Do I need PlayStation Plus to play online with PS4?

Sony files glove controller patent

The PS4 does require PlayStation Plus to play online. That being said, it's not the all-encompassing kind of requirement that Xbox Live tends to impose. You'll still be able to get all of your updates and DLC without a Plus membership. Furthermore, you'll be able to use your Netflix, Amazon Video, and your others apps without interruption.

Online multiplayer is something that has seen significant growth in this past generation. With the conquest of games like Call of Duty and Battlefield focusing on intense and frenzied matches with people around the globe, it is no secret that connectivity and multiplayer are important and valued by the industry and the players alike.

Of course, it’s not without flaws. Yes, I’m looking at you, twelve year old kid on Call of Duty when you should be playing something more along the lines of Ratchet and Clank, or Knack.

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2017 PlayStation Plus Lineup vs Xbox's Games With Gold

PlayStation Plus and Games with Gold each offer free games every month. The quality, and value of those games does vary, however. Here, we'll take a look as we move into 2017, at both sides and see who is offering the better value.

February 2017

  • Little Big Planet 3 ($19.99) vs Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime ($14.99)
  • Not a Hero ($12.99) vs Monkey Island 2 Special Edition ($9.99)
  • Starwhal ($11.99) vs Project Cars Digital Edition ($29.99)
  • Anna Extended Edition (PS3)($9.99) vs Star Wars: The Force Unleashed ($19.99)
  • Ninja Senki DX ($4.99)
  • TorqueL ($9.99)

Okay, so adding it all up, PS4/PS3/PS Vita owners get a combined total of $69.94 in value for their free games in the month of February. Meanwhile, Xbox owners do get slightly more value with $74.96 in total.

That being said, we need to look at the quality of the offerings here. If you own more than one generation of PlayStation console, then you get a lot more value with more games.

Also, I love Monkey Island as much as the next guy, but that game came out in 2010, and Force Unleashed came out in 2008! At least PS4 owners are getting recent or brand new titles. Just saying.

January 2017

  • Day of the Tentacle Remastered ($14.99) vs World of Van Helsing: Deathtrap ($19.99)
  • This War of Mine: The Little Ones ($29.99) vs The Cave ($14.99)
  • Blazerush ($9.99) vs Killer Instinct Season 2 ($34.99)
  • The Swindle ($14.99) vs Rayman Origins ($19.99)
  • Azkend 2 ($7.99)
  • Titan Souls ($14.99)

That comes out to $92.94 for PlayStation Plus members and $94.96 for Xbox One members. This month was a tight contest as both sides offered older titles. Day of the Tentacle was pretty fresh, but that's because it was remastered. The original is pretty old, but wasn't playable on PS4 until this release.

2016 PlayStation Plus vs Games With Gold: Total Value

Looking back on 2016, if we add up all of the free titles, we get this final score:

PlayStation Plus: $1,283.28 vs Games With Gold: $1,053.55

Boom! PlayStation Plus wins by a long shot. Honestly though, for $60, that's quite the return on your investment.

PlayStation Plus Price Change: September 2016

As part of a post on the PlayStation Blog, Sony has announced that the price of PlayStation Plus will be changing as of September 22nd, 2016. Existing members won't be affected until their membership renews on or after the date above.

Here's what we're looking at:

  • 1-year memberships are going from $50 USD to $60 USD
  • Three month members are going from $17.99 USD to $24.99 USD
  • One month memberships are staying at $10

While not a drastic hike, this is the first time prices for PlayStation Plus have changed since the launch of the service in 2010. The official statement from Sony is as follows:

The new pricing reflects the current market conditions while enabling us to continue providing exceptional value to our members. As a member, you will continue to enjoy the benefits and features that enable shared experiences, such as online multiplayer, free games, and exclusive discounts. You will also continue to get exclusive benefits such as online game save storage and discounts across the PlayStation digital services.

Does this price change affect your opinion of the service? Will you be renewing when your next membership is up? Let us know in the comments below! Continue reading for a deeper look into what that $60 per year is going to get you.

