Why PS4 downloads are so slow

PS4 downloads have a reputation of being very slow. I did some digging to find out the root cause, and was surprised.

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PhoenixUp115d ago

They've been speedy for me, especially in comparison to PS3

Kingthrash360114d ago

Yupp same here.....I wonder why they didn't include the xbo here too....its downloads take longer....hell even when you put in a disc it can take up to 25 minutes to start where the same game would take seconds on the ps4.

nX114d ago

I rarely have problems with PS4 downloads, usually full games are ready after 20-40mins.

ShottyatLaw114d ago

They probably didn't talk about X1 because not everything needs to be a console war circle jerk.

I liked the efforts they took to test it out. I'll definitely follow their suggestions, and it made for some interesting insight.

septemberindecember114d ago (Edited 114d ago )

Xbox One downloads don't take longer, but installs certainly do. When I had both (though I sold my Xbox One) I timed a download. My Xbox on wifi had better download speeds than my PS4 wired in. I even tried creating custom DNS settings for my PS4, as I heard that helped improve download speeds, but nothing made it as quick as Xbox.

Installs on PS4 are blazing fast though. For the first two months of me owning the console I didn't actually know that I had to install the physical game at all. It wasn't until I purchased a bigger game (I think it was Destiny or Uncharted) that I noticed the installation.

GamingIVfun114d ago (Edited 114d ago )

BS, PS4 downloads are pretty fast and games install pretty fast on PS4 also, for most games. A download and install on Xbox One is sometimes unbearable. Even installs from disk take forever for big games on Xbox One.

MecheSlays114d ago

Xbox One is faster for me. I download at about 10mbps on xbox whereas ps4 goes up 3mbps

Ju114d ago

Can't really say the XB is (was) faster. I had it on 1GB/s Fibre. Maxed out at about 150MB/s no real benefit over the PS4 Pro. My Pro swings from 10 to 200MB/s. Guess depending on the time and network load (and which game), Installs on the XB are a joke, though. Even with a disk, you can go for a walk while it's installing (and downloading) ... and you can't do anything while the disk is in there. Oh well. No more XB anyhow. Problem solved. Not getting the const "PS Downloads" are slow issue. Never really had a problem with that.

Dirtnapstor114d ago (Edited 114d ago )

Yes omg it took forever and a day to download anything, even when you had the disc!
The PS4 is pretty quick, especially in rest mode, almost twice as fast.

zb1ftw777114d ago


The download speeds are much faster on the xbox live network.

It's the installs on the xbox that take longer.

Nearly always, Xbox live will download at your ISP maximum speed.

Cobra951114d ago (Edited 114d ago )

I don't understand this download and installation talk (about the Xbox). If you're downloading a digital game, it's installed and ready to go the moment it finishes downloading. Any current updates are already rolled into the game image file. It's only when you install from disc that installation can take a stupidly long time, because the Xbox tries to download updates as the disc is installing. I repeat--stupid! The cure for this stupidity is to take the console offline, install the disc game, then go online and allow the game to update. Or just stay offline, and play right away without updates, if you prefer.

NatFanBoyRestricted114d ago

Wow supposedly some fanboys owned xbox and we should take their word for it. The n4g bu11sh1t around here

Bruh114d ago

Those installs are slow because the disk reader and the overhead from the UI makes physical game installs slow. But XBL downloads are very fast, I average around 45 MPBS on games and you can look at a study done that awarded XBL for the fastest online MP connection

FITgamer114d ago

They aren't. No game ever takes me more 15-20 minutes to download.

TheRandomOne114d ago

XBOX was not included here becayse this is about the PS4 & not XBOX. Not everything is a pissing contest

psyxon114d ago

The PS4 fanboy delusions on this site are insane. "PS4 downloads are speedy!" "Miy PS4 downloads fast!" Sure, dude. It is a known problem with PS4/PSN that the downloads can be irrationally slow, and if any of you bothered to read the article you would know why. But I guess the PS4 users on N4G never experience any problems that the majority of PS4 owners do.

inb4 I get called an Xbox fanboy for stating facts.

dantesparda114d ago

Thats funny cuz i get my full download speeds on my PS4, now my X1 on the other hand, that sh't is usually slower.

