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How to play PS4 games on PS5

Can you play PS4 games on a PS5?
(Image credit: PlayStation)

Can you play PS4 games on the PS5? Yes! One of the big questions circulating around the launch of Sony's next-generation console was about PS5 backwards compatibility, and whether it would be easy to access your PS4 back-catalogue from the new PS5. Well, thankfully it's not only possible but super easy to do, with Sony offering multiple ways to access your existing games. Heck, a huge variety are even getting free PS5 upgrades to include improved graphics and framerates for the new generation tech.

In an interview with The Washington Post, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan promised that 99% of your PS4 games will work with PS5, adding that thousands of games have been tested. Everything we've tried so far has worked like an absolute dream. So to start playing PS4 games on PS5, just do one of the following. 

Download them from your 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.

Via PS4 disc

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. 

Via PS4 external hard drive

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. 

Via Wi-Fi transfer

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. 

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