PSA: Clean Your PS5

I finally finished Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. I started it on launch day, so given how quickly most people seemed to play through that game, I feel like I’m an eternity behind. But I couldn’t help it! While playing the game, my PS5 crashed at least once an hour. Making progress in Spider-Man 2 required getting up, unplugging my PS5, plugging it back in, and hoping the autosave odds were in my favor. It was a game that I had eagerly anticipated for its relaxing, autumnal qualities and, in practice, it was anti-relaxing. It required exercise to play.


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I’ve been blaming this on Spider-Man 2 because other resource intensive games have been working just fine on my PS5. My wife and I have put nearly 200 hours into the console version of Baldur’s Gate 3, and it hasn’t crashed once. I also used my PS5 to review Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty without issue and dumped as much time as possible into Alan Wake 2 before the end of the year. None of those games make my PS5 hard crash, so I’ve been waiting to see when Insomniac will put out a patch that specifically deals with this issue.

the two new slimmer ps5 models with a dualsense either side
via PlayStation

But then Star Wars Jedi: Survivor started crashing, too. This happened when I first started playing, but, after disabling rest mode, which is a known cause of PS5 crashes, the game ran without issue. But then, the crash came back 20 minutes into a Survivor play session I had started after a Spider-Man sesh was cut short after just 30 minutes. I decided enough was enough and, after trying most of the firmware fixes I could find online, decided to get physical.

This was a last resort. I worried that something was seriously wrong with my PS5 and that fixing this issue would require sending it to Sony — something I wasn’t too keen to do as I was rushing to finish games before my GOTY list was due. What if it ended up being out of commission for weeks?

It turns out this was one of those situations where you put something off for months, and it takes five minutes when you finally get around to it. Well, not quite five minutes, but I was able to get my PS5 back in working order in under an hour. I didn’t even need any tools besides a screwdriver (with multiple heads) and a cloth. In fact, removing the faceplates was the hardest part of the process. You need to push down on them, then slide them off. But the trick is, you need to apply pressure in a very specific spot, and if you haven’t found it, it feels like you’re going to snap the plate in half.

Eventually, I got the plates off, and from there, it was simple. I just unscrewed the screws, removed the bracket holding the fan in, and wiped out so much dust it looked like I had shaved a squirrel. I used my rag — a particularly grippy cloth that’s good for dusting — to wipe off the vents and, voila! The PS5 was clean, and I put it back together.

I worried that when I got it running again, the issue wouldn’t be resolved, and I’d be back to the drawing board. But, nope, I haven’t had an issue since. I hadn’t realized how much this issue was weighing on me, but now that it’s resolved, I feel a real sense of relief. Clean your PS5s. It’s worth it.

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