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Final Fantasy 7 Remake hits PS5: How to upgrade PS4 game to next-gen versions for free

And EA surprise-dropped the upgrade for Star Wars: Jedi: Fallen Order last Friday. Here's how to claim your souped-up PS5 versions.

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Yuffie and her Materia-grabbing ways have come to PS5.

Square Enix

You can play most PlayStation 4 games on the PlayStation 5 thanks to the new Sony console's excellent backward compatibility feature. But many publishers go a step further by allowing you to upgrade PS4 games to the PS5 versions for free. This lets you play with 4K dynamic resolution at 60 frames per second and delivers shorter loading times, making for smoother gaming experience with less waiting around.

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Brett Pearce/CNET

One major game that got an update was last year's Final Fantasy 7 Remake. It came out Thursday, June 10, along with an expansion -- Episode Intermission -- featuring awesome ninja Yuffie Kisaragi. The next-gen update is free for current owners, but not if they got the game via PlayStation Plus in March. The Yuffie content will also cost an extra $20 and is available only on PS5.

On Thursday, the PS4 version added the ability to upload your save data, as previously reported by IGN. You can then download that file onto your PS5 in the new version of the game and pick up where you left off. Any trophies you unlocked in the PS4 version will automatically be unlocked again on PS5.

It's a slightly clunky system for getting your saved data into the upgraded version, so you should make sure to do it ahead of time if you want to jump straight into the PS5 version immediately after it comes out.

EA also surprised us by releasing the upgraded version of Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order on Friday. Transferring your save is a bit simpler in that game -- if you download the PS5 version, you'll find a "Import PS4 System Save Data" prompt on the start-up screen.  

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Going next-gen

The PS5 is available now but has been going in and out of stock at retailers. The digital-only model costs $400, and the one with a disc drive is $500.

Your game upgrades won't happen automatically or through a typical game update, so it's easy to accidentally keep playing the PS4 version of a game on your new PS5. You have to go to the game page on the PlayStation Network and choose to upgrade to the PS5 version. That'll download the extra data needed for the next-gen features.

Read more: PS5 restocks: When to expect the console to appear

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If you have a PS5, make sure you're playing the best possible version of your games. 

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

You can also upgrade to PS5 versions if you have a physical PS4 game, as long as you bought the PS5 with a disc drive. You'll always need to use the PS4 disc to play the PS5 version; upgrading doesn't get you a free digital copy of the game. You'll still download the PS5 update from the PSN, but you won't need a PS5-specific disc -- your PS4 one will become an authenticator.

If you opted for the digital-only PS5 and have a disc, you're out of luck. There are a few more limitations and caveats:

  • Some PS5 versions of current PS4 games aren't out yet.
  • Next-gen versions will be bigger files, so they'll take up more precious memory on the console's SSD.
  • You'll end up with a fresh list of trophies (each version's list is separate).
  • A few games' saves won't transfer. 
  • Some game upgrades are available only in cross-gen bundles or special editions.
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Spider-Man: Miles Morales is one of the games you can upgrade.

PS5 Performance Mode; screenshot by Sean Keane/CNET

Free upgrades you can get right now

Some upgrades will require you to buy a specific (more expensive) version of the game:

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Cyberpunk 2077's next-gen upgrade will undoubtedly be breathtaking.

CD Projekt Red

Upcoming free upgrades

This list will be updated as more upgrades become available or are announced.

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