Best PS5 external hard drives 2024 - easily expand your console's storage

The best PS5 external hard drives are a lifesaver if you take a lot of gameplay clips and screenshots. Don't get me wrong, they can be super helpful for storing up games you don't want to delete too, but if you're prone to making montages or you frequently transfer media off the console, an external HDD or SSD can do you a lot of favours. 

The great news is that while you won't be able to launch PS5 games from one of the best external hard drives, you can now store them on one. The reason for this? Most likely, it's due to the fact that PS5 games are designed to be played from an SSD with far superior sequential read and write speeds. This is a bit annoying, but thanks to today's external SSD speeds combined with USB-C connections, you might get better performances in PS4 games than you're used to from the older console. The PS5 arguably has one of the best SSDs for gaming inside it, with a solid read and write speed that an external HDD just wouldn't be able to keep up with. On the other hand, one of the biggest strengths that PS5 external hard drives have is that they tend to be cheaper than some of the best PS5 SSDs, and they also require less DIY for installation.

When you're looking for one of the best PS5 external hard drives in 2023, that choice between external HDD and external SSD will be the main question you need to answer. Luckily, the price disparity between the two has lessened of late, so you don't need to pay too much more for faster performance. On the other hand, if you want upwards of 2TB, HDD will definitely be the cheaper route to go down.

The Quick List

The best PS5 external hard drive overall

1. WD_Black P40

The best PS5 external hard drive overall

Specifications

Capacities: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
Storage type: SSD
Sequential read: 2,200 MB/s
Sequential write: 2,000 MB/s

Reasons to buy

+
Smaller design
+
Slick speeds
+
Nice RGB lighting
+
Sturdy build

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricey
-
No 4TB model

The WD_Black P40 SSD is the latest in WD's gaming-focused external hard drives, and it's one of the best performers you'll find. It takes the specs and design of the P50 and carries both over to a compact build that makes use of some beautiful RGB lighting. 

Read and write speeds were great in testing. The 2000MB/s speed you see on the box is as good as you'll get in an external hard drive, but in reality, it translates to some great load times and transfer speeds on PS5 and PC. I had a load of game capture footage stored on my PS5 I had been meaning to move across to my computer for video editing, and even though it was about 30 clips spanning a total of 22GB, the P40 swallowed it up from the PS5 in about a minute. The same was true of games once I formatted it for some extra storage. I transferred three games that added up to 18GB, and it transferred in just shy of a minute.

Disappointingly, the P40 is one of the pricier options up and down this list, particularly because it's a newer release from WD. For your money, you get the drive which comes with WD's Windows dashboard, a USB-C cable and USB-A adapter, a quick install guide, and a 5-year warranty I'd be surprised if you need to use. WD's solid build with forged aluminium means it's a sturdy piece of kit.

The best budget HDD for PS5

2. Seagate Portable Drive

The best budget HDD for PS5

Specifications

Capacity: Up to 5TB
Format: HDD

Reasons to buy

+
Reasonably priced
+
Solid performance for an HDD
+
USB 3.0

Reasons to avoid

-
Just an HDD
-
No USB-C
-
Not the sturdiest

The Seagate Portable Drive isn't going to knock your socks off. If you want to play games off an external drive, or you want to transfer games back and forth in record time, this probably isn't what you should go for. On the other hand, if you need a simple HDD for backing up files, storing older games you don't want to have to download, or just a basic hard drive for storing documents and media, it's hard to argue with what Seagate has here. 

For starters, you're not going to find many external hard drives that come cheaper than this. You're talking 1TB under $50 / £50, and capacities of up to 5TB should you really need more space. While there's no USB-C out of the box, the Seagate Portable Drive is compatible with USB 3.0, so it's not all doom and gloom in terms of read and write speeds. Using USB 3.0, I've done hours of video editing off of this drive and never once encountered any stuttering or freezing, so it's reliable enough for a traditional spinning disc drive. 

The reasons you should avoid this drive are if you need anything more than what HDD can provide. If you want the speediest offering in a portable drive, opt for something more expensive. Similarly, the plastic casing doesn't feel very sturdy, so if you want to avoid damage and some extremely tricky repairs, maybe opt for something else. 

