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The PS5 separates saves by gen, causes save files to not appear

The PS5 has two separate save file formats for generations: A PS5 version, and a PS4 version. These forked saves can cause issues.

@DeekeTweak
Published Fri, Nov 13 2020 2:34 PM CST

The PS5 segregates saves across generations, and supports two different banks of save files: Those made on PS5, and those made on PS4. Things get confusing when moving PS4 games over to PS5.

The PS5 separates saves by gen, causes save files to not appear 27 | TweakTown.com
VIEW GALLERY - 8 IMAGES

I've already had issues with the PS5 recognizing my PS4 saves when playing backward compatible PS4 games. I'm not alone, either. I managed to solve this by re-uploading the PS4 saves to PS Plus, and then downloading them to the PS5's internal storage. This method works for PS4 games that don't have PS5 upgrades.

But what about games like Assassin's Creed Valhalla that offer free PS4-to-PS5 upgrades? That's where things get a little dicey.

My PS5 launch hasn't really been a smooth one. Transitioning from PS4 to PS5 has been kind of awkward. The games play great, but the save files sometimes disappear. I've spent a lot of my time in the storage menu trying to figure out where my saves went, and also managing the system's limited space.

One of the more confusing dynamics is how the PS5 separates saves across generations.

The PS5 separates saves by gen, causes save files to not appear 4 | TweakTown.com
The PS5 separates saves by gen, causes save files to not appear 5 | TweakTown.comThe PS5 separates saves by gen, causes save files to not appear 6 | TweakTown.com

The PS5 save data file section (left) vs the PS4's data section (right).

There's a section for PS5 game saves, and a section for PS4 game saves.

This is tricky for PS4 games that get upgraded to PS5 (like Assassin's Creed Valhalla), and you can once again run into disappearing saves.

The PS5 separates saves by gen, causes save files to not appear 2 | TweakTown.comThe PS5 separates saves by gen, causes save files to not appear 3 | TweakTown.com

I had a tough time getting my most recent AC Valhalla save to show up on the PS5 version. The save was made on a PS4, but it wouldn't show up on PS5. The save was even installed on the PS5's internal SSD.

I managed to fix this by re-uploading the save to PS Plus and forcing a cloud sync. I got an error message telling me about a save conflict, and picked the cloud save as the default version.

The PS5 separates saves by gen, causes save files to not appear 7 | TweakTown.comThe PS5 separates saves by gen, causes save files to not appear 8 | TweakTown.com

PS4 saves disappear from the load menu once a save is made while playing a PS5 version of a game. Left: Before saving on PS5. Right: After PS5 save.

If you load a PS4 save on a PS5 version of a game, and then save it while playing the PS5 version, it will be designated as a PS5 save. The PS4 version of the save isn't deleted or converted, though.

Once a PS5 save is made in that particular game, the console will only read files saved in the PS5 data section from then on out.

You can't load saves from the PS4 data section any more unless you:

  • Play the PS4 version of said game
  • Re-sync PS Plus data

The great thing is that saves made on PS5 consoles can still be played on PS4. For example, if you beat a level in AC Valhalla on PS5 and then jump over to PS4, you can pick up right where you left off. Cross-gen saves are fully supported.

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Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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