What Do I Need PlayStation Plus For?

Here’s the thing, this generation was led by two types of people. One, is the type of person who used to come into my store when I worked at GameStop, and complained about how PlayStation is free to play online, but you have to pay for Xbox. Then there’s the other type, the one who comes in arguing that Xbox live is better because of the fact that you pay.

Well now both people will have less to complain and argue about because with the PS4, you will be required to have a PlayStation Plus membership to play online. Now don’t freak out on me.

The subject of paying for online multiplayer is a touchy one, but it’s really a fact of life. If you want dedicated servers, or better matchmaking, or even less maintenance down time, then the service needs some kind of cash flow, or it’s not going to beat out the paid competitor.

PlayStation 3’s network was fine, but Xbox 360 had the edge in terms of connectivity and competition. With PlayStation 4, Sony is having you pay so that they can level the playing field and bring you a better online experience. In a recent interview, the President of Worldwide Studios for Sony, Shuhei Yoshida, had this to say on the matter:

Do I need PlayStation Plus to play online with PS4?"Considering the cost, to try to keep such a service free and consequently lower the quality would be absurd. We decided that if that's the case, then it would be better to receive proper payment and continue to offer a good service."

In the interview, he claimed that, "The main pillar for the PS4 will be online play. We're developing many new ways to play and connect which requires a large investment of resources.” That means that PlayStation Network will be bigger and better than ever. And it’s all because they decided to ask for a little money.

What else does PlayStation Plus do for me?

Great question hypothetical reader! PlayStation plus offers a multitude of benefits right now on the PlayStation 3. And, the best part is that you’re Plus membership will carry over to PlayStation 4, so if you’re not a member, join now and enjoy the perks!

PlayStation plus members enjoy a selection of free game downloads each month, as well as discounts in the store, free full game trials, and early access to betas. It’s like a VIP membership minus the stupid politics and with actual benefits.

Even Xbox Live has tried to copy this formula, with somewhat pathetic results. While PlayStation Plus gives you a multitude of free games for both the PlayStation 3 and the Vita each month, Xbox Live throws you an emaciated bone in the form of two free games a month, and they aren’t even relevant titles! The first set they did was Assassin’s Creed 2 and the Halo 3! Sure, they’re decent games, but come on, they’re over five years old!

PlayStation Plus members also enjoy a feature called Share Play. This allows your friends to play a game with you, even if they don't own it themselves. They can jump in and watch you play or join a multiplayer match and play with you. If you want to let them have control, that's an option too.

You can hand the controls back and forth as needed, especially if you're playing a tough game. You only need to be a member, you're friend doesn't.

Another exciting feature that's been recently implemented is Vote to Play. This allows members to vote on one of the free titles for the coming month. Three choices are given, and the ones that aren't winners still get a discount.

To vote, you simply need to be a PlayStation Plus member and head over to the page on the store. It's another awesome feature that makes members feel like their V.I.Ps.

In total, PlayStation Plus offers these awesome benefits:

  • Online multiplayer for PS4
  • 24 free PS4 games each year
  • Exclusive discounts on the PlayStation Store
  • Access to Share Play (the ability to share games with your friends, even if they don't own them
  • 10 GB of cloud storage for PS4 game saves

Honestly, it’s worth the price

From one gamer to another, I want you all to trust me when I say that PlayStation plus is worth every penny. It costs fifty dollars for an entire year.

Besides getting amazing online multiplayer on PS4, you’re also getting free games every month. In fact, you’ll even get a few on PS4 when you hook it up at home! This service is the best in the industry, and once you have it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.

Do you have PlayStation Plus? If not, why haven’t you bought it yet? Tell us in the comments!

Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Insert Date: 10/21/2013
Updated: 8/22/16

See Also:


Pays For Itself

I first month it paid for itself with a free download for Battlefield 3, and Saints Row 3, AND XCOM: Enemy Unknown. The next month I got Hitman Absolution and LBP Karting (meh I know). After these first two months I did wonder how I lived without it. Thank you SONY!

love it

love it

yea but the complains is for the ps4

Where is the good free games on ps4 lunatic at least they could give us tombraider its a remake i already payed for on ps3! the reason i say tombraider ppl would say yea ps plus never gives the new release but tombraider isnt so why do we get a lame game on ps4

So much for the free games

So much for the free games. Games have been mostly crap lately. Look at the last 3 months. The only title that I even heard of is LBP3

online gaming

Its not about the free stuff the xbox live has no dropout no lag. Thats why I'm still waiting for sony to say your paying for the same service and great online play as xbox. Then I will buy the PS4.



best thing they could do

Id rather have stable servers to play off of...$50 a year is nothing. I spend that in a month on alcohol... Gj stepping up to the plate Sony. All the kids that are whining bout not being free are just ignorant. Nothing worth it in life is free.

Right on, freakin Bernie

Right on, freakin Bernie commies want everything for free!! They need someone to make em drop and do 20 push-ups every day

PS4 subscription

It is disgusting and a complete con they must have the technology to allow PS3 games to be played on the PS4 they have choose not to do it out of greed. They have realised that users of other consoles have continued to use them even though they have to pay a monthly subscription and have jumped on the band wagon - total greed we should all stop buying from them for one month see how that affects their profits!!!

Sub is cheap

The subscription fee is less than $4.50 a month when bought at 12-month intervals of $49.99... come on people.. its not that bad. The discounts throughout the year make up for it in the long run.


the price is outstanding with all the content you get

All cost and all drop outs

For the money we now have to pay you would think the servers would always work, the amount of time it has frozen on me no it's not worth the money

ps4 plus

really the ps4 plus has no games at the moment I want to play. So now I have to pay 50 more bucks to play a game I ALEADY paid 50 buck for. Sucks.

Too much :(

Way too costly. After paying the huge amount for the system, controllers, and games, it just adds up to be way too much to pay

Why complain

Sony charges you $50 for a year to play online, then I will pay that, cause I know I love playing online. You gonna whine about playstation plus? Think about this would you rather pay 50 a year, or 50 a month? Plus you know you gonna pay more then 50 just to download ps titles anyway, so why complain. I know I spent way more money on my vita just in games alone, that's not being a playstation plus member too. Really you are getting a great price to play online, do the math! 2yrs for playing online is only $100 dollers. You know when a new ps tittle drops, your gonna pay $60 bucks for it, plus they are giving you free stuff a month, not only you can use the ps vita on two game consoles! How cool is that? I always wanted to be a ps plus member anyway. Small price to pay for such good gamming. It's worth it. That is my opinion. Like it or get a Xbox one, see how your wallet feels then. ( then you can cry to Microsoft for sympathy when they tear your mouth out)

Limiting the Market

Or build a gaming PC for just over the price of the PS4, download Steam, play better games for JUST the cost of the game and your ISP bill. I bought a PS4 for myself on Black Friday and am considering taking it back just because I was under the assumption that it was free to play online. The sole reason I avoided Xbox 360 was because of pay to play. Unless you're a hardcore gamer, it's really not worth it. I rarely ever had lag or dropping problems on PS3 so I don't see what issue people are complaining about there. I am an adult with a career and can pay for a gaming system to play games on. Why should I pay monthly/yearly for the PS4 when I can do the same thing on PC? There aren't enough good exclusive titles to merit keeping the thing and Konami effectively lost my business when they canceled Silent Hills. That was literally the only exclusive I can think of worth keeping this thing for. As an adult with a career I also don't have the time to play dozens of games a year like I did when I was younger. This is truly a slap in the face to anybody who holds down a stable adult life and just wants to play a game to unwind every once in a while.


give me an awsome poker game for ps4


The reason you lag is probably your connection speed sucks. From my ps3 to my ps4 plus is a good investment, the free games alone are worth it. If you don't want to pay for online, keep your ps3.

