Console gaming has been growing over the years, but PS4 is still the crown of this generation. However, not everyone likes to play games on consoles, and that’s where ps4 emulators come in. We have compiled a list of some of the best PS4 emulators that show great promise.
Currently, there are only a few PS4 emulators that developers still support. The rest have either been abandoned (PS4 Delta) or are fake (like PCSX4, PS4 EMX, and PS4Emus). If you still want to play some Playstation games, check out our other article on the best PS2/PS3 Emulators.
Full disclosure: Don’t get your hopes up as these PS4 emulators cannot run any AAA Playstation exclusive games. All real emulators are still under development as PS4 emulation still hasn’t made as much progress as Switch emulators. You can only run old and classic games on these emulators, as I know.
Best PS4 Emulators
Spine is a Linux-based PS4 emulator and looks to be the most promising of all the others. So far, Spine can only run a few major games, but it has a lot of compatibility with old titles. It’s a shame that running this emulator is no easy feat, even for a tech-savvy user.
Most PS4 emulators can technically run some games until their intro but crash after that. Spine is a bit different as it can even run major games like Dead Cells with only minor performance issues. In terms of PS4 emulation, this is the most progress we have seen so far.
RPCS4 (in development)
RPCS4 is the successor to RPCS3, the most popular PS3 emulator. Knowing that it is being made by the founder of RPCS3 (one of the best PS3 emulators) is quite good news. However, even if the emulator can run major PS4 games, there will always be a catch.
To run major games on these emulators, one would need the best gaming PC available right now. Even if you use RPCS3, you need a high-end PC and an Nvidia graphics card (3000 series) to run these games smoothly. While it is theoretically possible to run Last of Us on RPCS3, the framerate might not make it playable.
Orbital PS4 Emulator
Orbital is an open-source PS4 emulator made by a well-known developer, AlexAltea. It is one of the few legit PS4 emulators that show some promise. Although Orbital can’t run any significant commercial games, it is still the most accepted emulator by the developer community.
It emulates the PS4 console OS rather than an x86-64 CPU. However, don’t expect to see any big updates any time soon. Emulation is a slowly developing field that often takes years to progress just a little.
GPCS4 is another Windows-based PS4 emulator. It can technically run a commercial game, but it is still not playable because of the low framerate. Like all emulators, the developer of GPCS4 is trying to resolve such issues, but it might take a while.
Although it started as a fun project, the developer plans on running Nier: Automata on the emulator. However, don’t expect too much as it is not as frequently updated.
Fake and dead PS4 emulators (do not download)
The following are some of the emulators that claim to run PS4 games but, in reality, are filled with viruses and malware. Some Youtube videos of these emulators show gameplay footage from a PS4 game. These videos are all fake.
- PS4 EMX
- SNESStation (This is not a PS4 emulator but is often misinterpreted as one)
There is also a legitimate PS4 emulator named PS4 Delta (inactive) that is now archived on Github.
Best PS4 emulator alternative
PS Remote Play and PS Plus
Although PS Remote Play is not an emulator, it is the best option for you to run PS4 games on PC or mobile. It is a remote streaming service that lets you stream your PS4 and PS5 games. Although you need a console to use this, it is still far better than downloading sketchy software and running buggy games.
PS Now is an even better solution as you don’t need a console to run PS4 and PS5 games. It is a cloud streaming service that lets you play all the major PlayStation games. It even includes exclusive console games such as Marvel’s Spider-Man and Ghost of Tsushima.
Note: PS Now is available with the PS Plus subscription service.
These options require a good internet connection and low latency (5G recommended). If you still want to play PS4 games on PC or mobile, this is the best and only option for you.