Is The PS5 Backwards Compatible With PS4?

Jonathan Kao

black and white xbox one game controller

The PlayStation 5 has garnered significant attention since its release, and one of the most pressing questions among gamers is whether the PS5 is backward compatible with older games. Backward compatibility allows players to enjoy their favorite titles from previous console generations on their new hardware, providing more value and a broader library of games.

The PS5 is compatible with most PS4 games, ensuring that users can play a vast number of titles they already own. This compatibility extends to physical discs and digital downloads, which means almost the entire PS4 library is accessible on the PS5. Beyond just playing these games, the PS5 also provides certain performance improvements for many PS4 titles, such as faster loading times and enhanced graphics.

While the PS5 does offer support for some PS3 games through the PlayStation Plus subscription service, it does not play PS2 games. Additionally, PS5 games are not playable on older PS4 consoles. These limitations are essential to consider when planning game purchases and subscriptions.

PS5 Backwards Compatibility: Your PS4 Games, Reimagined

The Good News

Sony designed the PS5 with backwards compatibility in mind. It can play the vast majority of PS4 games, giving you access to a massive library of titles. This includes both physical discs and digital downloads.

Enhanced Performance

Not only can you play your old PS4 games, but many of them will also benefit from the PS5’s enhanced hardware. This means faster load times, smoother frame rates, and potentially even higher resolutions. Some games may even receive specific PS5 upgrades, further enhancing the experience.

A Few Exceptions

While most PS4 games are compatible, a small number are not. Sony maintains a list of incompatible games on their website. If you’re unsure about a specific title, it’s best to check this list before buying or trying to play it on your PS5.

How to Play PS4 Games on PS5

  • Physical Discs: Simply insert the PS4 disc into your PS5, and the game should start automatically.
  • Digital Downloads: If you own the digital version of a PS4 game, it should appear in your PS5 game library. You can download and play it from there.
  • PS Plus Collection: PS Plus subscribers get access to a selection of popular PS4 games at no extra cost.

Summary Table

PS4 Game CompatibilityMost PS4 games are playable on PS5
Enhanced PerformanceMany PS4 games run better on PS5
ExceptionsA few PS4 games are not compatible
How to PlayInsert disc, download digital game, or access PS Plus collection

Key Takeaways

  • PS5 is backward compatible with most PS4 games.
  • PS5 does not support PS2 or PS3 games directly without a subscription.
  • Performance improvements are available for many PS4 games on PS5.

Understanding PS5 Backwards Compatibility

The PlayStation 5’s backwards compatibility offers players access to most PS4 titles, enhanced performance for some games, and support for various peripherals. This section provides a detailed look at the scope of compatibility, the technical improvements available, and the supported hardware and controllers.

Compatibility Across PlayStation Generations

The PS5 is designed to support nearly all PlayStation 4 games. Sony has confirmed that around 99% of PS4 titles are playable on the PS5, including many top-selling games. This ensures that players can continue enjoying their favorite PS4 titles without needing a separate console.

While the PS5 primarily focuses on PS4 game support, it does not natively support PS3, PS2, or PS1 games. However, Sony’s PlayStation Now subscription service provides a way to access a library of older games. Players can stream or download select games from these earlier generations, ensuring a broader gaming experience.

Technical Enhancements and Game Boost

The PS5 features several technical enhancements that improve the gaming experience for backwards compatible games. Firstly, the Game Boost feature enhances the performance of certain PS4 games. This can lead to higher frame rates and smoother gameplay, enhancing the overall experience.

In addition, the PS5’s SSD reduces load times for PS4 games, making for a quicker and more seamless transition between game scenes. Some games may also benefit from 4K resolution and HDR, offering better visuals even if they are from the previous generation. These enhancements ensure that players get the most out of their existing game library.

Hardware and Controller Support

The PS5 supports a variety of PS4 peripherals, ensuring that players can continue using their favorite accessories. The PSVR headset works with the PS5, along with the PS Camera, Move Controllers, and HD Camera. This allows for a seamless transition when playing VR games from the PS4 on the PS5.

The DualSense Controller, while the primary controller for PS5 games, also works with most PS4 titles. Players can still use their DualShock 4 controllers for compatible PS4 games on the PS5. This flexibility in hardware support ensures that players don’t need to invest in new accessories immediately.

Accessing and Playing Compatible Games on PS5

The PlayStation 5 allows users to access and play a vast library of PS4 games. Methods include using the PlayStation Store, PS Plus, physical or digital game data, and handling compatibility issues.

Using the PlayStation Store and PS Plus

Players can access their existing library of PS4 games through the PlayStation Store. These games, previously purchased on PSN, can be downloaded directly to the PS5.

PS Plus subscribers have additional benefits. They gain access to the PlayStation Plus Collection, which includes popular titles like Persona 5, God of War, and Bloodborne. This collection provides instant access to first-party titles without any extra cost.

Subscribing to PS Plus enables cloud storage for save data, letting players continue where they left off on PS4. This integration ensures a seamless transition between consoles.

Physical and Digital Game Data

For physical copies, the PS5 console with a disc drive can play PS4 game discs. Insert the disc to install and play the game. This includes titles such as Ghost of Tsushima and Horizon Zero Dawn. Keep the disc inserted while playing, as it verifies ownership.

Digital downloads from an existing PS4 library can be transferred easily. Use an external USB storage drive or re-download the games from the library. Save data can also be transferred using cloud storage or external devices.

For players with extensive digital collections, this offers flexibility in managing their game library without incurring extra costs.

Known Compatibility Issues and Resolutions

Though most PS4 games work on the PS5, some exceptions exist. Titles like Afro Samurai 2: Revenge of Kuma Volume One and We Sing have known compatibility issues. These games will not load or may experience performance problems.

Updating the PS5 firmware regularly can help resolve some issues. Additionally, reinstalling games and patching them to the latest versions can fix minor compatibility problems.

For persistent issues, access PlayStation support for troubleshooting steps. They provide specific solutions tailored to various errors encountered by users.