What Is PlayStation Plus?

How much it costs, what it's for, and why you need it

PlayStation Plus is a subscription service for owners of PlayStation 3 consoles and later hardware. It comes with a number of benefits, like discounts and free games each month, and it's also required if you want to play most online games. Monthly, quarterly, and yearly subscription options are available, along with three different tiers.

What Do You Get With PlayStation Plus?

PlayStation Plus is Sony's response to the Xbox network. It started out as an optional subscription service for PlayStation 3, but PlayStation 4 owners are required to subscribe if they want to play online. Subscribers also receive a number of benefits in addition to the ability to play cooperative and competitive games online.

PlayStation Plus Features and Benefits

In June 2022, Sony made some big changes to PlayStation Plus. Along with creating three levels of membership, the company also ended its PlayStation Now game curation service and folded its features into the new PS Plus. Here are the different levels and which features they have:

  • Essential: The cheapest plan gets you all of the standard PlayStation Plus features, including online multiplayer, free games each month (playable as long as your membership lasts), PS Store discounts, and the option to save your games to the cloud and save room on your console.
  • Extra: The middle tier has all of the Essential benefits, along with access to the Game Catalog. You can download items from this library of titles from the PS4 and later and play them at your convenience.
  • Deluxe: The most expensive PS Plus option includes all of the features of Extra and a few more. You can participate in game trials, which are demos of upcoming titles that allow you to play for a limited amount of time. You can also play games via the cloud without downloading them to your console and access the Classics Catalog, which is similar to the Game Catalog but includes things from as far back as the original PlayStation.

Who Needs PlayStation Plus?

PlayStation owners need PlayStation Plus to play online. Whether you want to play a co-op game with a single friend, or a competitive shooter with strangers, you need PlayStation Plus.

A screenshot of PS Plus benefits.

If you have multiple PlayStation consoles in different physical locations, then you need PlayStation Plus for the cloud save feature. This feature allows you to pick up where you left off without physically bringing your console along with you. It also protects your saves against data loss in case your console is lost or destroyed.

Anyone looking to build a large library of free games will also benefit from PlayStation Plus. Since it provides a couple games each month, and a yearly subscription costs about the price of one game, the free games represent a pretty enticing value.

How Much Does PlayStation Plus Cost?

You can buy PlayStation Plus through the PlayStation website, your console, or by purchasing a gift card at a physical retailer, so prices can fluctuate. Retailers often run sales, so that's usually the cheapest way to get PlayStation Plus if you're patient.

A screenshot of PS Plus costs.

The price of PS Plus depends on which tier you select and how long you sign up for. The costs of each are:

   1 month 3 months 12 months
Essential $9.99 $24.99 $59.99
 Extra $14.99 $39.99 $99.99
 Deluxe $17.99 $49.99 $119.99

How to Get PlayStation Plus

You can sign up for a free trial of PlayStation Plus online through the official PlayStation website, or directly through your console. There is no benefit to using one method over the other, so you can choose whichever is more convenient.

Here's how to sign up for PlayStation Plus using the PlayStation website:

  1. Navigate to playstation.com/en-us/explore/playstation-plus/, and select Start Free Trial.

    Free trial links

    If you have previously signed up for PlayStation Plus, you can't use the free trial again. Instead, scroll down and select Join Now.

  2. Select Subscribe.

    Subscribe button

    If you're signing up for a regular subscription instead of the trial, select Add to Cart > Show Cart instead.

  3. Enter your PlayStation Network email address and password, and select Sign In.

    The Sony login screen during the PS Plus sign up process.
  4. Select Proceed to Checkout.

    Proceed to Checkout button
  5. Enter your credit card information, and select Confirm Purchase to complete the sign up process.

    If you don't cancel during your trial period, your card will be charged automatically.

How to Sign Up For PS Plus on a Console

You can also sign up directly through your PlayStation. Here's how to sign up for Plus on a PlayStation 4:

The instructions on a PlayStation 5 are identical, but the interface looks different.

  1. From the Home screen, navigate to the PlayStation Store on the left side of the toolbar.

    A screenshot of the PS4 home screen.
  2. Select PS Plus in the left menu.

    PS Plus in menu
  3. Select your tier and preferred membership renewal period.

  4. Verify your subscription period and select Subscribe.

    Subscribe button
  5. Select Proceed to Checkout.

    A screenshot of the PS Plus checkout process.
  6. Select Proceed to Checkout again.

    A screenshot of the PS Plus checkout process.
  7. Add your credit card, or select a card you've added in the past.

    A screenshot of the PS Plus checkout process.
  8. Select Confirm Purchase.

    Confirm Purchase button

    If you opted for the free trial, your card will be charged automatically as soon as the trial ends.

How Do PlayStation Plus Free Games Work?

PlayStation Plus provides a number of games for free each month. To access these titles, you "buy" them and add them to your library, but they don't cost anything.

A screenshot of PS Plus free games.

Once you've added a free PlayStation Plus game to your library, you have access to it as long as you have a valid subscription. You can delete games to free up space on your console, and you'll still have the ability to download them again later.

If your PlayStation Plus subscription runs out and you don't renew, then you lose access to your free PlayStation Plus games. However, Sony keeps track of every game you've ever had through PlayStation Plus. If you renew your subscription at a later date, you automatically regain access to all of your free Plus games.

Was this page helpful?