Sharing Games on Your PS4 Using the Primary/Non-Primary Account Method

Posted by The Gamers Telegraph Australia on

Sharing your digital games, apps, and other downloads with your family and friends is possible with the Primary and Non-Primary Account feature of the PS4. There are text explanations of this if you Google it, but unfortunately they are quite hard to follow. So to make it easy for everyone, we’ve tried to simplify the explanation with this illustration.

In this example we are using Ethan and Katie who both have their own PSN account IDs.
Ethan also has a bunch of digital games which he bought on the PSN Store using his PSN account. Objective: He wants to share these digital games with Katie, so this is what he does:

Guide on How to Share Games on Your PS4 Using the Primary/Non-Primary Account Method

Both Ethan and Katie can now play the same game at the same time on two separate consoles!

Benefits of activating a PS4 as Primary:

  • Anyone who uses your Primary PS4™ system can enjoy applications you purchase from the PlayStation®Store. Other users on the system can also enjoy some PlayStation Plus benefits from that account (like online multiplayer), even if that user is not logged in. | Scenario: Katie can now log onto PS4 (B) using her own PSN account KatieABC777 to access and play all the games that Ethan has available on his PSN account EthanXYZ999. If EthanXYZ999 is also subscribed to PlayStation Plus, Katie will be able to access those PS+ online multiplayer features as well (with some restrictions). This is because all the benefits are now shared across the Primary PS4 (B) console.


  • This method of sharing only applies to digital games and apps. The sharing of disc games will still require you to physically lend your discs to others.
  • Scenario: The Primary status set by Ethan on PS4 (B) has to be maintained to allow continued access to KatieABC777 and Sarah444. If Ethan switches the Primary status back and makes PS4 (B) non-primary, all the games that were previously downloaded onto PS4 (B) will become locked and inaccessible by the other users.
  • When you log into a non-primary PS4 with your PSN ID, you will need an active Internet connection so that games and apps from your PSN account can be authenticated by PSN. | Scenario: To access his games and apps on non-primary PS4 (A), Ethan will now need to always have an active Internet connection on PS4 (A) so his purchases can be authenticated by PSN.
  • You can activate only one PS4 system as primary per PSN account.
  • You can deactivate a PS4 system only from that system.
  • The automated cloud saving feature available with PlayStation Plus+ is not available on non-primary PS4 systems. | Scenario: Ethan will now not be able to upload saved game data from PS4 (A) to his PS+ cloud account EthanXYZ999 automatically. The saved game data will only be stored on the local harddrive of PS4 (A) or manually uploaded via Settings.
  • The same PSN account cannot be logged on at the same time on different PS4 systems. | Scenario: If Katie accidentally/intentionally logs onto PS4 (B) using EthanXYZ999, then Ethan will not be able to logon to PS4 (A).

Sony has an official article about activating and deactivating your Primary PS4 which you should read here.

*NEVER share your PSN account details with someone you do not know. We would only recommend doing this with someone you trust completely.

Disclaimer: We accept no responsibility for any loss or damage caused by your access or use of this website or your reliance on any information or material contained in this website.



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