Sony’s PlayStation Plus is a widely popular service that the majority of PlayStation console owners are subscribed to. But PlayStation Plus is more than just a subscription service.
It comes with numerous benefits that you definitely want to be able to take advantage of if you own a PS4 or PS5. And even older systems like the PS3 and PS Vita, although they get less benefits these days as Sony isn’t actively selling those systems anymore. But what exactly is PlayStation Plus? In this guide we break the whole thing down. Explaining your different subscription options, pricing, features, and more.
What Is PlayStation Plus?
Sony’s PlayStation Plus is a service that you subscribe to for your PlayStation console. It’s available for both PS4 and PS5 owners, and serves as a way to get free games every single month just for subscribing to the service.
It’s main purpose though is online play. PlayStation Plus is required for online gaming through PS4 and PS5. Meaning if you want to connect to the internet for multiplayer games like Call Of Duty: Warzone, Fortnite, and more, you need to be subscribed to PlayStation Plus.
Beyond being a prerequisite for accessing online gaming capabilities, PlayStation Plus will afford you at least one or two free games every single month. And as long as you stay subscribed you will get to keep access to those games.
PlayStation Plus subscribers also get special discounts on games that non-subscribers don’t get. Overall, you want to be subscribed if you want the best online PlayStation experience.
What does PlayStation Plus cost?
The cost of PlayStation Plus varies from time to time. And it varies based on how long you want to subscribe for. If you go with 1-month subscription, the normal cost of that is $9.99 a month. And will generally be the cost no matter where you get your subscription.
If you go with the three-month sub it usually costs $24.99. And if you go with the 12-month sub it usually costs $59.99. Again though, those are the normal prices for the service. And you can sometimes find the subscriptions on sale.
Even if you don’t find them on sale, the 12-month subscription to PlayStation Plus is the best value. Because you’re spending $60 for 12 months worth of the service. If you buy that in 1-month amounts, you spend double that. So if you know you’re going to keep it for a year at the least, going with the 12-month option saves you the most money.
What are the free games PlayStation Plus gets every month?
This will change from month to month. You have the whole month to claim them, as well. So if you don’t grab them right away, not to worry. As you won’t be rushed to claim your free games the moment they go live.
That being said, as long as you claim the title that’s being given away each month, you’ll have access to it forever. Even if you cancel your subscription at any point in the future, the games never leave your library. You won’t be able to play them however, unless your subscription is active.
For the month of August, Sony gave away PS4 and PS5 versions of Hunters Arena: Legends, in addition to copies of Plants Vs Zombies: Battle For Neighborville, and Tennis World Tour 2. These will continue to be available to claim throughout the month, before disappearing on September 1.
New PlayStation Plus games for September
This month Sony is giving away three games. This includes Hitman 2, Overcooked: All You Can Eat!, and Predator Hunting Grounds. These games went live on the PlayStation Store on September 7. They can be claimed for free as long as you have an active PS Plus subscription.
Do I have to install free PlayStation Plus games?
No. You aren’t required to install the games onto your PS4 or PS5 to ensure they stay with you. Claiming them for your library is all that’s required to keep those games.
Then you can routinely play them as you see fit. As noted above if you ever cancel your subscription to PlayStation Plus, you lose access to the games that were offered for free as part of the subscription. But, once you start it back up again access to those games is immediately restored.
So, they stay with you forever. Which is especially important for those with a PS5 given the console’s lower amount of available storage space on the SSD. Eventually that will change when the PS5 supports expandable storage. But that won’t be coming till a future update. That’s why it’s a good thing that all you need to do is claim your free PS Plus games. As you may not have the room to install them.
Is PlayStation Plus required for all online gaming on PlayStation?
No. Some games will not require a subscription. Some will. For example, you don’t need a subscription to PlayStation Plus to play Final Fantasy XIV on PS4 or PS5.
You do need a subscription to that game specifically to play it. But for example if this is the only online game you play on PS4 or PS5, then you can simply pay for the sub to that game, and not worry about PlayStation Plus.
If you play other online games, like Call of Duty, Warframe, Destiny 2, The Division, Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, and others, you will need to be subscribed to PlayStation Plus if you want the online features for those games. Also worth noting is that Sony will generally list which games in the store require a Plus subscription and which ones don’t.
So you can use that to determine whether to subscribe or download the game.
Does PlayStation Plus have a free trial period?
Sony does offer a trial period for PlayStation Plus. But there are a couple of things to know about that. First, the trial period lasts for 14 days. So you get the capability to test it out for two weeks before you need to pay for your first month of the service.
The trial period is also only available for first-time subscribers. That means if you’ve ever subscribed to it in the past, you won’t be able to utilize the trial when you re-sub.
Rather you will end up paying for the subscription to start up right away. And because these are tied to your PSN account, you can’t simply start up a new email account and sign up for the free trial that way like you can with some streaming services.
What are some of the other PlayStation Plus member benefits?
In addition to special discounts, free games every month, and availability of online play, you also get a few more benefits with PlayStation Plus.
One of the more useful benefits is the increase in cloud storage for saved game data. If you subscribe to the service you have 100GB of cloud storage at your disposal for your game save data. That is a lot for just game save files.
But it’ll come in handy if you have both a PS4 and a PS5 and end up with hundreds of games and saves for all of them. You also get exclusive in-game content that you wouldn’t normally get. Such as character skins and other loot. And there’s also a feature called Share Play.
As the name suggests, Share Play lets you share your gaming experience with a friend. A good example of how this works is inviting your friend to play a game you’re in with Share Play. You can then let them control the game. Which could be useful if you are stuck on a particularly challenging quest.
PS5 owners get the PlayStation Plus Collection
If you have a PS5, you get another really cool benefit if you also subscribe to PlayStation Plus. The PlayStation Plus collection. Which is a larger collection of free games that you can claim. And install if you have the space.
Inside the PS Plus collection you get 20 free games. All of which are always with you once claimed. As with the monthly free games though, you need to have an active subscription to play these titles. And they are only available on PS5. With that being said, it might be a good idea to hold off on buying any of the games that are included until you get a PS5. If you don’t already have one that is, and if you haven’t already purchased the games.
As there’s no reason in buying them if you’ll just be able to claim them for free.
How can I sign up?
Signing up for PlayStation Plus is relatively simple. You will need a PlayStation Network account first. So if you don’t already have one of those, either go to the PlayStation website, or set up a PSN account through your PS4 or PS5 console.
Once you’ve got the PSN account set up, you simply need to pay for a PlayStation Plus subscription digital code, then redeem that code through your PSN account. The subscription will automatically attach to your PSN account and then you’ll have all of the PlayStation Plus member benefits right away.