PS Vita: Our 9 Favorite Tips

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PS Vita: Our 9 Favorite Tips
18 Author Replies


If you’ve picked up PS Vita then you’ve probably been too busy plowing through the dense launch line-up to have spent much time browsing the Settings menu. Luckily, you don’t need to – we’ve spent plenty of time with PlayStation’s new crown jewel and we’ve put together a few favorite tips and tricks we wanted to share. Of course, this is just a start: We want your tips, too!

If you’ve discovered any favorite PS Vita functions, please share them in the comments for all to enjoy this weekend.

1. Order in the court! By now, you’ve probably figured out how to move your game and app bubbles around the Home Menu by pressing and holding one using the front touchscreen, enabling you to drag it around into different frame. You can even change the background color or image by tapping the theme icon in the bottom right of each frame. Get creative and design your own background images (which you can transfer to your PS Vita via PS3) like James Gallagher from the EU PlayStation Blog did here.

PS Vita menus

2. Let there be light. You can adjust your PS Vita’s OLED screen brightness mid-game without the hassle of jumping into the Settings menu. Just hold the PS button to bring up a quick-access menu that enables you to adjust brightness and your custom music options. Wanna listen to the soundtrack to Armageddon while carving through Ninja Gaiden Sigma Plus? Don’t miss a thing, baby.

PlayStation Vita PSP Menu

3. Call for backup. Let’s face it: electronic devices have an uncanny affinity for toilets. We can’t prevent that, but we can help ensure you don’t lose your precious saved game data. Simply connect your PS Vita to your PS3 via the USB cable, open up the Content Manager on your PS Vita, and select the the Back Up option to back up all your PS Vita’s game data and gain a little extra peace of mind.

4. Say cheese! PS Vita comes equipped with a simple but game-changing new feature: The ability to snap screenshots of your in-game exploits. Just press the PS button and Start at the same time: You’ll see a white flash and hear the snap of a camera shutter and the resulting image will be saved and neatly categorized in your Photos gallery. You’ll be able to take screenshots in the vast majority of games, though not every game.

Rayman Origins

Super Stardust DeltaLumines Electronic Symphony

5. Prettier PSP games. PS Vita currently supports more than 275 legacy digital PSP games and more are on the way. You can also improve the way those lower-resolution PSP games look on the PS Vita’s screen by pressing and holding the front touchscreen to bring up a Settings menu where you can activate several options. Checking “bilinear filtering” and “color space” seems to yield consistently smoother results, but experiment with your PSP games to find your favorite combination.


6. Slip into something more comfortable. PS Vita enables you to adopt a custom panel to add a little flair to your PSN presence. To change your PSN panel, navigate to Settings, PSN, Account Information, and Panel to choose from a wide assortment of artwork from first and third-party games.

PlayStation Vita PSN Panel MenuPlayStation Vita PSN Panel Menu

7. Remote Play renaissance. Ever wish you could log into your PS3 remotely to access a video or initiate a PlayStation Store download? This handy feature isn’t technically new — it was supported on PSP — but thanks to PS Vita’s monstrous OLED screen and more powerful processors, it’s more useful than ever. Protip: Remote Play is compatible with any PSone games you may have on your hard drive, along with a handful of classic PSN games such as PixelJunk Monsters, PixelJunk Eden, and Peggle.

PlayStation Vita Remote Play Menu

8. Bluetooth bliss. PS Vita supports high-quality stereo Bluetooth for audio output, so if you’ve got a nice pair of Bluetooth headphones (ahem), you can pipe in your game audio without restricting wires. In the Settings menu, touch Network and Bluetooth Settings and you’ll be able to pair your headphones to your new PS Vita. If you get stuck on the pairing code, try “0000.” If that doesn’t work, check the manual that came with your headphones (or look it up online) to find the proper four-digit code. Now enjoy a better life — a life without wires!

PlayStation Vita Bluetooth Menu

9. Silence is golden. Some people like soft jazz, others prefer silence. If you want to turn off PS Vita’s toe-tappin’ menu music, you’ll find the option in Settings > Sound & Display > System Music. While you’re there, you’ll notice an AVLS option. This limits the maximum volume when using headphones — perfect if you share your PS Vita with a little one.

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18 Author Replies

  • I do love my Vita though :3. I would also like to know if you can view your save files. I read that it was included in the app data. Just seems a little off to me.

    • Sid Shuman

      Yep, saves are “attached” to your game data, so they’ll travel with the game when you back it up to your PS3 or Content Manager.

  • Sonicfan11589

    If u guys can, on the blog share, can u add “PS Vita” to the idea focus list?

