Knack 2

Feb 24

Feb 24

PS Vita: Our 9 Favorite Tips

Sid Shuman's Avatar Posted by Director, SIEA Social Media


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 menusPS 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.

Add Your Own

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dantevolgonrath said:

February 25th, 9:52 am

Apps – (personal opinion) Ok people, this is a portable GAMING console, not a cell phone. Facebook integration was more for game achievement posts than actual facebook usage, which is why most “clickables” in facebook take you to the mobile site. this device can’t make phone calls (until skype of course), and though it can receive text messages (online 3g models require a phone number just as wifi requires an ip address), it can’t send txt. You got netflix, you got flickr for your screenshots, you got twitter and mild facebook connectivity to socialize a little and keep people update on what you are throwing down on gamewise… enjoy the Vita as a Vita, comparing it to anything outside it’s intended purpose is like me comparing a diet coke to a bottle of shardonney.

dantevolgonrath said:

February 25th, 9:53 am

Proprietary Memory Cards – A lot of people have been griping about this one. Ok, so sony released statements about how form and function come into play, and bravo to Sony for the engineering idea, but you can’t pull the wool over the eyes of those like myself that spend tons of hours learning how to hack and mod in order to prevent and report harassing and abusive hack/modders. gonna make two points here, pay attention…

dantevolgonrath said:

February 25th, 9:53 am

1. Proprietary memory cards and the sometimes arduous process of using the content manager is designed with not so technically savvy in mind yes, but more importantly, it was designed to give security to both the consumers AND developers. PSP was notorious for pirated games and custom firmware, and Sony is taking every step to prevent “storage access” to the PS Vita via a pc. Millions of dollars were lost in PSP game revenue from people back hacking and modding PSPs to play illegally downloaded iso’s of first-third party games torrented online. Developers are not gonna jump on the bandwagon of a new portable system and spend tons of money and put tons of effort into something if they see an exploit in the development of the system. Consumers too will be leary of placing their faith (and debit/credit card info) on a device with known and easily exploitable security faults…

dantevolgonrath said:

February 25th, 9:53 am

2. I have no problem with modders/hackers except when they purposefully cause detriment or otherwise impair another gamers experience. If you wanna do it and it doesn’t affect us all, go ahead, just don’t take the cheating online, let us have a fair playing ground.

dantevolgonrath said:

February 25th, 9:53 am

Finally I’d like to conclude with some minor things I’ve noticed for the bug report.

1. PSV on occasion will restart completely midways through the loading of some downloadable games, most notably Dungeon Alliance.

2. Wifi will randomly disconnect (seems to only be with Linksys routers at this point and my android phones do the same from time to time, I’ve tried several routers, several places, several friends houses… seems Linksys wireless N routers (E1000) models seem to be the hangup or possibly the os binaries for wireless communication don’t speak well with particular linksys router models.

dantevolgonrath said:

February 25th, 9:54 am

One cool thing I’ve noticed…

You’re wifi will turn off when the system goes to sleep, it will not immediately connect when waking up or when on low battery. If you try to access the net, the system figures out that it’s not connected and attempts the last wireless connection. Wicked smart protocol there guys!

Notice to 3g owners: if you’re home, or near a wifi source take the time to turn off your 3g. Every phone and device does what about to explain and whether its a technical thing, or evil corporation plot to stick it to ya, it can make for a sucky month and unnecessary fees.

dantevolgonrath said:

February 25th, 9:54 am

first, upon booting my psp from complete power down and because i prolly have things like near set to auto update, I used a little over 2mb before wifi took over at my house.

second, if you put it to sleep, and the wifi turns it self off, then jump back into a game that requires an internet source (trophy info, unlockable, posting lap times, etc.) it will begin using 3g to post this info before restablishing wifi connectivity.

Hope I helped, and a suggestion to gamers utilizing near, sync at your local gamestore when you have gifts to give, that’s what my community does and it’s a quick, fun, and efficient way of collecting all those near exclusive items!

