The 8 Best External Hard Drives For Gaming
This wiki has been updated 12 times since it was first published in December of 2018. AAA titles can take up staggering amounts of space, and consoles ship with only so much internal storage. Luckily, the USB standard is essentially universal, so a variety of external drives are compatible them them. If you want to offload games you aren't playing, or run PlayStation 4 games on a PS5, you'll need an affordable expansion hard drive, or, better yet, a blazing-fast external SSD. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
November 05, 2020:
To be clear, any USB 3.0 external drive should work just fine with both the PS4 and PS5, but we advise caution against choosing the cheapest no-name drive you can find for sale. We were careful to recommend only the most reliable models here from the most dependable manufacturers, so you can safely invest in any of these without worry.
If all you need is extra storage and don't want to invest a fortune, mechanical options like the Western Digital My Passport and Silicon Power A62S will suffice. They aren't ideal for taking your games to a friend's house because they're not as durable as solid-state drives, but the Silicon Power mitigates this with a rugged housing complete with waterproofing and shock-absorbing insulation.
SSDs, however, move data roughly two to eight times as quickly, so an affordable option like the Silicon Power Bolt B75 Pro or Pioneer APS-X03 will be a good choice for those who want to decrease loading times. The newest class of SSDs, known as NVMe drives, use a different bus architecture from traditional PC hard drives that use the SATA bus, and coupled with the Playstation 5's USB 3.2 ports with 10 gigabits per second of bandwidth, these high-speed storage devices can actually take advantage of the speed. The Samsung T7 and Sabrent Rocket Nano are likely the fastest out of them, although in real world usage, it will likely be impossible to tell that the Orico Portable and Adata SE800 are any slower.
We also want to note that PS4 games can be played directly from these drives, however, PS5 games can only be stored on them. Due to the cutting-edge design of the PS5's internal hard drive, there aren't currently any OEM, officially licensed, or otherwise aftermarket drives for it on the horizon, although that will undoubtedly change as gamers fill up their new consoles and demand additional high-speed internal storage.
December 23, 2018:
Added the Avolusion HDDGear for its superior durability, fan-less operation, and 8-terabyte storage capacity. The solid-state drive technology powering the Western Digital My Passport Go makes it a great option for graphics-heavy gaming needs, while the Oyen U32 Shadow delivers extremely fast transfer speeds and a sturdy aluminum body designed to dissipate excess heat. Also included the Silicon Power Armor due to its rugged design and ability to withstand drops, shocks, and water. Decided to include the Seagate Portable for its wide compatibility with all generations of the PS4 console as well as its intuitive on-screen setup. Also added the Teyadi TYD-1153 for its auto-sleep function.