It's Wednesday, May 18. Here's How to Win in the Next PS5 Restock
It's been nearly three weeks since the last significant PS5 restock from any major retailer. The decrease in availability has been coupled with retailers changing the way restocks are managed online. For example, Target switched from major PS5 restock events to smaller local restocks you can only get by checking online at your nearby store, and GameStop is favoring weekend restocks in stores over online events. And though this means that tracking PS5 restocks in the US has been more challenging, it also means online bots are less likely to scoop up consoles in your area before you do.
There have been no announced PS5 restocks today from any of the big retailers. Your best chance for scoring a console is via a surprise restock this afternoon, most likely from Best Buy or Walmart based on prior activity, but there's never a guarantee.
If you'd rather not wait to get your hands on a PS5 console, your best option is to accept a higher price tag through StockX or eBay. Here are some of our tips, tricks and advice to help you snag your PS5:
Since the PS5 and Series X launched, the biggest retailers have made changes to the checkout process to offer peace of mind and to keep bots from buying all the consoles and selling them for more elsewhere. The most recent change in the PS5 restock game has been paid access -- that means once you buy a subscription, you'll hear about the next PS5 restock either earlier than anyone else or exclusively for your club.
Our best tips to get a console
With this new subscription system rolling out across GameStop, Best Buy, Walmart and even Amazon in some cases, it's important to point out that getting a console through these services is still not guaranteed. The queue fills up fast, and consoles stay in stock for only a few minutes in most cases. Every time a PS5 restock happens, social media fills with people describing how they experienced glitches in the process and how 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 we'll explain below what you can do to increase your odds before the buy button lights up.
Why is the PS5 so tough to find?
There are three big reasons why you're still 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 already sold more than 13 million units since launch.
The second reason is the current chip shortage impacting most of the world's electronics. Sony did say it has secured enough chips to meet its goal of 14.8 million consoles for the fiscal year.
As for the last reason, it comes down to bots. Resellers are using software to purchase a massive number of PS5s at once, leaving only a few for actual humans to buy. Retailers added various bot protections during PS5 restocks, but these restrictions only hamper 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.
Which early-access service should I pay for?
Lots of companies now limit access to a PS5 to a subscription, but each one is a little different. Here's the full breakdown of how each one works.
For the moment, the service that seems most useful to most people is Walmart Plus. There are more restocks at Walmart than most other places right now, and that subscription can increase your odds of getting a console dramatically. You're still going to have to be quick and accept that you may not get the console on the first try.
How do I increase my chances of getting a PS5?
Major retailers like Walmart, GameStop, Amazon, Target and Best Buy don't usually give much notice ahead of a restock. Sometimes they'll have a restock 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 get the jump on the competition.
First tip: Don't wait until you see an alert for a PS5 inventory drop. Check the links at major retailers for stock updates daily or even multiple times a day. (We've got the links all lined up below.) If you do happen upon some PS5 availability, go all-in with as many browsers and devices as possible. On a desktop, for example, 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 with lottery tickets: The more you have, the better your chances of winning.
Second tip: Create accounts at the 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 info is updated on whatever device you can buy from, whether it's a laptop, desktop or phone. This makes checking out a lot faster, which is crucial as retailers' sites get quickly bogged down, leading to people losing their chance of securing a PS5.
Third tip: Keep checking back with this post and follow CNET and Oscar Gonzalez on Twitter for updates.
Where is it safe to buy a PS5 if I'm OK with paying extra?
If you're starting to crack and considering buying a PS5 right now (and we know that with the number of big PS5 games dropping over the next few months, the pressure is on), you can do so, but at the cost of a hefty markup on sites like eBay or StockX. On eBay, for example, we've seen PS5 units priced over $1,000, although prices have slowly made their way down to approximately $700.
Where to buy a PS5
Currently one of the best places to get a PS5, but be aware that the company frequently makes the consoles available to Walmart Plus subscribers first.$748 at Walmart
You can find a PS5 restock at Best Buy more often than most places, though it occasionally requires a Totaltech subscription if you want to get in on one early.See at Best Buy
You will usually find the standard edition is available more often than the digital edition at Target, but it's a solid place to check for stock.See at Target
Restocks happen fast at GameStop, and if you're a PowerUp Rewards Pro subscriber you can occasionally get access to the console an hour before everyone else.See at GameStop
You're usually required to have a Prime membership to get access to a PS5 restock from Amazon, but not always. And if you sign up for the Treasure Truck program, you'll get a text when a PS5 is available for delivery.
Read our Sony PlayStation 5 review.
$770 at Amazon$750 at Walmart$700 at eBay
If you want to buy a console directly from Sony, click this link and register to be put in the waiting queue. When you get an email inviting you to buy the console, it's a fairly low-stress checkout followed by a one- or two-day wait for shipping.See at PlayStation Direct
PS5 restocks don't happen at Newegg that frequently, but they do happen and it's a great idea to check here because a lot of other people don't think to do so.See at Newegg
You won't be paying the standard price for your PS5 if you buy it from here (meaning you'll be paying much more), but you will certainly get it without much fighting to check out.See at eBay
When all else fails, if you absolutely must have the console right now regardless of price, the folks at StockX will at the very least protect you from being scammed by someone who never intended to give you a console.See at StockXNow playing:Watch this:Install an M.2 SSD in your PS5 with a heatsink upgrade8:56
More PlayStation 5 coverage
This story is regularly updated with the latest PS5 stock news.