Region locking and account restrictions have always been tricky to wrap your head around when trying to buy games from other regions on the PlayStation. But has SONY changed things now? Are PS5 games still region locked? How does purchasing from different regions work? Let’s find out!
No, games on the PS5 are not region-locked (except Mainland China). You can play a game from any region on any PS5. The DLCs however, will have to be purchased from the same region as the game.
Vouchers, Gift Cards, Coupons, and Bundle Codes follow slightly different rules though. I’ll also talk about them and clarify any confusion you might have.
Region Locking on the PS5: An Introduction
While we’ve already established that there aren’t any geographical restrictions on the PS5, there are a few rules that change around the region restrictions when you are trying to buy DLCs or other in-game items.
There are many finer details you need to be vary of when trying to understand how cross-region purchasing works on the PS5. I’ll try to summarize stuff in easy-to-understand sections. Let’s get started:
PS5 Games: Region Lock Status
Games are not region-locked on the PS5 except in Mainland China because they have a lot of censorship restrictions to abide by. The console itself is not region-locked either. You can play a game on any PSN account.
- Any region’s physical copy you buy will work with any region’s PS5. This makes buying cheap games from other regions easier and hassle-free.
- Save Games are also region-locked. If you played a Hong Kong copy of a game and finished it and later bought a US copy of the same game, you’ll have to start the game from zero since the saves are region-locked.
DLC & In-Game Purchases: Region Specifics
Any DLCs need to be bought in the same region as the PSN account. So, if you’ve made a UK-based PSN account and bought a physical copy of a game from some other region, it will work flawlessly.
But when you try to buy any in-game DLCs for it, you’ll need to be in the same region as your PSN account. This also means that any DLC you buy will only work with the base game from the same region.
Also, your PSN account will only accept gift cards, game codes, and vouchers from the same country as your PSN account. Check out our guide on how to refund games on the PS5 if you’ve made a DLC purchase in the wrong region and want to return it.
Comparing PS5 with Previous PlayStation Consoles
Things have changed for the better if we take a look at the region locking restrictions from the older PS1/2 days.
- The PS1 and PS2 were region-locked into three regions: NTSC U/C, NTSC-J, and PAL. Users had found ways to bypass the region locking by swapping discs on startup or by using mod chips.
- Things changed when the PS3/PS4 & PS5 ditched the region-locked approach. Any physical copy from any region works on any of these consoles. You just need to match the DLC / in-game content’s region with the base game for it to work.
Buying a Japan/EU/US/HK version PS5 is all the same now. There are no layout differences on the controller either.
The only issue you’ll have is while claiming any bundle codes you might have gotten with your console. (If the code came with a Japanese PS5, you’ll need a Japanese PSN to claim it)
Here is a link to a detailed Wiki on Region Locking if you are interested in reading further on the topic.
Can International PS5 Players Play Together?
International Players who have friends in other regions do not need to worry when buying a PS5 as cross-play/ Coop or Multiplayer is not affected by your PlayStation region at all. PS5 offers global playability.
You will not be locked out of any kind of multiplayer experience just because the person you are trying to pair up with has a console or game belonging to another region.