Can Game Sharing on PS4/PS5 Get You Banned?

The Spider-Man game with eFootball 2023 and Horizon Zero Dawn disc game with the PS4 controller and console along side

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What To Know

  • Sharing your PlayStation Network (PSN) account is against PlayStation’s terms of service and can result in being banned.
  • Sharing your PSN account exposes your personal data, banking details, and purchases.

Sharing your PlayStation Network (PSN) account can, as it violates PlayStation’s terms of service.

Additionally, this risks your personal information and banking details. But don’t worry—there’s a safe alternative: the Share Play feature on both PS4 and PS5.

Dive deeper to discover how Share Play operates and to grasp the essentials of game sharing on PlayStation.

How to Share and Play Games With Other Users

PS4s and PS5s all feature a Share Play function which allows users to legally play games with their friends. This feature can be used even if only the host owns the game, as the function is sharing the gameplay rather than the game itself. 

Share Play allows you to invite visitors to join the game even if they don’t own the game.

That said, to access this feature the host and visitors must have an active PlayStation Plus (PS+) subscription

The PlayStation Plus on PS4 console and the interface on Sony TV

PlayStation 4

Before you can use Share Play on your PS4, you must ensure your device’s PS4 System Restrictions status is set to Allowed. 

Follow the steps below to adjust this status: 

Step 1: Go to Settings followed by Parental Controls/Family Management.

The Parental Controls and Family Management feature from the Settings menu on PS4

Step 2: Head to PS4 System Restrictions

The PS4 System Restrictions from the Parental Controls on the PS4 with pointerclick02 account down below

Step 3: If the status is set to Not Allowed, change it to Allowed

The status of guess login is changed from Not Allowed to Allowed on PS4

Now that your PS4 System Restrictions are set to Allowed, you’re ready to start using the Share Play feature. 

Follow the instructions if you want to use the Share Play function as a host. 

Step 1: Check that your PS4 is sufficiently powered, turned on, and ready to be used. 

Step 2: Choose and start the game you want to share with a friend. 

Step 3: Hit your PS4 controller’s Share key. 

The PS4 controller with the share button is highlighted with a red circle on a wooden table

Step 4: Choose Start Share Play from the side menu and follow any additional instructions on-screen to set up a chat party with your friend. 

The Share Play feature on PS4 interface

From here, you can choose to create an Open Party or Closed Party depending on your preferences. 

Start Share Play asks for to create a voice party on PS4

Open the party on PS4 after the share play feature is starting

Step 5: Once you’ve successfully created your party, click on the Share Play button to start sharing your game with your friend. 

The voice party by corn press and visitor is TaiLuu on the PS4 and the share play on the left menu is being selected

Under Share Play, select Start Share Play

The start share play feature is showed up after the feature is chosen from the PS4 voice party

Step 6: From here, you can select one of the three Share Play modes. However, if you want to add a friend to the game, select Play with the visitor

Note: Share Play allows visitors to play the game for 60 minutes and will automatically stop game sharing when the time expires. 

PlayStation 5

Like setting up Share Play on PS4s, you and your friend will also need PS+ to use this function on your PS5. 

Follow the steps below to start using Share Play on your PS5. 

Step 1: Ensure your PS5 console is powered and turned on. 

Step 2: Press your controller’s PS key to launch the control center. From here, go to Party Voice Chat with your friend. 

Step 3: Navigate to Select Share Play, and when asked to choose a Play mode, click on Play with the Visitor to add your friend to the game. 

Risks of Game Sharing PS4/PS5

PS4 game disc with the console and the controller with the Neon purple background

Buying a digital PlayStation game will permanently link it to your PSN account. The game cannot be transferred to another PSN account. 

In addition to putting your games at risk, sharing your PSN account with others can also put your personal information, identity, and most importantly, your bank details at risk. 

The individual you shared your PSN account with could use your bank card to make purchases or even use your personal information to impersonate you online. 

So, needless to say, it’s crucial to avoid sharing your PSN account and to keep with secure to protect your personal and banking information as well as your purchases. 

One of the easiest ways to do this is to enable 2-step verification on your PSN account. This feature is available for both PS4 and PS5 consoles. 

There are a variety of authenticator apps, like Google Authenticator or Microsoft Authenticator, which can be used to secure your PlayStation console and PSN account. 

Follow the instructions below to enable 2-step verification on your PS4. 

Step 1: Turn your PS4 on. 

Step 2: Navigate to Settings and open Account Management

The account management from the Settings menu of the PS4

Step 3: Head to Account Information

The account information from the PS4 settings

Step 4: Go to Security

The Security from the Account Information on PS4 is highlighted with a white box

Step 5: Click on 2-Step Verification

2-step Verification feature on PS4 is highlighted with a white box

Step 6: To help you along with this process, I’ll show you how to use the Google Authenticator app (available on iOS and Android) to complete your account’s 2-step verification. Once installed, launch the app and use it to scan the QR code on-screen. 

Set up 2-step Verification from PS4 has 2 option via text message or via an authenticator app

Step 7: Once you’ve scanned the QR code, your authenticator app with present a code for you to enter on-screen, as shown below. 

Using app authenticator to secure the PSN account with the QR code

Step 8: When you’ve completed the setup process, your PS4 will give you a list of several Backup Codes. Write these codes somewhere down safe (e.g. a physical notebook) since you may need them if you can’t access your authenticator app in the future. 

The Backup Codes for provided by the PS4

How to Share Your PlayStation Games Safely

The PlayStation Code of Conduct clearly states that sharing games via your PSN account is strictly forbidden. 

That said, these terms of service do not expressly mention anything about sharing physical game copies (e.g. DVDs). 

So, feel free to let your friend borrow your physical game copy. Just be very clear about when you want it back. 

Otherwise, you’ll lose the one thing more important than your PS game: your friend

Wrapping Things Up

If you’re thinking about sharing your PSN account with someone – don’t! This goes against PlayStation’s terms of service, and yes, it can get you banned. 

If you want to play a game with a friend, you must use your device’s Share Play feature instead. This will add your friend to the game, allowing them to play it for 60 minutes before being automatically removed. Your friends will be able to access your games as long as the host (i.e. you) owns them. 

Sharing your PSN with others (especially people you don’t know) can put your personal information and bank details at risk. Not to mention, they will have access to all your purchases and will be able to do with them as they wish. 

If you’re considering lending your physical game copy to a friend, go for it! Just make sure they return it. 

What’s your experience game sharing on a PS4/PS5? Did you know sharing your PSN account can get you banned? 

Let us know in the comments below! 

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