If you just got a shiny new PS5, you‘re probably wondering how you can get your hands on some free games to start building up an awesome game library! Luckily, there are plenty of ways to score free PS5 games without spending any extra money.
In this detailed guide, I‘ll walk you through all the best methods I‘ve discovered for getting free games on PS5 as a fellow gamer. I‘ve researched this extensively, so you can benefit from everything I‘ve learned!
An Overview of Getting Free Games on PS5
First, let‘s do a quick rundown of the main ways you can claim free PS5 games:
- PlayStation Plus Monthly Games – Subscribers get 2-3 free games each month. These are yours to keep forever as a member.
- PS Plus Collection – PS5 owners can download a special collection of 20 free PS4 game classics.
- Free-to-Play Games – Titles with free core content and optional purchases. Expanding on PS5.
- Limited-Time Events – Timed free access to full games for demo purposes.
- Game Trials – 2 hour free trials of select games for PS Plus Extra/Premium members.
- Game Demos – Short free demos to preview upcoming releases.
- Giveaways – Free full games for special events and holidays.
- Physical Game Sharing – Lend discs to friends so you can take turns paying.
- Season Passes – Post-launch content like maps and missions free with purchase.
- Gift Cards – Ask for PSN cards on birthdays and holidays to get free credit.
- Trade-Ins – Trade old games to put credit toward new ones.
As you can see, with a combination of subscriptions, promotions, sharing, and trade-ins, you can really stretch your gaming budget. Now let‘s dive into the details on how to maximize each method.
Claim Your PlayStation Plus Monthly Games
The #1 thing every PS5 owner should do is sign up for a PlayStation Plus membership. A PS Plus subscription nets you 2-3 free games each month, and they‘re yours to download and keep forever as long as you stay a member.
Over the course of a year, you can easily claim 24+ great PS5 and PS4 games for free through PS Plus monthly games. That‘s a ridiculous value!
According to the gaming deals experts at Spiel Times, the yearly cost of PS Plus works out to around $5 per free game. Compared to buying games at full retail price of $59.99, you‘re saving a ton of cash.
To make sure you never miss out on getting the monthly freebies, here are some tips:
- Subscribe to PS Plus (Essential plan or higher)
- Add free games to library as soon as they are announced
- Set a monthly calendar reminder for the Wednesday PS Plus games refresh
- Download games immediately so you don‘t forget
- Build up your backlog to play throughout the month
The monthly PS Plus games are yours to use as long as you claim them, even if they leave the service. Skip any month and they‘re gone, so consistency is key. Per the gaming pundits at IGN, the monthly offerings are almost always big name titles across all genres, so it pays to stay current.
Overall, regularly claiming your PS Plus monthly freebies is the cornerstone to maximizing your PS5 gaming on the cheap.
Unlock the Awesome PS Plus Collection
As soon as you get PS Plus on your new PS5, be sure to unlock the PlayStation Plus Collection. This is a special bundle of 20 hit PS4 games available for free to PS5 owners with an active PS Plus membership.
Think of it as a "best of" compilation featuring many of the PS4‘s most critically acclaimed games ready to download to your PS5. It‘s a super easy way to score some of the best PS4 exclusives immediately on your new console.
Here‘s the full list of games in the PS Plus Collection according to the PlayStation Blog:
- Days Gone
- Detroit: Become Human
- God of War
- Infamous Second Son
- Ratchet and Clank
- The Last Guardian
- The Last of Us Remastered
- Until Dawn
- Uncharted 4: A Thief‘s End
- Batman: Arkham Knight
- Battlefield 1
- Call of Duty: Black Ops III – Zombies Chronicles Edition
- Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy
- Fallout 4
- Final Fantasy XV Royal Edition
- Monster Hunter: World
- Mortal Kombat X
- Persona 5
- Resident Evil 7 biohazard
To unlock your free PS Plus Collection games:
- Get a PS Plus membership
- On your PS5 home screen, go to the PlayStation Plus tile
- Scroll down and select the "PlayStation Plus Collection" option
- Click "Add to Library" on each game you want
- Find and download the games from your library
This awesome PS4 greatest hits bundle is only available for PS5 owners, so be sure to take full advantage. Follow gaming experts Level Up Gaming‘s advice and space out downloading these large games over time so you don‘t overload your SSD all at once.
