Playing video games used to be so simple. You’d pop in a disc, press power, and you were good to go. Nowadays, things are a lot more complicated. Incredibly popular games/modes like Overwatch, Destiny 2, and GTA Online won’t even let you play without an internet connection. And if you want to play most games online on a PS4, you’ll need one other thing: a PlayStation Plus membership.
But don’t worry, it’s not exactly a mafia-style shakedown to empty your wallet each month. You get quite a bit back from your PS Plus membership. Here’s everything you need to know about PlayStation Plus.
PlayStation Plus is a service from Sony that lets you play multiplayer games online. If you want to play many of the biggest games on the market nowadays, there’s really no way around having a subscription.
That said, it’s possible to get by without one if you’re cool with playing mostly offline games. You don’t need PS Plus for non-gaming online activities like streaming media from services like Netflix and Spotify. And here’s something you might not know: You don’t even need it to play free online games like Fortnite: Battle Royale or Smite.
Either way, however, you will need access to the internet. If you’re in need of a new router, here’s a great one to consider from Asus. It’s the highest-rated wireless router of 2018, as ranked by our sister site CNET.
Aside from online gaming, the biggest added bonus to being a PS Plus member is that you get a selection of free games to download each month. Generally, you’ll receive two games each for PS4, PS3, and PS Vita. Often, some of the games are Cross-Buy, which means you can play them on more than one system, meaning PS4 owners might get three or four games in any given month.
And this point is worth driving home: many of the games Sony has given away in the past have been fantastic. From Bloodborne and Ratchet & Clank to Metal Gear Solid V and XCOM 2, you can generally count on getting high-quality freebies most months. Just don’t expect any big games that came out recently.
There are a few downsides to the free games for PS Plus members. If you give up your subscription, you’ll lose access to all of the free games you’ve downloaded until you start paying again. And beginning March 8, 2019, the service will no longer offer free PS3 and PS Vita games. That’s understandable considering how old those systems are, but it means PS Plus subscribers will only get two free games a month rather than six.
Even so, the value of just the PS4 games is always more than the price of a PS Plus membership, so you’re getting a good deal even if you only play a fraction of the games on offer.
PS Plus-Exclusive Discounts
Every Tuesday, Sony launches a new weekly sale on the PlayStation Store, with discounts on an array of select digital games. Among the sale items are deals that are either exclusive to PS Plus members or give PS Plus members an extra percentage off the sale price. If you buy a lot of digital games, these savings could add up quickly.
PlayStation Plus Pricing
As usual for subscriptions, the longer you commit, the better deal you get. Here’s how the pricing breaks down.
- 14 day trial — Free
- One month — $10
- Three months — $25
- One Year — $60
You can find more information about PlayStation Plus here, along with buttons to click to subscribe or start your free trial.