptop: PS Now
- FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
How Can You Use Your Laptop as a Monitor for Your PS4?
This is “a good news, bad news” situation.
First, the bad news… To play PS4 on your laptop screen, the laptop must have an HDMI port. Many laptops currently available on the market are equipped with HDMI port, but some don’t – and that can be a bummer.
We’re not ruling out the possibility of still being able to connect your PS4 console to your laptop screen. If you have the technical know-how, you can try an alternative method by making minor changes to your laptop’s pre-set hardware (it’s possible, but we DO NOT recommend this).
You have to remove your laptop’s back panel and find the ribbon plug converter for the HDMI port. You can use this ribbon plug as your display input, but considering the risk involved, we suggest you stay clear of this path.
Ok, the good news… There are many other ways to play PS4 on your laptop without an HDMI input or making any technical or hardware changes. You can do this by using:
Let’s see how these methods can help you connect your PS4 to your laptop screen.
There are many ways to play PS4 on your laptop.
Sony Remote Play
Sony introduced the Remote Play feature for its users when their developers realized they needed something more than traditional TV plug & play.
You don’t need any additional hardware. All you need is a high-speed internet connection and functional console controllers.
Step 1: Download Sony Remote Play App
Download the compatible version of the Remote Play app from Sony’s website to your laptop. If you already have the app installed, update it to the latest version.
Step 2: Update PS4
The next thing you need to do is open the ‘Settings’ menu on your PS4. Click on ‘PlayStation Network’ and choose “Account Management.” Under Account Management, enable the ‘Active as Primary PS4’ option.
Make sure you have the latest version of the software for your PS4. If not, then update it using the ‘System Software Update.’
Step 3: Enable Remote Play Option
Navigate and Enable the ‘Remote Play Connection Settings’ under ‘Settings’ on your PS4 console. You should put your PS4 in rest mode instead of ON to use Remote Play on your PC.
Step 4: Connect the DualShock 4 Controller
Use the DualShock 4 wireless USB adapter to connect your laptop and console connector. This can be done by holding the “Share” and “Circular” buttons on your PS controller until a light bar flashes.
Step 5: Search for PS4 Network
- Select the start option on the Remote Play App installed on your laptop.
- Log in to your PlayStation Network account.
- The app will search for a PS4 on the network. After a successful scan, the app will display the PS home screen on your laptop screen.
Now you’re all set to use your laptop as a monitor to enjoy the best PS4 games.
Here is a good video showing these steps:
How to Use PS4 with StreamLabs OBS | Source: MidnightMan
Built-in Recording Function
PS4 has a built-in recording function that lets you record your gameplay and voice narration and store it on your PC.
And you can use this feature to directly broadcast your PS4 to your laptop’s screen in real-time.
It’s very easy to set this up. Here are the exact steps you need to follow:
- Make sure your PS4 and laptop are connected to the same network.
- Open the game you want to play or record.
- Press the “share” button on your controller. It will open a menu with various sharing options.
- Click on “advance settings” to get to the “broadcasting settings” sub-menu.
- Choose your laptop from this window, and you should start streaming.
Why is this method so popular? Well, it’s simply because it does not require a video capture card. In addition, you can add your voiceover while screen-recording your gameplay and share it with your friends or even post it on YouTube for walkthroughs.
Now you must be thinking— Why did you not tell me about this before? Well, that’s because there is a slight delay in the stream. It might not be more than a second, but that’s enough for an enemy to kill you.
OBS Recording Software
OBS is a third-party screen recording software allowing you to use your laptop as a monitor with your PS4. One of the amazing perks this gets you is that you don’t need a video capture card to play PS4 on a laptop.
Some of the benefits you’ll be getting by choosing this option are:
- Free, open-source software
- High-performance real-time AV capturing
- Audio mixing, noise suppression, and gain
- Streamlined settings
- You can review your PS4 screen recordings in Studio mode and delete unnecessary parts.
The software works smoothly with Windows, macOS, and Linux devices. Here’s what you need to set things up and use the OBS software:
- Download and install the OBS recorder from their official website.
- Open OBS and choose the window capture option.
