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When paying for a Playstation Plus subscription, for online gaming with the PS4, is the subscription tied to one account on the console, or the console itself?

To provide some scope, I'm assuming multiple accounts can be made on the PS4 just as you could on the PS3... I'm wondering whether each account needs it's own subscription.

I have looked through the PSN support and one section reads:

One PlayStation Plus membership allows all local accounts on the subscriber’s ‘Primary PS4’ to use online multiplayer through their Sony Entertainment Network accounts.

I was hoping for some clarification. Are the said "local accounts", all accounts on the console?

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You... need PlayStation Plus to play online multiplayer? RAGEMODE!!!! –  Meraj99 Dec 26 '13 at 7:50

3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Yes, local accounts are those that exist - are/have logged in - on the same console, whether created there or elsewhere.

The Playstation Plus subscription is tied to the SEN account, but that account can specify a single PS4 console as its primary PS4, which enables other (non-PS+) accounts to access everything on the console.

So any account using that console (the one specified as the primary by at least 1 PS+ subsriber) can enjoy the benefits of PS+, when using that console. That includes multiplayer.

I assume though that multiplayer is not available to local accounts if you are online and playing multiplayer on someone else's console. That part isn't exactly clear. But your (non-PS+)family members / housemates could definitely play multiplayer on your console with only your PS+ subscription when you're not using it.

This FAQ on playstation.com is fairly detailed:

PlayStation 4

You can activate one PS4™ on your Sony Entertainment Network account (this is known as your Primary PS4) and temporarily activate a second PS4 on your account.

PlayStation Plus benefits available to other non-subscribing users on your Primary PS4:

  • Online multiplayer (subject to any parental control settings on sub-accounts)
  • Play downloaded games purchased with PlayStation Plus discount
  • Play downloaded IGC games

PlayStation Plus benefits not available to other users on your Primary PS4:

  • Purchasing PlayStation Plus discounted products from PlayStation Store
  • Online game save storage
  • Auto patch download
  • PlayStation Plus exclusive early access to game trials

PlayStation Plus benefits available to you on a non-subscribing friend’s PS4:

  • All of your PlayStation Plus membership benefits are available to you when you use a friend’s PS4.

PlayStation Plus benefits available to your non-subscribing friend when you use their PS4:

  • Play downloaded games purchased with PlayStation Plus discount
  • Play downloaded IGC games

PlayStation Plus benefits not available to your non-subscribing friend when you use their PS4:

  • Online multiplayer (subject to any parental control settings on sub accounts)
  • Purchasing PlayStation Plus discounted products from PlayStation Store
  • Online game save storage
  • Auto patch download
  • PlayStation Plus exclusive early access to game trials

When you sign into your Sony Entertainment Network on a friend’s PS4 the system is temporarily activated on your account. Please ensure that you correctly sign-out of “PSN” on your friend’s system to keep your account secure.

If your “PSN” account is inactive on your friend’s PS4, the system will be deactivated automatically from your account and your friend will lose access to any of your downloaded content. This content can be deleted from their system hard drive by going to Image (Settings) > System Storage Management > Applications. Next, highlight the game to delete and press Options > Image (X button).

Source: http://faq.en.playstation.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/5030

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Sony stated that online multiplayer requires a PlayStation Network account and a paid subscription to PlayStation Plus. Each subscription is tied to the console rather than the individual account, which means that multiple accounts on one console can play multiplayer without having to purchase individual subscriptions for each account. I found this on the Wikipedia page for PlayStation Network. I hope this clarifies!

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You should check if your psn account is activated as your primary ps4 and check your son's account for the same thing. If he has his account not activated as his primary ps4 other user's wont be able to enjor playstation plus memberships.

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