Kiwi66114d ago

Could it be that the article is about the PS4

Ju114d ago (Edited 114d ago )

The article explains this quite accurate why it might be slow. And yet, it's not full of facts. First, downloads are limited to 3 simulations streams at a time. When playing a game, this drops to 2. And yes, the limit is artificial. I never had a problem with it. Is the implementation perfect? Probably not. But I want to see you crying here when you have hitches during play or watching a movie. That's really all this is about. By design. And at max, it is as fast as your network can go. Max on my speedtest (wired) was around 400MB/s, downloads don't quite reach that. And, btw, games can be played before they are fully downloaded (most of them). Just saying. And I have never really waited for a game to get installed from a disk. It does this completely transparently in the background while you play - not before. I'd say the benefits outweigh the "problems" by far.

NotAfanBoyy114d ago

I'm being completely honest without bias when I say, Xbox One S downloads are faster than PS4 for me. Excluding backwards compatible 360 titles, I average 100-150 Mbps, sometimes reaching 200 Mbps, but usually throttles down quickly. PS4 averages 7-8 Mbps, which is comparable to downloading backwards compatible 360 titles. I swap the same ethernet cable between either console when I need it.

babadivad114d ago

Can confirm. I don't know what Sony is doing different than MS. But on my X1, the game was to install at least 50% before I'm able to play it.

kitsune451114d ago

If you think PS4 downloads are slow then you should try playing Forza 6 for the first time. I waited eight hours to finally play it...

+ Show (17) more repliesLast reply 114d ago
kneon114d ago

They have always been fast for me on both the PS3 and PS4. Updates of several GBs only take a few minutes. How much faster does it need to be?

DarXyde114d ago

PS4, in my experience, has a pretty decent download speed.

PS3 though has always taken a while for me. Like someone mentioned, I used custom settings and even wired connections. Saw improvement, but it still lagged. I don't mind so much now since I can watch Netflix while something downloads (which does drag out download times, I'm sure) but it helps to cull boredom.

On the other hand, it downloads very quickly in rest mode. All in all, I have no complaints about PS4 speeds.

ThatDudeMunkee114d ago

Wasn't the same for me until I switched to a PlayStation 4 Pro. With the Wireless N capability on it, I've had no issues downloading between at 150-200mbps. I think Sony has just recently begun to alleviate any caps, if they had any, from their console.

Unspoken114d ago

Muuuuch faster. PS4 has always had slow downloads.

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zackeroniii114d ago (Edited 114d ago )

it takes hours for my ps4 to download anything. and sometimes when i have over 100 gigabytes free and try to install a 30 gigabyte game it says i have no space and i have to delete a bunch of stuff for no reason before it even downloads smh

TKCMuzzer114d ago (Edited 114d ago )

Its because it has to leave space for current games. With constant patches etc I think there is percentage of space left to update the games currently installed on your hard drive. If you filled the hard drive you would not be able to add any patches and would have to uninstall to do so.

RosweeSon114d ago

Because some games or patches can be anywhere upto 40/60gb+ sure you've got 100gb free but your playing needs something free to cache any data from games your playing and run the system at a nice normal speed of your hard drives full your console will become slow and unresponsive hence why even with 2tb once get down to 100Gb or so it all generally reserved for other stuff.

nitus10114d ago

A good rule of thumb is never to allow your storage to exceed 85%. Once this happens you start to get disk fragmentation which can slow down performance dramatically. You don't get this with SSD's but they are not cheap compared to disk drives

BTW. When I say "storage" I mean all information stored on your hard disk or SSD such as games, movies, snapshots and even the operating system.

Kribwalker114d ago

I would say it's on account of the crappy wifi adapter on the PS4.

Same network and they are sitting right beside each other my PS4 gets 28.9mbps DL and 3mbps UP
My Xbox oneS gets 175.76 DL and 127.41up

And they literally sit right beside each other

kneon114d ago

Them sitting right next to each other could be a contributing factor. Try taking them out so there is nothing nearby to potentially block signal. It may make no difference, but at least you will then know for sure.

I've got the house wired for 1000baseT so I've never really tried the WiFi on consoles.

114d ago
MegamanXXX114d ago (Edited 114d ago )

I got a 2tb Firecuda hybrid drive in my ps4 and my internet is very fast I get over 150mbps to 200mbps download speeds

GrubsterBeater114d ago

It was my understanding that Xbox downloads were slow, while PS downloads are super fast..

