What is Playstation Plus?

The Complete Guide to PS Plus [2019]

After getting my new PlayStation 4 (PS4), I was wondering if I should subscribe to PlayStation Plus. The thing is, I only play my PlayStation games about once or twice a week, and I don’t play online multiplayer games very often.

Is PlayStation Plus still worth getting? How does PlayStation Plus membership work? What are the PlayStation Plus benefits? Do I even need PlayStation Plus? How much is a PlayStation Plus membership? Can I buy a digital PSN card using email delivery?

It gets worse: since March 2019, PS Plus membership offers ONLY TWO monthly free games. It is really worth it?

To answer these questions, here are what I found and how I came up with my conclusion. If you have the same question, read on to find out your answer!

What is PlayStation Plus?

First things first: what is PlayStation Plus?

PlayStation Plus (PS Plus) is an online subscription service that enhances your existing free PlayStation Network account. It gives you free games, discounts and other perks that help you get the most out of your PlayStation 4. It is also necessary for playing online multiplayer games on PS4.

PS Plus is available to purchase as 1-month, 3-month and 12-month PlayStation Plus memberships in all countries that have access to PlayStation Store.

What are the benefits of PlayStation Plus membership?

You might be wondering: what does a PlayStation Plus membership get you?

PlayStation Plus is a subscription service that gives you these perks:

  1. Play Online Multiplayer games
  2. Get two free PS4 games every month
  3. Access to exclusive discounts
  4. Store game saves in the cloud
  5. Play with your friends using Share Play

Now, let me elaborate on each of these perks below…

1. Play Online Multiplayer games

playstation plus multiplayer

If you want to play online multiplayer games on your PlayStation 4, you’ll need PlayStation Plus. That’s just how it is. If you try to use the online multiplayer features within a game without subscribing first, you’ll see a message saying you need PS Plus.

Is PlayStation Plus required?

PlayStation Plus isn’t required for playing single-player games, and it isn’t required when playing multiplayer games if everyone playing the game is sitting in front of the same console with a controller. It’s only required for online gaming.

Can you play online without PS Plus?

If you have a PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Vita, PlayStation Plus is NOT required for online multiplayer gaming. You can play online games for free.

Also, PS Plus service isn’t required for using other online features, including media apps like Netflix and YouTube, or the PlayStation 4’s web browser. You can use all these features even without a subscription.

2. Get two free PS4 games every month

playstation plus free games


Every month, Sony offers several free games to PS Plus subscribers, also known as “Instant Game Collection” games. During the month these games are available, you can choose to “buy” them for free on the PlayStation 4. You can then keep these games in your library, download them and play for free as long as your PS Plus membership is active

PS Plus Update:
Starting from March 2019, the free games Sony offers include only two games for the PlayStation 4.

If you don’t redeem the game while it’s free for a month, you don’t get it for free. This means you won’t get any of the previously free games when you subscribe to PlayStation Plus. It also means that, if you don’t download your free games every month, you’ll miss some and won’t get them for free. For gamers who have been members of PS Plus for a long time, they may have a library full of hundreds of games they acquired for free.

PS Plus Tips:
You can only download and play the free games in your library while you have an active PlayStation Plus membership (check out this video to see how). If your subscription expires, you won’t be able to play the games. The exceptions are free themes and avatars, which you will continue to have access to, even if you are no longer a subscriber.

If you restart your subscription, you’ll regain access to all those free games you previously acquired and you can play them once again.

You can view the current free games for PS Plus subscribers on Sony’s website, and a list of games Sony has previously given away on Wikipedia. Don’t expect the latest big-budget games on their release date, although you may see them for free several years after their release dates.

3. Access to exclusive discounts

playstation plus discounts

As a PlayStation Plus member, you can get access to exclusive deals and deeper discounts on PlayStation Store sales.

Some of the sales on the PlayStation Store are only available for PlayStation Plus subscribers, i.e., exclusive deals. Other sales offer a higher price for non-subscribers, but a cheaper price for subscribers. In this case, you’ll see two separate prices for an item on the PlayStation Store. The cheaper price is for PlayStation Plus subscribers, while the other price is for non-subscribers.

However, bear in mind that you generally won’t get a discount on big new games as soon as they come out. Discounts are typically available only on older big games, or perhaps newer small indie games.

PS Plus Tips:
It gets better: whatever you purchase through these sales is yours to keep, even after your subscription expires.

4. Store game saves in the cloud

playstation plus cloud storage

With PlayStation Plus, you can upload, store, and download game save files with 100GB of online storage. It means you can upload your saved games to the cloud and transfer them from one PlayStation 4 console to another.

PS Plus Update:
Since Feb 2019, Sony increased the cloud storage space from 10GB to 100GB for PS Plus members.

