How to share digital games on your PlayStation 5

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Image: Sony.

Currently, with digital games Being the norm, sharing your games is not as easy as handing a disc to your friend. Perhaps you have come across a situation on your PlayStation 4 where even though a game has been downloaded to your console, you cannot play it, as the license is technically owned by a different user. The PlayStation 5 It has a similar obstacle, but you can fix it through the system settings.

The configuration option you are looking for, specifically, is “share console and play offline”. Make sure you are logged into the console with your own account and not as someone else. Then follow these steps:

  1. Access your settings.
  2. Go to the “Users and Accounts” menu.
  3. Scroll down to “Others.”
  4. Click on “share console and play offline.”

This should open a submenu that allows you to enable or disable console sharing. By default, after having tested it with two PS Plus accounts, the setting seems to be automatically enabled when you first log in.


What is this for?

Those familiar with the concept of the PS4 “primaryThey will know how it works. If you turn on console sharing, any other account on that system will be able to play the games you have downloaded, even if the console is disconnected from the Internet. As with a primary PS4, you can only enable console sharing for one PS5 at a time. (Don’t worry: turning on console sharing for a PS5 won’t affect a PS4 you’ve designated as your primary console.)

Here’s an example of how it works: Let’s say the first person, Joel, logs into a PS5 for the first time. Download Ghostrunner, the excellent game of cyberpunk One More Level, and allows sharing the console; then he goes, I don’t know, to play the guitar and meditate. The second person, Ellie, logs in. At that moment, Ghostrunner download has now finished. The game has piqued Ellie’s interest, and although she didn’t buy it, she can play it, because it has been downloaded to the console on which Joel enabled sharing.

In contrast, Joel cannot play Spider-Man: Miles Morales. Yes, Ellie downloaded the new Insomniac game to the PS5‘s internal storage, but she disabled console sharing, so Joel is stuck. To play, you would have to buy your own license or convince Ellie to enable (or re-enable) console sharing and offline play.

In other words, “console sharing and offline play” is pretty much for the PS5 what the “main PS4” was for the PS4. And yes, an account can have a primary PS4 and a primary PS5 active at the same time.


Anything else I need to know?

On the PS4, you can turn a main console on and off as often as you like, as long as you do it on the console, rather than, for example, from a browser. (If necessary, you can deactivate the primary consoles remotely via Sony‘s website.) Due to the covid-19 pandemic that revolutionized the world, I am trapped in my apartment. As such, I have not been able to test what it is like to switch your account between multiple PS5 consoles and specifically if there is any limit to how often you can turn this setting on or off.

However, the system has not warned me about any limits. (On Xbox consoles, you can change the “Home Xbox” like feature only five times per one-year period. The console will tell you how many changes are available to you). I have had no problem enabling or disabling console sharing on my PS5.

There also appears to be a cap on PlayStation Now, Sony‘s subscription gaming service. Even with console sharing enabled for both of our accounts, my roommate, who is not registered for the service, was unable to use my subscription. Every time you went to the PS Now menu in the game library, you were asked to subscribe before accessing any game.

Beyond that, turning on console sharing has no downsides. For those in a shared life situation, be it with family, friends, or trusted people, activating the settings is an effective way to share games on a console among all users. Or, if you have the $ 500 Drive Edition, you can just insert the drive. That still works, as always.

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