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Home » Featured, News, Vita

10 (+1) tips you need to know about the PS Vita

Submitted by on Saturday, 5 May 2012One Comment

The PS Vita has been in the hands of gamers for about two months in the US, Europe and Australia and there are still many of you that don’t know how to use the thing.

We have compiled a short list of the 10 most useful tips you need to know about Sony’s little big handheld. Take a look and see how many you already know.


1. Save the battery with Airplane Mode

Enabling airplane mode to disable background notifications can save precious minutes of game time. You can still connect to Wi-Fi within any game or app without disabling airplane mode.

Most apps or games will check for a connection at start-up. While airplane mode is enabled, a series of Yes/No prompts will beckon you to reconnect.

2. Background downloads with the system in standby

You may have noticed that if you press the power button to sleep your system while the Vita is downloading something from the PlayStation Store, the downloads will pause while in standby. Instead, allow the Auto Standby setting to kick in and automatically put the Vita to sleep. This will not pause the downloads in progress.

To change this setting, launch the Settings app. Scroll to the bottom and select Power Save Settings. Within you’ll find Auto Standby all alone in the world.

3. Take screenshots

Capture a screenshot while playing any game or using any app by pressing the START and PS button simultaneously. You can find all your screenshots within the gallery of the Camera app, conveniently stored in their own folder.

Screenshots will not work while playing any emulated PSP title. Some games also turn off this feature so you have use the in-game photo mode, e.g. WipEout 2048.

4. Keyboard word prediction

Typing out long messages or Facebook updates is easier with PS Vita thanks to its virtual keyboard and word prediction. While typing the beginning of a word, Vita’s keyboard will offer several predictions. So long as you’re spelling the first half correctly, one tap will type out the rest.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t help with the longest known words in the English language. I’ve tried them.

5. Multitasking

Since the Vita OS is in its infancy, multitasking will undoubtedly improve. And there are still millions of people in the world without smartphones or any knowledge of what multitasking is. Vita is capable of running more than one application at a time, though not without a few limitations.

Only one of these may be open at one time: a game, Browser, Netflix, Facebook, Maps, or Videos.

All of these can run simultaneously: Music, Near, Friends, Group Chat, Settings, Camera, Trophies, LiveTweet, Foursquare, Skype, Party or PS Store.

6. Download List

Quickly and easily access all your previously downloaded apps and games right from one place within the PS Store. On every screen of the store you’ll see a button on the bottom right corner with three dots in it, or elipsis. Touch this button to reveal a list of options including the Download List. Any content made for the PS Vita will have a Download button off to the right.

7. Fast Scroll

If you are still scrolling through long lists by flicking your finger repeatedly, then this tip is for you. The very first place you can use the fast scroll is on your home screens. Lets just assume you have amassed a ton of games, apps and demos and spread them out across neatly organized home screens.

When sliding your finger up or down to page flip, don’t lift your finger off the screen toward the end of your swipe. You’ll notice the pages will scroll slowly at first before picking up speed. You can control the speed and direction by sliding your finger up and down without lifting away from the screen.

The fast scroll works with the Music, photos, PS Store, Facebook and Twitter apps. And if you’re multitasking, it even works left to right for quickly flipping through opened applications.

8. Slide Show

Photo slide shows are typically no big deal, but the Vita has some unique style and image filters. In the gallery within the camera app, touch the “…” button at the bottom right corner of the screen, select Settings, now choose any style from the Slideshow Style drop down menu. Back out and touch the slide show button in the menu overlapping the photo. Voila.

9. Remote Play

Vita, much like the PSP before it, is capable of doubling as a remote display and controller for your PS3. Just follow the instructions given by the Remote Play app on your Vita to get everything connected before hand. You’ll now have access to all the music, pictures and movies stored on your PS3, locally or abroad.

Most importantly, your PSone classics are playable through Remote Play. A complete list of remote playable PS3 games can be found here. VidZone works particularly well.

10. Play LittleBigPlanet PSP and more on your Vita

Currently, you will not find the PSP version of LittleBigPlanet or Bonk’s Adventure on the Vita’s PS Store. But there is a really simple trick to making this possible. By using your PS3, you can download PSP games from your Download List in PlayStation Store and copy them over to the Vita.

CNET Australia has a great step-by-step of all the technical details here. Your PSP games will now play on your Vita. Be sure to copy over you PSP save data using your PS3. This trick will work for many games like LBP, Killzone and the TG16 classic Bonk’s Adventure. Find a growing list of games here.

So, how many of these tips did you already know about? Do you have a tips you’d like to add to the list? Share them in the comments below…

Bonus community tips

@Yaster over on the EU PlayStation community boards has provided this gem of a tip. PS Vita’s browser will not open while you’re playing a game. You need to close the game. That is unless you open it via a link in LiveTweet. This little trick stops the notification from coming up to ask you to close your game. The browser works perfectly well, which makes us wonder why it’s even necessary to close your game. Thanks Yaster!