If you’re new to the PlayStation ecosystem–either on PS4 or the new PS5–you’re going to need to be familiar with PlayStation Plus. A subscription service introduced several years ago, PlayStation Plus is required to play the majority of online PS5 and PS4 games, and you also get a few different perks and bonuses for having an active PS Plus subscription. The biggest perk is the monthly free games, which let you build up a collection without needing purchase games outright, should you so choose.
Whether you’re new to PlayStation or just need a refresher, here’s everything you need to know about PS Plus to help you decide if it’s right for you.
What is PlayStation Plus?
PlayStation Plus is an optional service similar to Microsoft’s Xbox Live Gold that provides subscribers with access to online gaming. If you want to play multiplayer titles such as Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War on your PS4 or PS5, you must have an active PlayStation Plus membership.
PS Plus benefits
The most enticing of all PS Plus benefits are the monthly free games. They change every month, and if you claim them during this window, they are yours to keep as long as you maintain your subscription.
Players received two free PS4 games and one free PS5 game in November 2020. The first PS5 game available is Bugsnax, while Destruction AllStars will take its place in early 2021. The latter game was initially set to be a full-price release before joining the program. You can claim these games even if you haven’t been able to buy a PS5 yet.
In addition to online play, a PS Plus subscription gives you access to cloud saves, which you can upload and download at will in order to keep your save data available across multiple systems. If you lose access to your original system, this ensures you keep your data. It also makes it a breeze to move from PS4 to PS5 with your game saves intact.
PS Plus members get access to exclusive reduced prices on the PlayStation Store for a variety of titles. Typically, this amounts to a few dollars off of a game, and this also applies to sales. If a game is discounted to everyone, it will generally have an even lower price for PS Plus. The PlayStation Store holds Double Discounts sales from time to time where PS Plus members get double the regular discount.
Though this happens more sporadically, PS Plus members also get access to perks in existing games. This happens in games like Fortnite, providing free digital items or currency for subscribers.
PS Plus price
PlayStation Plus costs $10 per month if you buy only one month at a time. For a three-month membership, it costs $25, giving you a slight discount per month. A full year is $60, or $5 per month, and you can set up recurring billing.
The upside is that you can often find great discounts on 12-month PS Plus subscriptions, and you should know that these stack. So even once you’re a subscriber, you can take advantage of a deal at any time–the extra months will just be added on to your current subscription. Ebay, in particular, has been offering a great deal on PS Plus over the past year, which we’ve tested and confirmed ourselves. This is a digital code you’ll receive via email within 24 hours, and you can redeem it right away in the PlayStation Store to instantly extend your membership.
PlayStation Plus Collection
For PS5 owners who might be completely new to the PlayStation family or didn’t have very many games on PS4, the PlayStation Plus Collection is a fantastic new addition to the membership. All PS Plus subscribers get free access to the PlayStation Plus Collection, which includes a number of great PS4 games, both from Sony and third-party publishers. The full list is below.
Is PS Plus worth it?
Because you can’t play most online games without a PlayStation Plus membership, it’s absolutely worth the cost of a subscription. The added benefits like free games and discounts are just icing on the cake, and the new PlayStation Plus Collection is the perfect way to get started with your system. And because you can often find steep discounts on 12-month memberships, PS Plus becomes more worth it, even just for the free games.