Are PlayStation 4 Consoles and Games Region Locked?

are playstation 4 consoles and games region locked large

If you plan on traveling on vacation with your PlayStation 4, move, or found a great deal on a console or game that might be from another region, a common question is if the regions need to match to play correctly.

Previously, digital rights prohibited certain region discs from working properly in game consoles and movie disc players… if at all. So are Playstation 4 consoles and games region locked?

PlayStation 4 consoles and game discs are not region locked, including digital titles. Downloadable content and service entitlements are region locked to the original PlayStation Store ID and are not compatible on game discs from another region.

By being able to determine the region of the PlayStation Store ID and the regions of the game discs, you will know if downloadable content and service entitlements will be compatible with those titles.

There are also some additional functionalities to be aware of when using a PlayStation 4 in one region with another regions PlayStation Store ID. We go into more detail below to explain what you should be aware of.

Game Discs and PlayStation 4 Consoles Can Be From Different Regions

Regional coding can still be found on all sorts of discs, including games and movies, that can prevent them from being used in devices based in other regions.

This made traveling with electronics confusing, because other than voltage and outlet differences, if a game or movie was bought in the next country that didn’t match the region of the device that you were traveling with, it would essentially become a paper weight since it couldn’t play those titles.

However, Sony has dropped region locking for PlayStation 4 games and consoles, no matter what code they are associated with, so any region console can play with any region game.

This makes traveling with your PlayStation 4 much less stressful, since there is no more worry about purchasing game discs from the same region in order to work on your console.

Sony does recommend that consoles and games should be from the same region to ensure the “best performance”, but nonetheless, gameplay experience should be smooth without region locking.

The Tricky Part: DLCs Won’t Work With Other Region Discs

Even though the hardware of the consoles and games are compatible, regardless of region, content that is downloaded online is a different story.

If you download content from the PlayStation Store online, such as downloadable content (DLC), game add-ons, or service entitlements like in-game currencies, these items are tied to the region that the Playstation Network ID is based.

So for instance, if you have DLC that was bought from a PS Network ID from the United States and you want to play that content on a game that’s based in the EU region, the DLC will not be compatible with the EU region game disc because the DLC is from a US-based PlayStation Network ID.

One Region PlayStation Network ID Cannot Sign In to Another Region PlayStation Store

Going along with the U.S. to U.K. example, if you signed up for a PS Network ID in the U.S. and you wanted to sign in to a U.K.-based PlayStation Store, you will get an error message stating that the account doesn’t match with the locale of the store, and will be referred back to the original region’s store web address.

To get around this issue you will need to create a new PS Store ID in that region so that you can start downloading new content again.

Once you sign in with the new region account, any new DLC that gets downloaded in that country’s region will be from that location. This means that any games that have been brought over from another region will not be compatible with the new DLC.

Games that are downloaded as a digital title will work on either account on the PlayStation 4, it’s the DLC and the service entitlements (in-game currencies, etc.) that will only be compatible with the region that the game was purchased from.

You may think that this is a non-issue as long as the games and console are not region locked, but with more popular dependence on DLC after the purchase, like skins, celebration dances, and character outfits, it is wise to put some planning on what region the game and downloadable content should come from.

PSN Online Functionality Might Not Work With Games in Another Region

Remember how there is a more popular reliance on DLC to download even after a game disc is purchased?

This can affect the performance of who is playing online depending on where the game region is based.

Some game developers, like 2K, make this point clear, because even though the PS4 games and consoles aren’t region locked, the DLC is tied to the region of the original PSN Online IDs.

For many titles, in order to play online multiplayer there needs to be a required piece of downloadable content that allows you to access that feature after the game disc purchase.

This counts as DLC.

If you brought over a game from another country and signed up with a fresh PS Online ID from the new region, your best bet is to purchase the game again with the new ID so that the regions will match again and you will gain the online functionality through DLC.

If you are unsure if you have a region mismatch issue and are having problems with your game, check the in-game store to see if you can purchase anything. If nothing shows up, that most likely means that the regions don’t match.

How Can You Tell The Region of Your PlayStation 4, Store ID, and Games?

Technically, all PS4 consoles are international since they are not region locked, other than the plug and voltage differences.

The PS Online ID and the DLCs that are associated with it, however, do have a specific region. Here’s how you can tell the region of your PS Store ID if you’re unsure:

  1. Sign in to your PlayStation Store
  2. Select your Online ID to reveal the Storefront Country dropdown menu
  3. The country region that is associated with your PS Store ID will show in the Country/Region field

If you have not yet purchased the game you are trying to find the region for, check the retailer to find out the region of the game.

If you have already bought the game disc, check along the spine of the case or the front side of the game disc to find the region code.

The region code is made of four capital letters followed by a hyphen and a series of numbers, such as CUSA-03974.

Then, look up the code online to see what region it belongs to.

Smaller (But Still Important) Features That Are Region Locked

If you are someone that likes to download apps and stream videos from your PS4 you should be aware of this.

Whenever an app is based in a certain region, it is tied to that PSN ID and location.

So if you want to watch Hulu, you cannot sign in to another region’s PSN ID and be able to access the platform, it is linked to the original account.

Even though game discs are not region locked and are Blu-ray format, Blue-ray movies are region locked and will not play in PS4 consoles from other regions.

So if you are a big movie buff, make sure that the regions of the movies and console are matching so that they will be able to play properly.

In-game currencies, like V bucks in Fortnite, are locked to the region that the PSN ID originated. So if you plan on playing the game in another country online, be prepared to recoup some of that digital cash since it will not transfer.

John Hammer

Hi i'm John Hammer, Founder and Author of Gizbuyer Guide. Ever since the original Xbox, PlayStation, and iPhone I've purchased and worked on all kinds of consumer tech products, gaming gadgets and operating system softwares. To this day my curiosity has never left, and my aim is to guide and share my knowledge on technology as I continue to experience the latest of the consumer electronics industry.

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