If you were one of the people who had to wait a long time to get your hands on a PlayStation 5 console, chances are you have a long list of games you’re looking forward to downloading. As with previous console generations, PS5 users can buy a game on disc or download a digital copy — though if you have the Digital Edition version of the console, downloading is your only option.
Waiting for a game to download can be aggravating, especially if the game requires downloading 40GB or more of data. If you’ve noticed your PS5 downloading slower than it should, or if you simply want to optimize things to save every minute possible, there are some console settings you can tweak to try and speed up the downloading process, not to mention a simple internet connection adjustment that could change everything.
Upgrade your PS5 console’s firmware
For the best gaming experience, Sony recommends keeping your device’s firmware up to date. While some PS5 firmware updates affect minor details, others have the potential to significantly improve system performance. Previous updates, for example, included the addition of custom settings such as low latency mode. If your PS5 is downloading at a slower rate than usual, it may require a firmware update.
There are two methods for updating the console’s software. The first is to go through the Downloads & Uploads section:
Turn on the PlayStation 5 console.
In the upper-right corner of your screen, select Settings with the PlayStation button.
Wait for the menu to appear.
Choose Downloads/Uploads or the arrow down icon.
Under Downloads/Copies, select System Software.
Choose Update System Software.
Alternatively, you can update your PS5 firmware through the System Settings tab:
Turn on the PlayStation 5 console.
In the upper-right corner of your screen, select Settings.
In the left-side menu bar, select System Software.
Choose System Software Update and Settings.
Select Update System Software.
Select Update Using Internet.
If neither of these options work for you for whatever reason, you can install the latest firmware via USB drive by manually downloading the PS5 update file. According to Sony, this method should be used only if the console’s update becomes stuck and restarting the system does not resolve the issue.
Used a wired connection instead of Wi-Fi
While most of us browse the internet using wireless connections, this method can significantly reduce your network speed due to a number of factors. Things like the material of your home’s walls or the distance from the router, for example, can affect the actual network speed that your console can use. As a result, one of the simplest and most straightforward ways to improve your PS5’s download speed is to use an ethernet cable to maximize your existing internet connection.
Sony explains how to connect a PS5 console to a wired internet connection:
Navigate to Settings.
Scroll down and select Network > Settings.
Select Set Up Internet Connection > Set Up Wired LAN.
Click the Connect button and then follow the on-screen prompts.
Ethernet cables, according to Spectrum, generally provide faster internet speeds, lower latency, and more reliable connections. You can gain direct access to your network and significantly increase speed by using an Ethernet cable. Aside from that, you may want to check the bandwidth of your modem and upgrade your internet service provider to get faster speeds. In some cases, download speeds are also affected by the number of users online at any given time, so you can ask your housemates to disconnect from the internet while your download is running.
Put your PS5 into rest mode
Although there are some valid reasons why you should not put your PlayStation 5 in sleep mode, there are a few benefits. You can use this mode to pause games, charge controllers, download games, and so on. Most notably, you can direct your PlayStation’s resources toward making downloads faster. To put your PS5 into sleep mode, do the following:
On the console’s DualSense controller, press the PlayStation button.
In the far right corner of the TV or monitor screen, choose the power icon.
Select Enter Rest Mode.
Once in rest mode, keep the PlayStation 5 plugged into a power source. If the console loses power while in this state, the next time it is turned on, it will enter storage repair mode to evaluate and repair any potential data corruption caused by the unexpected power loss. This process may take some time, depending on the size of the drive and the number of games installed.
Manage your PS5 downloads
When your PlayStation is in rest mode, it tends to install all of your console’s pending updates. This may imply that the game you want to download is given less priority. Fortunately, you can turn off automatic downloads on the PS5 and have the console download content in the order you prefer (via Sony).
Turn on the PlayStation console.
In the upper-right corner of your screen, press Settings.
Select Saved Data and Game/App Settings.
On the left-side menu bar, select Automatic Updates.
Next to Auto-Download, toggle off the button.
Next to Auto-Install in Rest Mode, toggle off the button.
This may speed up game downloads by ensuring the console only installs the content you want at any given time, but it also means the PS5 will not automatically download new game updates as they become available. If an update is released late at night, for example, disabling automatic downloads may actually slow you down because you’ll have to manually download and install the update the next time you turn on the console.