Do All PS5 Games Need To Be Installed?

You may wonder if the disk-based version of the PS5 is worth the extra money those models cost. And you may want the added benefit of the Ultra HD Blu-ray. Perhaps you think the disk-based PS5 will help you avoid the hassle of having to download and install your games.

All PS5 games need to be installed. Whether or not you have a physical disk, you’ll still have to install at least a portion of the game, and it’ll occupy some of the PS5’s console memory space. Many gamers who find this a hassle are slowly moving toward the digital version of the PS5 instead.

A PS5 console storage menu screen showing installed games in the game library

In this article, I’ll go into more detail about why games need to be downloaded even if you have a physical disk copy and some benefits to the fact that the games have to be installed. Keep reading.

Why Do Disk Copies of PS5 Games Still Need To Be Installed?

Disk copies of PS5 games still need to be installed on the PS5’s hard drive because the games are too large. Most modern games have a ton of data, with many being between 100 and 200 GB in size. 

Even with a physical disk, such size is too much game data for the disk. A portion of the game’s data will need to be installed on the PS5’s hard drive.

Since you only install parts of the game on the PS5, you’ll always need the disk to play your games. And you’ll still need to insert the physical disk to play the game even after installing the game.

Still requiring the disk even after you install the game is a huge issue for some gamers. The games will still need to be installed, occupy space on the PS5’s hard drive, and require the disk to be played. Most would assume they could play without the disk once the game is installed, but that isn’t the case.

The disk is required to play the game partly because only part of the game is installed, and the rest of the data will come from the disk. But that’s also so that Sony and Playstation can verify the game’s license to ensure you play a genuine copy of the game.

Not Everyone Is a Fan of Disks

Still having to install games and still needing to insert the physical disk to play the game, even after it’s been installed, is just too big a drawback and not worth the money to most people. With the popularity of streaming services, not many people are using Blu-ray discs anymore.

These facts make the digital version of the PS5 more attractive to most consumers. The digital version is much cheaper than the disk-based one and is identical performance-wise. Due to the price point and the lack of need for disks, digital version PS5s are not always easy to find.

Benefits of Installing All of Your Games on the PS5

Though there are numerous disadvantages to installing all of your games on your PS5, whether or not you have a physical copy of the game, there are some benefits to having the games stored on the PS5’s internal hard drive.

You Can Uninstall Specific Game Data

On the PS5, you can choose which parts of games you want to have installed. For example, if you purchase a game like Grand Theft Auto or Call Of Duty, and you don’t plan on playing the part of the game like the campaign or story mode, you can uninstall just that part of the game.

This feature sets the PS5 apart from competitors and previous versions of the PlayStation. It can help save you some valuable memory space and keep things organized on your hard drive.

You Can Get Better Game Performance

Note that the digital and disk versions of the PS5 have the same internals, so they’ll perform the same. The internal SSD has a sequential read speed of 5,500 MB/s.

Since the PS5 is powerful enough to rapidly read and process game data, gamers can enjoy a smooth gaming experience. The game’s installation helps with this process and speeds up things like transitions and loading times.

Though waiting for even disk-based games to install may seem disadvantageous, this wait pays off in the long run because it provides a better gaming experience. Every little bit of speed and smoothness counts if you’re a competitive or professional gamer.

Related Content: How To Increase and Improve PS5 Download Speeds

Many Modern Gamers Are Moving Toward Digital Copies

Disk-based gaming will soon be a thing of the past, especially with the trend of games growing in size because they have better graphics and come with more features. Modern gamers don’t especially enjoy transferring game data using disks.

The data limits of disks are why parts of disk-based games still need to be installed on the PS5. Many gamers wonder if they need to install the game anyway, whether or not they have the disk, then why not eliminate it and get the cheaper yet just as powerful digital version?

Such thought is part of why the digital version has become the more sought-after version of the PS5. The disk has become cumbersome at this point—it’s an extra, unnecessary step.

Needing to install and keep the disk inserted to play the game later is the real nail in the coffin for disk-based gaming. Disks can get lost or even stolen; in that situation, you’d be stuck with the game data but no way to play the game.


You must install all PS5 games, no matter if they’re physical disk copies or digital only copies of the game. That’s because modern games are so large that disks alone cannot transfer all game data. Gamers must store some of a game’s data on the PS5’s hard drive.  

Because disk copies of games need to be installed and they’re still required to play even after installing, combined with the price differences, many gamers today prefer the digital version of the PS5, hence why it’s much harder to find.

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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