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How to Play PS4 Games on PS5 Without a Disc – The Ultimate Guide

You can easily access and enjoy your full PlayStation 4 game catalog on the PS5 without needing the original discs. Simply download and play your existing digital PS4 purchases. Or for disc-based games, insert the PS4 disc into the PS5 to install and run it. I‘ll explain how to go disc-free and leverage PS4 backwards compatibility to its fullest.

Play Digital PS4 Games on PS5

The simplest way to play PS4 games on your new PS5 is to download previously purchased digital titles from your library.

First, make sure you log into PlayStation Network using the same account that you used on your PS4. This links your purchase history and game licenses.

Next, go to the Game Library on your PS5 dashboard. Select "Your Collection" to view all games associated with your account. You should see both your PS5 and PS4 games here.

Find the PS4 game you want, select it, and choose to download it to your PS5 console storage. Take advantage of the PS5‘s ultra-fast SSD – PS4 games install incredibly quick.

According to Sony, an astounding 99% of PS4 titles are playable on PS5. So almost all your existing digital purchases can be played, now even better with the power of new hardware!

Once installed, launch the PS4 game and enjoy! Many titles will have a PS5 upgrade or enhancement available as a free or paid download. We‘ll cover upgrading in more detail later.

Accessing PS4 Games from Disc

Putting your PS4 game discs into the PS5 will also work flawlessly.

First, make sure you have the standard PS5 model with a physical disc drive. The PS5 Digital Edition lacks this drive so disc-based games are not supported.

Insert the PS4 game disc into the PS5‘s drive. It will automatically begin installing the game data from the disc to the PS5‘s solid state drive storage.

Depending on the game, you may be prompted to download a compatibility patch or additional PS5 enhancements available. Follow any on-screen instructions.

Once installed, you can launch and play the PS4 game directly from the PS5 dashboard just as you would a native PS5 title. It‘s that easy!

The PS5‘s backwards compatibility even supports PS4 Pro specific features like high resolution modes. So PS4 games look and play as intended.

Playing PS4 Games on PS5 Without Discs

While discs are great, there are many ways to go all-digital with your PS4 library on PS5:

PlayStation Plus Collection – PS5 PS+ subscribers gain instant access to a curated library of 19 popular PS4 titles like God of War, Bloodborne, Fallout 4, and more. Expand your options without buying anything else.

Re-Purchase Digitally – Previously owned disc-based PS4 games can be purchased again on the PlayStation Store and downloaded directly. No disc required after that.

Disc to Digital Conversion – Some physical PS4 games are eligible for a digital conversion through the PS Store for a small $10 fee. This allows you to play them on PS5 without the disc.

Buy Digital PSN Codes – Many retailers sell digital game codes for PS4 titles. Redeem these codes on your account to download.

PS4 Game PS Store Price Disc to Digital Fee
God of War $20 $10
Spiderman $30 $10
The Last of Us II $40 $10

As you can see in the table above, some popular PS4 game disc to digital conversion fees are only $10. Combined with frequent digital sales, it‘s affordable to re-buy access.

Transferring PS4 Saved Data and Trophies

To continue your PS4 game progress on PS5, you‘ll want to transfer saved data:

  • On your PS4, upload saves and profiles to cloud storage
  • On your PS5, go to Settings > Saved Data and Game/App Settings > Saved Data (PS4) > Cloud Storage > Download to Console Storage

This will download all PS4 save files from cloud storage to your new console. If you have PlayStation Plus, transfers are very quick thanks to cloud syncing.

Your trophies and progress will carry right over allowing you to pick up where you left off on PS4!

Upgrading PS4 Games to PS5 Versions

One of the coolest features of PS5 backwards compatibility is getting free or discounted upgrades for certain PS4 games. These next-gen upgrades let you experience enhanced visuals, performance, loading times, and features.

How to Upgrade PS4 Games on PS5

It‘s easy to upgrade eligible PS4 games:

  • Find the game in your Game Library or the PlayStation Store
  • Look for a PS5 upgrade offer – usually a paid upgrade fee around $10
  • Select the upgrade offer and download the PS5 version
  • Your PS4 saved data and trophies will transfer over automatically

PS4 to PS5 Game Upgrades and Enhancements

Here are some of the improvements PS5 upgrades add according to Digital Foundry‘s extensive analysis:

Visuals – Up to native 4K resolution, improved textures and assets, ray tracing support for realistic lighting.

Performance – Higher framerates up to 60fps or 120fps for super smooth action.

Loading Times – Ultra fast game loading leveraging the PS5‘s custom SSD. Some games load entire levels in under 1 second!

Immersion – Support for PS5‘s 3D audio and advanced DualSense controller haptics.

Popular upgraded PS4 titles include Ghost of Tsushima, Days Gone, Mortal Kombat 11, and No Man‘s Sky. Upgrades range from free patches to paid $10 fees for disc owners.

Digital Foundry calls PS4 to PS5 upgrades "transformative" – the power of new hardware takes games you already own into a new generation.

PS5 Hardware Advantages Over PS4

The PS5‘s cutting edge next-gen hardware allows it to massively improve PS4 backwards compatibility and upgrades:

SSD Storage – PS5‘s custom SSD achieves raw throughput up to 5.5GB/s. This enables installations and loading in seconds compared to minutes on PS4.

Power – A new AMD Zen 2 CPU with 8 cores at 3.5GHz and GPU with 36 compute units at 2.23GHz crushes PS4‘s performance.

Features – Support for 4K 120fps visuals, ray tracing, 3D immersive audio, DualSense, and more that PS4 cannot match.

Hardware PS5 PS4
CPU AMD Zen 2 8-core @ 3.5GHz AMD Jaguar 8-core @ 1.6GHz
GPU AMD RDNA 2 36 CUs @ 2.23GHz AMD GCN 18 CUs @ 0.9GHz
Memory 16GB GDDR6 8GB GDDR5
Storage Custom 825GB SSD 500GB HDD

As you can see by these PS5 vs PS4 hardware specs, the new console has massive performance advantages. These benefits translate directly to PS4 backwards compatibility too.

Is Upgrading from PS4 to PS5 Worth It?

Based on the extensive backwards compatibility and upgrade features, the PS5 is absolutely worth upgrading to from the PS4.

Nearly all your PS4 games come with you to the new generation thanks to the methods outlined above. And popular titles are getting upgraded to leverage the new hardware for free or at reasonable prices.

Your PS4 game library will shine like never before on PS5. Higher visual fidelity, buttery smooth 60+ fps framerates, ultra fast loading, and immersive DualSense support take classics you already own to the next level.

And you‘ll be able to play upcoming new PS5 releases not available on PS4 at all. Titles like Horizon Forbidden West continue popular franchises as PS5 exclusives.

Considering the great backwards compatibility, upgrades, exclusive next-gen games, and future-proofing, the PS5 is a very worthwhile upgrade for PS4 gamers. No need to look back!