How to download games on PS4, Xbox, Switch and PC
Gamers who have gotten new devices following the holidays may want to know the best ways of updating them with the latest content.
There’s plenty of stuff to choose from, including clever App and built-in features like streaming, handheld mode, or virtual reality.
But what most owners will want to know is how to download games on their new PS4, PC, Xbox One, or Nintendo Switch. It used to be that you needed to head down to the shops and buy from a store, but things have changed significantly since the days of the PS2 and Dreamcast.
HOW TO DOWNLOAD GAMES ON PC AND CONSOLES
Whatever device you’re using to play games on, you can usually find a way of downloading them. This comes with its own limitations, but it also makes picking up a game a little quicker.
PC gamers have a number of choices when it comes to downloading and playing games. While there are many different makes of PCs and laptops, along with hardware options, it’s a smaller choice when it comes to digital storefronts.
Most of them will require you to download a launcher, and that will mean having a few basic things setup. You will need An internet connection, an email account, a browser to download launcher installs, and the right hardware to play them.
This will mean the correct gaming requirements, such as graphics cards, hard drive space and memory. You can find out what you have on your PC if it is running Windows by typing “System Information” into your search box.
When you have everything in place, you will be able to download one of a number of Digital Storefronts.
This includes services like Steam, Epic Games Store, GOG, Utomik, Humble Store, the Windows Store, Origin, Uplay and Green Man Gaming.
Searching for these in your browser will lead you to the official websites of your chosen store and you can proceed to download the launcher.
As an example, Steam is one of the biggest and most popular gaming platforms available on PC.
You will need to download the launcher and set up an account, which will mean having an email address you can register.
Following the instructions on-screen should make it nice and easy to do and you will also need to have a credit card, or something similar handy.
After heading to the Steam Store and paying for the game you have chosen, you’ll be given the option to download it to your device.
This will take time, depending on how big the game is and these titles may need to be updated in the future with patches.
They will be found in your digital library and each launcher will usually have the option to play the game through it.
CONSOLES: PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch consoles provide the option of buying discs or cartridges and using them to install games, instead of downloading them.
Downloading games will require an account (PSN, Xbox Live, Nintendo Account) and that will mean having an internet connection, an email account, and a compatible form of payment.
FOR XBOX ONE:
The Xbox One console will need to be set up and that means having to connect it to the internet. This can be done via wifi or by using the ethernet slot at the back; Press the Xbox button in the centre of the controller to turn it on.
You will also need to set up an Xbox Live account if you want to download games from the Xbox Game Store. Unlike PC, Xbox gamers will only be able to purchase games from this one store, although there is also an EA Access subscription service available.
To play Xbox game online, like through multiplayer, you will need to have a paid Xbox Live Gold subscription. This can all be set up after turning on your console for the first time and may take a while as the console will likely need an update.
Having completed these stages, you will be able to access the Xbox Game Store by pressing the shoulder button on the main screen.
This will take you to the Xbox Game Store and provide you with lists of titles you can download and play. Again, you will need to have an account with a subscription, even if you choose to download a free game like Fortnite Battle Royale.
When you download a game from the Microsoft Store to your Xbox, it installs automatically. While the game is downloading and installing, it appears in the Queue section of My games & apps.
If you choose to install the game later, go to My games & apps > Games, and then select the game title from Ready to install.
Like the Xbox One, you will need to set up your console and create a PSN account before heading to the PlayStation Store. The main difference is that free games do not require a paid subscription (PS Plus), although many others do.
Having sorted out your internet connection and having a payment option handy, you can then head over to the PS Store, which is one of the first icons on the main menu page.
Much like on Xbox One, you can browse through games or choose to search for the one you want using your controller.
Having paid for your selection, you will then need to click on the install option on the screen.
Your most recently downloaded full games are added to the content launcher. If your purchase is not visible on the content launcher, you can find it in your [Library].
Your Library is arranged with all content grouped together, so if you have purchased DLC, go to the main title to find it.
Downloading games from your PS4 library means selecting the home screen and going to [Library] and selecting the ‘Purchased’ folder.
Select the game you want to download. Add-ons can be found in a sub-section within each game. Select ‘Download’ on the content screen.
And you can check the progress of your downloads in [Notifications] > [Downloads].
When you purchase a game, you can also choose to start the download to your PS4 remotely via a web browser. To perform a Remote Download, you must have Automatic Updates switched on.
FOR NINTENDO SWITCH
The Nintendo Switch follows similar rules to the Xbox One and PS4 when it comes to downloading games.
An internet connection and a fully setup console will be required, as will a Nintendo account.
It can sometimes be easier to setup a Nintendo account by visiting the official website, but it can also be done through the console.
You can purchase downloadable software from the Nintendo eShop by selecting it from the HOME Menu.
Linking to a Nintendo Account is required to use Nintendo eShop and you must have eShop funds in order to make a purchase on Nintendo eShop. You can add funds using a credit card or Nintendo eShop prepaid card.
One Nintendo Switch console can be registered as the active console for downloads for each Nintendo Account.
Nintendo eShop software can only be purchased, downloaded and played on the console currently registered as the active console for that account.
It should be noted that the first time you use Nintendo eShop, the console you are using will automatically be registered as the active console for downloads for your Nintendo Account.
Having purchased your game from the eShop, you will be given the option to download it to your system.
The Nintendo Switch has limited hard drive space and that might impact how many titles you can download and install.
Once the download is complete, select the appropriate software icon on the HOME Menu to start the software.