PlayStation 5 backward compatibility: Of course you don’t buy a PlayStation 5 and then start playing PlayStation 4 games. But it is very useful when a new console also plays your old games. This way you can still enjoy a number of games that you might still want to play, while you can simply store your old PS4. That saves a device in the living room or bedroom. In addition, you can still play games in multiplayer with your friends who do not yet own PS5. In this article we explain everything about backward compatibility about the new console.
PlayStation 5 backward compatibility
Fortunately, the PlayStation 5 backward compatibility is possible with almost every PlayStation 4 game. This is done through emulation, just as it is the case with the Xbox Series X and Series S. Because it is not hardware-based, certain functions may not work or you may run into limitations. On the other hand, on the PS5 you also get access to a feature called Game Boost (a part that we also encountered on the PS4 Pro). With Game Boost, PS4 games can be improved with software.
For example, it can happen that PlayStation 4 games get a higher frame rate. As a result, they flow better over your screen and the world looks just a bit more beautiful (provided you do not suffer from screen tearing). In most cases you can just use the new DualSense controller; that’s the controller that comes with the PlayStation 5. If you prefer to use a DualShock (the original PS4 controller), you can connect that too. And otherwise you can turn to third-party alternatives.
In addition, you have to take into account a big difference between the two versions of the PlayStation 5, which you may not immediately consider. The regular version of the PS5 has a disc drive, as you can see in the picture above, while the Digital Edition does not. That means that you can play games on the regular variant via a disc or games from the Store or get your own library. If you have the Digital Edition, you can only play games from the store or your own digital collection.
This is how you play PS4 games on your PS5
If you want to play a PlayStation 4 game on a normal PlayStation 5, you need a disc from a game that you already own (or can of course still buy). You put that disc in your console and wait for the console to install the game completely. You will probably also need to download an update. The fact that the game is installed does not mean that you can play the game completely digitally afterwards. Every time you start the game, for example the fantastic Ghost of Tsushima, the disc must be inside.
If you have a Digital Edition, you can of course only play your digital games. You can find those games in your library, which is on the right side of the home screen. The list contains all the games you can install. However you plan to play a game, please install the games on an external drive. Your internal drive, the SSD, has little space and you need that space for your PS5 games. You can also choose to transfer your PS4 games via such an external drive; that saves downloading.
Things to keep in mind
What about your saved data, such as your save games? You will not lose those when you switch from a PlayStation 4 to a PlayStation 5. If you have PlayStation Plus, you can simply download all save games from the cloud (the space in the cloud is bigger than ever). Just make sure to set your PlayStation to automatically sync (download and upload) data after playing. You can also transfer your stored data via WiFi or use stored data on a disk.
Do you have a PlayStation VR headset? Awesome, because that headset is pretty cool and has some cool video games. It is good to know that the PlayStation 5 is compatible with the PSVR, but unfortunately you need an accessory that you cannot buy in the store. You have to connect your old PS4 camera to use the PSVR and you do this by requesting a special cable from Sony. Don’t worry, because that cable is completely free and you can through this link request from Sony.
Are there any games that don’t work?
Unfortunately, there are also PS4 games that you cannot play on your PlayStation 5. There is currently no complete list of games that do not work. Sony also says that more than 99 percent of all PlayStation 4 games work on the PS5, but less than one percent does not work. We have compiled a list of games below that we are sure do not work, but you may also encounter games that do not work. Please let us know in the comments.
- Afro Samurai 2 Revenge of Kuma Volume One
- Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
- Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: India
- Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China
- Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: Russia
- Hitman Go: Definitive Edition
- Joe’s Diner
- Just Deal With It!
- Robinson: The Journey
- Space Junkies
- Shadow Complex Remastered
- Star Trek Bridge Crew (PSVR)
- TT Isle of Man – Ride on the Edge 2
- Werewolves Within
- We Sing
Finally: PlayStation Plus Collection
If you don’t have PlayStation 4 games (anymore), you can still taste the backward compatibility possibilities of the PlayStation 5. Sony has released the PlayStation Plus collection for PlayStation Plus owners. This is a collection of PS4 games that you can enjoy playing from your PS5. You do have to download and install the games individually (again: please do this on an external hard drive), but after that they are yours as long as you have the subscription. Below is the full list of titles.
- Batman: Arkham Knight
- Battlefield 1
- Call of Duty: Black Ops III – Zombies Chronicles Edition
- Crash Banidcoot N. Sane Trilogy
- Days Gone
- Detroit: Become Human
- Fallout 4
- Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition
- God of War
- Infamous Second Son
- Monster Hunter World
- Mortal Kombat X
- Persona 5
- Ratchet & Clank
- The Last Guardian
- The Last of Us Remastered
- Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
- Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
- Until Dawn