How to use Your Laptop as a Monitor for PS4 – Full Guide

You are ready to kick back, relax, and get your gamer mode on. A bag of Doritos is calling your name while a can of limited edition MTN DEW is fizzing in anticipation. Best of all, you got your hands on that amazing Game of the Year Edition of your favorite PlayStation franchise. Since the ratings are off the charts, you cannot wait to have a go at the game yourself. However, with so much hype around the PlayStation 4 exclusives, you realize that you have not shown your laptop any love in ages. Feeling inspired, you decide to follow your heart and — use your laptop as a PS4 monitor!

Now, you may be asking yourself the following questions: “Is it true? Can I use my laptop as a monitor for my PS4?” And the short answer to your inquiry is — yes, you can! Moreover, you may be thinking that a simple plug-and-play solution will bring your idea to fruition. After all, both your laptop and your PS4 have HDMI ports. Right? Unfortunately, you are looking at an output HDMI feature, not input (read our article on HDMI Input vs Output for a full explanation). That is to say, you will need to put some elbow grease into getting your laptop to work as a PS4 monitor.

With that said, you need not worry! The setup will take only a couple of minutes and we are here to guide you through the process. So let us dive straight into the available options.

Note: If you are lucky enough to have a PS5, then we have a guide on how to connect your PS5 to a laptop.

Table of Contents

Using Remote Play to play PS4 on Laptop

The good folks at Sony have seen to that every gamer’s portability needs are met by creating a streaming service called Remote Play. If you are looking to use your laptop as a monitor for PS4, this should be your first choice. After all, it does not require you to install any third-party applications to get the show on the road.

Before moving on, here is a quick rundown of what you will need:

  • A stable internet connection
  • An operational laptop capable of handling the load
  • Any PS4 model
  • A PlayStation Network account
  • A USB cable or a wireless DUALSHOCK 4 USB adapter

If you are good to go, a crash course in how to use your laptop monitor to play PS4 via

Remote Play is up next!

★    Step One: Update

While we have no intention of nagging anyone, you really should see that you keep your PS4 firmware updated. If you are behind on System Update(s) for whatever reason, navigate your way through the Settings and ensure that you are running on version 3.50 or above.

Also, if you happen to have multiple PS4s, you will need to set one of them as a primary console. You will find the said option nested under Account Management in your PlayStation Network settings.

★    Step Two: Download & Enable

Once you are done tinkering with the potential System Update(s) on your PS4, download the Remote Play app to your laptop and install it. Afterward, go back to your PS4 and make sure that you have Remote Play enabled in Settings. Keep in mind that you will need your PS4 up and running in rest mode with “Enable Turning on PS4 from Network” active to view its content on your laptop monitor.

★    Step Three: Customize the App Settings

Depending on your broadband package, laptop, and your PS4 model, you can tweak certain settings in the Remote Play app to ensure optimal performance. For example, a PS4 Pro combined with a powerful rig will have you running at 60FPS and in full HD in no time. We also have a guide on how to connect your PS4 to 5GHz Wifi for better performance.

★    Step Four: Connect the Controller

You can connect the DUALSHOCK 4 controller to your laptop through a USB cable or a wireless adapter. Once it is paired, you are one step away from playing PS4 on your laptop.

★    Step Five: PlayStation Network & Chill

Run the Remote Play app on your laptop again and connect to the PlayStation Network using your credentials. Last, but not least — enjoy playing your PS4 on the laptop monitor!

Using a Video Capture Card to play PS4 on Laptop

The second method on our list is for all the rock & rollers and old-schoolers itching to take advantage of external doohickeys. Hey, we are not judging! As a matter of fact, we admit that video capture cards (VCC) can present a more reliable option after all. Moreover, they are great for recording and sharing your gameplay with the world on one of the streaming platforms.

To take advantage of this method, you will need:

  • A video capture card
  • A dual-functioning HDMI cable
  • An Ethernet or a wireless internet connection
  • An operational laptop capable of handling the load
  • Any PS4 model with File Sharing option enabled

Ready? Set? Alright, here is a short step-by-step guide on how to play PS4 on laptop via a video capture card!

★    Step One: Broadband Setup

File Sharing works through broadband. For this reason, your PS4 needs to be online. If you are not using a wireless connection, you need to make sure that both your laptop and your PS4 are connected to the router with physical cables.

★    Step Two: Video Capture Card Setup

Install the software that came with your video capture card by connecting the device to your laptop through a USB port. Generally speaking, VCCs that support USB 3.0 are less prone to lag and have the capture resolution set to full HD. So if you manage to score a high-quality VCC at an acceptable price, see that it is from a reputable source.

Once you are done, connect your PS4 to the video capture card using an S-Video cable. Then, use your dual-function HDMI cable to attach the HDMI-out to your PS4 and the HDMI-in to the video capture card. Although some VCCs may vary, a general rule of thumb is that you will need either one or two HDMI cables to get them to work.

★    Step Three: Run the Software & Chill

Turn on your PS4 and watch the magic happen on your laptop monitor as your VCC software does what it’s best at when running. Feel free to poke around the program and tweak some settings to optimize the performance for best results.

Since you are watching the PS4 action on your laptop – what about your voice? Check out how to get Playstation Party Chat on PC as well.

A Parting Tip to Avoid Premature Laptop Blues

Now that you know how to use a laptop monitor to play your PS4, we would like to remind you of something else. With that said, it has nothing to do with how to play PS4 on a laptop per se. Still, it does concern your beloved rig.

We are certain that your portable rig is thankful for you batting an eye in its direction at long last. However, what good is an owner who does not care about the well-being of their pets? So hear us out for a hot minute.

Even though the load on your laptop may not be visible to the naked eye when it is used as an external monitor to stream your PS4 gaming sessions, it is present. For this reason, you should invest in a good cooler to avoid your rig’s internal components from bailing out on you. Also, try not to play for hours on end without taking a break. It is not only bad for your laptop, but your overall health as well.

What if you want to connect more than 1 monitor? What if 2 isn’t enough? Then check out our guide on how to connect 3 monitors to your laptop. Its a triple threat!

Ultimately, we hope that you will have a blast using either an HDMI connection or Remote Play to play PS4 on your laptop. We would give you a platinum trophy for going the extra mile and doing the necessary research, but that would go against the rules of play!