Yes I’m somewhat of a Sony fanboy, no i do not work for them, yes I would like a job! LOL! Till next time friends!

~Dante @~~>~~>~~~

I2anSoIVI said:

February 25th, 10:35 am

will crackle come to the Vita?

philgreedy said:

February 25th, 11:16 am

WILL WE EVER HAVE A MODSPOT >>> FOR MODNATION ??? i cant believe we cant race online. its so 1990

Solidmgsnake said:

February 25th, 11:21 am

This is might sound like a stupid question but can you use the PS3 Wireless Stereo headset on the Vita?

Caemgen said:

February 25th, 12:04 pm

Dear Firmware-team:
Please take note of the following feedback and use it to your advantage.

• Push notifications do not work very well (yet), and it seems it will only keep you signed in into PSN when you’re either in a game or in an active party. If you do something else, you will see the ‘Signing in’ pop-up when you try to go back to your Friends List.

What I expected it to do (especially with the 3G version, which I have), is keep you signed in all the time (using push notifications and a proxy, much like apps like eBuddy/WhatsApp etc) and constantly inform you of Near activity, notify you about invites/messages when the Vita is in standby.

• Enable an option to skip the ‘splash’ screen of apps, so you don’t have to keep touching ‘Start’ after selecting Browser, Friends or whatever. It’s ridiculous (I understand things like ‘documentation’ and such are on that screen, but they can also be accessed within the ‘app’ by pressing the PS-button afterwards). Forcing users to press a button twice to get to where they want will get them annoyed. And right now, the Vita’s UI becomes cumbersome to use after some time.

Caemgen said:

February 25th, 12:08 pm

• Use push-notifications and a proxy to keep users signed in into the PSN even while idle (and standby), or at least include it as an option so you can choose if you want this just on Wifi or both Wifi and 3G.

• When you get notifications, you can’t touch the bubble. You have to press the PS-button and then touch the upper right corner, touch the notification again etc. Basically, this sucks. It should just go to the notification list when I touch the notification bubble, or at least open the list when I press the PS-button while the notification is still active.

• Add / Enable PORTRAIT VIEW when I tilt my screen in the browser.

Don’t get me wrong though. I do actually LIKE my PS Vita. ;-)
I just wanted to get this off my chest. I’m a graphic / interaction designer myself, so I notice these things quickly. And perhaps, if the right people read this, we’ll see improvements soon. Or rather, these improvements. Because I’m sure there’ll be a lot of improvements in the weeks and months to come.

Caemgen said:

February 25th, 12:08 pm

Finally, there’s the IN YOUR FACE pop-ups that keep informing me about things I don’t care about. They only make the UI feel slow. I’m talking about the ‘Please wait…’ and ‘Signing into the PlayStation Network’ or ‘Sending message – 22% of 100%’ pop-ups.
Come on! Just show me the cached version of the latest state that app was in and refresh/reconnect in the background. Same goes for Trophies, or Sending messages. When I send a message, just let me continue with what I was doing and send it in the background. Then, when it’s sent, notify me with the more subtle notifications that are also being used for Trophies/Online Friends/Messages received and such.

Wartech said:

February 25th, 12:18 pm

A quick way to create wallpaper is to use the screenshot of internet images. then simple trim and save. Voila you have a first rate wallpaper with minimum fuss.

xXBEATLES1999Xx said:

February 25th, 12:58 pm

in order to change your backround do u have to have a ps3 bc i dont have one but i would like to change my backround

dantevolgonrath said:

February 25th, 1:21 pm

To Caemgen:

if you stayed signed in 24/7 the amount of data used would burn all but the largest 3g plan easily before the month mark. an average full sync of near, messages, friends, and trophy’s can be up to 10-12mb, couple that with the refresh rate being as soon as 15 minutes apart, and you’re talking 3g nightmare.

