Several key PlayStation 5 games were also released on PlayStation 4. Whether you’re interested in games like Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales that you can upgrade for free, or you bought the cross-gen bundles for titles like NBA 2K21 and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, the PS5 does give you the option to choose whether or not you want to play the PS4 and PS5 versions of a game.
If you go for the PS4 release, it won’t feature all of the next-generation graphical and DualSense enhancements. Typically, the PS5 game should install by default. But if you notice you’re playing the PS4 port or are installing a cross-gen game through a disc, you’ll want to know how to switch between the PS5 and PS4 variations.
These are the two methods used for upgrading games and how you can tell what version of a game you are playing.
Option 1: Insert a PS4 disc for a cross-gen game
If you own a game like Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales for PS4, you can insert the disc into your PS5 and claim the next-gen upgrade. Then, when you go to the game hub for the game in question on the PS4’s home screen, you’ll see an upgrade offer option.
Simply choose this upgrade offer and agree to it, and the upgraded PS5 variation of your PS4 game will start downloading to the system. While the PS5 upgrade is technically a digital download, you will need the PS4 disc inside your system if you want to play the game.
Option 2: Find the PS5 game on PlayStation Store
While the PS5 version of the game should automatically install when you choose to download a new game, this proved to be an issue for some users early in the PS5’s lifespan as the system can default to the PS4 variation instead of the PS5 one. If this is the case for you, find the PS5 upgrade on the PlayStation Store.
For example, simply search “Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War” on the PlayStation Store on your PS5. If you own the game for PS5 in addition to PS4, you should have the option to download the PS5 version. Simply click on the download button on the store page, and the installation should begin.
How to know which version of the game is installed?
To determine whether or not you have the PS4 or PS5 version of a game installed, simply see what the game title looks like on the PS4’s home screen. For example, if Sackboy: A Big Adventure for PS5 is installed, its name on the PS5 home screen and in your library should just say “Sackboy: A Big Adventure.” If you have the PS4 port installed instead, you’ll see “Sackboy: A Big Adventure | PS4” as its name.
If the game in question is a cross-gen digital title and you’ve installed the game for both PS4 and PS5, the PS5 will give you the option to choose between them. As the system’s support site details: “select the [...] button” next to the game title to go into the different available options for that game.”
The PS5 and PS4 versions of a game are separate downloads. Unless you want the PS4 version of the game installed to use the DualShock 4, it’s typically a smart idea to uninstall that from your Solid State Drive, so it isn’t taking up valuable storage space.