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When you bring home a PS4 or PS5, you have the option of signing into a PlayStation Network (PSN) account or creating a new one. This account gives you full access to the network and lets you make friends with players in your favorite games. Make sure you know all about the PlayStation Network bans and suspensions that can take away your access.
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The PSN Terms of Service appear when you sign up for an account. If you’re like most players, you probably don’t read through this section before you accept it.
It includes the Community of Conduct, which lays out how every player should act and what they cannot do. When you violate one or more of these terms, PSN can ban or suspend your account.
A suspension is the first step and lets you know that you cannot use your account. Bans usually occur when you continue to violate the rules and can be permanent. The network usually bans and suspends players for a few common reasons.
You might let a few curse words slip through while playing an online game without thinking twice. After all, games that feature battles and gory scenes are for adults, not kids, right?
While game developers can design games for older or younger players, they have no control over who plays them.
You might get a ban because another player reported you for curing or swearing. In most cases, your ban will only last for 24 hours.
The network can extend the ban if you clearly cursed at another person or violated the rule more than once.
To buy games and in-app items, you must link a payment method to your account such as a debit or credit card. The payment method on file also allows the network to charge you a monthly subscription fee if you sign up for games that have one.
It’s possible for PSN to charge your account when you don’t have enough money on your payment method.
If you have a negative balance for more than a few days, the network will usually ban your account until you update your payment method and pay the past-due balance. Generally this ban would be temporary.
PSN will also ban your account due to some games you play. This often happens with games that are not available on the network. Let’s say you played a game in the past and loved it but the developers decided to remove it from PlayStation.
If you attempt to download the game from another source, PSN can ban you. You also risk a ban for playing games that the network banned for any reason.
Bullying is an offense that can earn you a ban from the PSN team. The team refers to bullying as any action that attempts to create a hostile environment for one or more players.
Another player might report you for making inappropriate jokes or comments that made them uncomfortable due to their sexuality or race.
Bullying can also refer to actions that you take inside a game such as going to great lengths to kill the same player over and over again.
You even face a ban for telling other players lies about someone else as this is a form of bullying.
Bullying is related but not limited to all details listing in the Community Code of Conduct.
If Playstation finds that you violate any of them, depending on the severity, it can result in a warning or ban. You can check out the full list here.
You won’t get banned on PSN just for one violation. Someone must report you first. The PSN team will investigate the claim and decide what happens next. For a first-time offense, you will often receive a 24-hour suspension.
You can get back on the network when the suspension is over. Suspensions can last for a week up to a month though. With a permanent ban, PSN will restrict you from ever using your old account again.
One thing you may not consider is what happens to your games. Physical games belong to you. Even if you can’t use your account, you can still load and play them.
You cannot access any digital games that you got for free or purchased through the network. Instead of buying the games, you only buy a license to play them.
Even if you set up a new account, you cannot access those games because they remain tied to your old account. Most suspensions only last one to 14 days, giving you time to consider what you did.
PSN issues both bans and suspensions for accounts and consoles. You need to know what each means for your future gaming and console.
Your account is what you use to access the PlayStation Network. Though you may need to log in each time you use your console, you can also enable automatic log-ins.
Anyone else who uses your console will need to log out of your account and into theirs. When you get an account suspension, you can no longer use anything tied to PSN until your suspension is over.
This includes your games and subscriptions as well as the marketplace. Though PSN claims that it will not charge you for your subscriptions during a suspension, it’s helpful to go in and turn them off.
An account ban means that you can never use your account again unless the PSN team decides to lift it. You cannot either log into your account on any other PS4 or PS5.
While PSN issues both suspensions and bans for accounts, it only issues permanent bans for consoles.
Instead of giving you a certain amount of time before you can use your console again, you will never have the chance to connect it to the network unless the team removes the ban.
This can happen when you buy a used console from another gamer. PSN will not lift a suspension from a console permanently banned from the network. Getting in touch with the original owner is the only thing you can do.
A banned console is pretty much worthless when it comes to online games. You can still play physical games and even save your progress, but you cannot access any online features they have.
As you cannot access the network, you cannot download any other apps you want to use such as Netflix or Disney+ either.
PSN will usually only ban a console if the owner has a history of rule violations or they tried to cheat games or scam other players.
A PlayStation account ban can last as little as 24 hours up to a full month or longer. You do not need to worry too much about a temporary suspension.
If you wait out the period and follow the rules in the future, you should not get a permanent ban. The PSN team’s investigation determines how long your ban or suspension lasts.
Are you a first-time offender who made a simple mistake like using a curse word or calling another player a bad name? The team will likely suspend your account for 24 hours and recommend you check out the Terms of Service.
The PSN team usually only issues longer bans to players with a history of breaking the rules. If you earned several suspensions for cursing and using prepaid cards with no money on them to scam the system, you will likely face a longer suspension of up to a month and a permanent ban.
Permanent bans are often the last step the team takes among offenders who refuse to follow the Code of Conduct. Players with a history of cheating or scamming also face a permanent ban.
In most cases, PSN will permanently ban your account if you previously had three temporary bans or suspensions for the same violations. The network doesn’t require the same person to report you each time.
For example, you might leave one game because of a fight with another player who reports you for bullying. If two other players also report you for bullying, the chances are good that PSN will issue a permanent ban.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a one size fits all response to this question. While some players picked up dozens of temporary suspensions before they wound up with a permanent ban, others only got one or two suspensions before their ban.
You’ll even find stories online from people who claimed they set up a new console and got a ban right off the bat. A permanent ban means that you can no longer use any PSN resources.
