PS5 April update adds game backups, improved friends list features and more

The first big update for the PlayStation 5 system software will be released tomorrow, 14th April, bringing a whole bunch of new features and tweaks, both big and small. This includes a way to backup PS5 games on an external USB drive and improvements to the Game Base menu that houses both party chats and friends, and plenty more besides.

One thing that hasn’t been added is any support for an internal NVME SSD expansion. Sony say they are currently still working on the feature (and in fairness, the options that could be compatible are still few in numbers and very expensive), but hopefully it’s a case of sooner rather than later. There’s also still the limitation that you can only have one external drive active at one time,


Right. Let’s dive into the changes!

  • Store PS5 games on an external USB drive – Store PS5 games on a PlayStation formatted external HDD. This drive can host both PS4 games which you can play from the HDD and be a place to store your PS5 games, but to play PS5 games they will need to be copied back to the internal SSD. You cannot download a PS5 game directly to an external HDD. For more details, head to a dedicated FAQ here.

  • Cross-generation Share Play – PS4 and PS5 players can now Share Play across generations, meaning you can share your PS5 game with a friend who only owns a PS4. Options include screen sharing, virtually passing a controller, or playing virtualised local co-op.
  • Request to Join Game Session – You’ll now see a list of joinable game sessions where you can ping a friend to get them to add you to their game session.

  • Improved Game Base – This menu has been revised to have a Parties and a Friends tab, with a quick switch feature using the L1/R1 buttons.
  • Turn off party notifications – Turn off party notifications on a party-by-party basis.
  • Disable game chat – Quickly disable in-game chat, turning off your mic audio and the voice audio of other players.
  • Adjust players’ volume – You also now have the ability to adjust the volume individuals in a voice chat, to balance incoming audio on your side of the conversation.

  • Game update pre-download – Allows developers to seed patches to PlayStation 5’s that are on or in rest mode, having the files ready to install immediately as a game update is released.
  • Customize Game Library – Search your library and hide games from view.
  • Screen Zoom – Adjust the magnification of the screen in the Settings menu.
  • New Trophy Settings – The level of trophies that results in automatic capture of a screenshot or video clip can now be customised — so you can now choose to only capture and save images/videos of moments when you earn higher-grade trophies.
  • New Trophy Stats Screen – Check out the summary of your trophy level and status at a glance.

The PlayStation App is also being updated in the coming weeks to let you join a multiplayer session from the app, manage PS5 console storage, compare trophies and better browse what’s available in the PlayStation Store.

Source: PS Blog

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  1. Lots of nice features and welcome additions here.

  2. Only encountered a few bugs so far on the PS5, mostly involving the media remote. Sometimes the menu (when you press the playstation button) doesn’t appear if I turned on the PS5 using the media remote, I then have to switch off the PS5 manually. Also the console crashes instantly if I press the Youtube button to turn on the PS5.

  3. Looks like it only lets you move things between the internal and external storage. Would be nice to be able to back things up to the external and leave them on the internal as well.

    Just because the PS5 seems to like corrupting the system software and needing a factory reset. It’s happened twice to me so far. Once when a game crashed, and once when the power went out. It’s currently downloading everything again, which is annoying.

    • Yeah. It seems to only be able to move a game, exactly the same you can currently do with PS4 games, not copy a game as on Xbox.

      That sucks that you’ve been hit by system corruption, though there’s obviously no guarantee that the HDD data can’t be corrupted either. I had something like that during the review period, which was a right fuss to deal with.

      • But if you’ve got a backup on the external drive and you need to reset the PS5, at least you could then quickly copy everything back to the internal SSD.

        The more annoying thing is it seems to have forgot to upload some PS4 save data. I thought I’d fixed that. Cloud storage with a PS5 doesn’t seem to have the issue the PS4 had where you could only upload 1000 files, even after they pushed the storage up to 100GB. But as things had failed to upload on the PS4, it appears it’s not uploading PS4 saves automatically. So after quite enjoying Avengers, it’s lost everything. Because PS4 saves are stored on the SSD and not on the external drive where the PS4 games are.

        So as great as the PS5 is (and it really is very impressive), it’s still a bit of a mess in places.

      • Yes, I’m just saying that external HDDs have not been the most reliable thing with the PS5 so far.

      • I thought they’d fixed some early issues with external drives?

        The main issue with them now is they can take a long time to do whatever they do when you plug them in. Some sort of indexing going on that can take forever and makes everything else grind to a halt. And it does it if you have to reset the PS5. Or I guess if you plug it into a different PS5.

  4. Just fix the damn bugs first! The games disappearing one, when you move a PS4 game from internal to external, is incredibly frustrating… the games don’t appear on my storage list (on PS5, they do on the PS4), dont appear in my game library as ‘installed’, but go to the store to redownload and you can’t, as it says its already installed. Clicking the button to start the game from there doesnt work, just makes an error sound.
    Only way to fix it is to reboot the PS5 with the HDD unplugged, kick off the download, then plug in the HDD where it gives you the option to delete the external HDD version. Pain in the arse!

    • That can happen on a PS4 too. If the installed game gets corrupted, you can’t play it, or delete it, or reinstall it. You really want to hope it happens while it’s on the external drive you can unplug and do the “you’ve got 2 versions installed, which shall I delete?” trick.

      Is it an old external drive you’ve got? Could be getting dodgy and corrupting things.

  5. Good timing with the update as I’ve just bought an external SSD for my PS5. I’m not intending to move PS5 games to it at the moment but I’m glad the option is there for when I need to free up some space on the internal drive.

    • Surely use the SSD for PS4 games you’re actually playing, and then have a slower HDD for PS5 game backups?

      • I got a SSD to run my PS4 games from as they will load faster but didn’t think about using the HDD from my PS4 to store the PS5 games when space on the internal drive gets used up, cheers.

  6. The update is live now. About 900MB.

    It comes with an update for the DualSense, so you need to connect it with the cable before it can update that. Only takes a few seconds.

    The charging indicator seems more obvious now. Little animated battery with a green lightning bolt thing. That’ll come in handy in a year or two once the USB cable ends up getting a bit dodgy.

    Why they went for stupid version numbers, I don’t know. The PS5 is now on version 21.01-

    What does that even mean? And yes, it’s 0.1 at the end, not 00.01 as you might expect from all the other numbers.

    The option to move games to the “extended storage” is on the little menu that pops up when you press the used-to-be-options button on the game. It’s still the options button really, isn’t it?

    • And the option to upload/download cloud data is on that same menu for each game now. It was a bit awkward to do before.

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