Play.Date Console General Tips

Important: I am not affiliated with any of the manufacturers, brands, services, or websites listed on this page and this is my personal experience.  If you find this helpful and want to say thanks, please buy me a coffee or take a look at my book on Amazon. It keeps this page ad-free. Thank you!


Hello play.date fan!

I am an early adopter of the play.date console by Panic. By early adopter, I mean Group 1 shipping. I haven’t had so much fun and have been this excited about a console since I first started using computers. So if you’re on the fence about getting one, do it, you won’t be disappointed.

Here are some general tips for play.date owners based on my own trial and error:

I’ll update this post from time to time. It’s not intended to be exhaustive, just something to guide others on their play.date journey.

Enjoy your play.date

play.date LED light meanings
  • Purple: Game Updates
  • Red: Low Battery
  • Blue: Disk Mode (must be connected via USB C to your computer)
  • Orange: Microphone Active
  • White: System Crash

In disk mode, the LED will flicker purple as it switches to disk mode, then go a steady blue.

How to backup your play.date games and save data
  1. Connect your play.date via USB C to your computer
  2. On your play.date go to Settings – System – Reboot to Data Disk
  3. Select OK. Your play.date will now appear as a USB disk on your computer with various folders shown.
  4. You can copy any of the above folders to your computer, or back to your device as needed.
  5. Once done, eject or disconnect the play.date from your computer
  6. To exit disk mode, hold the “A” button for a few seconds.

Tip:

  • All games are located in the “Games” folder.
  • There is a subfolder for “Season 1” called “Season-001”, with individual folders for each game.
  • Sideloaded games appear in the “Games\User” folder.

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How to fix a frozen/crashed play.date / Force restart your play.date

If your play.date console is frozen or has crashed, you can do a force reset. I had to do this when my play.date froze on the play.date welcome screen and my play.date wouldn’t turn on.

To force restart your play.date console, get a paperclip, open the crank arm and gently press the reset button inside the crank dock.

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How to calibrate the play.date Crank

I had a weird crank calibration issue with Season 1 “Whitewater Wipeout”. If for some reason the play.date crank goes out of alignment, you can re-calibrate the crank by doing the following.

  1. Dock the crank (this calibrates it in the locked position)
  2. Exit the app where you’re experiencing the issue
  3. Go to Settings – Restart Playdate

This fixed it for me.

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The best play.date Case (3rd Party)

If you didn’t buy the original purple case or you want something more robust to protect your play.date during travel, this case works. It’s a zippered hardshell case and even has a little pouch for the USB C cable and is under US$10 on Amazon.

Even if you own the original case, this 3rd party case is great if you want to throw your play.date in your bag and not have to think about it.

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play.date Screen Protectors

The best play.date screen protector is this one, you get 2 in the package. It’s under US$10 on Amazon. The screen protectors are a clear film/TPU, not glass but they do the job.

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(more) play.date free games

If you are anxious to try more games, sideloading is easy. Just sign in to your play.date account and scroll down to upload games. The play.date uses pdx files and you can find free and paid play.date games on itch.io

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Important: I am not affiliated with any of the manufacturers, brands, services, or websites listed on this page and this is my personal experience.  If you find this helpful and want to say thanks, please buy me a coffee or take a look at my book on Amazon. It keeps this page ad-free. Thank you!

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