Since the lines between consoles and computers have increasingly become blurred, it can be confusing to determine what PC functions a video game console can mimic. Whether or not a game is exclusive to one console or available on all devices can feel arbitrary. Avid gamers are always looking for more ways to enjoy their games, whether on a desktop or a new console like the PS5.
Can you play PC games on a PS5?
The PS5 runs on a different operating system than Windows PCs. It can only run games and applications that are specifically designed to work with that operating system.
The fastest way to check if a game has versions on multiple platforms and cross-play capability is to search for that game plus the desired functionality on a search engine. It should tell you within the first few search results whether or not the game has that capability.
Cross-play capability is becoming more common, but it’s still a tricky feat of computer engineering that becomes more difficult with more advanced games. It’s up to the game developers to enable cross-play, so it depends on whether the company decides that it’s worth the effort to enable cross-play.
For example, Minecraft has the Java edition for PCs and the Bedrock edition for most other devices capable of running Minecraft, like the PS5. That means you can cross-play with someone on an Xbox via your PS5, but not if they were on a PC. If you wanted to play Grand Theft Auto V Online with a friend, both of you would need to be on the PS5 version.
Can you play PS5 games on a PC?
A Windows PC and a PS5 use separate operating systems, so you can’t play PS5 games directly on the PC without an emulator. You can play the PS5 on a PC or other devices through an Internet connection using the Remote Play feature.
Like trying to find PC games on a PS5, you should first look to see if there’s an official PC version or a cross-play option, depending on your needs. Neither of the alternatives are exactly the same as having an actual PC version of the game.
Using PS5’s Remote Play on a PC
To start, download the PC version of the Remote Play app from the official website. Follow the instructions to setup both your PC and PS5. You’ll need to sign in with your Playstation Network account on the PC’s Remote Play app. Once you’re logged in, your PS5 and all of its games should be playable on the desktop.
There are a couple of downsides to streaming and playing your PS5 this way, but they are not too bad as an immediate and cheaper solution. First, you may not get the full quality of the video on your stream. The maximum resolution is 1080p, and the frame rate peaks at 60 fps with the potential to drop lower.
The PS5 controller will need to connect to the PC via a USB port to run the game through the Remote Play app. You can play on the big screen through the connection, but you’ll want the PC and the PS5 to be setup close together to do so. As long as both devices are on the same Wi-Fi network, the connection speed should eliminate any noticeable lag between the controller and the PS5. Your experience may vary.
What is a PS5 emulator?
An emulator is a software application that mimics the hardware and software of another device. Emulation is an excellent way of enjoying many older games on a PC, but there are issues with trying to emulate modern games.
First, you must still own a copy of the game. If you download a digital copy, you are committing piracy. Some ISPs will monitor common sources of illegal downloads and issue punishments if they detect your IP address downloading from them.
Second, emulators are not supported by the console manufacturers, so they involve work by amateur enthusiasts to engineer a digital replacement. Many current PS5 emulators are newer and in development, so playing a game in a fun and functional way is unlikely for some time. On the plus side, this means they are usually free to download to avoid lawsuits from the companies.
Can you stream PS5 gameplay on a PC?
It’s possible to stream straight from a PS5 to many broadcasting services, but you can also put the output through a computer for more video editing options, such as Open Broadcaster Software (OBS).
For streamers, the ability to edit the video stream provides useful on-screen features like avatars, designs, and information. Being able to quickly stream to Twitch right from the PS5 is convenient, but lacking some of the advanced features can reduce the stream’s entertainment value and outreach potential.
The cheaper way to stream via a PC is to use the Remote Play feature on the PS5, as discussed above. Your maximum resolution and framerate will be locked at a lower value, but it’s free to use and fast to set up. Once the app is running on the PC, treat it like streaming any other application window.
The highest performance way to stream PS5 gameplay from a PC is with a capture card like this one. To install it, you simply run the HDMI from the PS5 to the capture card, then you run HDMI cords from the capture card to both the PC and the display device. Install any required software onto the PC, and follow its instructions for first-time setup.
The primary benefit is access to higher quality resolution. Frame rates still cap at 60 on available models, but keeping 4K quality is a major plus. You won’t have to worry about any of the minor input lag from the Remote Play, either.