Will the PS5 download games faster?


My PS4 Pro was incredibly slow at downloading games. I mean seriously, it would make a sloth look like an F1 car in comparison.

I was hoping the PS5 would be a tad quicker. Ok, I tell a lie, I hopped the PS5 would be a lot quicker. 

Eager to find an answer and to save me from more PSN download blues, I jumped on Google and started an investigation. This is what I found: 

Will the PS5 download games faster? Yes, mercifully the PS5 will download games between 4 and 8.5 times faster than the PS4. The reason for this is that the PS4’s hardware acted as a choke point and limited the download speed regardless of the speed of the internet connection. 

Now you know the PS5 is a lot quicker at downloading than the PS4. But wait, don’t go. I’ve got so much more to share with you.

I’ll take a look at how the PS5 manages to download games quicker and how much faster it actually is.  

Finally, I’ll look at how to speed up your downloads even further with both free and paid internet speedy-upy solutions. 

Will the PS5 download games faster? 

The PS4’s relatively poor hardware limited download speeds. No PS4’s were harmed in the creation of this random pool of poor hardware. I tore apart an old PC instead!

Yes the PS5 will download games faster. In fact, it will download games much faster. In some cases about 8.5 times faster. 

But we’ll talk about that more later. First I want to take a quick look at why the PS5 downloads games so much quicker than the PS4.

See, it all comes down to hardware: 

The PS4’s slow download speed was attributed to a multitude of failing hardware factors. These include:

  • Poor CPU
  • Slow hard drive
  • Memory Bottleneck 

Let’s a take a look at each of them.

CPU

The PS4’s CPU bottled necked download speed because it literally couldn’t process the data streaming won from Sony’s servers fast enough. 

PS4’s CPU was a terrible CPU. Is was poor for the time when it first came out. But by todays standards it is positively prehistoric, lumbering along like a particlualry overweight, and diseased, brontosaurus (poor thing!). 

In fact, a relatively fast Android phone (and let’s be honest, no Android phone is really fast, is it?) has a faster CPU than the PS4. 

The PS5’s new Zen 2 CPU, though offering a similar core count, is a different beast that hails from the planet Zoom in an all-powerful Zen dimension. The PS5’s 8 core CPU is over 4 times more powerful than the PS4’s CPU. And that’s just on paper. In reality, the difference is vast.  

So a lot of that power can be used to help speed up downloads. 

Memory Bottleneck.

The PS4 had around 8GB of usable memory. Of that, around 1.5GB was dedicated to the OS and unnecessary UI features. 

However, this meager 1.5GB of RAM meant that there was very little RAM available to act as a buffer for large downloads. The Hard drive, as we’ll soon see, didn’t’ have the bandwidth to drag data out of the RAM fast enough. 

So, the PS5 had to limit download speeds in order to not overfill the RAM buffer and outstrip the hard drive’s bandwidth. 

This isn’t a problem for the PS5, as the modern SSD is so quick – seriously, it’s so fast it makes a Cheetah look like a rather drunk cow – that bandwidth is no longer an issue. 

Hard drive bottleneck. 

The PS5’s new SSD is the big selling point. Offering over 100 time’s the bandwidth of the PS4’s medieval mechanical hard drive. 

In fact, the PS4’s hard drive is limited to a write speed of just 50-100Mbs. So you couldn’t download faster even if you wanted to because there was no way the hard drive could physically write the data fast enough. It was, pardon the pun, a hard limit.  

The extra bandwidth afforded by the new SSD completely eliminates data writing limitations. 

In plain old English (my favorite type of English I’ll have you know.), this means you can download things as fast as your internet can carry the data, and the PS5 will keep up. 

How much faster is PS5 at downloading games than PS4? 

Speed: We love. We crave it.

From my own experience using my PS5, games download between 4-6 times faster than my PS4 Pro. That’s using a 500Mbs broadband connection.

However, some reviewers have found the PS5 can download games even quicker:

Mike Williams of USGamer found that when downloading Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise, a 36.6GB game, gushed down the broadband line to his PS5 in just 7 minutes and 1 second. Whereas on PS4 Pro the game trickled down in 58 minutes and 34 seconds.

This means that Mike was downloading his 36.6GB game 8.36 times faster on the PS5 compared to the PS4 Pro. That’s an astonishing speed gain. 

Mike gave another example: Disgaea 5, which weighs in at 6.58GB, downloaded in 10 minutes and 42 seconds on the PS4 Pro. But the PS5 sucked the strategy-RPG off the servers in a blink-and-you’d-miss-it 1 minute and 58 seconds.

That means Disgaea 5 downloaded 5.3 times quicker on PS5.

Keep in mind that Mike was using a 1Gbs broadband line. A tad faster than the average slow-lane broadband the rest of the world has to commute down. 