PC stocks are up

Sony had no problem keeping me content and playing routinely when it offered free online play. This is just a way to keep the money rolling in without putting a lot of effort into creating breakthrough games. I just saw the Line-up for this year and it looks pretty sad. Aside from infamous 3 (which on the release day I went out and bought that and a system) the other games out this year are either garbage(pure, rancid, unedited garbage), Or, is out for multiple systems anyway and there isnt a major incentive to buy the system. I think in the next year we will see a higher output of sales and games on PC. I will tell you this, if Sony decides to bring back the Legacy of Kain series, then I'll call a mulligan on this entire paragraph and take my seat. Either way when The Elder Scrolls comes out I will buy it for PC and usurpe your online fees.


50.00 would be okay if sony "A Billion Dollar Company", would actually keep their servers up and running smoothly each and everyday, instead of having the servers get hacked and go down for hours, sometimes days for that matter. I only say this because Sony basically wanted us to pay the 50.00 per year as a network/servers maintenance fee, but they haven't even secured their own networks as they have went down numerous times throughout 2014 and as a loyal customer it really just pisses me off. I understand things happen, but the reasons behind their issues and just the lack of care and security that they are putting forth. I only play madden, nba 2k, and COD online so anytime Sony has a network meltdown I am left with nothing to do until it is up and running again. Haven't people noticed that they never come out and accept full responsibility for the fact that their networks get hacked and crashed and they don't fix the flaws. Months ago hackers told them they were gonna hack and crash the servers for Christmas and this is exactly what they did. Keep that in mind.


Im not on the ps4 yet, but will be in 3 weeks, so it is 50 to play online in most games like FIFA, GTA and COD and you get free games every month. WOW!!! . BTW whats up with PS never having legends on FIFA UT...


The only reason i have been a loyal PS customer is because you didn't have to pay. Im switching to xbox out of spite.

PS Plus was great on PS3

And I bought a PS4 fully ready to continue always having PS Plus because it's great. Wham! All the games that come with PS Plus have been migrated to the subscription service PS Now. So being happy with one paid subscription isn't good enough. Now I have to maintain two subscriptions, PS Plus to play online and get two games, and PS Now at twice the cost, to access the rest of the Plus games. What the heck?

We've made some changes...

The sharing aspects of PS Plus have been expanded on the PS4 and the benefits are shared to other users on your primary system. You may even find a few familiar titles already populated to your Library. But we've put the majority of games over to PS Now, which takes accessing new games to the next level with access to literally hundreds of games at once without taking up valuable hard drive space or waiting for downloads! You can rent individual games from the massive PS Now lineup or gain access to them all with one low subscription price. Please note that PS Now games do not share to other users on the same system as PS Plus benefits do. ---THIS notification, which I just made up out of thin air, needs to be the first thing that greets a PS3 user who has finally upgraded to PS4. If it had, I would not be so angry right now. Fundamental changes to paid services need to be explained to subscribers, clearly and pro actively, period.

Online gaming

Why the hell would i pay money to play online!? It ridiculous! We already paid 400 € for the ps4 and then they will charge us to play online!? Thats just bull! I should have buy a pc than Ps4. You're a disappointment Sony.

Connect x-box/Playstation 4

It's a lot of people such as me that's a PS4 guy and I would love for the brain expert to find a way even if you had to pay a little more to find a way that playstation 4 could cross and play against x-box in games especially sport games. I have a lot of friends that have x-box and PS4 and both parties said they're not switching just to play some games. So if you could find a genius to figure this out it would be awesome and everybody could enjoy playing with whatever they're comfortable with playing with..

Why this won't happen

Sony currently controls the gaming market by a decent margin. Allowing cross-platform play is not in their advantage financially because an XBOX user today has to purchase a Playstation console to play with the majority. It's also not in Microsoft's favor for the same reason. Both companies want to dominate the market and put their bottom line ahead of what's best for the consumer/gamer. Another reason is the online gaming platform security and infrastructure now needs to be co-owned by Microsoft and Sony, which is also quite tricky logistically and financially.

