PS5 Backwards Compatibility Explained: What PS4 Games Will and Won’t Work

Here's everything you need to know about playing PS4 games on PS5.



Sony has finally revealed more details on PlayStation 5 backwards compatibility. We’ve known for a while that PS5 will be backwards compatible with PS4 games, but we now know exactly which games will not work when played on the new system.

But first, here’s a quick primer on what we know so far, followed by what you need to know about PS5 backwards compatibility.

What is PS5 Backwards Compatible With?

PS5 is only backwards compatible with PS4. That means your PS4 digital or disc games will work when played on PS5. (Disc games are only playable if you purchase the $499 PS5 that has a disc drive.) PS5 cannot play PS1, PS2, or PS3 games.

How Does PS5 Backwards Compatibility Work?

99% of all PS4 will be playable on PS5 at launch. Playing your PS4 games on your PS5 is pretty simple. PlayStation detailed the process via a support page that is listed below.

Playing PS4 game discs on a PS5 console with a disc drive

  1. Insert the PS4 game disc. You may need to download an update.
  2. Select the game hub from your Games home.
  3. You will need to keep the disc inserted each time to play the game.

PS4 game discs can’t be used with the PlayStation 5 Digital Edition.

Install a PS4 digital game on a PS5 console

  1. Select game library from your Games home.
  2. Select the game you want to play.
  3. If you haven’t already downloaded the game, select Download.
  4. The game will install automatically. Depending on the game, you may have the option to copy and play a portion of the game right away.

We have yet to see the PS5 “game hub” or any user interface component of the system yet, but these instructions are thankfully straightforward.

Can I transfer my PS4 games and saves to my PS5?

Yes, you can transfer digital games, game data, and game saves from a PS4 to PS5 pretty easily. You can use either a LAN or WiFi connection to transfer PS4 games to your PS5, or you can use an external USB storage device. We recommend picking up a one terabyte or bigger external SSD drive if you don’t already have one.

Save data can be easily brought over if you’re a PS Plus member. Your save data instantly syncs with cloud storage, so you’ll be able to pick up from where you left off on PS4 once your game is installed on PS5.

Which PS4 Games Won’t Work on PS5?

Currently, only 10 PS4 games will not be playable on PS5 via backwards compatibility. They are:

  • WVR
  • Afro Samurai 2 Revenge of Kuma Volume One
  • TT Isle of Man – Ride on the Edge 2
  • Just Deal With It!
  • Shadow Complex Remastered
  • Robinson: The Journey
  • We Sing
  • Hitman Go: Definitive Edition
  • Shadwen
  • Joe’s Diner

We have no idea yet why these 10 very different games will not be playable. Of the 10, I recommend checking out Shadow Complex Remastered and Hitman Go: Definitive Edition on your PS4.

Will PS4 Games Play Better on PS5?

Yes, some PS4 games will benefit from PS5’s additional power. PlayStation revealed via a blog post that some PS4 games will have faster load times (thanks to PS5’s SSD) and will utilize Game Boost, a feature that will offer “improved and more stable frame rates.” PS4 games with unlocked frame rates (games with frame rates that can change while you play) or dynamic resolution (1080p to 4K) “may see higher fidelity.”

Which PS4 games will play better on PS5?

We don’t have a list of games that will take advantage of Game Boost yet or that we know will run better, but some developers have already confirmed their PS4 games will play better on PS5.

Sucker Punch has already shared that it’s 2020 PS4 hit Ghost of Tsushima will benefit from Game Boost by having a higher frame rate and significantly lower load times.

Digital Foundry has previously made a video about PS4 games that could benefit from PS5 backwards compatibility by having higher frame rates that may hit 60FPS. Those games include:

  • Dark Souls 3
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  • Final Fantasy XV
  • Killzone: Shadow Fall
  • Assassin’s Creed: Unity

PS4 games with unlocked frame rates or that could benefit from higher fidelity I would personally like to see play better on PS5 include:

  • The Last Guardian
  • Kingdom Hearts 3
  • Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order

What Else Do I Need to Know About PS5 Backwards Compatibility?

  • PS4 PSVR games are also backwards compatible with PS5
  • The PS5 HD Camera accessory cannot be used with PS4 PSVR games. You need to use the PS Camera accessory that comes with PSVR
  • DualShock 4 controllers cannot be used to play PS5 games
  • The PS5 DualSense controller can be used to play select PS4 games

For full coverage of PS4 backwards compatibility on PS5, read the official PlayStation Blog and support page.

PlayStation 5 releases on November 12 for $499. The PlayStation 5 Digital Edition (no disc drive) will cost $399.

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Thanks for reading my content! I'm a huge fan of Guardians of the Galaxy, Kingdom Hearts, and Bucky Barnes. PSN: LandPirate62

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