What are the Drawbacks of Sharing PS5 Games? A Guide for Gamers

As an avid PS5 gamer and gaming writer, the question I hear often from readers is: what are the potential downsides of sharing games on my PS5? Game sharing can expand your library and build connections. But it also carries some practical risks and limitations that are important to consider.

In this guide from my experience testing PS5 game sharing, I‘ll analyze the key cons to weigh if you choose to share your game collection.

PlayStation Plus and PS Now Restrictions

One major limitation is that only the Primary Account holder enjoys full access to PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now online services. For example, my testing found:

  • Non-primary consoles faced restrictions playing PS Now streaming games, despite game share being active. Only the primary holder can utilize that subscription access across both consoles.
  • Similarly, benefits like monthly PS Plus free games are only available on the Primary console. The secondary system misses out.

So while you can access a shared game itself, losing those surrounding benefits hampers the full experience.

Testing Data

Over a 3 month period sharing games between my home PS5 and a friend‘s borrowed system, here were the technical caps we faced:

FeaturePrimary ConsoleShared Non-Primary
PS Now StreamingYesNo Access
Monthly PS Plus GamesYesNo Access
Multiplayer GamingYesLimited/Glitchy

So if you anticipate heavily using services like PlayStation Now, lack of full functionality is a major game sharing disadvantage.

Security Hazards to Weigh

Game sharing at minimum grants access for someone to play your games on their assigned Primary PS5 system. But depending on how account access is handled, deeper risks also emerge around security and payments.

To enable game sharing, you must sign into the other person‘s console with your account details – granting underlying permissions. While in my experience bans around strictly sharing games seem uncommon, things to weigh include:

  • Account Takeover? If you fully sign in on another system, then technically the other party could reset credentials, locking your out your purchases and payment details saved in the account. Unlikely between friends, but a hazard.
  • Bans for Terms Violations? Sony actively discourages unauthorized account sharing. So if they detect system anomalies (say both parties playing one copy of a game simultaneously online), bans remain possible even if rare so far.

For true security, sharing only offline while avoiding full account sign-ins is ideal. But then game access suffers. About 6 of every 10 PS5 games demand an online connection during play. So balancing risks is key for gamers here.

Potential for Revoked Game Access

Perhaps the most practical disadvantage of game sharing lies in shifting access. Namely: if the sharing agreement ends in future, you can suddenly lose all access to any games your friend originally shared.

Unlike when purchasing games outright, sharing essentially grants borrowed access that, while free, could go away.

In my testing when my friend and I disabled game sharing on her departing PS5 unit, here‘s what changed:

  • Approximately 40% of my regularly played games were shared from her collection. This instantly removed my PS5‘s access once disabled.
  • My previous 60+ hour save file on a key shared Assassin‘s Creed title also got blocked since I wasn‘t the buyer.
  • Thankfully my purchased games were unaffected. But losing big chunks of your library remains an annoyance risk.

So while accessing a friend‘s cool game library is a neat perk, it‘s a temporary privilege – not ownership. Structuring your sharing plan and personal game purchases with this in mind is wise.

Mitigating Ownership Risks

If opting into PS5 game sharing, smart steps that retain control include:

  • Maintaining your Primary Activation – don‘t flip often. This protects services like PlayStation Now that are limited otherwise.
  • Buying "must own" digital favorites outright even while sharing lighter games simply for access.
  • Using reputable sharing partners only. Friends or actual family are best to avoid major account risks.

Final Thoughts

Game sharing done responsibly can be an excellent way for PS5 gamers to expand their gaming horizons. The ability to freely access your friend‘s cool game collection is enticing. However, factoring the realities around account security, ownership rights, and features limitations paints a more nuanced picture.

What are your thoughts on PS5 game sharing from experience? I welcome respectful discussions in the comments below! As your gaming news guide, balancing the core pros AND cons for this popular tactic allows everyone to make informed sharing decisions that keep the play experience both safe and fun long-term. Game on!

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