This feature frees up the limited system storage of your console. It also lets you play your precious saved games on a different console without the need to carry a USB drive around.

Your PS4 can also automatically uploads your save games to Sony’s servers, and you can download that save data on another console, or the same console, if you’ve deleted the save games.

PS Plus Tips:
Want to know the best part? Enabling both Online Storage and Auto-upload ensures you always have an up-to-date copy of your save games, even if your PlayStation 4 console dies and needs to be repaired or replaced.

5. Play with your friends using Share Play

playstation plus share play

You can invite your friends to join you in your PlayStation 4 games through Share Play, even they don’t own the same games.

Share Play is essentially the modern day digital equivalent of having a friend come over and sit on your couch to play a game with you. Besides the ability to broadcast your gameplay to a friend or share screenshots, you can also invite a friend to take control of your game or join you in multiplayer even if they don’t own a copy of that particular game.

However, there are some limitations of Share Play:

  • Friends must also have a PlayStation Plus membership to join a “play a game together” session
  • Any trophies earned by friends are not retained
  • Share Play allows only up to 60 minutes per session
  • A host may only invite one friend per session
  • Shared games must be available on PlayStation Store in both the host’s and friend’s countries
  • Games must be multiplayer
  • Games using PlayStation Camera not supported

How much does PlayStation Plus cost?

playstation plus how much

You can get a fourteen-day free trial of PlayStation Plus on the PlayStation Store. Some games, and the PlayStation console itself, may also come with a printed PlayStation Plus trial code you can redeem on the Store.

The actual price of the PS Plus membership varies in different PS Store countries. For the US PlayStation Store, for example, a PS Plus membership costs $9.99 per month, $24.99 per 3 months ($8.33 per month), or $59.99 per 12 months ($4.99 per month).

If you know you’ll want PS Plus for a year, the yearly subscription is the best deal. However, you can’t cancel it and get your money back if you change your mind after a few months. That’s the downside.

If you do opt for the free trial, be careful because it will automatically begin charging you for a monthly membership afterward. You may want to cancel the subscription or switch to a yearly membership rather than pay $9.99 per month.

PS Plus Tips:
Here’s the deal: you can buy digital PSN cards at a discount from online shopping sites that go on sale, so you don’t really need to pay the full price. Buy from a shop that offers instant email delivery of the membership code, so you don’t need to wait for the shipping of the physical cards.

What’s more, you can stack the PlayStation Plus subscriptions. For example, if your PS Plus membership has only 3 months left, you can buy and activate a 12-month PS Plus card to stack your membership to 15 months. So next time when you see a PS Plus card at a discount, consider buying it and stack up the subscriptions to get the most bang for your buck.

Do PlayStation Plus free games expire?

playstation plus free games

Once your PlayStation Plus membership expires, all free games and downloadable contents (DLC) obtained will not be accessible until you renew your subscription. Attempting to launch an expired game will pop up a message that says “This content can be used if you renew the license in PlayStation Store”.

So yes, the free games do expire along with your PS Plus membership. However, free avatars and contents you purchased at a discounted PlayStation Plus price are yours to keep.

If your PlayStation Plus membership has expired and you renew it at a later date, the free games and DLC will become available again. They are even re-downloadable, as long as you added the games to your library before.

Also, Sony may close your PS Plus account if you don’t use it for 24 months. In this case, all your games will be gone.

Do you get to keep the free PlayStation plus games?

Once your PlayStation Plus membership ends, all free games and downloadable contents (DLC) you downloaded before as part of the membership, such as Plus Monthly Games, will no longer be available. However, free avatars and contents you purchased at a discounted PlayStation Plus price are yours to keep.

If your PlayStation Plus membership expires and you renew it again, the free games and DLC that you have added to your library through PlayStation Plus will become accessible again.

Are PlayStation plus games free forever?

All free games and downloadable contents (DLC) you downloaded at no cost as part of the PS Plus membership are free forever for you to play, as long as you maintain your PS Plus subscription active.

But here’s the kicker: once your PlayStation Plus membership ends, these contents will become inaccessible.  That said, if you renew your PS Plus membership at a later date, you can regain access to the free games and DLC again. They are even re-downloadable, as long as you added the games to your library before.

Do you keep games from PlayStation Plus?

playstation games

For free games and downloadable contents (DLC) you downloaded at no cost as part of the PS Plus membership, you can keep them as long as you maintain an active PS Plus membership. However, once your PlayStation Plus membership expires, they will not be accessible. You can only regain access by subscribing to the PS Plus membership again.

For the free avatars and game contents you purchased at a discounted PlayStation Plus price, you can keep them even after the PlayStation Plus membership expires.

Can you get old PlayStation Plus games?