My downloads are light lightning and I have an average internet speed. Honestly I was surprised how it downloads considering how my internet isn't the greatest..

HaVoK308114d ago

Compared to the PC and the Xbox, the PlayStation is ridiculously slow. I'm hard wired to all three, with a 150meg connection. The PS is a joke when it comes to optimizing your bandwidth speed. Incredibly frustrating, and it's inexcusable.

bluefox755114d ago

They are quite fast for me as well.

rainslacker114d ago

I haven't really heard much about PS4 downloads being slow this gen. I know the PS3 had some issues there, but it was relatively easy to remedy by changing the NAT settings. PS4 has been pretty speedy for me since day one.

YAO-BLING114d ago

say what? it's been fast for me.

Ceaser9857361114d ago (Edited 114d ago )

same here....

Why PS4 downloads are so slow??

well No, seems fine with me ..

Lost Legacy Preload ..

nitus10114d ago (Edited 114d ago )

I don't have a problem with my PS4 however the following are the main reasons for performance issues o any network.

1. The server. Owned by Sony.
2. The network performance. This is the main cause of performance problems.
3. The network speed of your PS4 - such as wired (up to 1000Mb/sec) or wireless type (IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac).
4. Your modem that connects to your Service provider.

If you have broadband you can get download performance of 2 to 10MB/sec or higher and this depends on your service provider, not Microsoft, Nintendo or Sony. If you have fibre optics then you may get speeds over a 100MB/sec but this is only over fibre optic and the Internet is not all fibre optic. If you have dial-up well you are going to have slow downloads get over it. 😊

Basically, the bottom line is your PS4 can support download performance up to 1000Mb/sec (approx 100MB/sec) wired and for wireless 72.1Mb/sec (approx 8MB/sec) to 866.7Mb/sec (approx 100MB/sec) so you can see that this is definitely not the bottleneck. .

Obviously, your modem that is provided or supported by your ISP needs to support the IEEE_802.11 standard and overall performance depends on your network plan.

Next, we venture out into uncharted territory since the main performance issues will be the internet itself and this can be outside of the control of your ISP. There are many tests you can run to determine performance but these are only a point to point tests and do not reflect the overall state of the internet between you and your PS4 or for that matter XB1, PC ... etc.

As an example. I can easily get 1 to 3 MB/sec (MB = Megabytes, Mb = Megabits) sustained download speeds unless there are DDoS attacks or other network issues when the network is ridiculously slow.

Say I want to download a 50GB game. (this is on the high-end, most games are on average between 8GB and 25GB with Indies being much less). Assuming a sustained download speed of 1MB/sec it will take 50,000 seconds or approximately 13.9 hours and some games may allow you to play after only downloading a portion (say 5GB) of the game which may be 1.39 hours (given my example).

One thing I did not cover was Sony's servers (can equally apply this to any server). If there is an unexpected demand (say a new must have huge sized game) then overall performance may be down for the first few hours that the game is made available for download.

Some would say that this is Sony's fault for not providing for unusual demand but if you work in the IT industry which obviously the complainers don't you should know that providing short-term additional bandwidth can be extremely difficult to provide since the overall bottleneck is going to be the Internet which can be outside the control of Sony or even your ISP.

babadivad114d ago

Agreed, PS3 was hell when it cam to downloads

FinalFantasyFanatic114d ago

Downloads are ok for me, it never maxes out my connection though so it's not the fastest for me.

+ Show (11) more repliesLast reply 114d ago
TankCrossing115d ago

Pretty shoddy implementation, but at least this might stop the "Sony should spend some of that ps plus money on PSN" talk. Good work investigator chap!

TKCMuzzer114d ago

I get 70MB download and my IP maxes at 72 and I do nothing special to acheive it. There are so many factors for slow downloads and I wouldn't be surprised if more were to do with ISP and gamers router setups than actual PSN downloads.

TankCrossing114d ago (Edited 114d ago )

You seem to be completely ignoring the findings in the article. Did you read it?

