PS5 Backwards Compatibility – PS4 Games on PS5, Game List, Transfer Game Saves, Controller, Accessories

By Novak Bozovic / October 10, 2020

As announced a couple of weeks back, PlayStation 5 consoles will be available starting November 12 in select markets, and November 19 in the rest of the world. Even though plenty is known about the next-gen PS consoles, there’s a number of crucial features that are still shrouded in mystery.

Considering that there's a bit over a month until the PlayStation 5 comes out, it's time for Sony to start revealing more information. It looks like PS5’s backward compatibility is the first on that list, so here’s all on you need to know. 

Will PS5 Have Full Backwards Compatibility?

Well, not exactly.

The PS5 will run more than 99 percent of the 4,000+ games that work on the previous PlayStation generation (the PS4). This means that earlier generations (the PS3 and older) won’t get to bring their games to the latest console.

It's also worth mentioning that PS4 games will be playable on the PS5 on day one. However, we can expect developers to optimize their games in time, taking full advantage of the next-gen console. However, we'll talk more about those upgrade paths later on.

Essential Reading: PlayStation 5 Vs. Xbox Series X

How to Play Backwards Compatible PS4 Games on the PS5?

Spiderman PS5 Game Press Image
Image Courtesy of Sony.

As you already know, the PlayStation 5 comes in two versions. There's the 'Standard' version that includes a disk drive. And also, there's the 'Digital Edition' that comes without a disk drive.

Learn More: Here Are the Official PlayStation 5 Specs – In Detail!

With that said, let's take a look at how to play PS4 games on the PS5, depending on whether you have those games on a disk or if you're purchased them digitally.

Playing PlayStation 4 Games Off a Disk

We’re sure that many of you have purchased PS4 games on a disk. So, here’s what that means if you decide to upgrade to the PlayStation 5.

Playing Digitally Purchased PlayStation 4 Games

In case you’ve been buying PS4 games digitally, you’re in luck. There are multiple options in front of you, so let’s take a closer look.

Which PS4 Games WILL WORK on the PS5?

As said earlier, more than 99 percent of PS4 games will work on the PS5. Furthermore, some of those games (especially newer ones) will receive an upgrade. This means that they’ll be optimized for the new console, taking full advantage of its processing power.

However, while most PS4 games will receive free upgrades, this doesn't apply to all of them. In other words, you'll need to pay to upgrade in some instances. Let's take a closer look.

What PS4 Games Will Have a Free PS5 Upgrade?

Here’s the full list of PS4 games that will be upgraded to a PS5-compatible version (for free). This means that you’ll get to buy and play them on your PS4, and then upgrade to a PS5 version if you decide to buy this console.

It’s also worth noting that certain games will come with specific upgrade rules. For example, FIFA 21 and Madden NFL 21 will offer a free upgrade until next year’s versions come out. 

Control will also get an update, but this applies to those who own the Ultimate Edition of the game. And lastly, Hitman 3 will receive an upgrade for a digital version of the game.

What PS4 Games Will Have a Paid PS5 Upgrade?

Some PS4 games will offer a PS5 upgrade – that will come at a price. This means you'll need to purchase an upgrade if you wish to continue playing those games on your PS5.

Some of the games mentioned above come with certain caveats. As noted earlier, Control's Ultimate Edition will be eligible for a free upgrade. Other versions of this game won't offer free upgrades and will stay PS4-compatible only.

Which PS4 Games WON’T WORK on the PS5? 

It’s true that some PS4 games won’t work on the PS5. However, the good news is that we’re talking about a small number of titles, as you can see below: 

Will PS4 Games Run Better on the PS5?

Gran Turismo PS5 Game Press Image
Image Courtesy of Sony.

Yes, the majority of PS4 games will run better on the next-gen PS5 console.

Thanks to PS5’s processing power, PS4 games will see increased loading speeds. Sony has also mentioned a ‘Game Boost’ mode, which offers improved or more stable frame rates. Also, PS4 games with unlocked frame rates or dynamic resolution up to 4K should see higher fidelity.

As a reminder, we're talking here about playing backwards-compatible PS4 games on the PS5. Many games (as explained above) will receive a PS5 upgrade, further improving their visuals and performance.

Good to Know: The Best Upcoming PS5 Games

Will You Get to Stream PS4 Games on the PS5?

Yes, ‘Remote Play’ from PS4 to PS5 and PS Now will be supported. 

The only limitation here is that PS4 games won’t get to leverage PS5’s Game Boost mode through streaming. Therefore, for the best possible experience, playing a locally installed version will be the way to go.

Learn More: Sony Announces the ‘PS Plus Collection’ for PS5 Owners

Will PSVR Games Work on the PS5?

Yes, PSVR does work with the PS5. 

This means that you’ll get to continue to use your PSVR system. In other words, you’ll be able to plug in your existing headset into the next-gen console.

Still, you will need an adapter if you plan on using your PlayStation Camera. Sony has promised to offer these adapters for free since the PS5 HD Camera won’t be compatible with existing PSVR systems.

Differently said, you will need a PS VR headset, DualShock 4 controller (or PlayStation Move controllers), as well as the PS4-compatible camera. 

Will You Get to Transfer Game Saves to the PS5?

Horizon Zero Dawn PS5 Press Image
Image Courtesy of Sony.

Yes, there will be multiple ways to transfer your game saves to the PS5.

As Sony explains, you’ll get to transfer your digital games, game data, and game saves from your PS4 console to the PS5. Two methods are available – via LAN cables or by connecting wirelessly (via Wi-Fi). This applies to a direct data transfer between the two consoles.

If you're using an external hard drive on your PS4, you can re-connect that hard drive to your PS5 console. Therefore, this is yet another method to transfer game saves.

And lastly, if you are a PS Plus subscriber, this means that your game saves are already saved through cloud storage. If you decide to upgrade to the PS5, most of those game saves will be automatically downloaded.

Lastly, there’s an important caveat here. The ability to transfer game saves between PS4 and PS5 doesn’t only depend on Sony. This depends on game developers as well, who need to support this functionality.

Which Controllers Are Compatible with the PS5?

Here, we have a couple of different situations, depending on which games you plan on playing (PS5 of backwards-compatible PS4 games). So, here’s what you need to know.

Can You Use a PS4 Controller to Play PS5 Games?

No, you won’t be able to use a PS4 controller to play PS5 games. 

However, if you plan on playing PS4 games on the next-gen console, this is where PS4’s DualShock 4 controller comes in handy. That’s because those games are already made for that specific type of controller, so everything will work as you’d expect.

Can You Use a PS5 Controller to Play PS4 Games?

No, PS5 games are not compatible with the DualShock 4 controller.

Many of us have expected this, considering that PS5's DualSense controller introduces a number of all-new features. These include resistant triggers, haptic feedback, and the built-in microphone array.

Find Out More: New Information About PS5’s DualSense Leaks Online

Can You Use PS4 Accessories With the PS5? 

Yes, a number of PS4-compatible accessories will be compatible with the PS5. Still, you can expect certain limitations in this sense, especially as new games start to appear (that take advantage of PS5’s unique features). 

Here’s a handy overview of what you need to know regarding using controllers and accessories with the PlayStation consoles: 

Learn More: Sony Unveils a Whole Slate of PS5 Accessories / PS5’s Pulse 3D Headset Takes Advantage of 3D Audio Technology

So, that would be all there's to know about PS5's backwards compatibility (for now). If you have any questions, make sure to post a comment below. And lastly, don't forget to share this article online. Thanks!

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