PlayStation Plus: A SuperParent Guide

Everything you need to know about PlayStation's subscription service.

PlayStation Plus, also called PS Plus, is a subscription service that gives subscribers access to online multiplayer features in video games, store discounts, and more.

Here’s what you need to know about PlayStation Plus.

What do users receive when they subscribe to PlayStation Plus?

There are three different PlayStation Plus subscription plans to choose from. Here's an overview of the benefits included with each plan.

PlayStation Plus Essential

  • Subscribers will have access to online multiplayer gaming on PlayStation consoles. In order to play online with other real people in many (but not all) PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 games, players are required to have a PlayStation Plus subscription. There are some games, such as Fortnite, that do not require a PlayStation Plus subscription to play online, but most games have this requirement.
  • Access to free in-game items in free-to-play games like Fortnite and Apex Legends.
  • Access to cloud storage that allows subscribers to store their gameplay data (like save files) in the cloud.
  • Access to “free” games each month, which subscribers can download to their PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5 and play as often as they want as long as they have a PlayStation Plus subscription. If they cancel their subscription, they’ll need to purchase a game outright in order to play it. Some of these games are only available to subscribers with a PlayStation 5 console.
  • Access to exclusive sale prices in the PlayStation Store that are only available to subscribers.
  • Subscribers may also receive early access to game demos, game beta trials, and more.
  • Subscribers can host Share Play sessions that allow them to invite another player to join their game for up to 60 minutes at a time, even if the other person doesn’t own the game. During these sessions, the visiting player can try the game for themselves as though they owned it, or both players can team up for some multiplayer gameplay (to access this multiplayer gameplay, the visitor must also be a PlayStation Plus subscriber). You can learn more about Share Play on PlayStation’s website.
  • PlayStation Plus subscribers in the United States receive free shipping when purchasing items like PlayStation accessories and PlayStation consoles (among others) from the PlayStation Store.
  • Subscribers with a PlayStation 5 console can access a “Game Help” feature that provides tips for completing objectives in supported games.
  • Subscribers with a PlayStation 5 console can access the "PlayStation Plus Collection," a collection of PlayStation 4 games that they can play on their PlayStation 5 at no additional cost.

PlayStation Plus Extra

  • Everything included in the PlayStation Plus Essential plan.
  • Access to the "PlayStation Plus Game Catalog," which allows subscribers to download hundreds of PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 games and play them as long as they have a PlayStation Plus Extra or PlayStation Plus Premium subscription. The PlayStation 5 games in this catalog can only be played on a PlayStation 5 console. PlayStation's website says this catalog will be updated with new games "on a regular basis". You can view the games in the PlayStation Plus Game Catalog on PlayStation's website.

PlayStation Plus Premium

  • Everything included in the PlayStation Plus Essential and PlayStation Plus Extra plans.
  • Access to the "Classics Catalog," which allows subscribers to play hundreds of games that were originally released on PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and PSP on their PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5 as long as they have a PlayStation Plus Premium subscription. You can view the games in the Classics Catalog on PlayStation's website.
  • Access to cloud streaming, which allows subscribers to stream a selection of games from the PlayStation Plus Game Catalog and the Classics Catalog on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC using a high-speed internet connection. You can learn more about streaming PlayStation games on PC on PlayStation's website.
  • Access to time-limited game trials, which allow subscribers to try games for a limited time without purchasing them. If a subscriber plays a game's trial and later decides to purchase the full game, their in-game progress and any Trophies they earned will carry over to the full game.

How much does PlayStation Plus cost?

There are three subscription options to choose from for each subscription plan.

PlayStation Plus Essential

  • 1-month subscription - $9.99
  • 3-month subscription - $24.99
  • 12-month subscription - $59.99

PlayStation Plus Extra

  • 1-month subscription - $14.99
  • 3-month subscription - $39.99
  • 12-month subscription - $99.99

PlayStation Plus Premium

  • 1-month subscription - $17.99
  • 3-month subscription - $49.99
  • 12-month subscription - $119.99

These subscriptions will renew automatically unless you cancel them beforehand. That is, if you choose the 12-month PlayStation Plus Premium subscription (as an example), your subscription will automatically renew at the end of the 12-month period unless you cancel.

You can also give a PlayStation Plus subscription to someone as a gift by purchasing a PlayStation Plus gift card.

Is there anything else parents need to know about PlayStation Plus?

Some of the games that subscribers can access at no additional cost as part of their PlayStation Plus subscription are rated M for Mature by the ESRB, meaning they’ve been deemed inappropriate for anyone under the age of 17.

In addition, cloud streaming games over a high-speed internet connection may quickly use lots of data, which may be a problem for subscribers with a limited data plan.

You can learn more about PlayStation Plus on PlayStation’s website.

Top image via the PlayStation website.