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PS5 SSD / HDD support and additional PS5 storage explained

PS5 SSD installation
(Image credit: Sony)

PS5 storage support, SSD and HDD memory drives are very useful when it comes to increasing the amount of games, files, pictures and everything else you want your PS5 to be able to store. With limited storage, how do you increase your console memory and find the right SSD and HDD? We'll explain everything you need to know about this below.

PS5 compatible SSD for internal upgrades

Sony have released an official explanation and requirements for what kind of SSD is needed to expand your memory accordingly (assuming you don't use the lesser HDD), the full details of which can be found here. However, here are some important  factors to take into consideration:

  • Interface: PCI-Express Gen4x4 supported M.2 NVMe SSD (Key M)
  • Storage: 250 GB–4 TB
  • Supported sizes: 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280, 22110
  • Size (including heat-dissipation mechanism)
    • Width: up to 25 mm
    • Length: 30/40/60/80/110 mm
    • Thickness: up to 11.25 mm (up to 8.0 mm from above the board, up to 2.45 mm from below the board)
  • Sequential read speed: 5500 MB/s or faster is recommended
  • Socket type: Socket 3 (Key M)

Clearly there's a lot of technical details to keep in mind, but don't worry: we've started compiling a list of potential candidates and external options over on our PS5 SSD guide.

PS5 external hard drive support

SSD vs HDD

(Image credit: Future)

As we've talked about on our guide to the best PS5 external hard drives, from day one, you could plug any external hard drive into your PS5 and use it for additional storage. You can even take your old PS4 external hard drive and then just plug it straight into PS5. It'll recognize all your games and then queue up any patches or updates they might need - handy that. 

I personally bought a brand new SSD - a 1TB Samsung option - to set up as a dedicated PS5 drive, and internally we've also tried a number of HDD drives, including those already stuffed with PS4 titles, so can confirm it's a seamless transition. 

Until a recent system update in April 2021 you could only store PS4 games on an external PS5 hard drive, but that has now thankfully been fixed and you can now move PS5 games over too. You can only play PS4 games direct from an external storage solution though, you'll have to move PS5 games back onto the external SSD on PS5 as even today's best SSDs for gaming aren't quite up to the spec of the PS5's as far as giving you all those next-gen benefits go.

What you can do though is make sure you head to the settings menu > Storage > Extended Storage and set all PS4 games to automatically install to the external drive (if you've got one connected), to make sure you're using all that internal space for pure PS5 gaming. If you have any spare space though, we've found PS4 games load much faster when played directly on the PS5.

For more information check out the below:

PS5 review | How to eject a PS5 disc | Transfer games to PS5 hard drive | How to use a PS4 controller with PS5 | Where is the PS5 power button | PS5 standby mode explained | Upcoming PS5 games | How to download PS4 saves on PS5 | PS5 deals | Best PS5 headsets

Sam Loveridge
Sam Loveridge

Sam Loveridge is the Global Editor-in-Chief of GamesRadar, and joined the team in August 2017. Sam came to GamesRadar after working at TrustedReviews, Digital Spy, and Fandom, following the completion of an MA in Journalism. In her time, she's also had appearances on The Guardian, BBC, and more. Her experience has seen her cover console and PC games, along with gaming hardware, for over seven years, and for GamesRadar, she is in charge of reviews, best lists, and the overall running of the site and its staff. Her gaming passions lie with weird simulation games, big open-world RPGs, and beautifully crafted indies. Basically, she loves all games that aren't sports or fighting titles!