Fire up your new PlayStation 5 console for the first time and you’ll notice that Sony have completely done away with its previous main menu.
It can take a little time to get your head around the overall PS5 layout and some of the finer changes with some options now tucked away or hidden in the setting menu.
However, there are a slew of new features too, Activity Cards being one of the key highlights Sony showed off with their PS5 UI presentation. This guide will talk you through what they do and how different PlayStation games treat them.
PS5 Activity Cards – How do they work?
Sony’s PS5 Activity Cards are an effective way of breaking games down into chunks, or activities. The idea here is that you can hover over a game’s icon on the home menu, then dive right into a specific stage, match, location, or moment, with as few button presses possible.
As you play games in your PS5 library and progress through them, their associated Activity Cards will change to reflect this. For example, after playing Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales for a little while, the cards display information such as how many of a certain collectable I had found, or the completion percentage of my current mission.
Not only do these cards present useful stats via the PS5 system instead of the game itself, some will have shortcuts taking you to specific parts of the game, as previously mentioned. Again, using Miles Morales as an example, whether playing the game or not, I could pop open the Activity Cards, then click on the Stealth Challenge 2.0 card to magically teleport Spidey to that moment. It takes just a few seconds to load, as well!
It’s great for saving time while also being the springboard for another PS5 feature: Game Help. We’ve only seen this implemented in Sackboy: A Big Adventure so far, expanding on Activity Cards by loading them with more detailed information, such as a level’s side objectives, and potential unlocks. What’s particularly impressive is how you can click on these menu items to pop open tips and even videos to help guide you to collectables. Again, the idea here is convenience, Sony wanting your eyes locked on the TV screen instead of reaching for your phone to Google game-related questions.
Do Activity Cards work with PS4 games?
Something you may be wondering is whether Activity Cards work for older PS4 games. In a nutshell, yes they do, though they only show you cards for the trophies you’ve yet to unlock. Pop open these cards and you won’t get the same detailed breakdown of how close you are to achieving that trophy. This also applies to those select PS4 games which have been optimised for PS5 via updates, such as Days Gone and Ghost of Tsushima.
PS5 Activity Card game examples
With our PS5 software library starting to grow ahead of launch, we’ve been able to explore how Activity Cards are being used across different games.
Everyone will be able to see this feature in action when they boot up Astro’s Playroom. Here, cards can be used to travel to any available stage.
Spider-Man: Miles Morales has shortcuts to both main and side missions with progress indicators as well as collectable trackers.
Overcooked! All You Can Eat offers a quick launch card for 4 player versus and another for continuing the game’s story missions.
Warhammer: Chaosbane – Slayer Edition doesn’t have too many options, though there are cards for quickly launching into one of the three available campaigns.
Sackboy: A Big Adventure provides more detailed cards, breaking down each stage as you progress with extra built-in guidance via the PS5’s Game Help feature. Clever!
PlayStation 5 Guides and more from TheSixthAxis
- PlayStation 5 Console Review
- DualSense Controller Review
- Astro’s Playroom Review
- Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Review
- PS5 Trophies – what new features to expect