The PlayStation 4 has a more restricted system for user accounts when compared to the PS3. A single PSN account can be set up on many PS4 consoles, but only one system can log in at any time. A lot of people are confused about the difference between primary and secondary PS4 systems. This page will hopefully clear it up.
The short version is that the primary PS4 is to be the system that you use most often. The secondary account should be used on any additional PS4s that you have in the house and use less frequently. It should not be used to share games with friends.
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Set A System As Your Primary PS4
Load up the PS4 that you want to set as your primary PS4. Log into the user account you want to set the primary PS4 for. Go to the settings option in the main menu and select the following options. Account Management -> Activate as Your Primary PS4 -> Activate.
The PS4 you are using is now the primary PS4 for this users PSN account and any other systems will now be deactivated as the primary system.
What Is a Primary PS4?
Generally, a primary PS4 should be the main system that you use most of the time. If you live in a house that has spotty wifi, it is best to set the primary PS4 to the console that has a bad wifi signal, assuming you use both systems an equal amount of time.
When set to primary, the PS4 will have access to all of the games that you have purchased from the PS store without having to worry about restrictions. If you do not have an internet connection, you will still be able to play games on the PS4 without any issues. This is your primary console and it has full access to everything.
Can You Have Two Primary PS4 Consoles?
It would be awesome, but unfortunately not. You can only set one single system as your primary PS4. All other systems will need to be secondary. You can change the primary system at any time if circumstances change and you find you start using one console more over the other one and have difficulty connecting to the internet.
What Is a Secondary PS4?
The secondary PS4 is to be used for people who have more than one PlayStation 4 system. Some people may have a console in the living room that they use most of the time and then another in the bedroom that is used occasionally.
If you use both systems equally, you will have to decide which one you want to make the primary system. Typically, it is best to make the system with the worst wifi signal as the primary console as you will have less difficulty with license validation.
Secondary PS4 Limitations
The main difficulty people have with secondary accounts is the requirement for you to be connected to the internet in order to play any games you have purchased. Even if both the primary and secondary system is in the same home, connecting to the same network, the restriction still applies to the secondary PS4.
If you are not connected to the internet, you will end up seeing that all games you have purchased have a padlock on them are unavailable to play. It is very frustrating for some people as you have paid for the game and have to deal with this to play it. There is no way around it, unfortunately.
PS4 Cannot Validate License
This is a common notification you may get while playing the game. It happens quite often and it can’t really be fixed. It happens when a request to PSN to validate the license for a game fails. Sometimes API requests just fail for no reason. It will likely perform the check again and this will succeed. If you are playing on a secondary account and keep getting this error.