Both of my kids are getting their own PS4s for Christmas. If they want to play the same game (separately), do I have to purchase each game twice? Or is there a way to share the games between the consoles?

For example: I purchase and download Borderlands on my daughter's PS4, but do I have to purchase it again in order for my son to have Borderlands on his PS4?


1 Answer 1


The best solution (TL;DR)

  • Buy physical games and share the disc on two separate consoles, with a separate account on each: you can't play at the same time
  • Buy digital games on each account: you can play at the same time

I would recommend not to bother with trying to game share using the method I described below, as it's very error-prone, and in the worst case scenario, will lock you out of your account with (possibly) many digital purchases!

How to avoid purchasing the same game twice

To share games between consoles, you will need to activate another PS4 as your account's "Primary Console". This will allow that console to download all the games the other account owns.

The problem is now that only one of the consoles will receive updates and new content. To reactivate the first console, you'll need to deactivate the primary console through the web interface. This will basically allow you to flip between consoles every time a new game is added. However, this is limited to once per 6 months. You can't deactivate a primary console through the console settings, as that will block all access to the downloaded games from the other account.

The benefit of this method is that you can both play the same game, at the same time (albeit not online, as @XtremeBaumer said in the comments). You would also need PS Plus for both accounts to play online, though this varies per game.

The big downside of this method, is that, while it's technically allowed, it's not really an intended way of using this system. Furthermore, by activating more than 1 other console through this method, your account might get blocked.

Share Play

As mentioned by @Leon7C in the comments, there is another way to play games that you do not own. The Share Play feature works by hosting a server on the PS4 that owns the game, after which a friend can be invited to watch, take over control, or join in a multiplayer session.

There are some limitations, though, as both players need PS Plus , a good internet connection (at least 2-5Mbps) and sessions are limited to 60 minutes. Furthermore, it seems like Share Play is always hosted through the internet, so using both consoles from the same LAN seems counter-intuitive, and even detrimental to the experience.

Obviously, Share Play won't work if both of your kids want to play their own Borderlands session (single player, or with other friends), but if they want to join each other for a quick session, this is a nice feature. Note that savegames are only saved on the host PS4, as well as any trophies earned.

About PS4 Share Play

  • I think the share play feature might be worth adding as well. It surely won't cover a cases and probably less effective overall compared to the two solutions you've listed, but it could help with a specific set of games.
    – Leon7C
    Nov 30, 2019 at 17:03

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