How to play PS4 games on PS5

Best action games
(Image credit: FromSoftware)

Do PS4 games work on PS5? Yes, it's entirely possible to play PS4 games on your PS5, as PS5 backwards compatibility has been a priority for Sony in this particular console. It's also not a hard thing to do by any means, and the PlayStation 5 is also set up to access your existing games easily and painlessly - and the free PS5 upgrades that have been added to some PS4 games don't hurt.

Way back when the PS5 arrived PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan promised in The Washington Post (opens in new tab) that 99% of PS4 games will work with PS5. According to Ryan thousands of games were tested and so far everything we've tried has worked like an absolute dream. So, coming up below, here's how to start playing PS4 games on PS5. 

Download PS4 games from your PS5 Game Library 

PS5 UI

(Image credit: Sony / Future)

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

(Image credit: Sony)

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

(Image credit: Sony)

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. 

PS5 review Transfer games to PS5 hard drive | How to use a PS4 controller with PS5 | Where is the PS5 power button | PS5 standby mode explained | Best PS5 SSD | Best PS5 external hard drives | PS5 headsets | Upcoming PS5 games | How to download PS4 saves on PS5 | PS5 stock updates

Sam Loveridge
Global Editor-in-Chief, GamesRadar+

Sam Loveridge is the Global Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar, and joined the team in August 2017. Sam came to GamesRadar after working at TrustedReviews, Digital Spy, and Fandom, following the completion of an MA in Journalism. In her time, she's also had appearances on The Guardian, BBC, and more. Her experience has seen her cover console and PC games, along with gaming hardware, for over seven years, and for GamesRadar, she is in charge of reviews, best lists, and the overall running of the site and its staff. Her gaming passions lie with weird simulation games, big open-world RPGs, and beautifully crafted indies. Basically, she loves all games that aren't sports or fighting titles!