The splash screen is not just for enabling a pre game load, it’s also the latest news, access to the user manual, status updates of your friends, and title updates before launching the game. Ask yourself if you’d rather have that, or launch a game, then halfway through the load or when you go to multiplayer you have to quit the game, then download the title update, then install, then load the game all over again.

I do agree however with quick touch notifications and the ability to turn them off or make them minimal…
Portrait on the browser would be nice, but I’d rather them focus on not masking a site when I go to move a page.

dantevolgonrath said:

February 25th, 1:23 pm

To Solidmgsnake

They hint at that in the original blog.

any bluetooth headset will work, mic and all. the ps3 stereo bluetooth headset definitely. I personally use my Turtlebeach PX5’s surround sound virtualization…Yummy.

dantevolgonrath said:

February 25th, 1:29 pm


You do not need a ps3 to change the wallpaper of each livespace screen.

here’s how to do it

1. put photos on your vita. This can be done several ways. first way is to use the camera or screenshot feature on the vita itself (screenshots are captured by pressing the ps button and start at the same time, this feature not available in all games) second way is using EITHER a ps3 or PC (with content manager application) to copy over images from your storage. is the link for the pc app

2. if you longpress (press and hold) on one of the live space tile it will go into a mode that allows you to move those tiles. at the bottom right there’s a rectangle icon. tap that and it should let you choose from images for your livescreen wallpaper.

3. when you’re done, press the ps button, that’ll lock it back down..

That’s also obviously how to move live tiles, as well as delete software you don’t want anymore.

dantevolgonrath said:

February 25th, 1:31 pm

I’ve got a problems Sony…

PSP addons like dissidia duodecim…

cannot download via psn store on vita.

can download to ps3 and install via content manager but the game doesn’t show those addons available in game…

is this being looked into?

Hooligantuan said:

February 25th, 2:27 pm

My favorite part is how the Vita has the custom soundtrack support that people have been asking for on the PS3 for years now.

starBlinky01 said:

February 25th, 3:11 pm

May I please have a free Vita?

lisatsunami said:

February 25th, 3:51 pm

Well, hissy fits from self-righteous, undereducated 30 year old men who are apparently the cause of so many dumb, I’ll-mannered children in America aside, I really appreciate this Tips blog & hope you will make it a weekly feature for the first month. The tips from my fellow Vita gamers are even better. Thanks, guys.

DarkOne_PR said:

February 25th, 4:11 pm

Thanks Sid lets see what they say about it! apart of that the vita its awesome! Hope Sony succeed!

dantevolgonrath said:

February 25th, 4:22 pm

Dear Sid,

I first want to thank you for your attention to the fans and consumers of Sony’s products. I would also like to personally applaud you for your professionalism throughout the Vita build up and release. There have obviously been many misconceptions about the promotions and commercials Sony has released concerning Vita hardware and ability.

None of the commercials specify when the features will be made available. At the tech demo it was noted that the features presented were still in a production phase… Sony threw it out there to obtain “crowd reaction” and to run an unabridged live test in front of the public eye. Bravo! Takes some serious kahones to do that as a company.

Finally, thank your for showing as a representative of Sony that you will remain professional even when tested by harassment and rudeness.

Thank you for your time, we understand you might not have all the answers, nor might you be allowed to discuss some of the answers you do have. The fact that you take our questions into consideration and acknowledge us as an important and integral part of the company is why most of us here wave Sony’s banner high!


vito72 said:

February 25th, 5:01 pm

I notice the promo video touting the Remote Play feature (KZ3) has been removed from Vita’s main page. There yesterday, gone today. Any insight?

FireDragonGod said:

February 25th, 6:02 pm

Can Vita Users Listen 2 Their Own Music While PlayN A Game ????

#2 Makes It Sound Like It

MrBanballow said:

February 25th, 7:11 pm

Hey Sony, I can has Gravity Rush demo this week? No fair that GS demo units have it. Please?!

dboyman said:

February 25th, 7:45 pm

1) Question: The battery graphic is good for a visual glance, but prefer knowing the actual % would be great. Will a future firmware update fix that?

