Variety is the spice of video game life, and if you like to flip between games, your console's home screen becomes a crucial home base. A poorly designed and organized screen will make it a chore to find what you're looking for. So the more you can customize it to your liking, the more it becomes a useful tool rather than annoyance.
Unfortunately, the PS5 doesn't have a ton of customization features at launch. The Xbox Series X, by contrast, allows for far more organization of your games, as well as themes and other tweaks the PS5 currently lacks. Even the PS4 is better in this regard.
If the PS4's launch was any indication, we may see new organization and theming features as the PS5 platform matures. For now, there are a few minor things you can do to make the home screen more usable—and we've compiled them all in one place.
Tailor the Explore Feed for Games You Care About
When you turn on your PS5, you'll be greeted with its "Explore" page, filled with news, live streams, trailers, and other content devoted to games you follow. It looks like every game you own is followed by default, which means you may see news and content related to everything you've ever downloaded—even if you don't want to.
If there's a game you didn't end up liking, or are embarrassed about having in your feed all the time, you can unfollow any game by selecting a news item—or going to your library and selecting the game itself—then clicking on the three dots that appears. From there, choose Unfollow to hide news and videos related to that title.
You can also hide spoilers for games in the Explore tab by heading to Settings > Saved Data and Game/App Settings > Spoiler Warnings. By default, this is set to spoilers identified by game developers, but I prefer to set it to anything I haven't seen yet. (Unfortunately, this only works on PS5 games, but should hopefully become more useful as that library grows.)
Sort and Filter Your Games
If you have a huge backlog of games, it can be groan-inducing to scroll through an unending library looking for a specific title—especially since the PS5 sorts your library by "most recent" rather than alphabetically. From the Game Library screen, scroll left to the little arrow with the three lines and press X. This will let you sort your library alphabetically or by purchase date, and you can also filter your games by platform (PS3, PS4, and PS5) or by their source (bought on the PlayStation Store, redeemed through PlayStation Plus, or played through PlayStation Now). You can also use the tabs along the top to see only games you have installed.
Unfortunately, that's all this screen allows for—there are no folders, no manual sorting, and it won't even save your sorting settings. If you leave this screen and come back, it'll be set to Most Recent again (why, Sony, why?). Still, if you're looking for a game you haven't played in a while—or ever—it could help you find it faster. You can also press Triangle from the home screen to jump to the search button, which is handy.
Customize the Control Center
When you press the PS button on the PlayStation 5, you'll see the Control Center, which includes cards that act as shortcuts and information for the current game, as well as a set of quick menus along the bottom. You can access your notifications, friends, sound options, and more.
If you find this menu cluttered with options you'll never use—or if you want to enable some hidden ones—you can customize it to your liking. Highlight one of the shortcuts along the bottom of the screen, then press the Options button on your controller. You'll see a list of all the icons that can live here. Some are permanent, but others can be removed and added to make the menu more applicable to your needs.
Oh, and bonus tip: if you'd rather the Control Center not appear at all, you can hold the PS button down to go straight back to the home screen.
Turn Off the Background Music and Sound Effects
I always kind of dug the soothing background tones of modern video game consoles, but some may not. And the PS5 doesn't just play calming music in the background—it plays different music based on whatever game you highlight, which can be annoying.
Thankfully, you can turn this music—and the associated sound effects—off completely. Highlight the Settings cog in the upper right corner of the home screen, then head to Sound > Audio Output and scroll down to the bottom of the menu. You'll see an option to turn off the Home Screen Music and Sound Effects, if you so choose.
Tweak the UI With Accessibility Settings
While Accessibility settings are designed with differently-abled people in mind, they can also provide handy customizations you might have missed (like turning off the butt-dialing tap-to-wake feature on iPhones). If you head to Settings > Accessibility, you'll find a few options under Display that may interest you—like customizing the way text appears or changing the scroll speed of overflow text.
Disable Popup Notifications
Finally, while it isn't specific to the home screen, I recommend heading to Settings > Notifications and customizing how and when pop-ups appear. Many notifications may be set to hide during videos and broadcasts, but that means when you go back to the home screen, you'll often get spammed with notifications you missed. You can turn certain notifications off entirely, or set them to display for a shorter amount of time, so they aren't hanging out on your screen, covering up those all-important icons in the corner.
I wish we had more useful options, and using the PS5 side by side with other consoles really makes the interface feel unfinished. Hopefully, as Sony releases more software updates for the machine, more of those useful sorting and customization features will trickle out over time—so you can make your console truly yours.