    Also any news when Mortal Kombat Vita is coming out, i know it is this spring.

    I would love to see Virtua Fighter come to the Vita as well, but i guess that it is Sega’s decision to do that.

  • A Wild Arms 3 panel? This is awesome!

  • soundandvision77

    Hi Sid, I don’t mean to correct you, buy Remote Play is advertised on the Vita page of the U.S. site.

    The video for “PS3 and PS Vita Cross Play” shows remote play for Killzone 3 being done on the Vita, so it does seem like the Vita should have this feature.

    I’m hoping the “Stay tuned” that we keep hearing is a hint that this is coming on the horizon not far from now. It’s one of the features that will definitely convince me to buy the Vita. It’s already tempting, but I need to get through some of my PS3 backlog first! (but maybe I could do this through remote play on a shiny new Vita soon…)

    Anyway, thanks and keep up the good work on the blog!

  • Things I would like to see added:

    1) Ability to create some type of folder to hide away all the items you don’t use, or don’t use regularly.

    2) Ability to remove the ‘Welcome Park’

    3) Different shapes for the LiveArea Icons, bubbles are, well, bubbles. Hexagons, triangles, squares, options that can better match better with backgrounds you choose.

    4) Ability to play PSP Demos!! Lots of old demos to try, none of which I can do on the Vita. Not going to buy something without trying it first.

    5) mkv container support. Its only been around 9 years now >.<

  • When will I be able to see my PS Vita trophies on my PS3? The number and percentage of level show, but the last trophy I see was earned on my PS3 a week ago.

  • Sonicfan11589

    In reply to my previous post, i noticed u guys DID add PS Vita to the idea focus list, thank u, now it would be easier to be more specific with our ideas.

  • Funny how those nasty,bad game stealing hackers out there… do nothing GOOD for the community… yet… they seem to be able to get the ps3/vita working better then actual sony employees… yo sony, fire your team, and hire the hackers… they seem to know more about your product then you do!

  • hey sony how about you guys create your own face time app for video chatting on the vita ?

  • listerofsmeg42

    Skype with video chat!

  • @35 It’s not like you have NOTHING to show for $250. You have the best Handheld on the planet. The frame rate and poly count on Wipeout is the same as on PS3. It’s a freaking portable PS3 practically! That has to amount to something! :P

  • EXTREME_rkmn

    @30 during the #PSVitaChat Livestream they confirmed an inFamous game is in the works, but no date :p


    It seems like hackers are able to use remote play just fine on the PS3. I would really love to know why people who play by the rules are unable to do so…

  • What’s with the pic of the old folks playing the wii?

  • @61 I wouldn’t say it is currently the best handheld. I feel it has the potential to be, but right now the 3DS holds the crown pretty easily just because of their available game catalog. I am very happy with my Vita purchase… I just wish features that were talked about early on were available to me right now. I am a little confused as to when it became ok to release hardware with incomplete firmware on it. First games started being incomplete and needing downloads and patches, now we have firmware limiting the use of features because it is not complete. It is a bit irritating. Again… I like my vita a lot and bring it everywhere with me, so I am not talking $hit about it. I just want it to get to where it is supposed to be.

  • You guys stop sending me advertisements ti my psn inbox, its pis sing me the fk off!

  • First off, I absolutely love the Vita. I could not believe how incredible Uncharted, Rayman Origins and MvsC3 looks and plays on this device. Nonetheless I am pissed off about the ‘remote play’ function. Like the rest of you, I have been salivating for an entire year over the idea of playing ps3 ‘discs’ (Not minis like Pixel whatever), streamed to the Vita. I mean we saw with our own eyes the Killzone 3 tech demo for the last 8 months or so. The Killzone 3 remote play demo was even advertised around September in a legitimate Vita commercial on this website.

  • Concerning the Remote Play or Cross Play, it is advertised on When you click on and watch the Cross Play video, it just very clear what’s being advertised. Play your vita games with your friends who are on PS3, or play on your PS3 while playing with friends on the Vita. Also says, enjoy playing a game on PS3, pause it, then pick up on the Vita, or vice versa… if the feature is well thought out and advertised on your products homepage, it should be included with the system. The video doesn’t say “Will one day support, or coming soon,” It’s advertised as an existing feature. We really do deserve the official word on this issue. Not a delay or postponement. Or if that can’t be given at this time, then that selling feature needs to be removed from your products feature page until it is available.