2) Everyone complains about problems with Facebook/Twitter apps on PS Vita. But the Netflix is MUCH worse. In fact it never works properly. I use PS3 for Netflix on same WiFi network and works perfectly. Needs to be fixed ASAP

Traeia said:

February 25th, 8:02 pm

I work at a university which uses PEAP and MSCHAPv2 for Wireless Security, making it impossible for me to sign on from the Vita.

Please fix!

Sevyne said:

February 25th, 8:07 pm

@dboyman That’s weird; Netflix works incredibly well for me.

Kedaro said:

February 25th, 8:31 pm

All you people claiming to have all these horrible errors on their vita must be doing it wrong, because I have had mine since 15th, and yea there has been some minor errors here and there, little hiccups, (mind you I’ve been putting the thing through hell by playing it non-stop while my ps3 games are neglected), and I’ve had no glitch that made me regret the price of admission, let alone a glitch that would make me cry like a little baby like the rest of you. It’s not about fanboyism it’s about enjoying an amazing product, and Sony has delivered on every aspect of gaming here, If you want an iphone or an android then forgive me for wasting my breath on you, you obviously aren’t worth my time, and don’t have your head on straight if you expect the vita to be one.

Sony respects the gamers by being about gaming first… now [DELETED] and go back to your troll caves.

Venom1976 said:

February 25th, 8:41 pm

The Vita’s remote play function needs to include the ability to end remote play and shut off the PS3 like you can on the PSP. On the PSP you press the ps button and you get remote play options like quit remote play and turn off ps3. on the vita you get the same options you would normally get if you weren’t in remote play. I had to go turn off my Playstation 3 off manually.

JuniorJaxon said:

February 25th, 8:55 pm

Hey Sid, I have been a longtime fan of PlayStation and pretty much everything here one the Blog..I know this is my first comment but I have always been more or a reader, it’s a good one though. I am a huge fan of the PS BlogCast and was wondering if maybe you could put in a good word to have an optional download of an app that is for the BlogCast? I listen to it right now on my tablet and understand you can listen to it on the Vita but an app would be very nice. Also Maybe the option to send the in-game screenshots to FaceBook would be great as well..Hope you can make this happen for myself and I’m sure a ton of fans would be very happy..Great job on Sony for the Vita by the way, it’s simply amazing..

JuniorJaxon said:

February 25th, 9:00 pm

@Venom1976 Actually you can turn the PS3 off in remote play..Simply touch the screen anywhere and a menu will show up to the right..Simply touch the power button on the screen and select Turn Off the System. :)

sharpshoota54 said:

February 25th, 9:01 pm

@224 venom1976
you can touch the vita screen then touch the ps button to the right and you will get the option to turn off the ps3

Deathvgrip said:

February 25th, 10:04 pm

I was wondering why there is no screen shot for the games in PS Store on PS Vita? It could be a real conveniency with the actual game play photo to show us what the game looks like. And perhaps let us see what the others say about the games or video would be even better! Maybe bring YouTube to PS Vita:P

Sid Shuman's Avatar

Tom Lipschultz said:

February 25th, 10:10 pm

Is there any way to disable the music that plays while browsing the PlayStation Store?

Also, are there any plans for future updates that would allow the use of the directional buttons/analog sticks and face buttons for navigating the menu, instead of relying entirely on the touchscreen? As an old-school gamer, that’s a feature I would really love to see implemented.

Elvick_ said:

February 25th, 10:47 pm

Remote play works fine with the PSN titles that support it. I’ve played PixelJunk Shooter on my PSVita through remote play.

So all the people whining that it doesn’t work, or isn’t there are just full of it. Not every game supports it and as far as I understand what they mean with the above statement is that you can’t play retail games at the moment. I should pop in Lair, which I think is the only retail game I have that was made to support it and see if it works. I don’t see why it wouldn’t if it worked on PSP.

