PS5 Backwards Compatibility: Can You Play PS4 Games on PlayStation 5?

Is the PS5 backwards compatible with the PS4? Can you play PS4 games on the PlayStation 5? One of the biggest questions regarding the PS5 is whether you’ll be able to play PS4 games on it. As part of our PS5 guide, we’re going to explain how PS4 games will work on the PS5 and whether they'll be improved. For more information, refer to the following guides: PS4 to PS5: All Games with Confirmed Free Upgrades and PS5 Smart Delivery: Does PlayStation 5 Have Smart Delivery for PS4 Games? You can also learn more about Sony's classic consoles and which will be compatible with PS5 through here: PS5 Backwards Compatibility: Can You Play PS3, PS2, and PS1 Games on PlayStation 5? And finally, check out the following guide: Can You Use a PS4 Controller on PS5?

PS5 Backwards Compatibility: Can You Play PS4 Games on PlayStation 5?

Sony has confirmed that PS4 games will be playable on the PS5, meaning that the PlayStation 5 is backwards compatible with the PS4. This means that you’ll be able to download games that you’ve purchased from the PlayStation Store on PS4 and play them on the PS5. You’ll also be able to insert physical PS4 discs into the PS5 and play them on the next-gen console. You won't be able to use physical media on the PS5 Digital Edition because it doesn't have a disc drive, and you can learn more about that through here: PS5 Digital Edition vs PS5: What's the Difference?

PS5 Backwards Compatibility: Which PS4 Games Will Work on PS5?

Currently, Sony is testing as many PS4 games as it can to ensure they run properly on PS5. After some confusion, Sony has said it expects the "overwhelming majority" of PS4 games will be compatible with PS5 at launch.

System architect Mark Cerny stated that the company has been testing the top 100 most played PS4 games, and "almost" all of them will be working as intended when PS5 arrives. Sony has also assured it has already tested "hundreds of titles" and will be testing "thousands more as we move toward launch".

The short answer is that almost all your PS4 games should work on PS5 from day one.

PS5 Backwards Compatibility: Will Physical PS4 Game Discs Play on the PS5?

Yes, physical PS4 game discs will play on PS5. You'll be able to insert physical PS4 game discs into the PS5 and play them, as well as download digital software you've purchased from the PlayStation Store. Note that you won't be able to use physical game discs on the PS5 Digital Edition (See Also: PS5 Digital Edition vs PS5: What's the Difference?), as it doesn't have a disc drive.

PS5 Backwards Compatibility: Will PS4 Games Purchased from the PS Store Work on PS5?

The PS5 is backwards compatible with PS4 software, so this means both physical and digital software will work on the next-gen system. Assuming you’re using the same PSN account on PS5, you will have access to all of your PS4 purchases from the PlayStation Store. This includes PlayStation Plus titles – but you will have to ensure your subscription is active in order to play these.

PS5 Backwards Compatibility: Will PS4 Games Play Better on the PS5?

PS4 games will play better on PS5 through the use of a "boost" mode, however this may cause compatibility issues and could not apply to every single game. You also may need to ensure that your PS4 games are installed to the PS5's SSD (See Also: PS5 SSD: Why It's Better Than HDD), although you will have the option to save space by using a more traditional external HDD. Any games stored on the latter, of course, will not benefit from the speeds of Sony's super-fast SSD.

Here's what Sony has to say about PS4 games running better on PS5: "We’re expecting backward compatible titles will run at a boosted frequency on PS5 so that they can benefit from higher or more stable frame rates and potentially higher resolutions. We’re currently evaluating games on a title-by-title basis to spot any issues that need adjustment from the original software developers."

PS5 Backwards Compatibility: Will PSVR Games Work on PS5?

Sony has said that PlayStation VR will be fully backwards compatible with the PS5, meaning that you’ll be able to plug your current headset into the next-gen console and experience virtual reality. As the PlayStation 5 is also backwards compatible with PS4 software, this means that you’ll be able to play PSVR games on the PS5 – regardless of whether you own them digitally or physically.

PS5 Backwards Compatibility: Will the PS5 Play PS3, PS2, or PS1 Games?

Sony has only confirmed PS5 backwards compatibility with PS4 games. While there have been rumours hinting at support for PS3, PS2, and PS1 titles too, the platform holder has primarily focused on support for PS4 games. It’s worth noting that PS2 Classics purchased for the PS4 from the PlayStation Store should work on the PS5, as these are using an emulator that should be compatible with the next-gen console. The same is true of remasters, like PaRappa the Rapper. You can find more information through here: PS5 Backwards Compatibility: Can You Play PS3, PS2, and PS1 Games on PlayStation 5?


Will you be taking advantage of PS5's backwards compatibility with PS4 games? Take a step back in the comments below, and check out our PS5 guide.