Shame on them

Pay for the playstation console. Pay for the games for the playstation. Oh yeah, and then pay us to play those games you just bought on that console you just bought too. Wow! Playstation has disappointed me drastically. I always held them in high regard against xbox but not anymore.


I'm late to the game...I get my PS4...waited a few years as I always do with new systems and it is the biggest disappointing pain in the ass filled with sneaky surprises in console history. With the PS3...charge me $50 for a season pass for a game I already paid, not happy but ok, but to make us pay for a system to use online that doesn't even have ALL specs that are better than the PS3??? NO 5G WIFI???!! But the PS3 slim does? Then I have to wait for huge games to download massive updates and then I have to pay to play online? F**K you Sony and XBOX. I might be done with consoles. I have had my PS4 for 2 Days now, still haven't played a game as I have to do 5 hours of PREP WORK before I can use this POS

Ps plus

The reviewer was making sense until he started bashing Xbox live gold memeberships free games. Look at the past 12 months and Xbox live gold membership is providing you more value than PS Plus. With backwards compatible , Xbox owners get 4 free games a month to play on their Xbox One and some great games too Both services are good and have value so please don't bash on one

Yes there likely will be

There should be some good deals holiday season 2017 (Black Friday / Cyber Monday). Check with Amazon, Gamestop and other major retailers.

ps3 was better!

I just got battlefield one, finished the single player campaign, so i wanted to give multiplayer a try but couldn't because I needed a stupid play station plus account! if you play the game on pc the online multiplayer is 100% free!!!! looks like im going gaming pc from here on out, sorry sony never again!!!!

playstation minus

Aw its not that bad. just wait. It always starts out reasonable but it will go up, as it already has. Quit whining? Do you have any idea what kind of profits sony is making from the PS4? The game makers? They are rolling in cash, go ahead. bend over and give'em some more. Additionally the PS4's performance over PS3 is negligible, you already just paid $250 min for better grass and water effects. But hey, they have to keep the money train rolling.

Playstation plus

Why cant my kid just play a game at home, not online, without having to sign up for this service. He's 9 yrs old, wants to play an old game like plants vs zombies gwf. Not online, just at home as multi player with sister

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is an online game

You can play single player and co-op games with no PSN membership. However, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is an online game. However, the title is PS3 compatible too so I wonder if they require PSN for PS4 version of the game but don't require it for PS3! I'm mainly into platform adventure games (Uncharted, Tomb Raider, Far Cry) and they all have an online component/trophies but a large portion is single player. I'm saving all the online stuff to finish in one month ($8-$10) because I can't justify the cost of PSN either.

F*ck You

Sony is now officially just as bad as the Microsoft garbage I've been avoiding. F*ck you and your pay for everything 5 times bullsh*t.

PS Plus

ive been a loyal sony member from the time the ps3 was released. the online play was great and even thou the servers where sometimes down it never ever affected me for long maybe an hiur of two at most, but now comes ps4 the crappiest system ever with specs that are hardly much bettef then a ps3. even with all these downfalls i would have still been a loyal member ifnot for the flipping pay to play online. that was the only reason i had bought my ps3 and not an xbox. qll my friends had xbox but i chose sony over them cos of free online gaming but with ps4 sony has become a whore just like xbox. i shall only come back to sony once multiplayer is free again.

PS Plus

ive been a loyal sony member from the time the ps3 was released. the online play was great and even thou the servers where sometimes down it never ever affected me for long maybe an hiur of two at most, but now comes ps4 the crappiest system ever with specs that are hardly much bettef then a ps3. even with all these downfalls i would have still been a loyal member ifnot for the flipping pay to play online. that was the only reason i had bought my ps3 and not an xbox. qll my friends had xbox but i chose sony over them cos of free online gaming but with ps4 sony has become a whore just like xbox. i shall only come back to sony once multiplayer is free again.