PS Vita: Our 9 Favorite Tips

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PS Vita: Our 9 Favorite Tips


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.

Comments are closed.


18 Author Replies

  • I want to play ps2 classics on my Vita!! This is a great selling feature.

  • Nice. Can you send me a Vita so I can try some of these things out?

  • Great tips! I wondered about how to use the camera feature and I love how the PSP games look on the Vita!! Can’t wait to see more of the games I enjoy become available to download!!

  • Thanks for such an awesome lineup of tips! These are great! (Personally I would LOVE that screen grab feature to also be added to the PS3 by-the-way)..

    Just a little note; I noticed yesterday that the Vita doesn’t appear to support the WiFi security “WPA Enterprise” protocol. Can we look forward to support of this in a future firmware update?

  • Also, backup only saves game data? I want to get a larger card but wondered if I need to re-download my games and demos.

  • I thought the vita could remote play ps3 games or did you take that away?

    • Nope, does not support PS3 play at this time, though an early version of this functionality was demonstrated using Killzone 3 back at Tokyo Game Show. Stay tuned!

  • I really would like to own one.

  • Tip: Mute

    Quicker then turning the volume way up or way down, pressing both the [Volume +] and [Volume -] buttons at the same time will Mute all sound.

  • I was wondering how to change the Panel! Thanks for the tips.

  • When will we be able to play our downloaded PS1 games on the Vita?

    • No word, but that is coming. In the meantime, you can use Remote Play — it works pretty well if you’re in the same house!

  • @ 7. Its a “no comment”, despite the advertisements and E3/ TGS displays to the contrary. Only like a handful of PS3 (disc) games work at the moment.

    There’s enough pressure/ necessity for Sony to actually implement it, not to mention the Vita is several orders of magnitude more powerful than the PSP, which should make things easier.

    I’m not a patient person, but the Vita is pretty spectacular so I’m patient enough to see what the first few updates reap in terms of promises made>fulfilled.

  • Question: Does anyone know a way to see the battery %? The battery graphic is good for a visual glance, but knowing the actual % would be great.

  • @6 Pretty sure you an back up your save files along with your game. But if not they should be small files.

    Also, I can’t change my avatar on Vita to one of my premium ones. Bit annoying. I’ve been meaning to change keyboard cat but can only use the free ones on the Vita. Is this ever gonna be implemented?

  • I’d love to see the option for custom background music in future firmware.

    In addition to that, I’d love to be able to pair a sixaxis/dualshock3 and use it as a controller (especially if/when remote play becomes a little more useful).

  • Tip: Try copying your PSP titles from your PS3 (must appear as bubbles, not the old install method where the can be put into folders – delete / redownload in this case) to you Vita via USB/ content manager.

    At least half a dozen titles of my digital JRPG library was missing from the “PSP games available at launch for Vita” store. I got every one except for Valhalla Knights 2 onto the Vita using this method.

  • Needs YouTube…

  • Why can’t ps3 users see your custom panel? and when is remote play coming for ps3 titles?

  • what with the error code for FACEBOOK ERROR CODE NP-13144-3

  • On the issue of psp games, why is it I can transfer a psp game like the Echochrome demo from my ps3 to the vita, but when I look at my download list on the vita, the vita says that the Echochrome demo can’t be downloaded to the vita even though it’s already there? It seems weird that the guys running the psn just don’t allow all psp games to be downloaded to the vita. Also it would be nice to have flash11 or more html5 compliance.

  • I’m getting this error code for Remote Play over Internet: NP-2173-3

    Remote Play works fine over a Private Network, and I’ve got my PS3 at the right screen (signed in). What’s the deal?

  • @logicsquirrel: I would also like to know about remote play for PS3 games. That’s why I bought the vita and so far I’m disappointed and feeling a bit cheated after reading articles about that feature, seeing videos of that feature in action and hearing the retailer assure me this feature would work.

  • Remote PLAY is key. Accessing my XMB is cool, but not exactly what I need it for. Get going on being able to play ALL downloaded games and disc games, even if you start with 1st party games. If some guy on Youtube can get Batman and BF3 going via remote play, the big brains at Sony can figure it out.

  • Cool stuff. Never knew about the quick settings by holding down the PSN button. I’m loving my vita!

  • im really loving my vita but i think it needs youtube apps , better remote play support and if you guys could add a google + app would be really kool .

  • My Vita comes in middle march, cant wait. :D

  • Waiting waiting waiting on remote play for my PS3 games… Huge selling feature and all…

  • Im also getting that facebook error (NP-13144-3) I havent been able to use it since the 23rd

  • any news on Little Big Planet , Warrior’s Lair , Gravity Rush , Killzone released dates yet ? im really hoping to see Heavenly Sword and inFAMOUS games on the vita as well

  • how about news on Resistance Burning Skies online multiplayer ?

  • being able to remote play all of my downloaded games is a must and I want it NOW!!!!!!

