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Is it Possible to Guess a PSN Code?

No, it is virtually impossible to correctly guess a valid unused PlayStation Network code. With over 4 quintillion possible combinations, your chances are astronomically low. This detailed guide by gaming expert Wendell Barlow will explain PSN codes, the math proving guessing is futile, ways codes are generated securely, and legitimate methods to get free PSN wallet credit.

What are PSN Codes?

As a passionate gamer, you likely know PSN codes allow adding wallet credit to your PlayStation Network account. But for those new to PlayStation, here’s a quick overview:

PSN codes are prepaid vouchers sold on printed cards in denominations of $10, $20, $50, and $100. When redeemed on your account, the funds let you:

  • Purchase games on the PlayStation Store
  • Buy downloadable add-ons and content (DLC)
  • Subscribe to PlayStation Plus for free monthly games
  • Stream PlayStation games with PS Now
  • Rent movies and TV shows on PlayStation Store

The cards contain a 12-character code that must be entered online to add the money to your PSN wallet. The wallet credit can then be spent anywhere on PlayStation Network.

Typical PSN Code Format

Here’s an example of what a PSN code looks like:

ABCD-1234-EFGH-5678

As you can see, it is split into four blocks of characters separated by dashes. Next let’s look at the sheer number of possible combinations.

Calculating the Odds Against Guessing

With my background in data analytics, crunching the numbers reveals just how astronomical the odds are of randomly guessing a working PSN code.

Each of the 12 characters can be one of 36 possibilities:

  • 26 alphabet letters A-Z
  • 10 numeric digits 0-9

So for each of the 12 code positions, there are 36 options:

Number of possible characters per position: 36

With 12 positions in the code, we calculate:

36 x 36 x 36 x 36 x 36 x 36 x 36 x 36 x 36 x 36 x 36 x 36 = 4,738,381,338,321,616,896

That’s over 4 quintillion possible codes! To grasp how massive this number is, consider:

Odds of winning Powerball jackpot 1 in 292,201,338
Odds of being struck by lightning in your lifetime 1 in 15,300
Odds of guessing PSN code 1 in 4,738,381,338,321,616,896

As you can clearly see, the odds of randomly guessing a valid PSN code are astronomically low, with only a 0.000000021% probability. You have better chances of being struck by lightning 10 times or winning the lottery 5 times over!

Attempting 1 Trillion Codes Per Second

To further demonstrate how futile guessing is, let’s suppose you had a computer guessing 1 trillion codes per second. At this incomprehensible speed:

  • It would take 150 billion years to cycle through all possibilities.
  • The universe itself is only 13.8 billion years old!

So even trying codes nonstop at an outrageously fast speed, it is virtually impossible to luck upon a valid working PSN code by chance.

How PSN Codes Are Generated Securely

You may be wondering, if the codes are generated randomly, what prevents people from eventually guessing active codes?

The answer is that PSN cards are not activated until purchase. Here’s the process:

  1. The 12-digit code is generated when the card is produced.
  2. This code remains inactive and unusable until the card is scanned at checkout.
  3. When purchased, the retailer system activates that code on Sony’s servers.
  4. The buyer can now redeem the code to add the funds.

This activation process means guessing codes is useless because they are not valid on PlayStation Network until purchased. Millions of inactive codes exist on unpurchased cards, so even finding a matching code does you no good unless it was activated.

Additional Security Features

On top of the activation process, other security measures help prevent generating functioning codes:

  • No predictable patterns – Codes are randomly generated with no set sequence.
  • No checksum digits – No predictable digits confirm validity via an algorithm.
  • One-time use – Codes become permanently invalid after being redeemed successfully.

With no discernable patterns or checksums, it‘s impossible to algorithmically generate legitimate codes. Plus used codes are permanently deactivated, ruling out reuse.

Legitimate Ways to Get Free PSN Credit

While blindly guessing PSN codes is futile, there are legitimate ways to earn free PlayStation Network wallet funds:

PlayStation Rewards Program

Sony rewards program members earn points for purchases and gameplay. Points can be redeemed for PSN credit among other rewards. I’ve earned over $50 in credit through my years of participation!

Free Trial Offers

PlayStation Plus and PS Now sometimes offer free week or month trials with $10 PSN credit included. These provide a great way to get started with the services and some bonus wallet funds.

Giveaways and Contests

Follow gaming news sites and PlayStation social channels for chances to win contests and giveaways. These often include PSN codes as prizes giving you free credit.

Credit Card Rewards

Many credit card reward programs allow earning points redeemable for PSN codes. With the right card, your everyday spending can add up to free gaming money!

While it takes effort compared to guessing, these methods can legitimately yield free PSN wallet credit over time.

Tips for Redeeming PSN Codes

When you get an actual working PSN code, here are some tips for redeeming:

  • Double check the code – Carefully type each character exactly as shown to avoid errors.
  • Redeem promptly – Use codes as soon as possible before someone else potentially does.
  • Avoid shady offers – Never trust people or sites claiming to generate unused codes.

I recommend redeeming codes on the PlayStation App for convenience. Make sure to add funds to your wallet, not just obtain licenses for content.

Verifying your Balance

You can check your wallet balance anytime by:

  1. Going to Settings > Account Management > Account Information
  2. Selecting Wallet to view balance and transaction history

Monitoring your balance helps verify funds were properly deposited and keep track of spending.

In Summary

With over 4 quintillion possible PSN code combinations, guessing an active unused code is statistically impossible. Code generation methods and built-in security measures eliminate any reasonable chance of success. But legitimate promotional offers and rewards programs provide proven ways to earn free PSN wallet credit. Hopefully this detailed guide from gamer Wendell Barlow gives you a better understanding of PlayStation Network codes and how they work!