Backwards compatibility has been a staple of console gaming for generations.


However, it's not always the case, so today we'll be taking a look at whether you can play PS4 games on the PS5.

The PS3 put a bit of a spanner in the works, owing to its complex design making it very computationally difficult to emulate. Even beefy gaming computers struggle to do it! Sony has found a way around this, though.

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Fortunately, the PS4 and PS5 are architecturally very similar, which makes things a lot simpler for both Sony and developers, and allows for simple patches to update the game's visuals.

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And really, that makes the PS5 worth it in our eye,s as not only do you get to play the best PS5 games, but you can also play some of the greatest titles to grace the 2013 console, too!

With the new PS5 Slim, if you can't stretch to the disc version now, you can always upgrade down the line, meaning you can pick up dirt cheap PS4 discs.

But that's quite enough from us, you have an entire back catalogue of PlayStation 4 games to get through!

Can you play PS4 games on PS5?

Yes, you can play PS4 games on the PS5.

As we alluded to earlier, this is because the PS4 is constructed far more like a traditional PC would be, and doesn't include any fancy exotic components.

The PS5 has followed this path, and can be thought of as an upgraded gaming PC in that sense, as much of the software runs similarly – and often better, too!

This means that you can play almost all of your old favourites and pick up some cheap physical copies of secondhand PS4 titles, many of which have received PS5 patches to improve their frame rate and resolution.

However, there are a very small number of PS4 games that won't work, which we'll touch on later.

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Which PS4 games play on the PS5?

You can play virtually every PS4 game on the PS5.

You can pretty much take your pick of a PS4 game to play on the PS5, with Sony confirming that the majority of games will be playable - 99 per cent of them, to put a figure to it.

Sony has been busy testing this out on a multitude of games to make sure that they all work - and the results have been positive. So, you should be able to play them all problem-free when your new console arrives.

What PS4 games will not work on PS5?

As mentioned, thankfully there are not many PS4 games that don't work on PS5. But here is the list of the ones that will still require you to hang onto the PS4.

This list has shrunk by about three or four titles since the PS5 first launched, so there is still hope for those that remain.

  • Afro Samurai 2 Revenge of Kuma Volume One
  • Hitman Go: Definitive Edition
  • Just Deal With It!
  • Robinson: The Journey
  • Shadwen
  • We Sing

We can only offer our deepest sympathies to those who were hoping to continue moonlight as a pop star in We Sing, but really, Just Deal with it!

How does backwards compatibility work on the PS5?

ps5 console and controller against a white background
PlayStation 5. Sony

It's very simple! All you need to do is put the disc in and it will play straight away.

Digital purchases will also work on both, which will obviously be the only way to take advantage of backwards compatibility if you opt for the digital-only version of the console.

You may also have to install PS5-specific patches, which are well worth it as they can massively improve the visuals and performance.

Not all games have received this treatment – Bloodborne being the most notable.

Do PS4 games look better on the PS5?

Yes, most PS4 games look better on the PS5.

Thanks to Game Boost, older games will see an improvement when loaded up on the new system, but it will not be the case for all of them - most is better than none, though.

Straight from the horse's mouth, here is what Sony had to say about it: "The PS5 console’s Game Boost technology gives PS4 games access to more power. Enjoy faster and smoother frame rates in some of the PS4 console’s greatest games."

Games such as The Last of Us Part 2 have had PS5 updates to increase the resolution and frame rate, making an already stunning title even more so.

Plus, it's worth noting that if you have a PS4 game stored on your PS5's internal SSD, as opposed to an external hard drive you added yourself, you should see the benefit of faster loading times.

Do PS1, PS2 and PS3 games work on the PS5?

No, PS1, PS2 and PS3 will not work natively on the PS5, but can be played via PS Plus Premium or Deluxe.

If you are subscribed to the PS Plus Premium tier, you will be able to stream PS3 games from the cloud in certain regions (the UK is included).

If you pay for PS Plus Deluxe, many PS2 and PS1 games will be available to download and your PS5 will emulate them.

PS2 Classics games that already came to the PS4 should all work on your PS5 - so that's something! Just don't expect all your old favourites to be there, and definitely don't try putting a PS1, PS2 or PS3 disc in your PS5.

Do PSVR 1 games work on the PS5?

Yes, PSVR 1 and games for it will work on PS5 with the PlayStation Camera Adaptor.

Sony will send you a PlayStation Camera Adaptor if you order one directly from the official website, and that's all you need to make your old headset work on the new console.

Just remember, if you have any PS4 VR games on discs, you'll need the disc drive version of the PS5 to keep using them.

It's well worth holding onto the original PSVR if you have one, as many of the games made for it are not available to play on PSVR 2.

Do PS4 accessories work on the PS5?

A lot of PS4 accessories will work on PS5, but sometimes only with PS4 games.

To start with the simplest: gold and platinum headsets, racing wheels, arcade sticks and flight sticks that have been officially licensed by Sony will all work with no issues, as will generic USB ports or audio jack headsets.

Muddying the waters somewhat is that certain accessories will only work with the PS5 if you are playing PS4 games on it. So DualShock 4 controllers and other licensed ones, as well as the VR camera, the VR aim controller and the VR move controllers will work, but with that caveat.

How to transfer PS4 games and saved data to PS5

To move PS4 games and saved data to the PS5, you either need to transfer all the files via your home internet network, a USB drive or on the cloud with PS Plus.

To transfer your files on your home network, you need to be logged in on both the PS4 and PS5 and make sure both are updated to the latest firmware.

You will have the best results if they are connected via an ethernet connection as it will be quicker than Wi-Fi.

If you are setting up your PS5 for the first time, you will be prompted with an onscreen guide for doing this.

If you are doing it after you set up your PS5, you need to do the following:

  • Turn on your PS4
  • On the PS5 go to Settings > System > System Software
  • Select Data Transfer and then Continue and follow the instruction on-screen

But if you are a PS Plus member, the Cloud is your friend, and you can do your PS4 to PS5 transfer in this alternate way:

  • On the PS5, go to Settings
  • Now head to saved Data and Game/App Settings and select Saved Data (PS4), then Cloud Storage
  • Select the option Download to Console Storage and your available save files that you can download to the PS5 will be there

Alternatively, you can copy everything you need to a USB and do it manually, if your consoles are in different locations and you don't have PS Plus. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Connect a USB drive large enough to your PS4
  • On the PS4, go to Settings > Application Saved Data Management > Saved Data in System Storage > Copy to USB Storage Device
  • Choose the files you want to copy and transfer them
  • Once finished, unplug the USB and insert in the PS5
  • On the PS5, go to Settings > Saved Data and Game/App Settings > Saved Data PS4 and select the USB Drive and Copy it to the PS5

And there you have it. All your PS4 goodness on PS5!

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