  • Facebook app not working

  • My friend got a Vita yesterday and while he was browsing around PSS app he accidentally hit Game tab on the top of the the app and he no longer sees neither Video nor Game tab . I haven’t got my Vita yet so I cannot help him.
    Can U?

  • @riggins44: Good Point, It’s not called Remote XMB Browse and the tech is there, so when will more info come out?

    @kingotnw: HUGE selling feature, I would brag to all my friends about how cool it is to play my PS3 games on the go. Right now, I’m embarrassed to tell them I’ve got the Vita because of the ridicule I’ll get after months of touting this feature with nothing to show about it for my $250 investment.

    I don’t understand the delay in activating it or releasing information. I’m obviously not the only one interested. Developers could use this as a tool to see which of their games are getting played on the vita to help decide what titles to develop, sony could move more units, and gamers would be happy. Seems like a win on all fronts.

  • Also… I wish Sony would have told me I don’t have to buy Wipeout 2048 since I already have Wipeout and the DLC on my PS3… However… In the PSstore on my vita it is listed at full price. I have the unopened game sitting here and I will take it back, so not that much damage was done… I just wish things were a little more clear. I mean… Do I need to purchase the Vita software or what? Again I must say that remote play is VERY VERY important and your customers need to know whats going on.

    Can anyone give me a list of the titles that currently work for remote play?

  • First of all, On the remote play feature: You guys have been running commercials of people playing Killzone 3 on remote play, is there any word on when that will be enabled? or if it ever will?!

    Also, I’d like to know what’s up with the facebook app, and why it is that when it WAS working, I couldn’t upload pictures with it, what’s the deal with that?!?!

    C’mon Sid! You’re usually great about answering us pesky customers, all while your giant blue Dr. Manhattan manjunk is hanging out! Update us?!?!

  • @36 You DO need to buy Wipeout 2048 for the Vita. Wipeout HD and Fury will eventually be a free download if you already own them for PS3. Owning them DOES NOT get you Wipeout 2048 free.

  • HOW ABOUT FIXING THE WEB BROWSER, so not to be dramatic but i had the vita pre order so Ive had it for quite some time and love it and yes these tips are useful and should be in the quick start guide. my main issue with vita is it cant compete with my tablet for battery life and browser capability so im forced to choose when there is no need to the vita has the power just not the support

  • @38 Thank you

  • For anyone wanting to make their own wallpapers, remember to size them at 960×544 for the best results.
    I made a bunch of Doctor Who ones, and they look great!

  • Please fix the Facebook app..!

  • It’s relieving to see that I’m not the only one who was led to believe the the Vita could remote play PS3 games and that I’m not the only one frustrated by the absence of information regarding this feature.

    We all just have to keep making noise and asking questions and hopefully we’ll get some answers.

  • When we receive and read messages on our Vita, please make them as read on the PS3. It’s bothersome seeing a bunch of “unread” messages on the PS3 when we read them already on the Vita.

  • If you turn off the Bluetooth, that can save you power/battery life.

  • @23 Thank you so much Sid. It’s awesome just to get some meaningful feedback.

  • MY TIP!
    Press the PS button TWICE to make the slide menu for running apps turn into a different style. Makes navigating opens apps easy.


    1. As already mentioned by someone else, I would like to see an alternative interface added so that navigation without touch is possible. Optimally, I would like to see the XCross Media Bar put in, identical to the PS3, complete with categorized game/App folders. (And while your at it, add some features that are sorely lacking on PS3 like sorting folder items by name and creating custom folders.)
    1. Is the top “Accessory” port, which is next to the game card port, currently used for anything? Can we expect a TV Out function in the near future to utilize that port? I would love to see HDMI Out.
    2. When I plug my Vita into the charger, the battery icon indicates it is charging with an animation. When my Vita is hooked to my computer or PS3, this doesn’t happen. Does the Vita not charge through other devices?


    The Facebook app is broken. I betcha its Facebook’s fault, they change stuff too often.

  • Please add support for HTML5 and flash on the web browser, and the ability to put on my pdf files. Last but not least please bring PS2 games to the Vita, i want Rouge Galaxy on the go!

  • A second question that I forgot about!

    When Vita was announced, there was a demonstration of a person playing a game called “Ruin” on his Vita. He put the Vita into sleep mode, sat down, hooked his Vita to his PS3, picked up a PS3 controller, and continued to play the game on his TV.

    THIS is the number one feature I was PUMPED about with Vita, and it’s a no-show on Launch games. In fact, I can’t even find any info about a TV-Out accessory, which I REALLY want. When I’m on the go, the Vita’s screen is quite boss… But when I’m at home, you know, I have a lovely TV with all sorts of ports on it. It’s getting jealous.

    • Ruin (now called Warrior’s Lair) is still coming, but later this year. MLB 12 The Show also uses this feature (that’s coming in just a couple of weeks) and games like MotorStorm RC will enable you to pass your game progress back and forth as well.

  • When you send and receive messages, are you immediately notified that you’ve gotten a message? Or do you have to have the message app open? It’s just a little strange how separated some things feel.

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