The PlayStation 5 (PS5) is the hottest new console on the market. With incredibly powerful graphics, lightning-fast loading times, and innovative features like haptic feedback controllers, it represents a major leap forward for gaming technology.
However, one question many new PS5 owners have is – do you need an internet connection to use a PS5? The answer is a little complicated, but this guide will walk you through everything you need to know about the PS5 and internet access.
One of the biggest reasons to own a PS5 is for online multiplayer gaming. The PS5 gives you access to PlayStation Network, where you can play against other gamers from around the world in massive online environments.
Popular PS5 titles like Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, Fortnite, and FIFA 21 are designed primarily as online multiplayer experiences. You’ll need a steady, fast internet connection to enjoy these games as intended.
PS Plus Subscription
To access online multiplayer on PlayStation Network, you need a PS Plus subscription. This currently costs $9.99 per month, $24.99 per 3 months, or $59.99 per year.
A PS Plus subscription gives you:
- Access to online multiplayer gaming
- Free games each month
- Exclusive discounts in the PlayStation Store
- 100GB of cloud storage for game saves
So if you want to battle, race, or sports game against others online, PS Plus is a must-have. An internet connection is required to initially sign up for and maintain a PS Plus membership.
Internet Speed Requirements
To enjoy smooth performance in online PS5 games, you’ll need a reasonably fast internet connection. Sony recommends a minimum of 5 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload speed.
However, for ideal gameplay without lag and long wait times, an internet speed of at least 15 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload is recommended. Fiber internet or high-speed cable usually provides fast enough speeds.
Here are the estimated internet speeds required for different PS5 online gaming activities:
|Activity||Minimum Speed||Ideal Speed|
|Online multiplayer||5 Mbps down / 1 Mbps up||15 Mbps down / 5 Mbps up|
|Playing co-op multiplayer||3 Mbps down / 1 Mbps up||10 Mbps down / 3 Mbps up|
|Downloading games||5 Mbps down||25+ Mbps down|
|Streaming gameplay||3 Mbps down / 1 Mbps up||10+ Mbps down / 5+ Mbps up|
So while you don’t need blazing fast gigabit fiber internet, a decently quick connection will be necessary for the best online experience. If your internet speeds are too slow, you may experience lag, long load times, and disconnections.
To keep your PS5 running smoothly, you’ll need to download periodic firmware and system software updates. These updates fix bugs, patch security flaws, and add new features to the PS5.
An internet connection is required to download and install these updates. Without them, you won’t be able to enjoy the PS5 to its full potential or take advantage of new enhancements as Sony rolls them out.
Firmware updates enhance the performance and stability of the PS5 hardware itself. They keep the console’s internal components like the CPU and memory communicating properly.
When a new firmware update is released, you’ll get a notification on your PS5 prompting you to download and install it. These updates range from 300MB to nearly 1GB in size.
It’s important to promptly install new firmware updates whenever available. They fix problems like game crashes, controller syncing issues, and other bugs. A fast internet connection will allow the large firmware files to download quickly.
Beyond firmware updates, many PS5 game titles receive their own updates and patches. These are usually called title updates.
Title updates improve the gameplay experience by fixing issues specific to each game. They may address multiplayer balancing problems, glitches, or add new content.
For example, popular games like Call of Duty and Fortnite receive frequent title updates, sometimes multiple times per month. You need an internet connection for the PS5 to automatically detect and download game-specific updates like these in the background.
One of the biggest advantages of owning a PS5 is the ability to purchase and download digital games directly from the PlayStation Store. This gives you access to an enormous library of games without having to visit a retail store.
However, downloading these digital games requires a fast, stable internet connection. PlayStation titles range from 10GB on the small end up to 100GB+ for the largest blockbuster games. Even with the PS5’s ultra-fast SSD, these massive downloads can take a while.
Here are some examples of download sizes for popular PS5 games:
|Game||Download Size||Estimated Download Time (25 Mbps Connection)|
|Spider-Man: Miles Morales||50GB||3.5 hours|
|Demon’s Souls||66GB||4.5 hours|
|Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War||95GB||6.5 hours|
|NBA 2K21||101GB||7 hours|
As you can see, many next-gen titles require downloads in the 50-100GB range. Without a sufficiently fast internet connection, it is simply not practical to rely on downloading these massive games digitally.
A fiber, cable, or high-speed DSL connection of at least 25-50 Mbps is recommended for reasonable download times. Otherwise, you’ll need to have patience or purchase physical disc copies instead.
Beyond gaming, the PS5 also serves as an all-in-one entertainment hub. You can access popular streaming apps and social media through the PlayStation, but an internet connection is required.
The PS5 allows you to download and log in to various streaming apps like:
- Apple TV
- Amazon Prime Video
- HBO Max
Once logged in, you can stream movies, TV shows, and other content. However, each app requires internet access to actually load and play the streaming video. Recommended internet speeds for smooth 4K streaming are around 25 Mbps or higher.
Even music streaming apps like Spotify and Apple Music require an internet connection to actually play songs, despite allowing you to log in while offline.
So if you plan to use your PS5 as an entertainment hub for streaming video and music, a fast, unlimited home internet connection is ideal. Data-capped mobile internet may not be enough.
Social Media Apps
You can also access popular social media apps on the PS5, like:
These let you browse feeds, watch user-generated content, and stay connected with friends right from your console. Of course, real-time access to social platforms like these requires an active internet connection.
The PS5 includes an internet browser app so you can browse the web on your TV. Sites load up surprisingly well on the powerful PS5 hardware.
But to search Google, read news sites, shop online, or visit any website, you’ll need an internet connection. The PS5 browser is essentially just like browsing on a phone or PC.
While it is possible to play some PS5 games and access basic services offline, an internet connection unlocks the console’s full potential.
Online multiplayer requires PS Plus and a sufficiently fast connection. System updates keep your console running properly over time. Downloading new games mandates large, fast downloads. And entertainment apps like streaming services and social media require real-time internet access.
So in summary:
- PS Plus and internet are mandatory for online multiplayer gaming. A decent connection speeds up matchmaking and reduces lag.
- Firmware and game updates fix problems and enhance performance. You need to download these updates via internet.
- Huge 50GB+ game downloads require a very fast internet connection for reasonable download times.
- Apps like Netflix and social media require an internet connection just like on a phone or PC.
For the optimal PS5 experience, a fast unlimited fiber or cable internet plan is highly recommended. Slower speeds or data caps will cause headaches. But with the right connection, you can enjoy everything the powerful new console has to offer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do you need internet to play PS5 games?
A: Yes, for online multiplayer games and system updates.
Q: Can you play PS5 games without internet?
A: Yes, but some features will be unavailable.
Q: Do you need PS Plus to play online?
A: Yes, for most online multiplayer games.
Q: What is the minimum internet speed required for PS5?
A: 3 Mbps download and 1 Mbps upload speed.
Q: Can you download games without internet on PS5?
A: No, internet connection is required to download games.
Q: Can you update PS5 games without internet?
A: No, internet connection is required to update games.
Q: Can you watch Netflix on PS5 without internet?
A: No, internet connection is required to use streaming services.
Q: Can you use social media apps on PS5 without internet?
A: No, internet connection is required to use social media apps.
Q: Does PS5 have an internet browser?
A: Yes, but internet connection is required to use it.
Q: Can you use PS5 without internet?
A: Yes, but some features will be unavailable.