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How to upgrade your PS4 games to PS5

One of the most consumer-friendly things about Sony’s new console is that you’re able to upgrade a variety of your PS4 games to the PS5 — in many cases, for free — allowing you to experience the next-generation version of your favorite titles. Although, there isn’t a catch-all system in place for upgrading your games, and because of that, things can get confusing, especially as you learn the intricacies of your new PS5. Thus far, eligible upgrades have been handled on a publisher-by-publisher basis, meaning it’s not as straightforward as you might expect.

Luckily, we’ve got all the details on how to upgrade your PS4 games to PS5, including a list of upgradable titles, and whether or not they’re free. Here’s how to upgrade your PS4 games to PS5.

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List of eligible PS4 to PS5 upgrades

No Man’s Sky: The Next Generation Image used with permission by copyright holder

Before getting into how to upgrade your PS4 games, you should be aware of which games are upgradable. Most PS4 games do not have a PS5 iteration, unfortunately, but a lot of recent releases and online games with massive communities are the exception to that rule. Keep in mind, a PS4 to PS5 upgrade is different from backward compatibility. Nearly every PS4 game will run on PS5 via backward compatibility, but the following games are cross-generational titles with a specific PS5 iteration. The PS5 editions are optimized for the next generation and typically offer visual enhancements such as a higher, more stable frame rate and better resolution. Check out the table below for more details on eligible games.

Game Free upgrade? Game Free upgrade?
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla Yes Madden NFL 21 Yes, if upgraded before Madden NFL 22
Atelier Ryza 2 Yes Maneater Yes
Borderlands 3 Yes Marvel’s Avengers Yes
Bugsnax Yes Marvel’s Spider-Man No, must buy Spider-Man: Miles Morales Ultimate Edition
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War No, must pay $10 difference or buy cross-gen bundle for $70 Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales Yes
Control No, must buy Ultimate Edition Metro Exodus Yes
Cyberpunk 2077 Yes Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom Yes
Dead by Daylight Yes Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate Yes
Destiny 2 Yes NBA 2K21 No, must buy Mamba Forever Edition
DIRT 5 Yes Nioh 2 Yes
Doom Eternal Yes No Man’s Sky Yes
The Elder Scrolls Online Yes Outriders Yes
Far Cry 6 Yes The Pathless Yes
FIFA 21 Yes, if upgraded before FIFA 22 Planet Coaster: Console Edition Yes
For Honor Yes Praey for the Gods Yes
Ghostrunner Yes RIDE 4 Yes
Guilty Gear Strive Yes Riders Republic Yes
Hitman 3 Yes, if you buy digital edition Sackboy: A Big Adventure Yes
Horizon Forbidden West Yes Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege Yes
Immortals Fenyx Rising Yes The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Yes
Kena: Bridge of Spirits Yes Watch Dogs: Legion Yes
King Oddball Yes WRC 9 Yes
Little Nightmares II Yes Yakuza: Like a Dragon Yes, if you buy the digital edition

You’ll notice that the overwhelming majority of eligible games are upgradable from PS4 to PS5 for free — which is great since you likely just shelled out $400-$500 for a new PS5 system. Only a handful of eligible games feature a paid upgrade path, and they typically require you to buy some sort of special edition, like Control, for example. Other games, such as Yakuza: Like a Dragon, are upgradable for free, though only if you purchase the digital edition for PS4. And finally, certain games are upgradable for free, but only up until next year’s release, like Madden NFL 21 and FIFA 21. There are likely more PS4 games that will get a PS5 edition that have yet to be announced.

How to upgrade your PS4 games to PS5

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege will receive a free PS5 upgrade on December 1, 2020. Image used with permission by copyright holder

As shown in the table above, most eligible PS4 games are upgradable to PS5 for free, whether you own the physical or the digital editions. If you’ve got a physical edition of an eligible PS4 game, you’ll need to insert the disc into your PS5 (you’ll need a Standard Edition PS5). Doing so will allow you to download the digital PS5 version at no additional cost (in most cases). You’ll need to keep the disc in your PS5 at all times while you play, so don’t get rid of your PS4 discs just yet.

Whether you’re going the physical route or the digital, the upgrade process is mostly the same. If you purchased a digital edition of an eligible PS4 game, the system will automatically detect that you’ve done so and will offer for you to upgrade to the PS5 version from the game’s landing page. The upgrade option will also appear if you insert an eligible PS5 disc into your system. There are a few ways to get this option to appear, but the easiest method is to select the game from your Game Library, which is found all the way on the right via the PS5’s home screen.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Here, you can select the game, and if it has a PS5 edition available to upgrade to, there will be a notice on the right side. For example, with Dead by Daylight shown above, you should see Free PS5 Upgrade on the right. Click this to download the PS5 edition. You can also use the same method by manually searching for the game via the PS Store. In the case of Dead by Daylight, when you arrive at the game’s page, it’ll default to the PS5 edition if it detects that you’ve purchased the same game on PS4. You can actually alter which edition you download by clicking the three dots on the right. Here, you can toggle between the PS4 and PS5 editions, and if you do, you should notice a change to the item you’re about to download. Pay attention to this so you know you’re downloading the correct edition, because it’s not always clear.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

One thing to keep in mind is that certain PS4 to PS5 upgrades aren’t available yet. A good example is Marvel’s Avengers — a game that is currently available on PS4 but not yet offered on PS5. Other examples are Yakuza: Like a Dragon and Destiny 2. If you select an eligible PS4 game to upgrade to PS5 and you don’t see the option to get the next-gen version, it’s likely because it’s not available yet. Other games are simply not available on any platform yet, like Cyberpunk 2077 and Hitman 3, but will offer an upgrade when they release.

Paid upgrades

Image used with permission by copyright holder

For the small handful of games that offer paid upgrades, you’ll have to buy some sort of special edition to obtain the PS5 version. For example, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War features a $70 cross-gen bundle, which includes both the PS4 and PS5 editions. Alternatively, if you bought the standard, $60 PS4 version of Cold War, you can pay the difference to upgrade to the PS5 edition for $10. Other games feature more expensive upgrade paths. Here is a list of games that feature paid upgrades from PS4 to PS5 and how to obtain them:

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War — Buy $70 cross-gen bundle, or pay $10 difference
  • Control — Buy Control Ultimate Edition on PS4 for $40, standard version not upgradable (at least, at the time of writing)
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man: Remastered — Buy Spider-Man: Miles Morales Ultimate Edition for $70, not available stand-alone
  • NBA 2K21 — Buy NBA 2K21 Mamba Forever Edition on PS4 for $100

Luckily, the list of paid upgrades is small, as publishers often face backlash from the community when charging players to get the PS5 edition — even if it’s a small fee.

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Joseph Yaden
Joseph Yaden is a freelance journalist who covers Nintendo, shooters, and horror games. He mostly covers game guides for…
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