Doom Eternal’s Next-Gen Upgrade Screws PS5 Players

Doom Eternal’s Next-Gen Upgrade Screws PS5 Players
Screenshot: Bethesda / Microsoft

Doom Eternal’s next-gen upgrades are out today for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, bringing de rigueur enhancements to last year’s well-received first-person shooter. The upgrade is free, but it also more or less tells PlayStation players to go to hell. To wit: There’s no way to carry your campaign save data from the PS4 version to the PS5 one.

And, oh yeah, that PS5 version is currently busted for some players.

Following the Tuesday morning rollout of Doom Eternal’s next-gen upgrades, some players (myself included) found themselves locked out of the PS5 version. In my case, I downloaded the requisite upgrade file, but the PlayStation Store still listed Doom Eternal’s snazzy PS5 version at full price. On the PS5 dashboard, a little lock sign popped up next to the game’s launch icon. To play, I’d have to switch over to the PS4 version. Other players shared similar issues. Bethesda, Eternal’s publisher, acknowledged the issue in a tweet on Tuesday, and said it’s currently working with Sony on a fix.

Doom Eternal’s PS5 version will eventually get fixed, but it’ll still be lesser than other PS4-to-PS5 upgrades. The total lack of a save-data transfer poses a stark contrast to how cross-gen upgrades have functioned so far on the console. For instance, with the PS5 version of Marvel’s Avengers, you can copy your hard-grinded progress between generations. You simply have to download the PS4 version, hop into the main menu, upload your save data to the cloud, download the PS5 version, go into that main menu, and then re-download your save data. Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade, the currently PS5-exclusive version of Final Fantasy VII Remake, requires a similar set of steps. Yes, the process is often a pain, but at least you can do it.

And then there’s another contrast: Upgrading your games from Xbox One to Xbox Series X/S is generally pretty smooth. With Doom Eternal, that remains the case.

How To Upgrade Doom Eternal On Xbox Series X Or S

If you own Doom Eternal on Xbox One, your Xbox Series X or S will automatically upgrade it to the next-gen version. You’ll be able to pick up where you left off in the campaign, provided you’ve connected your console to the internet. This is all thanks to a background feature called “Smart Delivery.” (How it works: Basically, if a game exists across console generations and is part of Smart Delivery, you get the next-gen version without any effort or financial commitment on your part.)

Read More: Xbox Smart Delivery Turned Out To Be A Pretty Big Deal

How To Upgrade Doom Eternal On PS5

Upgrading Doom Eternal on PS5 requires several steps:

  • Open the PlayStation Store on your console.
  • Search for “Doom Eternal Campaign – PS5 Upgrade.” (It should pop up as the first entry after you punch in “Doom Ete.”) Download that.
  • Go to your game library.
  • Find Doom Eternal, then click on the three-dot menu. Select “PS5 | Doom Eternal.” If you try to do this before downloading the “Doom Eternal Campaign – PS5 Upgrade” file, you won’t see the option.

(Note: There’s no reason to believe these steps will change after the fix for PS5 is rolled out, since this is how every next-gen upgrade has worked thus far, but we’ll update this post as needed.)

Doom Eternal will run at 4K resolution at 60 frames per second on PS5 and Xbox Series X. Those fine with 1800p resolution can activate modes that offer either ray-tracing or 120fps frame rates. (Ray-tracing isn’t available on Xbox Series S.) You’re fundamentally playing the same game on both machines. It’s just that one is a little bit of a pain.

As we pass the six-month mark of this console generation, it’s clear the story around their differences is less to do with performance and more to do with features. Doom Eternal’s next-gen upgrades are just the latest footnote. One system demands you to jump through hoops for a download and then prevents you from accessing your old save data earned over the course of a 25-hour campaign. The other does not. At that point, how much do teraflops and storage space and imperceptible performance benchmarks really matter?


  • Ps5 is such a pain in the ass upgrading games. I have both and beyond exclusives I much prefer XSX. I had alot of issues upgrading crash 4 that I just gave up.