This includes online games you bought and any progress you made in them as well as apps you saved to your console.
Your ban does not include apps you can access in other ways though. A good example is Netflix. Netflix requires that you download its app to any consoles you want to use it on and log in with your account details.
As long as your Netflix account is still in good standing, you can use the app on other devices. Your PSN ban will not affect similar apps like HBO Max or Hulu.
Both PS4 and PS5 consoles allow you to go online. If the network is down for any reason, you’ll get an error message when you try to load an online game or check the marketplace. You should see a different error message when the network bans your account.
Look for the code attached to the message. The code WS-37368-7 lets you know that you have a banned account. You will also receive an email that lists the reasons for the action. Contact the PSN team if you don’t get an email.
You should then check the Terms of Service as well as the Code of Conduct. Compare the rules listed in them to the violations you received. This lets you know why you earned the ban.
Though PlayStation will usually issue a few temporary suspensions, it can ban your entire console or your username.
Make sure that you look at whether you earned a temporary or permanent action. A temporary action will only last for a specific period like 24 hours, while a permanent action will last indefinitely.
You should also know that a temporary suspension will end by the date and time listed and a permanent ban will remain in place unless the PSN team decides to remove it.
You can do a few other things before contacting Customer Service. First, try logging into your PSN account with your username and password. If you can access your account but cannot use any online features, PSN banned your console or system.
However, if you cannot access your account, the chances are good that PSN only banned your account. You can also visit the PlayStation website and try logging in with your details.
Even if PSN banned your account, you may have the chance to log in to talk to the team.
You can get unbanned from PSN but it’s not easy. Check the number attached to your error message to find out the reason for the action. While one code blocks you from signing into the network, others show that you have a temporary suspension or that PSN banned your system.
If you cannot find the error code, check the email you used to register your account or visit the official website for more help.
It’s also helpful to look at the payment method you linked to your account. Some gamers found their accounts suspended because they forgot to update their payment details when their cards expired.
Update your payment method and see what happens. If PSN suspended you because you had a negative balance or a past due bill, it will update and deduct the money from your new payment method before the network restores your account.
You may find it helpful to check your PSN account on a different console to see if it will still work.
Permanent bans are usually permanent and very hard to lift. A permanent ban means you violated the rules in multiple ways and did not learn from your past suspensions.
Get in touch with the PSN team about your ban. Write a detailed message about why you believe the ban was in error.
PSN allows you to appeal your ban through the website or email. You should be patient and give the team time to investigate, which can take days and weeks.
A few other things can help you get your account back, but the right one to try depends on why PSN banned or suspended you.
Play the Waiting Game: Temporary suspensions are temporary and usually only last 24 hours to a week.
If you receive a temporary suspension, go ahead and wait it out. This shows the team that you know you messed up and are willing to accept the consequences.
Change Your IP Address: In some cases, PSN will ban the IP address of your console as a way to ban the whole system.
You have the option of going online and changing your IP address to get around the ban. Using a VPN is risky because PSN may outright ban you for using one.
Upload a Photo ID: PSN will occasionally ban players because they believe they are hackers or identity thieves.
You might get a ban or suspension because the network does not believe you are who you say you are. Sharing a valid photo ID can help as can supplying a utility bill for your current address.
One of the big issues that popped up with the PS5 release is that players had their PSN accounts banned for no reason. There are many reports from gamers who got a permanent ban after setting up their new consoles. Other players reported the same problem months after using their PS5.
Your account will never get banned for no reason as the PSN team will always find some reason to ban you. It often occurs because they believe that you modded your system or cheated in a game. You may also get a permanent ban with no reason listed.
Before you spend too much time worrying and trying to set up a new account, contact customer support. Never take no for an answer. Ask to speak to a supervisor or a manager the first time you call. You can also request that the team escalate the situation.
Call back if a customer service rep says they can’t help you. Keep calling until you reach someone who will escalate your claim. PSN has to give you a reason why your account was banned and allow you to appeal the decision.
Reporting another player is a lot easier than you might think. All you need is a reason and the person’s online ID or username. You usually need to go to your Messages, select what you want to report, and then select the Report button.
Both PS4 and PS5 consoles allow you to report players you feel violated the Terms of Service. If another player falsely reports you, the PSN team will look into the claim and make a decision.
You should always act quickly when you have an altercation with another player. PSN takes a first come, first serve approach to reports. If another player reports you, PSN can suspend your account until the team investigates.
Even if the other player started the altercation, the team will take action against you.
However, you can file a claim first and let the team investigate that player without worrying about losing your account. PSN does not ban players for false reporting. Once you get your account back, you risk having another issue with the same player.
When you get a permanent ban, you might feel tempted to set up a new account and keep playing. Before you do so, find out whether PSN banned your account or your console.
While an account ban means that you can no longer use your original account or any games/data tied to it, a console ban means that PSN will not let you use your console on the network.
Call the PSN team to see what type of ban you earned.
If you do create a new account, start from scratch. Restore your PS4 or PS5 to its default settings.
Use an external hard drive to save your game data and anything else you want to keep from the console as restoring it will wipe that data.
You will then need to pick a new online ID and use a different email address to register your account. This won’t work if you have a console ban, this won’t work because any new accounts will tie to the banned console.
Escaping a PSN suspension is easy because you can get your account back as soon as the suspension lifts. Getting out from under a permanent ban is much harder but not impossible. Always follow the Code of Conduct and Terms of Service when you access the PSN. Know when to contact the PSN team to recover a banned account or console.