The PS5 Is Kind Of Buggy Right Now

The PS5 Is Kind Of Buggy Right Now
Image: Sony

Stalled downloads. Crashes while games are suspended. Occasional freezing. The PS5 has some great games, and it’s been fun to finally get some hands-on time with PlayStation’s future, but the next-gen console has had some weird issues.

Today, Sony offered a workaround for one of the most widely discussed issue, known as the download queue bug. Some players have found that when they select a game to download onto the PS5, it looks like the PS5’s about to begin the download, and then…nothing. The progress bar sits at 0% downloaded indefinitely, no matter how many times players try to start the process over again.

Previously, the solution was to do a full factory reset on the console, but that was extremely tedious and meant deleting a bunch of data, especially if you’d already transferred everything from your PS4. Now, Sony is suggesting players start up their PS5s in safe mode (turn on the console by holding down the power button for several seconds) and select the option to rebuild the database instead. This resolves the issue without deleting anything, though it still requires some leg work and remains far from ideal for a brand new next-gen console.

Sony didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Meanwhile, there are other ongoing issues that still don’t seem to have fixes. One of them is the system crashing when in suspend mode. Rather than turn back on, the PS5 will beep and go through an extended boot up sequence, saying the system is “repairing console storage” as if you had pulled the power plug out while it was running.

It’s unclear why this is happening, and what, if any, problems it might create for the console longterm. As a result, some pusers have suggested simply turning off Rest mode entirely in the settings menu and closing out of any game before shutting the system down.

Photo: Kotaku Photo: Kotaku

Then there’s the issue of the PS5 sometimes defaulting to installing and running the PS4 versions of games, even when using a PS5 disc. It’s an easy problem to correct by manually switching to the next-gen version, but if you’re not paying attention you can end up playing the wrong version. Despite an official workaround for this from Activision, I’ve still had Black Ops Cold War occasionally default to the PS4 version.

More frustrating are the occasional freezes and crashes while in the middle of playing. I had Cold War freeze up on me a couple times when restarting missions, and Kotaku’s Editor-in-Chief mentioned Miles Morales freezing the couple times he tried to jump into different sections of the game using the PS5’s activity cards.

It’s hard to know how much those freezes are console problems versus issues with the particular games in question, but it’s left the PS5’s first week out in the wild feeling a bit jankier than I’d like. Hopefully those rough edges continue to get sanded down in time. 


  • Been playing since launch and happily have never had any issues at all aside from an unpassable screen when setting up the console which just required a reboot.

  • I did turn off rest mode because I’ve never liked it being automatic and the front USB port doesn’t work when it’s on standby.

    No other problems otherwise, knock on wood.

  • Day one, no issues apart from the front USB port not charging in rest mode. Worked out plugging into the back in less than a minute… so, all good.
    Games look and sound amazing, load speeds are brilliant and the controller is excellent.

  • I’ve had a few issues, the worst being a black screen whilst gaming requiring a hard power off, then a verify (which is where a few people have had the verify fail and console brick, mine went thru fine).

    My biggest annoyance is the lack of features.

    No VRR, HDMI 2.1 support is barely present with the port only outputting 32Gbps, which means the PS5 can’t do 4:4:4 at even 8 bit (let alone 10 or 12 bit), and don’t get me started on how much I bloody hate Sony’s library App compared to Xbox’s. Still, all I do atm is wake machine and play GoT, so the PS5 has the benefit that it doesn’t get used for multiplats in my household.

    • I wouldn’t say the VRR support and output limitations an annoyance at this stage.
      It’s definitely a concern for the future but so far these features (or lack of) have only been seen under test conditions and the resulting quality has actually been positive for the PS5 when looking at multiplatform games.

      On the other hand, the recent news about the output reverting to 4:2:2 is something I wouldn’t mind Sony commenting on sooner than later.
      It’s not a problem now but it could be further down the line and hopefully like the upcoming VRR support, it’s something that can be rectified before it becomes an issue.