- You can customize your recordings as per the available settings.
- Navigate to your PS4’s screen and select “OK.”
‘Open Broadcaster Software’ or OBS is cheaper and more convenient to use when compared to video capture cards and other complicated software out in the market. The delay in video streaming is minimal.
Use a Video Capture Card
If you want to play PS4 on a laptop without Remote Play, you can use a video capture card.
This way, you can connect your PS4 to a laptop using an HDMI cable by simply routing the connection through a video capture card.
If you don’t have one, this is the card we recommend: AVerMedia Live Portable 2. This is a great, low-latency game capture card. There are cheaper options as well, but there isn’t really one we would recommend.
Here’s how to do it.
Step 1: Check Connections
To enable file sharing, go to Settings in the PS4 menu and then the Network settings. Open your Internet Connection settings and find your network connection to ensure the device is connected to the Internet.
If you don’t have a wireless connection, you would have to configure the PS4 and the laptop to the same router with the help of Ethernet cables.
Step 2: Software Installation
Before installing the video card’s driver and software suite, make sure you connect the video capture card to your laptop. Only then can you install the drivers for the card properly. This is a crucial step for using a laptop as a monitor for PS4.
Step 3: Connect the Video Capture Card
After installing all the drivers and supporting software, connecting your PS4 console to the video capture card is the next step.
You will need an HDMI cable to connect the video card to your PS4. Connect the PS4 with the capture card through an HDMI cable: HDMI-OUT port of the PS4 to the HDMI-IN of the capture card. Then connect the capture card to your laptop.
Step 4: Run the Software
The final step is to run the software on your laptop. The software will search for the PS4 connection, and after successful configuration, it will display PS4 on your laptop screen.
Bonus Method to Play PS4 on a Laptop: PS Now
Here’s a bonus trick!
What if you could connect your PS4 to the internet at all times and then just log on to the internet and start playing games on your PS4 through a laptop from anywhere in the world?
Well, Sony PlayStation Now makes it possible. The funny part is that you don’t need a PS4 to do that!
Sony PS Now is a cloud gaming solution that lets you play your favorite PS4 games from a laptop or PC just by using the internet.
Sony has a giant network of PS4s lined up in their facility, and you can rent them whenever you need them. It’s basically like a virtual machine for gaming.
You will need a high-speed and reliable internet connection to get this going. This is a good option if you do not have a gaming laptop or pc because all the graphic rendering and processing is handled on the server’s end, and you only get the media and the controls.
The download and installation process is quick and straightforward:
- Download PS Now for your OS from Sony’s official website.
- After downloading, open the setup wizard and follow the steps.
- Launch upon installation, set up your account and select a subscription plan.
- Once done, start playing your favorite games.
However, there is a significant delay in the video stream, which can ruin your entire gaming experience.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to the most commonly asked questions about using a laptop as a monitor for PS4.
How to Use a Laptop as a Monitor for PS4 Without Remote Play?
You will either need to use a video capture card or third-party software, such as OBS software.
How to Use a Laptop as a Monitor for PS4 Without a Capture Card?
If you don’t want to use a video capture card to connect your PS4 to your laptop’s monitor, then you can run software like OBS and Remote play on your laptop to broadcast your PS4’s screen. All you need for this is a high-speed connection and your controller, and you can easily use your laptop as the display without a video capture card.
How to connect my PS4 to a laptop without a TV?
Having a TV at your PS4’s disposal at all times might not always be possible. This is where PlayStation Now comes in. With a PS Now subscription, you don’t have to worry about having a console. Pay for the subscription on Sony’s official website, and you’ll have the perfect alternative to streaming PS games to a TV.
So, if we were to rank the best ways to use your laptop as a monitor for PS4, it would be in the following order.
- Through Remote play
- Capture PS4 gameplay using the built-in recording function
- OBS Recording Software
- Through a video capture card
- PS Now
By following any of these methods, you should be able to hook up a PS4 to a laptop. You can also buy a portable monitor for your PS4.
So out of all these tricks, which one did you go with? Or do you still have issues? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll respond!
Related article: How To Use Your Laptop as a Monitor?