In 2018, a staggering 83% of all games in the United States were digital downloads, and this is expected to rise as the years go on. Contributing to this figure is the impressive download speed of the PS4, among the most popular gaming consoles of the time.
The PS4 theoretically can go as fast as 1000 Mbps when downloading. But in reality, it is more likely to have a max of around 325 Mbps. Factors affecting the PS4’s speed include bandwidth, background downloads, and WiFi signal type.
The maximum speed will also depend on whether your PS4 is connected to the Internet via LAN or WiFi; this article will elaborate on that. It will also discuss how you can increase your download speed through several methods, so read on for a better gaming experience.
Max Download Speed of the PS4
Suppose you connect your device directly to the router via Ethernet cables. In that case, you should be able to see download speeds of up to 1000 Mbps. Via WiFi, on the other hand, you should see the speed go as high as 450 Mbps, particularly when you have a regular PS4 that supports 2.4 GHz WiFi.
Meanwhile, the PS4 Slim and PS4 Pro supports 5 GHz WiFi and can see speeds reach up to 900 Mbps. These figures are drawn from the maximum capacity of the network interface card (NIC) that comes with every PS4 unit.
The PS4 NIC uses the 1000-BASE-T variant, which supports Gigabit Ethernet. As the name suggests, this NIC can support 1000 Mbps download speeds. Essentially, the motherboard hardware is conducive enough for such levels of transmission.
There Are Limits To Download Speeds
But don’t get too excited yet; you won’t be seeing God of War download in 13 seconds anytime soon. Although the system can accommodate 1000 Mbps transmissions, something is actively blocking users worldwide from reaching that level of speed – The Playstation Network.
PSN sets a cap on download speed because they want to make online play fairer to all users. Apparently, not having a cap gives players with faster Internet advantages to online play.
The recent coronavirus pandemic has also forced Sony to cap it even further. With everyone locked up during the height of COVID-19, more people turned to game consoles as a way to pass the time.
Sony was alarmed at the traffic their networks were suddenly experiencing due to this development. As such, they made sure to limit download speeds to prevent the networks from crashing.
Sadly, there is no official information available as to what exactly is the PSN’s cap on download speeds. The video below by John Glasscock on YouTube, however, could provide us with a rough estimate of this cap:
The PS4 user attempted to download Call of Duty: Modern Warfare using 1000 Mbps Fiber Optic Internet. The entire game is around 119 GBs (952,000 Megabits), and it took him about 48 minutes and 43 seconds (2,923 seconds) to finish downloading.
This would mean that although the user had a roughly 900-1000 Mbps download speed according to his speed test, his PS4 was only downloading at a rate of 325.7 Mbps. It could be inferred from this that the PSN’s limit is roughly this speed.
Increasing Your PS4’s Download Speed
Even though 325.7 Mbps is a lot more realistic, you may wonder why your PS4 at home is far from hitting this more realistic number. I’ve also written an in-depth guide about what to do about slow download speeds on a PS4.
From low bandwidth to faulty wiring to concurrent downloads in the same network, many factors could be slowing down your PS4’s download speed. But there are still ways for you to up your Mbps despite not having Gigabit Fiber Optic Internet.
Testing Your Download Speed
The first thing you should do is check the download speed. Who knows, it may be faster than you think. In your PS4, go to Settings and then click Network. Click Test My Connection. From here, you should be able to see your connection speed both in download and upload.
Modifying Your WiFi Signal
If you are unsatisfied with the speed, you can try modifying the WiFi signal. Note that this tip only applies to those who use PS4 Pro or Slim.
Here’s how you can modify your WiFi
1. In Network, click on Set Up Internet Connection, then Use WiFi, and then click Custom.
2. Click on your WiFi connection’s name.
3. Then, click the Options button, which should give you the Wi-Fi Frequency Bands tab. It should be set to either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz.
Note that 5 GHz isn’t always better than 2.4. If you tend to play closer to your router, you should stick with 5 GHz. Only select the 2.4 if your PS4 is far from the router. Since the 2.4 GHz has longer wavelengths, it can pass solid objects, allowing connections to go farther than the 5G.
Stop All Background Downloads
There could be downloads running in the background that could be competing for bandwidth which could be slowing down your connection.
To stop the background downloads, you need to:
1. Under Settings, go to Account Management and then Click Activate As Your Primary PS4.
2. Once done, click Activate.
3. Under the Account Management menu, click on Restore Licenses and then Restore.
4. Go back to Settings and scroll down to the System bar. Under System, click on Automatic Downloads and untick all the ticked boxes.
5. Go Back to System and click on Report System Software Errors Automatically. Untick the box.
What the entire process does is direct all transmission of data to your game downloads. This allows you to maximize your ISP’s connection speed as all automatic unmonitored downloads are halted.
Check the PS4 Hardware
You might also want to check your PS4 for hardware damages that could lead it to perform underwhelmingly. When you keep your PS4 turned on for too long, it’s bound to accumulate dust.
This is because the mechanical fan goes into overdrive to try to cool the system, and some dust comes in contact with sensitive PS4 components. If a lot of dust gets into the PS4’s network interface card, you will have connection issues. Call a PS4 expert if this is the case.
While it is exciting to see the PS4 reach download speeds of up to 1000 Mbps, it would be impossible to do so. The PSN has been adamant about keeping the limits, and your ISP probably doesn’t function optimally 100% of the time.
But, by simply going through your Network settings and halting all background downloads, you can remove barriers to fast download speeds and make the most of what your ISP offers.