The most portable SSD for PS5

3. Crucial X10 Pro

The most portable SSD for PS5

Specifications

Capacity: 1TB, 2TB, 4TB
Storage type: SSD
Sequential Read: Up to 2,100 MB/s
Sequential Write: Up to 2,000 MB/s

Reasons to buy

+
Tiny size
+
Great speeds
+
Splash, dust, and drop resistant

Reasons to avoid

-
Fairly pricey even for 1TB
-
Short cable

Crucial by Micron is no stranger to anyone that knows the digital storage market. In this portable SSD, the Crucial X10 Pro, the brand gives you either 1TB, 2TB, or 4TB of space in a tiny drive you can fit in your pocket. While I was a bit too scared to test its durability properly, it's marketed as being resistant to splashes, dust, and drops. For those reasons, we award it with the best external hard drive for portability.

Its speeds aren't too shabby either. Hooked up to the PS5, I managed to move a hefty 439.5GB from the console to the X10 Pro in 34 mins. While that might seem like a small eternity with today's Gen 5 SSD speeds, just imagine the time it'd take to download that much raw data. Transferring 46GB worth of 2018's God of War from the hard drive to console storage, meanwhile, took only 5 minutes and 16 seconds. The speeds on the box here are 2,100MB/s read, and 2,000MB/s write, so it wouldn't shy away from the absolute best options on the top of this list. 

The only problem is, this is meant for professionals, not necessarily gamers. That means it's arguably missing some gaming flare in its design, but I think for such a powerful drive in as small a package as it is, we can't make too many demands. On that "meant-for-professionals" note, it is fairly pricey. Regardless, this is definitely one of the best external hard drives on the market if you want a portable solution for gaming, work, or content creation.

The best back-up hard drive for PS5

4. Toshiba 1TB Canvio Advance

The best backup drive for PS5

Specifications

Capacity: 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, 4TB
Storage Type: HDD
Sequential Read: Up to 150 MB/s
Sequential Write: Up to 150 MB/s

Reasons to buy

+
Budget price
+
Decent transfer speeds
+
Available in different colors

Reasons to avoid

-
Speeds don't rival an SSD
-
Not very sturdy

The Canvio Advance is a simple way to bring those backed-up PS4 games over to your new console. Touting simple HDD speeds, the Canvio Advance is a cheap and cheerful hard drive for PS5, and one of our favorites to recommend to gamers who don't need the best of the best. It is superior to the Basics range from Toshiba in every way but just performs exactly as needed - just as well as most other HDDs, and often for a lower price. 

This one's roughly the same cost as the Basics, but comes with a few extra tricks. The read and write speeds are marginally faster, there's a two-year warranty, and if you fancy turning the Canvio Advance into a PC drive it has password protection and automatic backup, which is lacking from the Basics model. 

Anyway, using it is still as easy as ever. Just plug it into your PS4 and format it as extended storage. As a result of this, the Advance doesn't require an external power source and just functions over USB. 

The best budget external SSD for PS5

5. Crucial X6

The best budget external SSD for PS5

Specifications

Capacity: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB
Storage type: SSD
Sequential Read: Up to 800MB/s
Sequential Write (non-official): Up to 500MB/s

Reasons to buy

+
Super compact design
+
Cheaper than the competition
+
Much quicker than a traditional HDD

Reasons to avoid

-
'Only' 540 MB/s in smaller capacities (still feels quick though)
-
Cable is very short

External SSD options can get pretty pricey fast, even for smaller drives. But if you're after a cheaper option, with a decent capacity that will still thrash a traditional HDD for speeds then we think the Crucial X6 is a great pick.

You can get a 1TB version here for a similar price of SSDs with less than half of the storage. The Crucial X6 is fantastic for storing and playing PS4 games. So much so, you won't feel you have to transfer them to the PS5 to get fast loading times. Compared to running games on a standard external HDD we managed to decrease loading times on Resident Evil 7 from game selection to gameplay from around 90 seconds to just one minute. Storing PS5 games here is a great idea too as it only took us 3 minutes 48 seconds to move 30GB compared to 7:16 when using an HDD.

A USB-C connection means you'll have to plug it into the front of the PS5 and the Crucial X6 is left hanging and it'll only just reach the table (assuming your PS5 is vertical), but it's super light, so there's no risk of it getting loose. If you like the look of this one, but want an even faster version, you'll want to take a look at the Crucial X8. Overall, we think this is among the best PS5 external hard drives. 