This is crazy: if you haven’t redeemed the free Plus Monthly games when they were free, there is no way to retroactively redeem them again. You’ll have to either purchase them or wait until they’re offered for free once more, which is rare.

To avoid losing a free game, simply “purchase” it while it is still free, and it will be added to your library. You don’t even need to actually download the game. Once the games are added to your library, you can download and play them anytime as long as you have an active PS Plus membership.

Do you lose your PlayStation Plus games?

Once your PlayStation Plus membership expired, all free games and downloadable contents (DLC) you’ve redeemed before will not be accessible.  So yes, you will lose your PS Plus games. That said, free avatars and contents you purchased at a discounted PlayStation Plus price are yours to keep.

The good news is you can regain access to your free games and DLC in your library by re-subscribing your PS Plus membership. However, Sony may close your PS Plus account if you don’t use it for 24 months. In this case, all your games and DLC will be gone.

Do I get my PlayStation Plus games back?

If you cannot play the free games and DLC because your PS Plus membership has expired, you can regain access to them by renewing your PS Plus membership.

That said, Sony may close your PlayStation Plus account if you don’t use it for 24 months. In this case, all your games and DLC will be gone for good.

Do you have to pay for PSN?

playstation network psn

You can create your PlayStation Network (PSN) account for free. With a free PSN account, you can use your PlayStation device to enjoy the entertainment apps, such as YouTube, PlayStation Video, etc. However, some of the apps, such as Netflix, require you to have a separate subscription fee.

Also, you can make purchases from the online PlayStation Store, and see what games your PlayStation Network friends are playing and communicate with them. If you have a PlayStation 3 or PlayStation Vita, your free PSN account also allows you to play online multiplayer gamers too.

However, if you want to play online multiplayer games on PS4,  you need a PlayStation Plus membership to do so. PS Plus membership is a paid subscription service that enhances your existing free PlayStation Network account. It gives you free games, discounts and other benefits that help you get the most out of your PS4. Again, it is also required for playing online multiplayer games on PS4.

Do you get free games with PlayStation Plus?

Yes. Every month, Sony offers two free PlayStation 4 games to PS Plus subscribers, also known as “Instant Game Collection” games. During the month these games are available for free, you can choose to “buy” them at no cost on the PlayStation 4. You can then keep these games in your library, download them and play for free as long as your PlayStation Plus membership is active.

However, if you don’t “buy” the game while it’s free for the month, you don’t get it for free afterward.

Does PlayStation Plus give you discounts?

Yes. A PlayStation Plus membership gives you access to exclusive deals and deeper discounts on PlayStation Store sales. Exclusive deals are special sales on the PlayStation Store that are only available for PlayStation Plus subscribers. Besides, there are discount sales that offer a higher price for non-subscribers, but a cheaper price for subscribers.

Can you play PlayStation Plus games offline?

Yes, you can play your PS Plus games without the Internet. Here is how:

  1. Make sure your PS Plus membership is active
  2. Download the games you want to play offline
  3. Activate your PS4 as your primary system using your PS Plus account

You can then play your PS Plus games offline.

Does PlayStation Plus stack?

playstation plus stack

Yes, you can stack the PlayStation Plus subscription time. For instance, if your current PlayStation Plus membership has 5 months left, and you activate a 12-month PS Plus membership on top of that, your PS Plus membership will be extended to a total of 17 months.

So next time when you see a PS Plus card at a discount, consider buying it and stack up the subscriptions to save for years to come. What’s great about PlayStation Plus is that the membership you buy can be used on a variety of PlayStation consoles too, so if you buy five years, you’ll be able to use your membership on your PS5 / PSV whenever that comes out too.

How do you check if your PlayStation Plus has expired?

Here are the steps:

  1. On the PS4 home screen, press ‘Up’ on the DS4 controller to access the function area.
  2. Select  [PlayStation Plus] > [Manage Membership] > [Subscription]. Here you can find information about your current subscription such as the start date, expiry date, and price plan.

If you want to stop your subscription from automatically renewing, select [Turn Off Auto-Renewal] here. After turning off Auto-Renewal, you will still have full access to all your PlayStation Plus benefits until the end of the current subscription period. You can turn auto-renewal back on at any time before the expiry date.

Can you cancel a PlayStation Plus membership?

Yes, here are the steps:

  1. On the PS4 home screen, press ‘Up’ on the DS4 controller to access the function area.
  2. Go to [PlayStation Plus] > [Manage Membership] > [Subscription] and select [Turn Off Auto-Renewal].
  3. Confirm by selecting [Yes].

After turning off Auto-Renewal, you have essentially canceled your subscription. You will still have full access to all your PlayStation Plus benefits until the end of the current subscription period. If you change your mind later on, you can turn auto-renewal back on at any time before the expiry date.

