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PS5: This Is How You Fix The 'Cannot Connect To The Wi-Fi Network' Error

Wi-Fi is a godsend for the modern world. You no longer have to obsess over internet cable feng shui while arranging rooms, and your devices don't have to fight each other for outlet dominance, either. Just turn them on and let radio waves do their magic. Built-in wi-fi has been standard with consoles since the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 generation, and the PlayStation 5 is no exception.

However, just because wi-fi is more convenient than a wired connection, doesn't mean it is superior. Not only is a wired connection faster, but it doesn't run the risk of disconnecting unless you yank the cord out or the internet goes down. Despite being the latest in a line of wi-fi consoles, the PS5 is still vulnerable to the dreaded "Cannot connect to the Wi-Fi network" error.

If you have encountered this problem and desperately want a solution, here's a quick and easy guide to getting your PS5 back online.

How to fix the error

Since the PlayStation 5 uses the internet to connect to its servers, your first question should always be, "Is the problem on my end or not?" To answer this, visit the PlayStation Network status site. If the site says the network is down, all you can do is wait. If the network is up, check if your internet is down. If so, you still have to wait. Otherwise, it's time to prod your console and affiliated devices.

If the PlayStation Network and internet are working, then the problem stems from the console or router. Try restarting them (putting the PS5 into rest mode doesn't count) and see if that helps. If not, move your console closer to the router to rule out distance or interference. If you relocate your PS5 and it still doesn't work, then the problem might lie in the handshake. Make sure your wi-fi router password is correct, and the same goes for your PlayStation Network account ID and password.

If your PS5 connects to the internet and not the PlayStation Network, then you might need an update. Select "Settings," then "System," followed by "System Software." Then select "System Software Update and Settings" and pick "Update System Software." 

You can also try linking your PS5 via cable, but if that fails, you probably have to send your console in for repair.

The dreaded "WS-37338-4" message

If for any reason you receive the error code "WS-37338-4" while logging in, it doesn't matter what solution you try because you will never successfully connect to the PlayStation Network. That code is a sure sign the network has it out for you.

No, the code "WS-37338-4" doesn't mean the PlayStation Network has gained sentience. Instead, it indicates your console has been permanently banned, and the system is actively preventing you from connecting. If you see that error code, you should contact PlayStation support in the hopes of clearing up the ban. With any luck, it was accidental and will be removed quickly. If not, you either should get used to a life without a PlayStation or shell out the money for a new one.

This error was prevalent on used PlayStation 4 consoles, as many gamers purchased secondhand PS4s only to discover that they were scammed into buying consoles that had been locked out of the network. But, many gamers have also been banned by mistake. Either way, if you encounter this message, you need to pick the less painful option: buying a new console or wading through Sony's customer support.