  • So far I have only had one really hard crash. I was playing Valhalla, and didnt close it down and used switcher to go to Destiny 2. Screen with black and so did my heart. Thankfully a forced restart fixed it.

    Tried Cold War one other day, and the lobby screen was unresponsive, it was looking for the game but I could use the controller, it took two restarts of the game to fix.

    Two game issues: the snowy Cold War map (the 6v6 version) the whole game grinds down to a crawl for a minute or two, but then comes good. It happens a lot but only on that map. On Valhalla very very early in the game (slight spoiler) when you go to that big town to meet the King, the game went down to like 10-20 FPS while out doors. It didnt reoccur when I went back.

    • I haven’t had any FPS issues in Valhalla thankfully, even in big cities.
      Something odd but rare that happens though is the screen sometimes freezes for half a second if I fast travel somewhere and instantly take command of my long ship or jump on a horse.

  • All of the above stories are actually a little concerning with ‘only had 1 crash’ or ‘this is fine except X doesn’t work’. This is a brand new machine, it should be flawless at the moment as, unless Sony does some work to stabilise this, it’ll only get slower or more bloated as time goes on..

    Fingers crossed all of these things are simple software fixes..

    • Not really, it’s all very common for modern consoles, we just tend to hear about it more on release due to interest and social media.
      Even during late generation if you head to the relative forums, it’s filled with people having technical issues, crashes and resets.
      Gawd, I still remember how spotty the PS3 launch was with console bricking updates, and corrupting issues or the awful 360 issues that kept popping up.
      (I managed to dodge most of them thank goodness)

      When folks start having the same major issues en masse, then it’s time to get concerned.

    • There is no way they would have ever been flawless. Has there ever been a piece of tech that has launch without issues?! It doesnt matter how many test units you have out, as soon as you throw a few million into the world naturally people are going to find things that were missed. And like with the launch of any brand new operating system, issues are going to be fond.

      (so far) the lack of any truly wide spread issue, like the old xbox ring of death, is somewhat reassuring.

      • I’m sure we won’t see a repeat of the RROD, but it’s worth pointing out that issue began to manifest itself after 6-18 months or so. It wasn’t something people were hitting in mass within the first fortnight. If there was something of that nature that concerned thermals, it may not arise for some time.

    • I think you’re being a little harsh. Every single bit of technology thats released has failures and issues. Its unavoidable. I do think, at a guess, that they seem to have somewhat forced this launch trying to match the release of the xbox release and avoid another xbox 360 PS3 problem. They have put out some really good stuff and the console seems to be performing very well but they are missing a whole bunch of features and there are definitely way too many bugs and issues

  • Seen multiple crashes while playing Demon Souls that required error reports to be sent in. Game has hung on entering Demon Souls a couple of times.

    Started to wonder if it was the game, but Spiderman just crashed to black on me today.

    I must say, this is rather underwhelming… considering putting it up on Gumtree and getting my money back (or a couple of hundred more).

    • Sounds like it’s one of the consoles having hardware issues. You’d be better off sending it for warranty than selling a defective, overpriced console to someone else since that’s fraud.

      • To Louie –

        Oh sweet?! That’s Fraud? So I can sue Sony for committing Fraud by knowingly selling me a dodgy PS5?

        Thanks for the Legal Advice Bruh!


        • Not sure why you’re defensive about this but as an actual lawyer, whilst it’s probably not going to run you afoul of the criminal law (though it’s arguable, especially if sold at a premiun), on-selling it will leave you subject to consumer action in the exact way Sony and/or your retailer of choice is subject to action from yourself for goods that aren’t fit for purpose…

          Best not to sell it… if it’s not up to your standards then just take it back.

          Your actions and Sony’s would not be equivalent.

