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How to upgrade PS4 games to PS5 versions for free – CNET

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Hitman 3 is among the PS4 games you can upgrade to the PS5 version.

IO Interactive

Most PlayStation 4 games are playable on the PlayStation 5 thanks to the new Sony console’s backward compatibility feature, but a few publishers are letting you upgrade PS4 games to the PS5 versions for free. This lets you play many with 4K dynamic resolution at 60 frames per second and delivers shorter loading times, making for a better gaming experience.

The PS5 is available now but has been going in and out of stock at retailers. The digital-only model costs $400, and the one with a disc drive is $500.

Read more: PS5 restocks: When to expect the console to appear at Best Buy, Walmart, GameStop, Amazon, Target and more

Your game upgrades won’t happen automatically or through a typical game update, so it’s easy to accidentally keep playing the PS4 version of a game on your new PS5. You have to go to the game page on the PlayStation Network and choose to upgrade to the PS5 version — that’ll download the extra data needed for the next-gen features.

You can also upgrade to PS5 versions if you have a physical PS4 game, as long as you bought the PS5 with a disc drive. You’ll always need to use the PS4 disc to play the PS5 version; upgrading doesn’t get you a free digital copy of the game. You’ll still download the PS5 update from the PSN, but you won’t need a PS5-specific disc — your PS4 one will become an authenticator.

Read more: PS5 review: Sony built a space-age game console for your next-gen dreams

If you opted for the digital-only PS5 and have a disc, you’re out of luck. There are a few more limitations and caveats:

  • Some PS5 versions of current PS4 games aren’t out yet.
  • Next-gen versions will be bigger files, so they’ll take up more precious hard drive space.
  • You’ll end up with a fresh list of trophies (each version’s list is separate).
  • A few games’ saves won’t transfer. 
  • Some game upgrades are available only in cross-gen bundles or special editions.
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Spider-Man: Miles Morales is one of the games you can upgrade.

PS5 Performance Mode; screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

Free upgrades you can get right now

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Some upgrades will require you to buy a specific (more expensive) version of the game:

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Cyberpunk 2077’s next-gen upgrade will undoubtedly be breathtaking.

CD Projekt Red

Upcoming games with free upgrades

This list will be updated as more upgrades become available or are announced.