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How to use Family Sharing on PlayStation Plus

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(Image credit: Jennifer Locke / Android Central)

With PlayStation Plus, it's become a bit more expensive to use some of the PS4 and PS5's online features, but it does come with several benefits. Those benefits can be shared between more than one user, and setting up family sharing for PS Plus on your PS4 is easy. Here's how to get started.

What is Family Sharing on PlayStation Plus?

Family Sharing allows you to share many of the PlayStation Plus (PS Plus) benefits with other members of your family. So long as one account on the PS4 or PS5 has PS Plus and is set as the primary account for that console, anyone who signs into that console with another PlayStation Network account will be able to share many of those benefits and play any digital games associated with it.

Family Sharing also enables you to set up powerful parental control tools if you want to manage your children's usage. If you haven't done that yet and you're still using some older hardware, here's how to set up parental controls on PS4. If you've been able to grab Sony's latest console, you'll want to set up parental controls on PS5.

Family Sharing makes it less expensive and easier to use the PS4's online features with multiple accounts no matter your need.

How to set up Family Sharing on PlayStation 4

  1. On your PS4, sign in with the account which has the PlayStation Plus subscription.
  2. Open your Settings.
  3. Navigate to the PSN menu.
  4. Select Activate as Your Primary PS4.

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5. Select Activate.

(Image credit: Android Central)

Now that the account with PS Plus is signed in and associated with your PS4 as the primary account, any other user who signs into that PS4 will be able to use its benefits.

How to set up Family Sharing on PS5

A lot of this involves knowing how to manage multiple accounts on PS5. PlayStation Plus sharing is enabled by default on PS5, but should you want to change these settings, here are the steps you'd take.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select Users and Accounts.
  3. Select Other.

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4. Select Console Sharing and Offline Play.

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5. Select Don't Disable.

Which PlayStation Plus benefits can you share?

You should know, not all benefits can be used by the accounts that don't have their own PlayStation Plus subscription. We'll run them down for you.

Here's what you can share

  • Play online multiplayer
  • Play downloaded games, including those purchased with a PS Plus discount
  • Download and play the monthly PS Plus games included with the subscription
  • PlayStation Plus Game Catalog and Classic Catalog (requires Extra and Premium, respectively)

Here are the things family members will miss out on

  • Purchasing games at the discounted PS Plus rate
  • Cloud storage for game saves
  • Automatic patch downloads
  • Exclusive PS Plus-only early access game trials

Whether your secondary accounts need their own PS Plus subscriptions is up to you and your particular needs. If all you want is to play online and play all the games on that console, you're probably okay with just one subscription. However, those with more elaborate needs may want to consider paying for more than one subscription. Everyone's setup and situation will be different, so talk things over with your family to determine the best course of action.

It's also worth keeping in mind that PlayStation Plus was reworked in 2022, now featuring three distinct tiers: Essential, Extra, and Premium. The first tier essentially remains the same as the older form of PlayStation Plus, while the second tier gives players access to a catalog of PS4 and PS5 games. The third tier folds in benefits of the now-defunct PlayStation Now, allowing users to stream certain games, while also granting access to a library of Classic titles, as well as some limited demos. 

Naturally, PlayStation Plus Premium's game library is the largest, and these benefits can also be shared with your family if you opt to use Family Sharing with your subscription. PlayStation Plus Essential costs $10 per month, Extra is $15 per month, and Premium costs $18 per month.

What if I have more than one PS4 or PS5?

Unfortunately, if you have more than one PS4 or PS5, you'll need another account with PS Plus for each extra console you have. That's because benefits can only be shared from the primary account to other accounts on the same console, and there can only be one primary account per console.

This also means that the second console will need its own copy of the games the user wants to play. The only way around this is to sign into the second console with the account that has the PS Plus subscription and owns the games, and you must stay signed in on that account for the duration of your session.

Game together

Are you looking to get your whole family online with their own accounts on your PlayStation console? So long as everyone's okay with sharing time on it, all you need is a PS Plus subscription. Of course, PlayStation Plus isn't required to enjoy your PS4, but it does add benefits that make it something of a must-have, especially if you intend to do any multiplayer. So whether you want online play, free games, cloud saves, or more, grab a PS Plus subscription to get the most out of your gaming experience.

With your PlayStation console, you can play all the newest games you want. Sony's latest console has tons of games suitable for all ages, and PlayStation Plus adds even more value and fun.

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PlayStation Store Gift Card

Grab a PlayStation Store gift card, and you can add funds to your digital wallet, making it easier to determine which tier of PlayStation Plus is the right one for you to subscribe to, depending on what you and your family need.

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Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on PlayStation on Android Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert