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The most common PS5 problems, and how to fix them

The PlayStation 5 is finally here and has been receiving rave reviews from gamers so far. The latest Sony console has exceeded expectations we had for the next-generation system so far, and exclusive titles like Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Demon’s Souls have kept gamers glued to their controllers since launch.

That being said, there have been a handful of issues with the console that owners have been pointing out online. There are a few minor (and fixable) issues that have commonly arisen since its release. In this guide, we’ll go through the most common problems players have been experiencing and walk you through fixing them. Make sure you’ve installed the latest console software updates before diving in.

Further reading

Issue with the download queue

As games move to a digital marketplace, players will be downloading massive files in order to play unbreakable copies of their favorite games. Gone are the days of scratched disks and unreadable data. However, downloading these huge files has caused a few bugs in the software. 

The problem: Games and applications are being caught in a “Queued for Download” state of limbo or will just appear as a download error. Your system will show the game/app in your library, but it won’t be usable, nor can the download be canceled and restarted. 

The solution: We wish we had better news, but as of now the only way to fix the problem is by initiating a full factory reset of the system. This will remain the solution until Sony can patch the bug via a wireless system update (assuming that the problem exists in the system’s code/software). 

To factory reset: 

  • Go to Settings > System
  • Select System Software
  • Select Reset Options
  • Select Reset Your Console
  • Select Reset

This will wipe the system of its memory, and players will have to download their previously saved games. Thankfully, the cloud will maintain in-game progress. Players are advised to make sure their cloud is working properly before initiating the factory reset. 

Issue transferring data from PS4

Image used with permission by copyright holder

While setting up your PS5, you will be prompted to transfer your PS4 data either wirelessly or via USB/LAN cable. This step is completely optional, but transferring the data is most easily done during set-up.

The Problem: PS5 users have reported extremely long wait times when transferring data via cable. There’ve been reports of full system crashes as well.  

The Solution: While hardwiring may seem like the safest solution, it is actually easier for the system to transfer data via Wi-Fi. Make sure both systems are connected to a strong Wi-Fi signal. Players who continue to experience issues are unfortunately advised to initiate a factory reset

Cross-generation games are running the PS4 version

As we inched closer to launch day, players were offered the choice of purchasing digital copies of the latest games with cross-gen compatibility. This either came in the form of an extra few dollars for Black Ops: Cold War pre-orders or as a built-in feature with Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. 

The Problem: Both versions of the game (PS4 & PS5) are being installed. The PS5, for one reason or another, defaults to the PS4 version of the game. 

The Solution: A tweet from Activision support in reference to Black Ops: Cold War (the game players have reported experiencing this problem) advises the following:

To make sure you’re playing the next-gen version of #BlackOpsColdWar on PS5:

1. Highlight the game tile on the Dashboard

2. Scroll down and highlight “Play”

3. Select the 3 dots and open the menu

4. Select “PS5 | Full | Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War”

5. Launch and enjoy!

— Activision Support (@ATVIAssist) November 14, 2020

We’re assuming this solution will work with all other cross-gen games. As consoles roll out, more issues are bound to roll in. You should also make sure this bug isn’t tied to the “download limbo” bug previously mentioned. Your system may only have the Ps4 version of the game downloaded while the PS5 version is stuck. 

PS5 may crash in rest mode

Players use rest mode when downloading games overnight or charging their controllers when out of the house. It’s a great way to conserve energy and let your system do its job in a low-power mode. 

The Problem: PS5 has been reported to crash unexpectedly when entering rest mode. 

The Solution: Err on the side of caution and don’t use rest mode until Sony can figure out what the issue is. Players are advised to disable rest mode completely by going to:

  • Settings > Power Saving
  • Select Time Until PS5 Enters Rest Mode
  • Disable rest mode 

This will ensure players don’t accidentally enter rest mode and crash their entire system. It’s not a bug that is plaguing everybody, but there is no sense in risking it. 

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Mike Colucci
Michael Colucci is a lifelong video game fan based out of the greater Boston area. He's the one insistent on searching every…
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