So, you want to play your newest game release with a friend, but they live too far away? PlayStation has a feature perfect for you. Share Play essentially creates a 'virtual sofa' to play games with your friend online. With the press of the Share button, you can let them watch you play that new game or hand over control to get in on the action as well. With Share Play, you can even play local co-op games as if you were both in the same room. Here is how to Share Play.
A necessary subscription
- Multiplayer access: PlayStation Plus - Digital Code (opens in new tab) ($60 at Amazon)
Both you and the person you want to Share Play with will need PlayStation Plus. This is required for basically all your online multiplayer games and Share Play is, in a way, turning any game you share into an online multiplayer game.
As well as the Plus you with need a secure internet connection. A minimum up and downstream speed of 2Mbps is recommended while 5Mbps will give you the best performance. Once you are set with these two essentials, you are ready to Share Play.
Hosting Share Play
- Launch the game you want to share and return to the menus
- Navigate to the party menu; it looks like a little headset
- Find the friend you want to Share Play with, select their name and create party
- Once the party is formed, Click on Share Play
- In the drop-down menu, select Start
- Click on OK to start the connection speed test
- When your results appear, press Yes to continue
Share Play will start with you as the host. A small waiting icon will be to spin next to the Share Play button while you wait for your friend to accept the invitation. Once they have connected, a notification will appear in the upper left corner of your screen saying your friend has "connected to your PS4 as a Share Play visitor." The visiting friend will now be able to watch your screen on their system.
- Once you are hosting Share Play, return to the party menu
- Click on Share Play
- In the drop-down menu, select Give Controller to Visitor
- Choose between, Allow the Visitor to Play as You and Play Game Together
This is where you can choose either to let your friend play your game solo with the 'play as you' option or share in a co-op game. If they play as you, you will be able to watch the gameplay and swap who has control back and forth if you want to share in the fun every few levels, deaths, etc. Play Game Together is the option you should pick if you are wanting to share a game that is local co-op and you'd like to play at the same time, with or vs. each other.
Things to Remember
There are a few restrictions when it comes to Share Play. Aside from both people needing PS Plus for multiplayer and a good connection, this feature -only- works for two players. Even though only the host needs to own the game, the game will need to be available in both players' countries. This keeps people from playing games that may have been banned or adjusted for their home country.
Share Play doesn't currently support the use of the PS Camera. And parental controls are something to keep in mind as both players need to have control levels that match, and both players ages must be appropriate for the game.
And perhaps the most annoying restriction if you are planning a long game session, Share Play only lasts 60 minutes. Luckily, the number of times you can Share Play is unlimited, so you can re-invite your friend after the hour is up as many times as you'd like.
Sharing is Caring
Share Play is a great way to let your friend test out a game you own which they have yet to buy or simply a way to play co-op and versus games without having to be in the same room, state or country. A few clicks on your controller and your virtual couch is ready to share.
Hopefully, the allowed Share Play time will be extended in the future. For now, it is a minor inconvenience for the ability to share local games with friends who are away. Share your games, have fun, and play away!
For your co-op games
As with any multiplayer online game for the PlayStation, if you want to play multiplayer through Share Play, you will need a PS Plus subscription. Along with the ability to play with your friends online, you get several free games each month and added discounts in the PS Store.
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