          • I should clarify, this is assuming you on-sell things regularly enough through a site like gumtree or in other circs. If this is purely a one off private sale, then it’s a matter for the individual buyer. Though I cant personally understand anyone buying a PS5 via private sale right now without relevant proof of purchase in case of a fault lol

    • I had something similar (crashes to black screen in Demons Souls and Spider-Man) but it only started happening after I had installed Valhalla and Watchdogs with PS4 discs and done the free upgrade. It also started having issues reading my external HDD where all my PS4 games were installed. Had to do multiple restarts and repair on internal and external storage, would be stable for a couple of minutes then have issues.

      So after a repair I deleted the PS4 version of Valhalla off my external HDD, still had issue so deleted PS4 version of Watchdogs off the external HDD and haven’t had any issues since. It’s back to working great, no crashes, Demons Souls and Spider-man back to full functionality.

      • It concerns me that external hard drives are still an issue, it’s a constant problem for my PS4 if so much as a light breeze disrupts the USB cord (these geniuses design a console with USB ports only in the front) then you’re stuck there while the thing “repairs” itself.

        Meanwhile on an Xbox One, plug and unplug hard drives to your hearts content without any errors or repair BS.

        I’m disappointed they haven’t fixed this issue

  • Had a weird one yesterday where my DualSense unpaired from the console and it took about 30 minutes to get the PS5 to re recognise the controller. It’d power up, connect to something, just not the PS5. Worked itself out eventually but was a massive pain, especially since the manual didn’t help and the Sony support page used images of a Dualshock 4.

    • That’s definitely a weird one.

      I had a situation last night that technically wasn’t bad but confusing and strange.
      The missus wanted me to download the Kingdom Hearts III DLC for her to play and from what I could gather it’s shared across accounts so I purchased it on mine.
      There was no download, it simply confirmed the purchase and nothing else happened but when I returned to the main menu the KHIII game was present in my list, fully updated and ready to play without even putting the disc in the drive.
      I even checked to see if anything had downloaded, checked for an update and looked at the option to manage downloaded content and nothing.
      I had to scroll down on the game just to see that I had purchased the DLC, find the disc to play and check on the game menu to confirm the DLC was active and did the same to check if she could play it on her account. (It didn’t show as purchased on her game info but could access it from in game)

      Still, how the game appeared fully updated on my Home Screen without a disc or any download taking place is confusing as hell to me.
      The only thing that took place is the cloud save upload that happened after I closed the game.

  • I’m noticing occasional white dot artifacting on the edge of the screen in GoT now. Not sure if it was always there and just the game or the PS on its way to a slow death, so we’ll see.

  • Digital PS5.
    Had Spiderman: MM crash once. Demon’s Souls crashed a couple of times. Both of these I just needed to restart the game.
    Cold War I had a hard crash in the middle of the campaign. My PS5 switched off and there was a few anxious minutes before I got it working again. I had to switch it back on and it did the rebuilding database on both my SDD and external HDD.
    I tend not to leave it in rest mode unless I am downloading overnight.

      • Nah. Just bedding in. A couple of Sony “stability” updates and it will be fine.
        I can remember No Man’s Sky on PS4 on game release day. That game crashed every hour on the hour for the first week or so.

  • Mine suffered consistent crashes on the menu. Sent it back to Sony, waiting for my replacement while my partners PS5 works a-ok

  • Only thing that’s happened to me so far is I got a warning notification that my AC: Valhalla saves couldn’t sync with the cloud… I went to go play it anyway, and it locked the console. Couldn’t reboot even with the button held, had to disconnect from power.
    So, I did the chore and addressed the cloud save error, and everything continued fine.

    Bit of a concern, that… not being able to reboot the machine without unplugging it.

  • I’ve had a few.
    When in Rest mode i can hear a faint high pitched whine noise.
    After turning it on yesterday it would not show video, just a black screen. Had to do a hard reset to get it working.
    Most issues to do with Cold War, constant game crashes and error screens. I’ve attempted the campaign 3 times now and every time my save file dissapears. I had played through the first 4 levels and its just gone.
    Installed Modern Warfare, downloaded the massive updates, got to play 1 session then next time i logged in it said my disc was an old version so had to download the entire thing again. After the third time i just deleted it and will play on the PS4 instead.

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