With the announcement this week that a new PS5 update will finally allow you to move PS5 games to external USB storage, we thought it would be wise to take a quick look at some of the best external hard drives for PS5 game storage.
Before we get into it, if you’ve already purchased an external hard drive for PS4, you should have no issues using one of these for your PS5 as well. It may need to be reformatted when you plug it in (which will wipe all current data on the drive) but after that quick process, you’ll be good to go.
If, perhaps, you’ve upgraded your PS4 with an internal hard drive, you could also consider buying a cheap hard drive enclosure and converting it to an external drive. It’ll be a quick and easy fix but will obviously take your PS4 out of commission for any future use – unless you reinstall the old drive.
Remember, most importantly, any PS5 games moved to an external hard drive cannot be played and can only remain there for storage purposes. When you want to play them again, you’ll need to transfer them back to internal storage and apply any new updates. It’s not a perfect solution, but this process will generally be a lot quicker than installing or downloading the game fresh every time.
It’s the best solution for now, at least until Sony reveals the list of compatible PS5 SSDs that you can install in the console’s (currently inactive) expansion bay. Digital Foundry is still monitoring this situation and will no doubt update their list of the best SSD for PS5 once we have some concrete information.
Right, back to what we all here for:
Best external hard drive for PS5
An old favourite, the Seagate Portable is an easy pick for the best PS5 external hard drive thanks to its reliability and affordability. A few different sized drives are available to buy, though the 2TB is likely to be the most sensible and value for money pick. The 4TB version is probably overkill for most, while the 5TB isn’t a bad option if you really want to get the biggest bang for your buck at less than 2p per gigabyte.
Various PlayStation branded versions of this drive are also available – including one that sports a Last of Us 2 inspired design – but it’s essentially the same thing at a higher price. There’s no need to spend your money on it unless you really want your hard drive to be some kind of statement piece.
For another option, you might also want to consider the Western Digital My Passport range. These drives usually float around the same price range as the Seagate Portable and will offer similar performance, but can sometimes be a little more expensive.
Cheapest external hard drive for PS5
For a slightly cheaper option, you can instead go for a hard drive from the Toshiba Canvio Basics range. The smallest 1TB drive is usually around £40, so the difference isn’t that great compared to the external hard drives from Seagate and Western Digital. Any saving helps, though, however small!
It’s a great choice if you don’t think you’ll need considerable extra storage space or are rocking a smaller games library. That’s probably a lot of us right now considering the lack of fully-fledged PS5 games. However, the likes of Returnal and Deathloop are still set to release this year – barring any more unfortunate delays – and more PS5 upgrade patches to many last-gen hits and PlayStation exclusives could still be coming.
Fastest external hard drive for PS5
It’s a toss-up between two, here, depending on your budget and needs.
The first recommendation is the Samsung T5: a slim and snazzy portable SSD. Transfer speeds are up to an impressive 500MB/s and the price of a 500GB drive is fairly reasonable. Of course, you’re paying a premium for the jump to speedier and more robust flash storage, but it’s become a lot more affordable over recent years.
Your other option is the Crucial X8. A Digital Foundry favourite in their roundup of the best SSDs for gaming, this offers speeds up to twice as fast as the Samsung. At a much higher cost, this drive is probably a little excessive if you just want something for PS5 game storage.
Remember, the value of an external SSD is somewhat limited on the PlayStation 5 considering you can’t run PS5 games from extended storage. That said, you’ll gain some benefit if you think you’ll be doing a lot of back-and-forth transferring. Plus, any PS4 games you decide to play from external storage will benefit from fast loading times.
Overall, those are the drives you should consider if you’re planning to get a PS5 external hard drive following the console’s latest update. Now we’ll just eagerly await news of when the internal SSD storage can be upgraded! Or, if you’re still after a console, you can keep an eye on our page dedicated to tracking all the latest PS5 stock news.