Creating or joining a party with your friends on PS4 used to be a pretty simple affair. However, in October 2020, Sony released system firmware version 8.00 for the PlayStation 4, which completely changed the way that parties work.
In this article, we explain the new setup and show you how to create and join parties on your PlayStation 4. It’s still simple enough, just different than before firmware update 8.00 landed.
How to Create a Party on PlayStation 4
Once you’re updated to version 8.00 of the PS4 system software, you’ll still see the same Party icon at the top of the main menu. However, you can no longer create a party and simply leave it open for your friends to join as they wish.
Instead, on the Parties screen, you’ll now likely see that there are no parties you can join. Select Start Party to create a new one.
When you do, you’ll see the same list of your messages accessible on the Messages tab. The latest system update only allows you to create a party with a group of people you have an open message conversation with. Thus, you’ll need to select a conversation to start a party with everyone inside.
If you want to start a party with a different combination of people or someone that you’ve never messaged before, you’ll need to add those people to a new conversation.
Select Create Group at the top and you’ll be able to add people through several methods on the left side, including scrolling through your list of All Friends, running a Search, or using a Custom List.
You can also start a party chat with an existing group without going through the Party screen. Open up an existing conversation with someone and select the Party option on the left side to begin party voice chat with them.
Once you’re in the party, it works just like it did before, allowing you to chat with everyone inside no matter what game they’re playing. Select Party Settings on the right-hand side to adjust a few options, including the balance of party chat and game audio.
Meanwhile, if someone invites you to a PS4 party using the above methods, you’ll see a notification to join as you would have before firmware update 8.00 changed the way PS4 parties work.
A Tip for PlayStation 4 Parties
This move from Sony doesn’t make a lot of sense, as the old party system worked just fine. The new setup is unnecessarily complicated and more restrictive, so the company will hopefully reverse the change before long.
Until then, there’s one way to slightly improve this system: adding groups to your favorites, which is one of the essential PS4 organization features. Go into the Messages tab and find (or create) any conversation you expect you’ll want to use for party chat often. While highlighting it, press Options and choose Add to Favorites.
Once you do this, the conversation will appear in the Favorites tab, which also appears when you’re creating a new party through the Party menu. Having only your most important groups in the Favorites tab will reduce the clutter when you’re trying to quickly start a party with your friends.
PlayStation 4 Parties Can Still Be Fun
Now, you should know how to create or join a party on your PlayStation 4 starting with system firmware 8.00. Unless Sony changes things back to the way they were.
Until then, there’s no longer the option to create a private party or be in a party by yourself, so the update definitely removed some functionality. So the chances are that you’ll be opening a lot more groups for the time being.