PlayStation 5 features backwards compatibility with PlayStation 4. That means players can transfer their entire progression from the last-generation PS4 to the current-generation PS5 in order to continue playing and not lose any precious data during the generation jump.
Something to note beforehand is that transferring save files from PS4 to PS5 depends on the game in question. The responsibility of making last-generation games backwards compatible falls on the developers and hence, not every game will be supported.
Furthermore, depending on how players choose to transfer save files from PS4 to PS5, not having an active subscription to PlayStation Plus makes the whole process impossible. It is also important to understand that Sony Interactive Entertainment has gone with a manual transfer routine. Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, for example, can automatically pull progression from the cloud. PS5 requires players to become personally involved.
Why even bother
Sony expects cross-generation releases for at least the next three years. That means almost every first-party as well as third-party game will release for both PS4 and PS5. That in addition to playing last-generation games through backwards compatibility makes it important for players to be able to transfer their progression. Otherwise players should be prepared to start from scratch.
Ways to transfer data
Transferring data from PS4 to PS5 can be done in a few ways, none of which are overly complicated. They only differ in terms of speed and where some transfers need a few requirements to set up beforehand.
Transferring through LAN cable
Use a PlayStation Network account to sign in to PS4 and update the console to the latest firmware. This needs to be the same account that is signed in on PS5 as well or the account that needs to be transferred. Make sure to synchronise all available data on PS4, which includes save files as well as Trophies.
Connect both consoles to the same wi-fi network and then use a LAN cable to connect PS4 with PS5. This is the best and fastest way to ensure a speedy transfer. Note that there is no need to connect both consoles with a LAN cable if they are already connected to the same internet network through LAN cables.
Use the same PlayStation Network account to sign in to PS5 and start setting up the console. Go through the on-screen instructions and proceed with transfering all progression from the last-generation console to the current-generation one.
The option to transfer data can also be found in Settings on PS5 if players accidentally or purposely skipped it for sometime later.
Transferring through the cloud
While not as fast, players at least get away from the hassle of dealing with cables.
Use a PlayStation Network account to sign in to PS4 and upload all data to the cloud. This option can be found under Settings. Now use the same PlayStation Network account to sign in to PS5 and download all of that data from the cloud. This option can similarly be found under Settings.
The process however requires an active subscription to PlayStation Plus.
Transferring through USB
The old-fashioned way still works today. Connect a USB storage drive with PS4 and download all available data. This option can be found under Settings. Now connect the same USB storage drive with PS5 and upload all of the copied data. This option can similarly be found under Settings.