If you are a video game playing house and own a Playstation you may eventually decide to get a second one. Why? Your new 4K TV sits alone and you want to play you games in full 4K HDR so you may get a PS4 Pro. If you are like me your kids are old enough to play with you and may want your own conosles so you can play and bond playing multiplayer games with your kids. Current gen systems are great but they don’t have the power for most games to be split screen. A second console is required. Regardless of the reason you are now faced with the online service subscription part. Initially you may see this as double the costs but that’s not necessarily the case, especially for the younger kids.
There are many posts on how to do this but they are confusion, hard to understand and furstrating to search for. After going through the setup and getting it working in my home I will write a post to help anyone else out.
Here’s my setup. I had a Gen 1 PS4 that I used along with my child. I recieved a PS4 Pro for a gift this season. Now my son and I can play Overwatch, Madden or whatver head to head on two conosles. Sony doesn’t make it easy or clear on how to do this but you can play one copy of the game on two consoles and one PS4 Plus account. There is a catch, this works with digital games, not discs. The reason is the licensing of the game. Each time the game loads it checks if it’s a legit copy by reviewing the purchase and license. The disc is that check. Digitally the verification of the activated PS4 Plus account is the check.
If you have a purchased disc game, like Overwatch for me. I had to buy a second disc copy or a digital copy to play on both consoles. For the other digital games we have, Red Dead 2, Spider-Man, Madden 19 you don’t need to re-buy it.
I will assume you the reader are the primary user and a child/spouse is secondary. I assume the PS4 Pro will be the primary user’s console and the child/spouse will use the ‘older’ one.
(this is for families and not intended for friends or other gray area uses to share accounts)
- First you need to have a PS4 Plus account for you and one sub-account for your child/spouse.
- Sign in with your PS4 Plus account on the new console, transfer your data and get it all setup with the re-downloaded games. This will take hours to do.
- Now, here’s where it gets confusing. On the older PS4 console you will make that the primary console. Even though the PS4 Pro is newer, you don’t want to make it the pimary. What this does, even though you aren’t using the older PS4 console, you need your PS4 Plus account active for sub-accounts to be used and play the downloaded games on the older console. This is because the PS4 Plus account is checked with the licenses. If you don’t do this, the downloaded games won’t load.
- You do this in Settings > Account Management > Activate As Your Primary > Activate.
- On the PS4 Pro, login with your PS4 Plus account and play as normal.
- On the older PS4 console the sub account users login and you can now play the games together, party, be each other’s friends like they were online elsewhere.
- One note, you can only login to one console at a time with your PS4 Plus account. If someone tries to use your account on the older PS4 and you are logged in with it in the PS4 Pro, you will be logged off the PS4 Pro immediately.
That’s it. I set it up this way and all the games work perfectly fine on both systems and we now play Overwatch 1v1 now, Madden without screen peaks, team up in Fortnite, Rocket League and can party in with our friends.
In summary the steps above let you use one paid PS4 Plus account on two consoles with sub account users and play one purchased digital copy on two consoles you own. Physical discs require two discs
Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.