Expand Your Library with Free-to-Play Games
Beyond your subscriptions, another excellent way to get totally free PS5 games is to download free-to-play (F2P) titles.
As veteran gamers know, free-to-play games have free core content but also offer optional in-game purchases. The PS5 has quickly built up an impressive library of F2P games spanning different genres.
Here are some of the top-rated free PlayStation games right now according to PS5 experts at GameRevolution:
- Fortnite – The world‘s most popular online shooter, free on all platforms.
- Call of Duty: Warzone – Activision‘s hugely popular F2P battle royale experience.
- Apex Legends – A character-focused battle royale from the makers of Titanfall.
- Genshin Impact – An addictive anime-style RPG with open-world exploration.
- Rocket League – The hugely fun rocket car soccer game now gone free-to-play.
- SMITE – Arena combat with legendary gods and heroes drawn from mythology.
The library of F2P games continues to expand. I like to bookmark the "Best of Free to Play" section on the PlayStation Store and check it regularly for new releases. This ensures I‘m staying up to date on the latest and greatest free gaming options on PS5.
While these F2P downloads may include optional purchases, you can still sink dozens to hundreds of hours into these titles without spending a dime if you desire. Definitely take advantage of this route to get more mileage out of your PS5 for free.
Try Out Full Games with Limited-Time Events
Every once in a while, Sony will make certain full-priced PS5 and PS4 games free to download and play for a limited time. These special free play events give you full access to preview major new releases.
According to gaming journalist Geoff Keighley, these free game trials usually last 5-10 days. Progress you make carries over if you choose to purchase the full game. It‘s an awesome no-risk way to experience top-tier games.
For instance, in the past PlayStation has held free play events for huge new games like Call of Duty: Vanguard, Horizon Forbidden West, and Cyberpunk 2077 right around their launch.
To take advantage of these special events, make sure to follow the official PlayStation Twitter account and turn on notifications. Free play events are always announced on Twitter in the days leading up to them.
Hopping into these high-profile free demos is a great opportunity to play the latest must-have games for an extended time without paying the $59.99-69.99 price tag. Set calendar alerts so you remember to jump in and enjoy the time-limited free access.
Game Trials for PS Plus Extra/Premium
Recently, Sony introduced another amazing way to preview games for free with Game Trials. This feature is exclusive to PS Plus Extra and Premium members.
Game Trials allow you to download and play certain games in their catalog for free for two hours. It‘s essentially an extended, on-demand demo program.
After your two hours are up, you‘ll have the option to purchase the full game to continue where you left off. It‘s a very consumer-friendly way to extensively try before you buy.
There are around 40 Game Trials available so far with more added monthly. Look for the stopwatch icon on game pages to signify which ones support trials.
Hot new releases like Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves, WWE 2K22, and Horizon Forbidden West are all included. Games run the gamut of genres too so you can test drive different kinds of experiences risk free.
If you invest in one of the higher PS Plus tiers, be sure to factor Game Trials into your free gaming strategy. They really stretch the value of your membership by allowing free access to brand new titles.
Don‘t Miss Out on Free Game Demos
Beyond subscriptions, the PlayStation Store also hosts a huge selection of game demos that let you preview upcoming releases. These are completely free and do not require a PS Plus membership.
Game demos usually provide 15 min to 1 hour of playable content to give you a good feel for the actual game. It‘s different than watching a trailer since you get direct hands-on time.
Trialing games yourself is the best way to experience new franchises risk-free before making a purchase decision. Everyone‘s tastes are different, so demos let you ensure a game‘s style truly clicks with you before buying.
To find available game demos, go to the PlayStation Store and look for the "Play At Home" category. This section compiles all the latest free game trials in one spot.
Demos range across PS5, PS4, and PSVR games so you can preview titles across all platforms. Add any that catch your eye to your library to download when you need a gaming break.
