How to Make Games Download Faster on PS4
Over the last several years, game files for PS4 have increased significantly. Understandably, this becomes frustrating when it causes you to wait several hours to download games and updates, especially if you’re dealing with an already slow internet connection. For that reason, you really need to know how to make games download faster on PS4. Doing it the right way will save you lots of times and make your gaming experience much flexible.
Actually everyone also knows that file download speeds depend closely, but not solely, on your internet connection. If it is smooth, it will be done quickly and vice versa. However, there are tips and tricks to overcome the slow problem when the PS4 console is downloading games or other things.
Main Reason for the Problem
The biggest question is; why are PS4 download speeds so slow? It seems that no matter how fast your home broadband is, PS4 downloads are much slower than those on Xbox One and PC. While some gamers can download huge games on PC in as little as 20 minutes, it’s not irregular for the same game, on the same network, to take hours to download on the PS4.
This discrepancy is due to a design flaw in how the PS4 console communicates with the PlayStation Network from where it downloads data. The flaw is that the PS4 can’t download huge chunks of data at once, and PSN has to ‘wait’ for the PS4 to organize the data as it’s downloaded.
Additionally, Juho Snellman, a systems programmer at Teclo Networks, explains the issues in a very technical and detailed post. The short of it – apps running in the background automatically slows down the download speed to a near crawl. Secondly, it isn’t easy to figure out which apps are running and then to close it all.
Snellman also notes that Sony’s reasoning behind this auto ‘crawl speed’ for downloads could be to ensure that while users are playing an online game that they still get a decent ping. However, as he mentions, the same thing applies when you’re not playing an online game, and you have something like Netflix open and playing a single-player game.
Lastly, it might sound easy to say just close all your background apps when you want to download a game – if the PlayStation 4 didn’t make it so difficult to know which apps are running in the background.
So, just how slow is slow? According to Snellman‘s tests, the artificial latency changes caused by the PS4 can range from a download window of 7kB to a 128kB receive window. That means your download speed can take up to 100 times longer than it should. This only happens when you download games from the PSN.
Lastly, he also highlights that running a speedtest during a download gives an inaccurate figure.
So what is the solution? Here are a few tips that help make games download faster on PS4.
Tips to Make Games Download Faster on PS4
Before performing any of the recommended troubleshooting steps listed below to make games download faster on PS4, it’s best to restart your PS4 and modem/router first. This action refreshes the operating system and removes any corrupt temporary data that could be causing the problem.
1. Commonly Used Methods
Before we proceed in showing you the secrets of how to make games download faster on PS4, let’s first discuss the more commonly used methods.
Using an Ethernet Cable
The most obvious method is setting up your PS4’s internet connection with an ethernet cable rather than a wireless connection. Obviously, not everyone has the right setup to do this, but if you think it could be possible to a run a cable from your router to your PS4, then it’s highly recommended. While you can often get decent speeds on a wireless connection, you almost always suffer more packet loss than when you use an ethernet cable, which is terrible for online gaming.
Be the Only User of the Internet
Another common method that will make games download faster on PS4 is to ensure that no one else in the house is also using the internet extensively. This can range from other people downloading games and updates, to people streaming movies or TV series on Netflix. A crowded Wi-Fi network can slow down your PS4 downloads, so if another user is downloading something at the same time, both downloads will suffer.
It might be a massive annoyance to your family, but asking them to stop what they’re doing for a short while will help to make games download faster on PS4 significantly.
Queuing up multiple downloads on your PS4 has a similar effect. The console has to share what bandwidth it has, so if you’re keen to get a particular download finished its best to pause your other transfers.
2. Kill Any Running Apps
One of the biggest culprits for slow PS4 downloads is having a game/app running. When you have a game or app open, the PS4 prioritizes it over anything working in the background.
This makes sense—when you’re playing an online game, you likely prefer stable performance of the game over whatever’s downloading in the background moving a bit faster.
Therefore, in order to make games download faster on PS4 you have to kill any running processes. This has been seen to dramatically speed up game downloads, and all it takes are a few button presses:
- With the PS4 running, press and hold the PS button on the controller until you see a menu appear on-screen.
- Highlight “Close Application(s)” and tap X.
This tip has its roots in Juho Snellman’s blog post from 2017. The systems programmer discovered that the console’s “receive window” shrinks considerably whenever a game or other application is running.
Once you do this, you’ll return to the home screen of your system. The game should start downloading a lot faster, so keep apps closed until it’s done.
3. Put Your System Into Rest Mode
Rest mode puts your PS4 into a low-power state so it can resume quickly. In rest mode, the console is off, but some functions (like charging controllers and peripherals via USB) can still run. If you enable a specific option, the system will also download updates and games in rest mode. After closing apps, putting your system in rest mode can help pick up the speed even more.
It’s been reported from multiple users that using Rest Mode while your PlayStation 4 downloads content will help increase download speeds. Testing that claim showed that there was only a slight increase in download speeds, but nothing significant. Regardless, if you intend on not using your PS4 while it’s downloading anyway, it can’t hurt to put it in Rest Mode to make sure it’ll get the job done while you focus on other things.
Here’s how to tell your PlayStation 4 to finish downloads when you aren’t using it.
- From your main dashboard with all of your games, scroll up and to the right and select the toolbox icon to open the Settings.
- Select Power Save Settings.
- Choose Set Functions Available in Rest Mode.
- Check the box next to Stay Connected to the Internet so your console can continue downloading while at rest.
Normally, Rest Mode will not let your PlayStation 4 stay connected to the internet. You’ll need to follow the steps above to change the settings so that it does and it will continue downloading your content.