With the PS5, you can expect a download speed increase, in a like-for-like scenario, of 4-8.5 times that over the PS4 Pro. And if you’re moving from base PS4 to PS5, you’ll get an even bigger increase. 

How can you further improve the PS5’s download speeds?

PS5’s new SSD makes a Cheetah look like a drunk cow. This is one drunk cow I wouldn’t mess with! Look at those horns. Imagine where he could stick those… Ouch!

PS5 not downloading thinks fast enough for ya? Want more speed? Then I’m here to tell you that you can’t have more speed….

You can have HUGE amounts of speed!!! (My English teacher would scream at me for using loads of exclamation marks like that. But I love it!!!)

Increase your PS5 download speeds even further by trying the tips I’ve assembled below:  

Free options 

Place PS5 closer to your wifi router

The simplest tip on this list is to move the PS5 closer to your router. 

The further the PS5 is away from the router, the more data is lost in transmission. 

This leads to the PS5 having to continually ask for the same packets of data over and over until the signal is strong enough for the whole packet to be received. 

As you can imagine, this slows down the connection speed dramatically. 

So the closer you are to the router, the more solid the connection. The more solid the connection, the less data lost in transmission. The less data lost in transmission…

You get the idea. 

Don’t play games while Downloading

The PS5 has to use system resources to download games. These resources are taken away when playing PS5 games. So downloads are significantly slowed. 

What’s the answer?

Don’t play games while downloading. It will substantially increase your download speed whether on PS5 or PS4.

Put your PS5 into Rest Mode

Put your PS5 into Rest Mode and leave it overnight to download big games. 

Your download speed is often dictated by the number of people using the internet in your area. So, in the evening, if everybody is planted in front of their TV absorbing yet another “unmissable” episode on Netflix, your download speeds will deteriorate. 

Be smart: 

Wait until everybody has gone to bed. 

That way, the bandwidth in your area will be all yours! Yours for the taking!

Use 2.4Ghz wireless if the router is far away or in another room 

If you have a few floors or walls between your PS5 and your router, consider manually switching to 2.4Ghz wifi. 

Yes I know, marketing teams throughout the world want you to believe that 5Ghz is obviously better than 2.4Ghz. Bigger numbers are always better, right? 

Wrong!

5Ghz doesn’t pass through walls, floors, or solid objects very effectively. Seems like a big issue considering houses are made of solid stuff. Whoever missed this problem in the testing department needs a telling off!

If there are a load of solid things between you and your router such as your dog, your beer, a random Yeti, use wifi 2.4Ghz. It should still offer very high download speeds up to and beyond 500Mbs. 

Use 5Ghz WIfi

If you have a clear line of sight between your PS5 and your router, try swapping from 2.4Ghz wifi to 5Ghz wifi. 

5Ghz wifi offers over double the bandwidth of 2.4Ghz wifi and should provide faster download speeds (when it works. Damn Yeti is always getting in the way of the signal!). 

Pause and Resume your PS5 download

Sometimes I’ve found that if you pause and resume your PS5 download it can speed up the download. 

Don’t ask me what magic is involved here. All I know is it can work. Just give it a try. 

Change DNS on your PS5

Here’s one for the techno-gods out there: If you swap to Google’s DNS server (Gotta love techy speak!), you can speed up your PS5’s download speeds. 

Follow these steps to give it a try, if you dare! (Cue evil laugh):

  1. On the PS5 home menu, maneuver up to the cog icon to enter the settings menu.
  2. Next, navigate to the Network option.
  3. From there, scroll down to settings and choose “Set Up Internet Connection”.
  4. Select the network connection you’re using and click Options
  5. Select advanced options.
    1. If you’ve made it this far, pat yourself on the back. You’re braver than most…
  6. Now, hold tight ‘coss this is gonna get techy: in Advanced Settings, punch in the following settings: 
  • IP Address Settings = Automatic
  • DHCP Host Name = Don’t Specify
  • DNS Settings = Manual
  • Primary DNS: 8.8.8.8
  • Secondary DNS: 8.8.4.4
  • Proxy Server: Don’t Use
  • MTU Settings: Automatic

Once you’ve finished inserting the above details, turn off your PS5 then turn it back on again for, hopefully, improved download speeds.

Paid options 

Here’s my dog looking very happy with herself after helping me to set up the power line adaptors. Yes, this is her happy face. Poor thing.

The following paid options increase in price the further down the list. 

If I were you, I’d try the first option and see what results you get. You might find that a wired ethernet connection is all you need to increase the speed of downloads on your PS5.

Ethernet wired internet 

The best, easiest, and quickest way to dramatically speed up your download speeds is to wire your PS5 up to your internet router using an ethernet cable. 

You can achieve speeds of upto 1Gbs (Blazing fast in other words), with a wired connection. But more importantly it will be incredibly stable with zero data loss. 

I’d recommend using a category 8 ethernet cable as it will provide the maximum bandwidth the PS5 can use: over 1Gbs. 