  • I was not expecting ALL ps3 games to have this function, but several weeks ago hackers have been showing off Red Dead Redemption, Arkham Asylum, Infamous 2, Battlefield 3, Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2, Bioshock 2, Modern Warfare 3, etc. These are obviously triple A titles which look amazing being streamed to the vita on the multiple youtube videos being shown. I was thinking how amazing this is going to be and bought the vita immediately on launch. Obviously ‘remote play’ does not work the way it was advertised to for the last year or so, leading up to the launch date of the vita.

  • But what pissed me off the most is that Sony has been airing tv commercials which show some dude taking his vita on the go and still playing MLB the show (PS3 version) on his Vita, with the misleading catchphrase, “Never Stop Playing”. I looked it up and this particular game due on March the 6th will apparently work with remote play, or “cross play” as Sony is now calling it. Though you may have to buy both versions of the game??? (I might be wrong?). Anyways I feel that the Vita has been falsely advertised with respect to the remote play option on the Vita. Yes the ps3 crossbar shows up on it, BUT you can’t play any discs?

  • In my opinion the Wii U will be launching in several months with this function and that is when Sony will automatically give us Remote Play…But why do early adopters who rush out to buy this thing get the shaft? Christ, just give an explanation on if and when this feature may show up? Don’t beat around the bush, there are like 80 million PS3 users which will scrounge up the cash for the Vita!

  • I’m really happy with my purchase right now, and am glad I decided to go with it despite the bad taste in my mouth left by PSOne classics not being playable at launch. Here is some random jazz that I think is quite important.

    PSOne classics <-I know its coming, but it should've been here for launch.
    PS2 classics <-I think this is doable, although emulation on the PSV might be an issue.
    PS3 Remote play on all PS3 games <-really important feature, as its basically PS3 on the go.

    With the recent push of content across the board of Sony devices, this is key. Listen to your customers.

    Thank you for the tip post, happy gaming.

  • I love my vita. but whats the point of signing into psn when everyone on ps3 cant even see me do anything only people with vita’s can see me. on top of that all my friends on ps3 have told me that my name is on the very bottom of there list and my avatar doesn’t load for them at all why is that?, please tell me you guys will be fixing this soon and not way later.

  • will we have any more imporrt games coming to the psn? There are a lot of awesome games that never made their way over

  • i need tips to use Near and Google Maps. I don’t know why but I keep getting a Cannot get location error

  • @75 You have the 3G model? Because unless you have a WiFi connection, it’s not going to be able to communicate with the server. Sure, the GPS can grab your location, but it can’t do anything with it unless you have internet.

  • @ Rendermonk. I agree, I don’t think it is fair at all of Sony to be vague about whether or not this function works. Their advertisements clearly state this and I bet you parents have bought there children the vita as it ‘will emote play your ps3 discs’ only to find out that it doesn’t ‘at this time’? I wish they would not have showed or displayed this function at all. Even the retailers are lead to believe that this works and are telling customers to buy this thing because it will play your PS3 games as well as the amazing launch titles!?

  • we need youtube and trophies syncing with the PS3, cause on my PS3 I don’t see the trophies I got on the Vita, also de pad should’ve been a bit bigger, it’s not that good for 2D fighting games, the PSP’s was waaaay better. Also bring the UMD passport program please, I want to play my Peace Walker and MoH with dual sticks

  • @76 – yes, mine is 3G and i have tried with 3G on, 3G off, 3G + Wifi on, only Wifi on… I think I even tried with 3G and Wi fi off…. I’m sad

  • Could you fix the syncing problems between the PS3 and the Vita? New messages show up as new on both systems until read on each. Sometimes I see people on my PS3 friends list that also have Vitas on the very bottom of the list, their avatars continually loading. This might be intentional or not, but I can see on the Vita whether they are playing a game on the PS3 or Vita by the icon preceding the game, but I cannot see this on the PS3.

    I like the addition of the panels to the PSN profile Could you add more to the PSN profile for both Vita and PS3? Such as:
    – Add the flag of the country from which we reside, like in Dead Nation.
    – Show the last game played.
    – Instead of 8 trophy images, show either the last trophy with its description, or the last platinum or highest trophy to date earned if we opt for that instead.
    – Allow for more characters in the “about” section and “comment” section.

  • @sid

    loving the vita so far but my biggest complaint is navigating the browser/xmb using touch only. my fingers get tired from swiping and swiping also scrolling is a pain as well . is there anyway u can make a update to use the d-pad/analog sticks for these features. also i noticed that you can’t edit your online status so everyone think ur online and get bombarded by messages i want to be away or hidden so no one can bother me. lol

  • How come I can’t see messages that come with Friend requests on the Vita? All I can see is the option to accept or decline. If there’s a way to read the message that goes with it I can’t see it.