Do you have to buy PlayStation Plus for every account?

playstation activate primary ps4

You don’t need to buy PS Plus for every account on a single PS4 console. All accounts will enjoy the following PS Plus benefits if at least one of them has an active PS Plus subscription, and that PS4 console is set as the PS Plus account’s “Primary PS4”.

  • All account users can enjoy the benefits of your PlayStation Plus subscription, including playing online multiplayer games.
  • All account users can use applications you purchase from PlayStation Store.
  • All account users can use the themes that you purchase from PlayStation Store.

It gets better: your PS4 system can automatically download content you pre-ordered, or content you’ve purchased on  (PlayStation App), and you can connect to your PS4 system via the Internet using Remote Play on another device. Note however that you can activate only one PS4 system as “Primary” per account.

Can you have two PS4 on the same account?

You can’t go online using the same account on both two PS4 consoles at the same time. However, if you want to play an online game with your family and friends using the two consoles respectively, here is a solution:

  1. Make sure you have an active PS Plus subscription, then set one of the consoles as your “Primary PS4”. After that, just sign out.
  2. Ask your friend or family member to sign in this “Primary” console using his/her own account. This account doesn’t need an active PS Plus membership to play online games and access your game contents because you have set this console as “Primary”.
  3. Head to another PS4 console and sign in using your own account with PS Plus membership.
  4. Now both of you can play online games together and enjoy your game contents at the same time.

Can family members use PlayStation Plus?

Yes, you can share your PS Plus benefits to your family members on a single PS4 console. Your family members will enjoy the following PS Plus benefits if you have an active PS Plus subscription, and that PS4 console is set as the PS Plus account’s “Primary PS4”.

By signing in this console, your family members can:

  • Enjoy the benefits of your PlayStation Plus subscription, including playing online multiplayer games.
  • Use applications you purchase from the PlayStation Store.
  • Use the themes that you purchase from the PlayStation Store.

Note however that you can activate only one PS4 console as “Primary” per account.

If you have two PS4 consoles, you can even play online games with your family members using the two consoles respectively.

Here is how:

  1. Make sure you have an active PS Plus subscription, then set one of the consoles as your “Primary PS4”. After that, just sign out.
  2. Ask your family member to sign in this “Primary” console using his/her own account. This account doesn’t need an active PS Plus membership to play online games and access your game contents because you have set this console as “Primary”.
  3. Head to another PS4 console and sign in using your own account with PS Plus membership.
  4. Now both of you can play online games together and enjoy your game contents at the same time.

Can I have two primary PS4?

playstation activate two primary ps4

No, you can only have one primary PS4. If you try to set a second PS4 as your primary system, Sony will ask if you want to change the second PS4 to become your primary PS4 instead.

The console that is set as your primary can be used by multiple users and they can access your contents. You can also play all your contents without having a constant internet connection.

The console that is set up as your secondary system is a bit different. You can only access your contents when you are logged in and your PS4 has to be constantly connected to the internet.

Can I use PlayStation Plus in another country?

Yes, if you move from one country to another, you can still enjoy the PS Plus membership you subscribed in the original country. If you’re wondering you can’t find the way to renew your PS Plus membership in another country once it expires, you can stack your membership to 2 to 3 years in advance before you move by activating a few 12-month PS Plus cards. You can also add some credits to your PlayStation account to avoid the payment method issues in the new country.

Note however that you can’t change the country of your PS Plus membership. If you like the PlayStation Store in the new country, you need to create a new account and subscribe to a separate PS Plus membership in the new country.

When did PlayStation Plus launch?

PlayStation Plus launched for the PS3 in the summer of 2010. Considering that the PS3 online multiplayer was still free, the primary reason to subscribe was the offers of free games, discounts, and other bonuses the service provided.

In fact, PlayStation Plus’s Instant Game Collection was such a smart idea that Microsoft was eventually forced to introduce its own version of the idea to Xbox Live, Games with Gold.

Is PlayStation Plus worth getting?

If you love to play online multiplayer games on PS4, PlayStation Plus is absolutely worth it. In fact, it is the only way to play online multiplayer games on PS4. As in Microsoft’s Xbox Live Gold and Nintendo Switch Online, paying for this feature is now pretty much standard.

As for the monthly free PlayStation 4 games, it sounds quite appealing in the beginning. But here is the kicker: you’re limited to only two games Sony chooses for you. In reality, you may not like the selection at times and chances are you won’t be able to play every one of them.

That said, the money you can save with the exclusive discounts, together with the convenience of the game saves on the cloud, make the PlayStation Plus membership well worth the money, even for someone like me who don’t play multiplayer games very often.

So what’s the bottom line? I’d say PlayStation Plus is worth getting. What do you say? Leave your comments below!

playstation plus worth it
Posted in PlayStation Plus.

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