How to play PlayStation 4 games on a PlayStation 5

PlayStation 5
Most PS4 games will work on a PS5 console. Sony

Owners of the new PlayStation 5 will be glad to know that it’s backward compatible with the PlayStation 4. This means that, if you own both consoles, you’ll be able to play your favorite PS4 games on the PS5.

While most of the 4,000+ PS4 games are playable on the PS5, there are some exceptions (which are detailed here). These include Afro Samurai 2 Revenge of Kuma Volume One, We Sing, and Just Deal With It!

Some PS4 games will even run better, with a higher or smoother frame rate, thanks to the PS5’s Game Boost. On the flip side, while most PS4 games can be played on the PS5 console, some functionalities may not be available on the PS5. Some PS4 games might even show errors or unexpected behavior when played on the PS5.

Here’s what you need to know about PS5 backward compatibility and how to play PS4 games on the newer console.

How to play PS4 game discs on a PS5

Since the PS5 is backward compatible with the PS4, PS4 games can be played on the new console.

To play a physical PS4 game disc on a PS5, simply insert the PS4 game disc into the PS5 console. You may be prompted to download an update. Then, select the game hub from your Games home page.

How to play digitally purchased PS4 games on a PS5

The PS5’s backward compatibility also extends to digital games.

To play PS4 games you’ve purchased from the PlayStation Store on a PS5, make sure you use the same account on both consoles. This way, you will have access to your PS4 purchases on your PS5. You can also play PlayStation Plus games with an active subscription.

You can transfer digital games and game data from a PS4 to a PS5 via a WiFi data transfer. Alternatively, you can access PS4 games on a PS5 using a compatible USB storage drive.

To install a PS4 digital game on a PS5 console:

1. Select the game library from your Games home page.

2. Pick the game you want to play. If it isn’t already downloaded, select Download.

How to transfer saved game data from PS4 to PS5

1. Turn on your PS4 and PS5. Make sure they’re connected to the same WiFi network.

2. On the PS5, go to Settings.

Screenshot of PS5 screen homepage
Go to ‘Settings.’ William Antonelli/Insider

3. On the Settings page, select System.

Screenshot of PS5 main Settings page
Go to ‘System.’ William Antonelli/Insider

4. Then click System Software.

5. Choose Data Transfer, then Continue. Select your PS4.

6. When you see the message Prepare for Data Transfer on your PS5, press the PS4 power button until you hear a beep.

7. On the PS5, select the games and game data you want to transfer. Select Start Transfer.

PlayStation VR compatibility

The PS5 is also backward compatible with PlayStation VR. This means that if you already own a headset, you can plug it into the new console and enjoy a virtual reality experience.

You will also be able to play physical and digital PSVR games on the PS5. To do so, you’ll need a free PlayStation Camera adaptor to connect the PS4 camera to the PS5, since it’s not compatible with the new HD camera.

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