Sony was criticised last generation for far too many firmware updates so it's changed its tact with the PlayStation 4 – each patch marks a milestone moment for the machine. And that remains true of PS4 firmware update 4.50, which this week added external hard drive support, custom wallpapers, and much more. Here's everything you need to know to get the most out of Sony's new system software.

Guide: How to Attach an External HDD to Your PS4

You can finally attach an external hard drive disk (HDD) to your PlayStation 4 as part of firmware update 4.50. There's one thing you'll need to keep in mind before you take advantage of this feature, though: your external HDD must support USB 3.0. If it's a USB 2.0 drive, then it won't meet Sony's transfer speed requirements and won't work. Fortunately, this applies to most modern external HDDs.

Guide: The Best External HDDs for PS4

Sony added external hard drive (HDD) support to the PlayStation 4 this week, meaning that you can now easily increase the capacity of your console without needing to open it and replace its internal hard drive. The system supports drives of up to 8TB, but you do need to ensure that you plump up for a USB 3.0 one otherwise it won't work.

Guide: How to Create Custom Wallpapers on PS4

The PlayStation 4 has got some fantastic pre-made themes, but what if you want something a little more personal? That's where PS4 firmware update 4.50 comes in. The software upgrade lets you make your very own backgrounds - but how do you create custom wallpapers on PlayStation 4?

Guide: How to Enable PS4 Pro Boost Mode

PlayStation 4 firmware update 4.50 has brought a bunch of welcome features, but none of them have been talked about more than the addition of Boost Mode for PS4 Pro users. Boost Mode basically allows you to take advantage of the PS4 Pro's extra power, using it to potentially make older PS4 titles run better on the supercharged system.

Guide: How to Post Status Updates to PS4's Activity Feed

Sony's always wanted the PlayStation 4 to feel a little bit like a social network, and it's edged ever closer to that goal with PS4 firmware update 4.50. Previously, the Activity Feed was the domain of auto-published content like Trophy unlocks and screenshot shares, but now you have a little more control over what you post.

Guide: How to Change Your PSN Profile's Colour on PS4

Did you know that you can change the colour of your PSN profile on the PlayStation 4 as part of PS4 firmware update 4.50? You'll need to create a PS4 cover image first, but you can find out more information on how to do that through the link. Once you've got a cover image, we're going to show you how to change the colour of your profile to match.

Guide: How to Update PlayStation VR's System Software

Just like the PS4, Sony is also releasing firmware updates for the PlayStation VR headset. But how you update the virtual reality device's system software?

Soapbox: The Worst Thing About PS4 Firmware Update 4.50

We can all probably agree that PlayStation 4 firmware update v4.50 is a good update: the external hard drive support is welcome, the custom wallpapers feature is nice to have, and the addition of Boost Mode is great if you're a PS4 Pro owner. But there's one thing about the update that I can't wrap my head around: the new Notifications Menu.