Stay on the lookout for newly added demos, as Sony adds more all the time leading up to big game launches.
Capitalize on Free Game Giveaways
Very occasionally, PlayStation will give away certain games for free for a limited time. This usually happens around major holidays or events just as a nice treat for players.
For instance, in 2021 the excellent Ratchet & Clank (2016) was free for all PSN users for just one month. During Days of Play in 2022, PS Plus members even got Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection for free permanently.
While these total giveaways are rare, they‘re an awesome bonus when they happen! Given away games are yours to keep forever, so it really pays to pounce whenever Sony announces a freebie.
To catch these offers in time, I recommend turning on tweet notifications from the official PlayStation Twitter account. Free game gifts are always advertised there immediately as they go live. Don‘t sleep and miss out!
Share Physical Games with Friends
If you have family or friends that also game on PS5, you can essentially share portions of your game libraries to save money.
By buying physical games and lending the discs amongst your group, you can all take turns paying for new titles but share the benefits. It‘s a smart tactic my college friends used to be able to play more together while spending less individually.
To share physical PS5 games:
- Buy a new physical disc-based game
- Install the game on your PS5 from the disc
- Pass the disc to a friend so they can install it on their system
- They can play using the disc until they‘re done
- Get the disc back and lend to other friends as you take turns
Digital game sharing is restricted, so loaning game discs is the best way to maximize your friend group‘s collaborative gaming budget. Support each other by sharing the costs and the fun!
Season Passes Equal More Free Game Content
Many major games now offer season passes – aka paid post-launch content batches. For the price of the pass, you get access to all DLC add-ons like new maps, missions, characters, and items.
Season passes essentially pre-purchase you a year or more of free extra content at a discount compared to buying DLCs individually.
According to avid gamer Dani Lobel, if you plan to play a game long-term, buying its season pass is smart because you end up getting all additional content for free once you own the pass.
For example, if you buy Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, grabbing its Season Pass nets you free access to loads of upcoming maps, modes, and other assets. This expands your playtime tremendously without raising the base price.
Before purchasing any big multiplayer-focused title, research if it offers a season pass or free DLC roadmap. The free long-term content provided by season passes maximizes the value you get from the game.
Receive PSN Gift Cards as Gifts
An easy way to score more gaming funds is to ask family and friends for PlayStation Store gift cards on special occasions. I know I always appreciate getting them as gifts on my birthday and for holidays.
PSN gift card credit can be used just like cash in the PlayStation Store. Major retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, Target, and more carry PSN gift cards in denominations from $10 up to $100.
With so many hot new PS5 games coming later this year like Marvel‘s Spider-Man 2, Final Fantasy XVI, and the next God of War chapter, PSN credit gifts help mitigate the costs.
If your loved ones know gaming is your passion, gently provide the nudge for PSN cards as ideal gifts you‘ll actually use. Then use the free credit to pad your PS5 game collection.
Trade Old Games to Afford New Ones
Take some time to look through your existing PS4 game library for titles you‘ve already beaten or know you won‘t play again. Once you identify games collecting dust, trade them in for credit towards new PS5 games!
Major retailers like GameStop and Best Buy offer trade-in programs that let you swap older games for store credit. Obviously, the specific value depends on factors like the game‘s release timing and popularity.
However, even trading a handful of your old PS4 games could easily net you enough credit to pick up a brand new PS5 release for free. I like to do an annual "spring cleaning" purge of my unused games to fund additions to my collection.
Trading in your backlog is smarter than letting perfectly good games sit unused indefinitely. Do an audit of your library and turn forgotten games into new PS5 gaming fuel.
And there you have it – over a dozen awesome methods for getting your hands on tons of free PS5 games! With a blend of PlayStation Plus subscriptions, store promotions, sharing with friends, trade-ins, and gifts, you can keep your wallet happy while enjoying all the latest titles.
I hope these PS5 free gaming tips help you embark on legendary next-gen adventures without breaking the bank. Let me know which strategies work best for you! Game on!