The testing (and my comment) support that the servers and infrastructure have the potential to deliver good download speeds.

psyxon114d ago

People don't read articles on N4G, Tank. They just comment. Usually to trigger the opposing console's fanboys.

lptmg115d ago

if I have something big to download I'll just have it do it through the night on sleep mode. It's kinda frustrating at times

Ju114d ago

That sure isn't the problem of the PS4 but your network. 50GB is 50GB. It's not gonna download because of "a slodown". Read the article. I never had a problem .... and I have a 1GB/s fiber line.

nitus10114d ago

You basically have a 1Gb/sec (ie, Gigabit "Gb", not Gigabyte "GB") fibre connection between your home modem and your ISP but do you know what the network is like between your ISP and the server (in this Sony's) and your home?

Basically, overall network performance is dependent on the slowest device between you and the machine you are connecting to.

Ju114d ago

I have a Gb router. My Mac makes 480Mb/sec on n. Combined 850. So, I am pretty sure my net bandwidth in optimal conditions gets close to the max. And of course, that doesn't mean PSN allows that bandwidth to download (given a couple of million accounts, that would be insane. ATM).

pinkcrocodile75113d ago

it's really simple, just run a traceroute

Ju113d ago

Sure. Lets run traceroute on the PS4. Oh wait...

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Dario_DC115d ago (Edited 115d ago )

I thought this was common knowledge by now, if you have any apps like YouTube or Netflix, you'll have your download speeds really limited in favor of the apps.
I've known this for years now and that's why downloading on "rest mode" seems to be so much faster. If you're in a hurry to download something just don't run any apps.

XiNatsuDragnel115d ago

Faster than my Xbox 1 for sure though

ShottyatLaw114d ago

For downloads? No, it's not. For installs from disc, yes.

OffRoadKing114d ago

Yes for downloads and defenitly for installs.

XMessiah23x114d ago (Edited 114d ago )

How do you know. Ths PS4 never tells you the game is fully installed, .short of turning all sound off and listening for the spinning disc.

ShottyatLaw114d ago

@OffRoadKing. No, it's really not. You could look into it through the power of Google, or buy both like some of us to see for yourself. That would require you stop fanboying long enough to educate yourself, though.

@Messiah. If only there was some magical progress bar...

How about we do this...PS4 downloads take much longer than Steam. Does that get you kids triggered, too?

ZaWarudo114d ago

ShottyatLaw is right. The download speeds are far more faster on XBO than PS4. But i'm sure N4G's bias is blind to the truth.

rainslacker114d ago

I've never really tested enough to really be able to qualify one being faster across the board, but both my PS4 and X1 seem to use the max speed of my bandwidth from my ISP, so I'd say they're probably both pretty capable, and likely, any differences experienced by an individual is something involved in their ISP or local network.

Ju114d ago (Edited 114d ago )

@above..."buy both like some of us"...yeah, exactly.

Kribwalker114d ago


I did this morning. Same wifi, same room, literally sitting right next to each other

That's a crazy speed difference

nitus10114d ago (Edited 114d ago )


The PS4 does tell you when your download has finished unless you have turned off that notification.

I suggest go to your "Settings" then "Notifications" and turn on all important notifications. Just tick the appropriate boxes.


Have you done an "apples" to "apples" comparison with same sized (read identical) games?

Oh, wait no you have not.

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RosweeSon114d ago (Edited 114d ago )

Without a shadow I couldn't use my Xbox for the first 1-2 days whilst all my previous games and the ones I bought with it installed and it's why my cousins 12 year old son is buying Star Wars battlefront digitally instead of on disc because it takes ridiculous amount of time to install data from an actual physical disc let along download it... from the clouds ;)
Think people got their heads in clouds if people think Xbox speeds even compare to PS4 I had an S as well Slow PS4 lauch model 👍🏻.
Xbox have been really poor this gen need to do much better in future if they want me to grab one late this gen or get their next gen machine. Poor

RosweeSon114d ago

Really! I have no reason to lie, only makes you look a fool when you get found out so why bother, that was my personal experience with the console its slow it's sluggish takes ages to install from a disc let alone download the required patches lacking games and lacking excitement, simple. Great when it's all set up and good to go, just not a fantastic console and not one that will go down in history and a great console.

Kribwalker113d ago

Well I agree it's slow installing from disc, my download speeds are 5-6 times faster, as proven, on my Xbox over my PS4, in the same environment. And that's a fact, as proven by my photos

TimelessDbz114d ago

Xbox 1 downloads much much faster .