4. Updating to the latest firmware
PS4 regularly provides the latest updates, especially regarding software. If that happens, you better follow it. There must be a reason for Sony to provide an update. It is also good to make games download faster on PS4.
- Select Settings from your PlayStation home menu.
- Select System Software Update.
- Check to see if an update is available. If there is, the update will automatically start.
Here’s how to make sure your consoles are up to date. Thankfully the same steps to check the updates will also automatically install them.
5. Change DNS Settings
This one falls into the ‘has helped some people‘ category, and does require some tinkering in the settings of your PS4. It has been reported that changing your DNS settings to use Google’s DNS server make games download faster on PS4. If you want to give it a try, follow our steps below:
- Go to the “Settings” tab on the PS4 scrollbar – found on the far right, just before the ‘Power‘ option.
- Go to the “Network” option.
- Choose “Set Up Internet Connection” from the Network screen.
- Select Wifi or LAN. WiFi is for wireless connections, while for LAN you’ll need to have a cable running from your PS4 to a network point.
Select “Custom” to allow entering of your own network settings. Use the following settings, with the DNS being the key things to note:
- IP Address Settings = Automatic
- DHCP Host Name = Do Not Specify
- DNS Settings = Manual
- Primary DNS: 126.96.36.199
- Secondary DNS: 188.8.131.52
- MTU Settings: Automatic
- Proxy Server: Do Not Use
With these settings changed, turn off your PS4 and then turn it on again. Hopefully you’ll notice games download faster on PS4.
6. Set Up a Proxy Server
If you’re still unsatisfied with the speed of your PS4 downloads, you can set up a proxy server on your laptop or desktop computer to aide the process. Many users swear that setting up a proxy server on a local machine solved their download woes. A proxy is like a gateway to the internet most commonly found on a corporate network.
The key is to set up a proxy server on your PC that your PS4 can use to download data from PSN, which should provide a much-needed boost to download speeds on the PS4. By getting a computer on your local network to do some of the heavy lifting, it may be possible to increase your game download speed on PS4. This is especially true for early PlayStation 4 models, which have notoriously flaky network adapters.
- Download and install CCProxy on your PC – you can opt for the paid version if you want, but you only need the free version for the purpose of this tutorial. If you’re a Mac user, you can try Squidman.
- Open CCProxy and click Stop to stop the proxy (it starts automatically upon opening).
- Click Options and locate the HTTP/RTSP protocol listing; change the corresponding IP in the dropdown menu from 0.0.0.0 to your local IP (there should only be one other option).
- Make a note of the IP and Port Number from the HTTP listing.
- On your PS4, head to Settings > Network > Set Up Internet Connection and select your preferred connection type (Ethernet or Wi-Fi – just make sure it’s on the same network as your PC).
- Select Set Up Manually, and select Auto for all options apart from the Proxy.
- Input the IP and Port Number you noted down earlier.
- Save your connection settings.
That’s it! Your games and updates will download from PSN much faster than before, with speeds reflecting what you pay your ISP to provide. The only catch? Your PS4’s internet connection will only run from the proxy on your PC, so you’ll have to have the software running whenever you want to download games or connect to the internet on your PS4.
A fix for this is to only use the proxy when you have large updates or new games to download, and to revert to automatic settings for general gameplay. Either way, it’s a small price to pay for greatly improved PS4 download speeds!
7. Upgrade PS4 HDD to SSD
This is the most expensive method of the bunch, but will make your PS4 gaming that much easier and enjoyable because your whole system’s speeds will improve. Solid State Drives (SSDs) are better than the traditional hard drives because they have no moving parts, which means the SSD is not restricted by anything mechanical. This means that information can travel faster, both to and from your SSD.
If you decide to upgrade your PS4 HDD to an SSD, you should see an overall improvement with your download speeds and game load times. In addition to this, though, your PS4 will run quieter and cooler because your drive has no moving parts. One of the main reasons your PS4 usually gets hot and sounds like a jet engine at times is because your hard drive produces heat, which the PS4 needs to cool down. It’s possible that the next generation of consoles may have SSD’s because of this problem, but until now, you’ll have to change from HDD to SSD yourself if you want to make the switch.
8. Pause and Resume Your PS4 Download
If you see your PS4 download ticking along at an annoyingly low speed, it has been found that pausing it and resuming it can result in a better download speed. We’re not sure if there’s any logical reason for this, but it does seem to work. Simply access your downloads from your notifications (found if you scroll up to the top on the PS4 home screen) and then hit X on the controller when you’ve highlighted the download that you want to pause. Then press X again to resume the download.
9. Consider Your Home Network Speed And Equipment
If you’ve tried all of the above and nothing seems to help, the issue may lie with your overall network. A slow download speed or outdated router can slow down every device in your home, so troubleshooting your PS4 won’t have much effect.
Try testing your home network speed to see what kind of network speed you get on a computer. If you have consistent slowness everywhere, it might be time to talk to your ISP about a faster service plan.
Similarly, if your router is close to a decade old, buying a new one that can handle modern speed standards may solve your problem.
10. Making sure your modem has enough bandwidth
The game download speed on your PS4 could also be limited by your modem’s (router) bandwidth. This is even more likely if you’re working with an old or inexpensive modem or router.
Even though your ISP guarantees a certain amount of megabytes per second, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your modem can handle them all. Before you get on with the fixes below, make sure your modem is powerful enough to support the download speeds guaranteed by your Internet Service Provider. You can do this by checking the bandwidth and making sure that you are getting enough according to your plan.
Making games download faster on PS4 is not something difficult to do. You only need to try the right tip and trick that suits your situation. After that, you’ll notice how fast games can be downloaded from the PSN like never before.