You should opt for a longer flat cable as it can easily run up stairs and under carpets to provide a dog-chew-proof connection.

I’d take a look at this Category 8 ethernet cable on Amazon (Yes, I use Amazon affiliates to help pay for my vastly over-inflated server rates.). It’s long, it’s flat, and it’s got thousands of positive reviews. Can’t ask for much more than that from a cable, can you?

Use powerline adapters around your house and connect your PS5

Powerline internet systems are little ethernet adaptors that plug into electrical plug sockets in your house. They work together by transmitting an ethernet cable signal through your home’s electrical cable system. Cool, right?  

They offer download speeds up to and beyond 1Gbs. Which effectively turns your electric cables into a giant super-fast ethernet cable web system thing. 

In fact, they are so effective, my partner and I use a set in our garage. Wifi coverage is spottier than a leopard with chickenpox in there. 

Just keep in mind that you will need a few category 8 ethernet cables that reach from your PS5 to a powerline socket, and the same to reach from a powerline socket to your router. 

As for which powerline adaptors to buy, I’d recommend the TP-LInk AV1000 Powerline starter pack. They are what is pumping internet into my garage as I type.

They work flawlessly and even my dog, with a little help from my apposable thumbs and ability to read, was able to set them up. 

Plus TP-Link’s starter package is relatively cheap and loads of other people recommend it as a great powerline starter kit. 

Just keep in mind the true cost is higher as you’ll need extra Ethernet cables.

Buy a better wifi router

The PS5 is capable of using Wifi 6 which provides download speeds of over 1Gbs.

If you are using a base model router from AT&T or another ISP, you may find that the router doesn’t support Wifi 6. Or any other advanced features for that matter.

In other words, you should upgrade to something a little more lavish, a little more feature-full, a little more… speedy 

In steps the TP-Link AX1500

It’s not very expensive as routers go. It’s not flashy looking. It’s not tricked out in gaudy RGB lights. 

But what it does come packing is state of the art tech and a plastic box full of features that will, in many cases, double your PS5’s download speeds

It reliably delivers outstanding speeds of 1200Mbs+.

Plus, it has loads of 5-star reviews on Amazon. So I’m not the only person who’s happy with it. 

Get better internet

Lastly you could always, you know, call up your ISP and swap to a package that gives you faster internet access.

After all, none of the above tips will help you if you’re slothing the net on a 10Mbs ADSL line. 

I know it’s a hard pill to swallow, but it might be time to upgrade. 

Conclusion

Right then. It’s that time in the article where I give you a lovely summary of everything we’ve talked about: 

  • The PS5 is 4-8.5 times faster at downloading game than the PS4
  • The reason for this speed increase comes down to the more powerful hardware found inside your PS5
  • If you want to increase your download speed further, you can:
    • Place your PS5 closer to your Wifi router
  • Don’t play games while downloading 
  • Put your PS5 into rest mode when downloading 
  • Use 2.4Ghz wifi if your PS5 doesn’t have line of site to your router 
  • Use 5Ghz wifi if your PS5 does have line of site to your router 
  • Pause and resume the download
  • Use Google’s DNS servers 
  • You can use a wired ethernet cable for faster download speed
    • You can buy a suitable Ethernet cable here 
  • You can use Powerline adaptors
    • Take a look at the TP-LInk AV1000 Powerline starter pack 
  • You can buy a better Wifi router 
    • I recommend the TP-Link AX1500 as a low-cost high-quality alternative to you’re ISP’s router 
  • Get a better internet

What Next?

How do I charge the PS5 controller? The PS5 controller is charged using a USB-C cable. Check out my “How to charge the PS5 controller” to see the best way to keep your controller juiced. 

Can the PS5 be laid on its side? Yes, the PS5 can be laid on its side. Take a look at my article here and follow the instructions within.  

Thank you 

Thanks for taking the time to read this article. I hope you get as much use out of it as I got joy from writing it. 

If you want to, please feel free to leave a comment. I’ve gotten rid of the pesky little need for you to input your email. So fire away with your questions, criticisms, witticisms. 

Also, though I hate to ask, if you have a spare $3 dollars rattling around in your bank – I know, who does these days right? – I’d really appreciate a coffee to help go towards running this website. I run on coffee, decaf Costas to be exact, and if the coffee dries up, the website may follow. Plus, it’ll help me move towards writing books and courses on how to make money from gaming, which is what this website is really all about. 

Anyway, thanks again for your support. I honestly couldn’t do this without you. Bye for now. Nick.

Nick Sinclair

Having played games since the golden age of the Commodore 64, Nick finally took the plunge and studied Creative Game Design in university. After 3 years of "Study", Nick co-founded a games company where he soon discovered his true calling: writing about games. 11 years later Nick writes about a tower of topics, but gaming is always stacked neatly at the top.

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