Braehole said:

February 26th, 12:06 am

Just let me play socom 1 and 2 and I’ll be happy:)

kiikooo said:

February 26th, 12:41 am

you can actually use the browser while playing a game. i was playing fifa then wanted to check twitter. Then i clicked on one of the links and it took me to the browser without asking to close game.

Caemgen said:

February 26th, 3:15 am

@dantevolgonrath: Yes… however: When you’re at home, using your WiFi-connection, I think I should be able to decide for myself how much data I want to use. So all I’m saying is: Add an option that will make sure you’re online all the time and get notifications instantly, which can only be activated when on Wifi (or even automatically switch to it when the GPS notices you’re at home).

I know the Live panels show important / handy info, but for ‘Group messages’, ‘Party Mode’, ‘Browser’ and ‘Settings’, I don’t really see the use for it. Also: If a game needs updating, it’ll notify you post-launch :-) You can still access the additional settings/info/documentation for your game when pressing the PS Button while IN the app.

Uncharted_Lord22 said:

February 26th, 5:10 am

The only thing missing is VIDEO CHAT. So if you happen to play a game on vita You get a “Chat Invitation” Notification. So get a update for that soon.

spyros69 said:

February 26th, 5:16 am

PS Vite M U S T have !!!

1) YOUTUBE and FLASH for Web browsing.
2) SKYPE – Facebook support (soon).
3) More and more Settings Options.
4) Bluetooth compatibility with Smartphones, Tablets and TV’s.
5) More battery life with the next update. (apple did that with iPhone 4s) !!
6) More Camera, Video and Music options (effects, editing, corrections).
7) TV out!! (Most of the smartphones have that).
8) Touch Pad can be used for scrolling the WEB pages.
9) Callendar and Notes.
10) Add friend and chat box,in “Near” application. This could expand online gaming in fast rates!
11) Audio volume is too low in 100%. Must set more loud. (it has already AVLS for control).
I have a Ps vita already. Remarkable device with poor abilities so far…some standards not included.
I Wish Sony do all the above soon with the next updates. Then PS Vita its gonna be a masterpiece!

siriusbee said:

February 26th, 6:02 am

My tip for backwards compatibility:

@207, 210: Good to see someone’s raising the level of intelligence.

Wookiemart said:

February 26th, 8:04 am

You mention the option to turn off the back ground music but I can’t seem to find a way to turn off the bloody awefull music that plays when I’m in the PS Store or the NEAR app. I really hope you are planning for a way to get rid of those because they truly make the experience annoying.

skimble_shanks said:

February 26th, 9:03 am

If Sony wants to discourage hacking, they need to make remote play function in the OFW as originally intended. This could end up forcing too many people to the dark side. Have we learned nothing from the PSP?

Crazy-Maisy said:

February 26th, 10:09 am

Game Save Data of Retail copies of a game (i.e. like Army Corps of Hell on PS Vita game card) …

… are those “Saved” with Content Manager Backup? On the actual game card there are several slots and I would like to know FOR CERTAIN that I can back that up … not the game itself, the GAME SAVE DATA

I’m not willing to experiment to find out, FYI.

Foxtails said:

February 26th, 11:10 am

Just wondering if there is a rough date of when all PS1 classics will be playable on the Vita. Any plans on putting more PSP games on to the playstation store? Would love to play both Star Oceans on the go.

BioStormX said:

February 26th, 11:13 am

I’m glad to hear that PS1 play will be coming but I really wish you guys would work at the publishers more so we can play great titles like Suikoden 2 legally :|

meep_moop_meep said:

February 26th, 11:39 am

LOts of great tips here, thanks. I figured most of them while messing around with my vita.

Any idea if the PS3 will incorporate some of the Vita’s PSN features like the custom panels?
Also, it would be good marketing if Vita games and activity showed up on the PS3, as well as trophies, but I guess you guys are busy working that out.

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