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PS5 Backwards Compatibility: PS4 Games on PS5

Use discs or an online service to keep up with your backlog

This article explains how you can play PS4 games on PlayStation 5 and what games are incompatible with the PlayStation 5. The vast majority of PS4 games can be played on the PS5.

How to Play a PS4 Game on PlayStation 5

Playing a PS4 game on your PlayStation 5 is as simple as playing a PS5 game on the system. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Insert the PS4 game disc. (This step can be skipped if you own the game digitally.)

  2. Choose the game from the PlayStation 5 game hub.

  3. Begin playing the game.

What Is PlayStation 5 Backward Compatibility? 

PlayStation 5 backward compatibility refers to the latest game console’s ability to play older games, such as those available for the PlayStation 4 or previous PlayStation game consoles.

In the past, Sony has implemented some backward compatibility abilities with its previous consoles. The PlayStation 4 could play some older games through processes, such as the PlayStation Now service, while the PlayStation 2 and certain versions of the PlayStation 3 could directly play physical copies of older games.

Sony has shut down PlayStation Now and folded its library into premium tiers of its PlayStation Plus service. The Extra level provides access to the Game Catalog, which includes some PS4 titles. The Deluxe membership includes both the Game and Classics Catalogs, the latter of which offers games from even older generations of PlayStation.

Will PS5 Play PS4 Games? 

If you’re wondering if the PS5 is backward-compatible with the PlayStation 4, there’s good news. Sony has stated that an overwhelming majority of its 4,000+ PS4 games are playable on the PlayStation 5.

Unlike the PlayStation 4 that made playing past games a little complicated, the PlayStation 5 has made playing previous generation games much simpler.

For all PS4 digital games you’ve purchased in the past, they’re available within your games library via the PlayStation Store. Download them as you would on your PlayStation 4, and you can play them.

Alternatively, if you have a PlayStation 5 with a disc drive, you can also use physical PS4 game discs by placing them in the console like a PS5 game.

Are PS4 Games Different on PlayStation 5?

Most PS4 games will be near-identical on the PlayStation 5. Sony has warned that some games may suffer from minor issues or glitches but these are expected to be fixed over time.

Some PS4 games will actually see improvements such as increased loading times, superior frame rates, and improved resolutions so you get a better image quality. These are likely to be the biggest PS4 games such as Ghost of TsushimaThe Last of Us, and the Uncharted franchise of games.

If you don’t already own the games, you can also play PS4 games via PlayStation Plus.Pl

What PS4 Games Won’t Play on the PS5?

Sony has released a list of a select number of games that are playable on PS4 only and can’t be played on the PlayStation 5. The list comprises of:

  • DWVR
  • Afro Samurai 2 Revenge of Kuma Volume One
  • TT Isle of Man – Ride on the Edge 2
  • Just Deal With It!
  • Shadow Complex Remastered
  • Robinson: The Journey
  • We Sing
  • Hitman Go: Definitive Edition
  • Shadwen
  • Joe’s Diner

Download PS4 games from your PS5 Game Library

PS5 UI

The easiest way to access your complete PS4 library on PS5 is to just simply head along to the Game Library tile on the far right of your home screen. Here you can see everything that you’ve ever played on PS4 – you can even filter by platform – and re-download anything that you want to play on PS5. Super straight forward, as you’d hope.

You can just play PS4 discs on PS5

Unless you’re rocking the PS5 Digital Edition, you can also play your physical disc-based PS4 games simply by inserting the disc into your PS5. Yes, it will need to install the game and apply any updates, but it’ll play and run just as it did on PS4 – probably just with some nice PS4 benefits.

Your PS4 external hard drive will also work on PS5

Seagate The Last of Us Part II 2TB Game Drive

if you were using a PS4 external hard drive to store games on PS4, then there’s another neat trick you can do with your PS5 – just unplug the hard drive from your PS4, and plug it into your PS5. No conversion or reformatting needed, you’re straight into enjoying all those games on your PS5. Just remember to move as much of your PS4 library over to that hard drive before you make the switch for the ultimate convenience.

PS4 to PS5 Wi-Fi transfer will copy everything over

Transfer PS4 games to PS5

There’s another way to streamline your ability to play PS4 games on PS5 without having to re-download them all. If you’ve still got access to your PS4, you can also do a Wi-Fi transfer, that copies your PS4 games stored internally on your old console (aka not on the external hard drive) straight onto your PS5.

To do this, head to:

Settings > System >  System Software > Data Transfer

Then, it’s just a case of following the on-screen instructions. You’ll need both your PS5 and PS4 turned on, and also connected to the internet over Wi-Fi. If they’re right next to each other you can also connect the two via a LAN connection.

Transfer PS4 games to PS5

Once they’re connected, you can either select all or just tick the PS4 titles you want to transfer. Then it’s just a case of waiting while the transfer happens before you can get stuck in.

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