    • Yeah. Headline should read ‘Sony screws PS5 users’.

      Hard to point the finger at Bethesda (even an MS owned one) when almost all the next-gen upgrades 1st party, exclusive or otherwise have been a mess.

      • I’d go 50/50.
        Sony need to lift their shit but Bethesda has a bit of a dodgy history when it comes to Sony, even before the acquisition.
        (I still haven’t forgiven them for that shady Skyrim debacle)

      • yeah no, you miss the part where Bethesda has been screwing over PS players for a few generations now.

      • Which upgrades have been a mess though, really? I’ve done the free PS5 upgrade on more than a few games without out any real issues at all. You literally pop the disc in, or go to the digital game in your library, go to the game’s page, and select the little Free Upgrade prompt that sits above the trophy progress, and then start downloading it. Its nowhere near as simple as how Microsoft do it with Smart Delivery, I can’t deny that, but I’d hardly call it a mess.

  • Eh is it really that much of a surprise that a software company’s platform is easier to work with?

  • I’ve upgraded all my available games with minimal effort so far and I’ve gotta say its nowhere near as bad as the narrative.
    Download it, go to the game, swap it and play.

    Xbox has done really well so far no question but seriously, it’s like watching an infomercial where the actors exaggerate the difficulties and set the narrative that one product making life a little easier means the other product is making things impossibly hard.
    For me it’s like the difference between a one button coffee machine or making myself a coffee at the jug and yet the same folks keep acting like you gotta travel to Peru and start your own coffee plantation before you get a cup.
    The other exaggeration, which I can only assume was forgotten this time, is pointing out its impossible to get a PS5 every time it’s spoken about when really it’s just hard to get either next gen console at the moment.

    As for the save files, Sony really needs to lift its game now.
    We’ve already seen that developers are more than capable of making their save files work across consoles but we’ve also seen developers who either don’t care or are unable to get it done.
    The hands off approach may be good in some aspects but in this case it’s only hurting themselves.
    (Especially when it becomes exploitable)

      • I’d also throw in C) have the causal tech experience to know how to navigate everything. It’s easy to forget a lot of people don’t have the skills or aren’t confident enough in them to poke around and find the solution. I’m guessing more than a few people have brought the full PS5 version of a game instead of an update.

        On the one hand I get it. Sony didn’t anticipate Microsoft making their entire console cross platform, got caught with their pants down and now they’re trying to build a workaround to mimic the process because the old ‘screw you, you can afford a new console so just make it easier on everyone else and buy a new copy’ model was so hostile.
        On the other it still feels like they had the time to sort out a proper solution and they’ve instead banked on the idea that brand loyalty will bridge them over it until previous gen upgrades are no longer a relevant conversation.

      • Ah, also good examples!

        My internet is balls and I have 20 games currently installed, yeah it’s not ideal but still not suffering the implied levels of difficulty and stress those limitations supposedly create.
        (Only two of those games are small Indies, the rest are all PS4 games, upgrades and PS5 titles)

  • What’s prettier, 1800p with RT or 4K without? Might give this game another go to see the upgrades, it was already nice on XSX.

    Makes me appreciate all the background stuff MS does, it’s so easy to switch between XSX and xCloud and pick up games I haven’t played for a few years on the old xbox and the saves are just there. Going to get a PS5 eventually but glad I’m not upgrading from a PS4

    • Just some quick testing on my setup, its pretty cool seeing the highly luminescent blast of a rocket or plasma lighting up as it passes through the environment, but I stopped noticing pretty quickly since Doom is so fast paced.

      • Yeah fair point there’s a few seconds each level where you can enjoy the view then 10 minutes of carnage!

  • Well just another in a long line showing Bethesda’s disinterest in PS as a platform, something that goes right back to PS3, with the subpar Skyrim experience.

    • I found it added a real feeling of tension that was missing in Skyrim on other platforms. Its a race against time to save the kingdom before your savegame no longer works!

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