Getting a PlayStation 5 on Black Friday will likely require you to get up early.
The next planned PS5 restock is coming from GameStop, and it’ll be in-store instead of online. You will need to check the GameStop store locator to confirm which local store will have a PS5 restock and be especially careful of the time those stores open. Some GameStop locations were open as early as 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, and you’ll likely need to line up early to guarantee you can get a PS5 in this Black Friday restock.
Want to wait for an online PlayStation 5 restock instead of getting up early for a Black Friday deal? Can’t blame you, but getting in on a PS5 restock can be messy and frustrating, especially if you’ve been through a couple and still haven’t gotten your hands on one. The good news is these PS5 restocks have been increasing in frequency — in fact, there have been two massives restocks already this week and it’s likely we will see more today or tomorrow. Here are a few quick tips:
PS5 restocks are a lot more common in the afternoon and evening than they are in the morning. Chances of an unplanned restock tend to go up dramatically after 10 a.m. PT (1 p.m. ET), so if you’re wondering when to check, that’s usually the best time to start.
If a restock starts and you immediately see Out of Stock on the screen, do not give up. Refresh the screen a few times and keep trying. Some retailers release the consoles in waves to keep bots from getting all of them.
Over the last year, the biggest retailers have made a lot of changes to the checkout process in an effort to both offer peace of mind and keep bots from buying all of the consoles and selling them for more somewhere else. The most recent change we’ve seen in the PS5 restock game has been paid access, meaning you buy a subscription and one of the perks is you get in on the next PS5 restock either earlier than anyone else or exclusively for your club.
After a few weeks of this new system rolling out across GameStop, Best Buy, Walmart, and even Amazon in some cases, the one thing we can say for sure is it’s still not guaranteed you will get a console through these systems. The queue fills up fast for all of them, and consoles remain in stock for only minutes in many cases. Every time a PS5 restock happens, social media fills with people describing how they experienced glitches in the process and the consoles ended up being gone entirely.
It’s unreasonable to sign up and pay for every service, but that’s where we can help. We’re constantly tracking the best way for you to get your hands on a PS5, and there are plenty of things you can do to increase your odds before they buy button lights up. Check it out below.
Why is PS5 so hard to find?
There are three big reasons why you might still be struggling to get a PS5. The first is the most obvious: the system is really popular. Sony says the PS5 is its best-selling console and has sold 10 million units since its launch.
The second reason is the lack of current chips affecting most of the world’s electronics. Sony said it has acquired enough chips to meet its target of 14.8 million consoles for the fiscal year.
For the last reason, it comes down to bots. Resellers are using the software to buy a large number of PS5s at once, leaving only a few for real humans to buy. Retailers added various bot protections during PS5 restocks, but these restrictions only affect resellers so much.
Where has the PS5 been available recently?
We keep track of every PS5 restock, and maintain this list here of the most likely places you’ll find them, and when the PS5 was last available there.
- Verizon: Nov. 17
- Walmart: Nov. 22
- PlayStation Direct: Nov. 22
- GameStop: Oct. 29
- Amazon: Oct. 26, Nov. 23
- Target: Nov. 19
- Best Buy: Nov. 15
- Antonline: Oct. 28
Which Early Access service should I pay for?
Many companies now limit access to subscriptions to the PS5, but each one is a little different. Here’s a full description of how each one works.
Amazon Prime: It’s pretty straightforward. In many cases, the only way to buy a PS5 from Amazon is to be a Prime subscriber or to sign up for the Treasure Truck text service. There’s no extra charge outside of a standard Prime subscription, but in many cases, you can’t access PS5 restock unless you subscribe.
GameStop PowerUp Rewards Pro: If you’ve signed up for this rewards program, many PS5 restocks from GameStop begin an hour in advance for you. This works best when Gamestop announces a restock ahead of time or emails its customers to let them know a restock is coming. This subscription service costs $15 per year and includes a ton of extra features.
Walmart Plus: This service was created by Walmart to provide early access during sales events only, and includes PS5 restock. The rules for this early access vary; In some cases PS5 restocks may be limited to subscribers entirely or it may be an early access window of one to four hours before access for the general population. Walmart charges $13 per month or $98 per year for this service. If you’re not sure if it’s for you, there’s currently a 15-day free trial available, but you only get early access if you pay for that first month.
Best Buy TotalTech: If you want exclusive access to Geek Squad for installation and technical support as well as extensions on warranty purchases, this is the service for you. If you want it for early access to the PS5 restock, Best Buy is asking you to pay $200 per year and that’s a lot. Best Buy sometimes limits access to PS5 restocks only for TotalTech customers, but most of the time later those restock are made available to the public.
At the moment, the service that most people find most useful is Walmart Plus. Walmart has more stock right now than most other places, and that subscription can dramatically increase your odds of getting the console. You’ll still have to be quick and accept that you might not get the console on the first try, but it’s a good way to increase your odds.
How do I increase my chances of getting a PS5?
Major retailers like Walmart, GameStop, Amazon, Target, and Best Buy usually don’t give much notice before a restock. Sometimes they find rest in the morning, other times in the afternoon, and in some cases, even in the middle of the night. Here are some tips to help you jump into the competition.
Tip 1: Don’t wait until you see an alert for PS5 inventory drops. Check links to major retailers for stock updates daily or several times a day. (We have all the links lined up below.) If you happen to be on some PS5 availability, go all-in with as many browsers and devices as possible. For example, on a desktop, open the retailer’s page in Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. Then do the same on your phone and tablet. The more devices and browsers, the better. It’s like lottery tickets: the more you have, the better your chances of winning.
Tip Second: Create accounts at different retailers and make sure you’re already logged in if you’re going to try to get a PS5. Make sure all your shipping, bill, and payment information is updated on any device you can buy from, whether it’s a laptop, desktop, or phone. It checks out very fast, which is important because retailers’ sites quickly get bogged down, forcing people to lose out on the chance to get a PS5.
Tip 3: Keep checking back with this post and follow CNET and Oscar Gonzalez on Twitter for updates.
Where is safe to buy a PS5 if I’m OK with paying extra?
If you’re just starting out and considering buying a PS5 (and we know the pressure is on, with the number of big PS5 games dwindling over the next few months), you can do that, but don’t forget to have one. Huge markup on price on sites like eBay or StockX. On eBay, for example, we’ve seen PS5 units priced over $1,000, though prices have slowly worked their way up to around $700.