How to Transfer PlayStation 4 Games to PS5

Transferring PlayStation 4 games to the PS5 is pretty simple, but there are a few restrictions you need to know about.

God of War
Photo: PlayStation Studios

Ahead of the PlayStation 5’s November 12 release date, Sony has finally revealed how you will transfer games and other data from the PS4 to the PS5.

How to Play PS4 Discs with PS5

If you’re planning on playing PS4 discs with your PS5 (assuming that you’re using the standard PS5 and not the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition), then the process is as simple as following these steps provided by Sony:

  1. Insert the PS4 game disc. You may need to download an update.
  2. Select the game hub from your Games home.
  3. You will need to keep the disc inserted each time to play the game.

How to Transfer Digital PS4 Games to PS5

It’s when you’re trying to transfer digital PS4 games to either the PS5 or PS5 Digital Edition that things get a little more tricky.

According to Sony, “you can transfer digital games and saved data from a PS4 console to a PS5 console using WiFi data transfer.” Their wording makes it seem like you may have to have both consoles running and hooked up to the same WiFi network in order for that to work, but the process shouldn’t be too complicated.

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Speaking of uncertainty, Sony also notes that “you can access PS4 games on a PS5 console directly from a PS5 extended storage drive” but they’ve yet to entirely reveal which drives will be compatible with PS5. However, assuming you own or plan to purchase a compatible drive, the process is rather simple. Transfer your games to the drive, hook the drive up to your PS5, and then download the games from the drive.

How to Access PS4 Game Files on PS5

Once you’ve transferred the PS4 game file over to the PS5, accessing it will require you to follow these official steps:

  1. Select game library from your Games home.
  2. Select the game you want to play.
  3. If you haven’t already downloaded the game, select Download.
  4. The game will install automatically. Depending on the game, you may have the option to copy and play a portion of the game right away.

You’ll also be able to transfer your save data from PS4 to PS5 either through the above-mentioned WiFi methods or if you’ve saved your data to the cloud as a PlayStation Plus member.

One thing that’s important to keep in mind is that not all PS4 games will be treated equally. Some will offer a next-gen upgrade option (which can be downloaded by following the instructions listed on this page) and some will not. Some will allow you to download portions of the game itself and some will not. As we’ve covered elsewhere, there are a few PS4 games you won’t be able to play on PS5 at all.

So while the PS5’s backward compatibility program shouldn’t be too painful to take advantage of, questions still remain regarding how well these older titles will run on the PlayStation 5 and which titles will benefit from next-gen enhancements.