I’ve spent the last twelve months tracking PS5 restock every single day. It was one year ago in September 2020 that the very first wave of PS5 console pre-orders went up for grabs. Unsurprisingly, the first batch of consoles was snapped up in minutes and the console has never been reliably in stock since.
Over the last 365 days, I’ve seen it all. From websites buckling under the strain of thousands of customers trying to check out at once, to botched bundles with an outrageous markup. Not to mention, I've read more false restocks rumors than I could count.
Remarkably, a year on from PS5 order books opening and 10 months since the console itself launched, buying a PS5 is still a frustratingly tough task. Thanks to continuing supply issues, not to mention the demand for the machine refusing to die down, it’ll likely be a good while yet before you’re able to purchase a console without a second thought.
Let’s not forget the holiday season is rapidly approaching, which will only make the situation worse. It’s safe to say that if you’re hoping to purchase a PS5 in the next few months you’re going to need every advantage you can get. That’s where I can help.
After spending literally hundreds of hours tracking the PS5, I’ve learned a thing or two that could tip the odds in your favor. Unfortunately, I can’t offer you a guaranteed method that will definitely get you a PS5, but if you follow my advice below, you’ll have an extra edge when competing for the limited available stock.
1. PS5 restock tip: Be proactive
This tip might seem obvious, but it’s probably the most important bit of advice I can offer: you have to be proactively hunting PS5 restock. Don’t expect stock of the console to just fall into your lap, you need to be putting in the legwork.
If you’re not regularly checking a PS5 restock hub as well as following at least one stock tracking accounts on social media (I’d personally recommend TechRadar’s Matt Swider (opens in new tab) or Jake Randall (opens in new tab)), then you’re highly unlikely to score a console anytime soon.
While some restocks do come out of the blue, there are often subtle clues ahead of time that these experienced stock trackers will make you aware of. After all, knowing about an imminent restock even minutes before it begins can give you a significant leg up.
2. PS5 restock tip: Every retailer is different
Much like snowflakes, every retailer is different. If you want the best chances of scoring a PS5 you need to learn the ins and outs of each specific retailer. For example, Amazon has a strange trick involving the wishlist function that can dramatically increase your odds of being successful during a restock.
If you’re looking for tailored buying advice for each major retailer, we have a helpful guide that will tell you everything you need to know. Plus, if you’re in the U.K. we have a separate guide just for you.
One piece of advice that is universal across retailers is that you should set up an online account ahead of time, preferably with your payment details pre-saved as well. PS5 restocks can end in mere minutes; every second counts. You don’t have time to waste creating an account from scratch or entering your credit card number while others complete checkout.
3. PS5 restock tip: Persistence pays off
Persistence really is key when playing the PS5 restock game. If you’ve decided you want to buy a PS5 console that could mean actively tracking stock for weeks, if not months in some extreme cases.
Even during actual restocks you need to remain persistent. For example, some retailers like Walmart release small waves of stock over an hour or so, instead of dropping all its available stock at once.
If you jump onto a retailer site during a restock, try and purchase a console for only a couple of minutes get frustrated and bail, you’ll come away empty-handed every time. You need to be patient and keep trying even when a restock appears to be over.
This all might sound like a lot of work just to buy a console, but if you’re not willing to put in the effort there are plenty of people who will. Ultimately, those who put in the effort will be gaming on a shiny PS5 this winter while the rest are stuck playing on PS4.
3. PS5 restock tip: Budget for bundles
Given the choice most people would rather buy the PS5 standalone, but if you’re willing to purchase a bundle that can give you a big advantage.
Obviously, this one will depend on how far you can stretch your budget, but retailers like GameStop, Antonline and Game almost always put PS5s into pre-made bundles that can include everything from an extra DualSense controller to one of the best PS5 games like Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart or Returnal.
Because many people are only willing to buy the console standalone, bundle restocks tend to be a little less competitive. They typically offer the most straightforward chance to purchase PS5.
4. PS5 restock tip: Be aware of early access windows
Some retailers offer specific customers early access to restocks. For example, Sony Direct regularly holds invite-only restocks. Getting yourself included for the invitation draw isn’t super difficult either. You just need a Sony Direct account with email notifications switched on.
Similarly, GameStop has been running an early access window for PowerUp Reward Pro members for its last several PS5 restocks (and is showing no signs of stopping). Since it started doing this the console has never reached general sale as all stock is snapped up by Pro members. Sure, the annual membership costs $15 a year, but that's a small price to pay to get secure a PS5 for the holidays.
Plus, in the U.K. the last couple of Amazon PS5 restocks have been exclusively for Prime members. There’s definitely a chance this perk could also come to the U.S. ahead of the holidays.
Bottom line: You'll get a PS5 eventually
Trying to buy a PS5 is really just a numbers game. If you're following all the steps above and being proactive about your search, eventually a restock will pop up and you'll be among the lucky few who secure a console. It's inevitable.
Plus, even if you don't fancy playing the PS5 restock game in time supply will meet demand. Eventually, the console will become another tech item that can be purchased at any major retailer without issue. Hell, in time, you might even be able to pick up a PS5 with a discount!
If you can't wait that long, make sure to follow a restock tracking account with notifications switch on, and bookmark our PS5 restock hub while you're at it. We update this guide daily with the latest restock information, updates and rumors, to keep you in the know ahead of any upcoming restocks.
PS5 restock tracker — stores to check
- Walmart: PS5 (opens in new tab) | PS5 Digital Edition (opens in new tab) (last restock August 25)
- Best Buy: PS5 (opens in new tab) | PS5 Digital Edition (opens in new tab) (last restock August 12)
- GameStop: PS5 (opens in new tab) | PS5 Digital Edition (opens in new tab) (last restock August 25)
- Amazon: PS5 (opens in new tab) | PS5 Digital Edition (opens in new tab) (last restock July 21)
- Dell: PS5 (opens in new tab) | PS5 Digital Edition (opens in new tab) (last restock August 25)
- Target: PS5 (opens in new tab) | PS5 Digital Edition (opens in new tab) (last restock July 30)
- Sony: PS5 (opens in new tab) | PS5 Digital Edition (opens in new tab) (last restock August 24)
- Newegg: PS5 (opens in new tab) | PS5 Digital Edition (opens in new tab) (last restock April 29)
- Kohl's: PS5 (opens in new tab) (last restock April 21)
- Adorama: PS5 (opens in new tab) | PS5 Digital Edition (opens in new tab) | Bundles (opens in new tab)
- Costco: PS5 (opens in new tab) | PS5 Digital Edition (opens in new tab) (last restock April 22)
- Antonline: PS5 (opens in new tab) | PS5 Digital Edition (opens in new tab) (last restock August 12)
- Sam's Club: PS5 (opens in new tab) (last restock August 12)