How to transfer your FF7 Remake data to PS5 with minimal frustration
Why is this process so complicated?
Square Enix’s June 3, 2021 patch for Final Fantasy VII Remake paved the way for the upcoming PlayStation 5 upgrade that includes a new adventure with Yuffie Kisaragi. If you go into it blind, however, you’ll have a harder time getting going with it than Yuffie will at stealing Shinra’s most powerful Materia.
Like so many of Sony’s games, going from the PS4 to PS5 version of FF7 Remake is a bit cumbersome, so you’ll want to take several steps — even before you begin downloading Intergrade. In fact, you should start this process ASAP if you want to play when it launches on June 10, and you’d do well to follow our order precisely to make it as hassle-free as possible.
We’re telling you right now, it’s a bit of a hassle. Be sure to follow all of these steps, ideally before you initiate any kind of preload.
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Step 1: Make sure you own a version of the game that is NOT the PS Plus freebie
FF7 Remake was free to all PS Plus subscribers back in March 2021, but Square Enix has made it abundantly clear that gamers won’t be able to upgrade to Intergrade with that version. Other digital versions work just fine, though. And another caveat is that you need to boot the game from the disc if you played the physical version. So if your save data was from a physical copy, you need to still have that PS4 disc.
Step 2: Download the FF7 Remake PS4 version on your PS5
If you’ve played the base version of FF7 Remake on your PS5, then you’ve already taken care of this step. But if you played and beat the game back in 2020 on your PS4 and then set it down for over a year, you’re going to have to jump through some extra hoops. Before you even think about Intergrade, download the PS4 version of FF7 Remake.
Step 3: Make sure your current save data is on your PS5
Chances are high that your default settings back up your save data to cloud storage, which is the standard for anyone with a PS Plus subscription. (For more info about syncing cloud storage on PSN consoles, click here.) If not, you’ll want to ensure that your various save files are on your console. The easiest way to check is to just boot up the PS4 version and see if any of your save files are there.
Step 4: Install the June 3 patch 1.02
Assuming you have automatic updates enabled on your PS5, the 1.03 patch might already be installed on your console. If not, be sure to select the card for FF7 Remake and select the “Check for updates” option. It’s a fairly small patch with nothing to it other than the ability to port save data to the next-gen version, so it shouldn’t take too long to download and install.
Step 5: Upload Save Data from the PS4 version of FF7 Remake
Once you’ve got the 1.02 update installed, a new option will appear on the title screen to “Upload Save Data.” This part’s pretty straightforward: Through this section of the menu, you can upload individual save slots into some mysterious part of the cloud to later be retrieved in the PS5 version. There’s no limit to how many you transfer, but it can only be one at a time. Ultimately, do you really need anything beyond your single furthest save?
Step 6: Delete the PS4 version of FF7 Remake
For some strange reason, the PS4 and PS5 versions of FF7 Remake appear in the same launcher/app, so things can get muddled very quickly. An error message might pop up if you try to download the PS5 version when you already have the PS4 version installed. If you have it on an external hard drive that’s not connected to the PS5 (as I did), it could prove even more annoying. The worst possible thing you can do is delete the PS4 version before uploading the save data (which I also did).
Step 7: Download FF7 Remake: Intergrade on PS5
Finally, we’re in the home stretch. Anyone who pre-ordered Intergrade on PS5 should already be able to preload it on their console. It clocks in at about 81.39 GB, just a smidge smaller than the 86.07 GB PS4 version, no doubt thanks to the nuance of the PS5’s SSD storage.
Random issues at this stage of the process can pop up, so Square Enix suggests Remote Downloading the game via on the PlayStation app or using the PSN website’s library.
Step 8: Download Save Data to FF7 Remake: Intergrade on PS5
As you might have expected, all that remains is to boot up the PS5 version of FF7 Remake, where a “Download Save Data” option appears in the title screen’s main menu. You should easily be able to select the individual save slots you want to port over and then immediately use them.
Where it can all go wrong
Frustratingly enough, a lot can go wrong along the way if you do any of these things out of order. The biggest pain point happens because the PS4 and PS5 versions of the game are part of the same launcher, so you have to hover over the FF7 Remake card in your Game Library, hit the Options button, and then select the version you want to download, delete, or start. It really exposes the weakest aspects of the PS5’s interface.
If you purchase the game and do not initiate the download right away — whether because you have the PS4 version installed already and it’s blocked or you tab away for whatever reason — things will quickly spiral out of control. At that point, your only recourse is to use the PlayStation app or PSN website’s library. The last- and current-gen version of the games establish a bizarre series of error messages that evoke Schrödinger's cat.
How do you prove that you exist? Maybe we don’t exist.
Or maybe it’s a feedback loop: The PS4 version cannot exist alongside the PS5 version, but you also can’t play the PS5 version without first installing the PS4 version, harvesting the save files in the proper fashion, and then eradicating it to make room for the upgrade.
Why does it have to be this complicated? We may never know, but if you followed these steps to the letter, you might be okay.
The PS5 upgrade for FF7 Remake goes live on June 10, 2021.