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Best External Hard Drives For PC, Xbox, And PlayStation

Both the PS5 and Xbox Series X now support external hard drives and SSDs for storing next-gen games--here are the best gaming storage options we recommend in 2021.


The best external hard drives and SSDs come with fast read and write speeds while also being highly reliable. Reliability, after all, is the most important aspect of any hard drive in the long run. Speed is always nice, but you don't want your hard drive filled with data to suffer a failure. Generally, you want to stick with a reliable and well-known brand in the space such as Western Digital, Seagate, and SanDisk. This is especially important for gamers--if a hard drive burns itself out, all of your games, save data, and other files you might have on it are gone forever. That's why we've rounded up the best external hard drives and SSDs that combine both reliability and speed into a nice package that's perfect for PlayStation, Xbox, and PC gaming.

How to use an external hard drive with PS5 or Xbox Series X

If you're planning to use an external hard drive with your PS5 or Xbox Series X, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you'll need to format the hard drive on the console itself--your console should prompt you to do this automatically if it recognizes the drive, but you can also do this in your console's storage settings.

Another thing to know: The PS5 received a major update earlier this year that enabled external storage support for PS5 games, allowing you to free up space on the internal SSD for more downloads. However, you can only store next-gen PS5 and Xbox Series X games on external drives--to play them, you'll need to transfer the game back to the console. Backwards-compatible games, on the other hand, can be stored and played directly from the external drive.

As for expanding your console's internal storage, you'll need an NVMe SSD--we've outlined the process and have a list of the best options. Xbox Series X owners, on the other hand, can pick up the Seagate storage expansion card to increase their storage by 1TB.

The best external hard drives and SSDs

If you're in need of more storage, we've rounded up our most trusted external drives below, from hard drives and SSDs to those specifically meant for PCs and laptops. All of these will work great with the Xbox Series X and PS5 as well.

Editor's Note: Article updated on June 24, 2022

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