    While on the subject where is my general inbox? All I see is the group chat thing and regular PSN messages don’t seem to go into there. Well at least the friend request ones don’t.

  • I want to see more REMOTE PLAY enabled games AND more CROSS PLAY games!

  • Also you really need to increase the friend limit. 100 is just not enough for two devices.

    I don’t have any room for all my Hot Shots Friends.

  • Thanks for keeping us posted! Please announce something soon regarding remote play.
    That was the feature that caused several of my friends to pickup Vitas. I know it can be done with updates and you guys are no doubt smoothing all the wrinkles out, but please announce something asap!

    Psone games and any PSN games you can squeeze onto Vita would make us super happy too!

    When will the next PSP/Mini update be? It’s taking a long time. :)

  • I know its been mentioned and addressed a few times in this comment section but remote play on Most disc based games is a feature that needs full support. I was very disappointed in the psp implementation Sony needs to understand users want to be able to play there ps3 disc games through remote play on the vita. As great as the vita is, and I love it, if remote play is not implemented it will sour my view on the system.

    Not that I condone it but people with hacked fireware code have been making remote play work. So it does work. Don’t punish those of use who follow the rules and completely support playstation and sony. Lets make this a focus. It will help sell the system. Get remote play working quick.

  • Someone had mentioned about not being able to upload photos with the Facebook app. Actually, (when it gets working again) open up your photos, pick an album, and in the top left corner, you’ll get see an “Add a Photo” button. That will allow you to upload a photo from your Vita. However, you can’t make a new Facebook Photo Album on the FB app so, I just made an empty Album on my FB page (via my PC) called, “PS Vita Photos”. Now, I just open that and put my Vita stuff there.

  • Sid is there gonna be a play memories app on the vita ?

  • BigPoppaChunk

    hey sid how it goes i have a question about the psp legacy list of 275 or so titles.

    i have noticed that a few games on the list don’t actually work!

    age of zombies, i must run, lets golf and vempire!! [ all mini’s ]

    any news on when or if these will be fixed seeing how i bought these on monday, via ps3 to play and i cant
    transfer them nor are they available to download direct from the vita store. i am saddened!!

  • Sponge-worthy

    Well Sid, one nice thing you can take away from these wishes/criticisms/complaints is that there is some genuine interest in Vita out there ;)

  • Tried the backup to PS3 option. Got it started and then seen how long it was going to take, so I chose to cancel it and do it later. Went through the cancel and confirmation loop a few times and it never canceled. It’s just continuing to backup.

  • Great list of tips! Would be great if Netflix or you guys looked at their app for the PS Vita and provided a better version since it really feels put together at the last minute. No touch controls and it doesn’t support the PS Vita’s native keyboard.

  • I like how you can turn off the background music for the Home Pages.

    However, you need to extend this option to the Store. I don’t need to listen to music while I am browsing for goodies to buy. It is annoying.

  • TIP:
    When playing PSP games, tap over the screen to make the menu appear and select how your right stick should work.

    I really enjoy that option playing Assassins Creed Bloodlines and mapping the stick to the camera control.

  • Where can I find the Facebook App some of you are talking about??

    Can we have Skype and GoogleVoice apps??

    Is Sony fixing the issue we are having with the Minis that were listed as compatible on the Vita but can’t be transferred??

    Also check the PSBlog post called “How to download PSP titles to PS Vita”, some of us have posted in the comments PSP titles that were not listed as supported but actually work on PSVita.

  • Love the system. One thing that needs to be added is an update the Music player. Being in the military, i used my PSP as a mp3 player. The vita has no sleeper timer that can turn off the vita and this would be nice.

  • I’m a little confused with remote play I can play pixeljunk Eden on my vita????

  • I actually don’t like the way backup has been implemented. I shouldn’t have to backup the whole game I just need the save files. I can always download the game again. In time this is going to be a huge time sink and space consumer on either my ps3 or my pc. My backup is already 10gb after 2 days and 5 games only 2 of which are downloaded to my memory card. Before this goes too far how about letting us chose to just backup saved data.

  • CapinChronic

    PRO TIP: You can change the PS Vita Screen lock wallpaper by going in to the > “Photo/Camera” app and tapp the > “Photo album” icon then select a photo or wallpaper you wan’t to set as a screen lock wallpaper then tapp the > “Options bubble” in the lower right corner and select > “Use as start screen” and the photo will be made the screen lock wallpaper. Enjoy.

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