The best value external PS5 SSD

6. WD Black P50 Game Drive

The best value external PS5 SSD

Specifications

Capacities: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB
Storage type: SSD
Sequential read: 2,000 MB/s
Sequential write: 2,000 MB/s

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent speeds
+
Robust build
+
Purpose-built for gaming

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricier than many other models

The P50 is one of the best external drives for any device right now, particularly if you need more storage for video games. However, it's probably the best PS5 external hard drive in terms of value for money right now, since it has most of the same specs we love about the P40, at a cheaper rate. It offers speeds and performances often reserved for those drives within the best gaming PCs and on SSDs for gaming lists. All encased within a unit that has a quality, cool design, and a robust build.

Speaking of that unit, on its outside the P50 is military metal-styled, rectangular in shape, and features slick molded metal in black along with the traditional WD_Black aesthetics and markings. Its USB-C port can be used on your devices as either a USB-A or USB-C connection and in our testing, we got the same speeds through either port so it shouldn't matter which you have free or available, or if you change the device it's used with during its lifetime. There's a small but clear LED indicator on one of the short ends which is always a help, but one small downside is that it does get a little warm when in use so it'll pay to keep that in mind when positioning it.

When it comes to speeds, what you're told you're getting and what happens is pretty much bang on. It's incredible performance for an external SSD and the stated speeds of 'up to 2000MB/s' were on the money in our testing. Real-world performance-wise, the P50 gives you everything a high-quality external SSD should do: games were loaded incredibly quickly, files were retrieved in the snap of a finger, and the performance levels were incredibly consistent. 

The best external SSD for PS5 from Samsung

Samsung T7 Shield

(Image credit: Future)

7. Samsung T7 Shield

The best external SSD for PS5 from Samsung

Specifications

Capacity: 1TB
Storage type: SSD
Sequential Read: Up to 1,050 MB/s
Sequential Write: Up to 1,000 MB/s

Reasons to buy

+
Fast sequential performance 
+
Small form factor 
+
Tactile, rugged design 

Reasons to avoid

-
Cable isn't the longest around
-
T9 now offers better performance

The Samsung T7 Shield was recently surpassed by the new T9 SSD, which does offer better performance than this. Unfortunately, that drive is more expensive, and the increased durability of the T7 Shield makes is better value just now. In the coming months, that may change though.

The T7 boasts double the performance of the T5, and our testing proves that's very much the case. While the 1,050 MB/s read and 1,000 MB/s write don't exactly rival NVMe counterparts, as far as external drives go, the Samsung T7 Shield is certainly up there in terms of sequential performance. At $159.99 / £134.79 for a 1TB model or $289.99 / £250.99 for 2TB, it's far from the cheapest PS5 external hard drives around, but those speeds, and tank-like shell, may justify the added cost for you. 

We found that the claimed figures were largely lived up to with game transfers, as Demon's Souls (53.73 GB) made the leap from the PS5's internal storage to the Samsung T7 Shield in 4 minutes 30 seconds. That's roughly in keeping with the maximum sequential performance, and solid figures from an external drive plugged in via USB 3.2 on the back of the console. There's also an included USB C to USB C cable in the box, too. 

Another main selling point of this drive, much like others in the line-up, is the rugged nature of its outer casing. Samsung has stated that the T7 Shield is able to withstand all manner of harsh conditions, with drop tests being done four times from three meters in the air onto solid concrete with no signs of physical damage to the casings or internals. 

The best 4TB external PS5 HDD

8. WD My Passport 4TB Portable Hard Drive

The best 4TB external PS5 HDD

Specifications

Capacity: 4TB
Storage Type: HDD
Sequential read : 127MB/s
Sequential write: 128MB/s

Reasons to buy

+
Masses of storage
+
Really great price
+
Great transfer speeds for an HDD

Reasons to avoid

-
Basic speeds

Long having ruled over the external storage market in the PS4 and Xbox One generation, the My Passport drive from Western Digital is still one of the most reliable, convenient, and versatile HDDs you can buy. It's only bumped down to a 'lower position on this list due to our take that SSDs shade it over HDDs in the PS5 generation. However, for anyone looking for a standard, reasonably priced PS5 external hard drive that's an HDD this remains a top, top option. 

It's a simple USB connection, it's small and sturdy - about the size of a smart phone - and the My Passport series' aesthetic is pleasing and brings further style to a quality HDD, meaning it'll slot seamlessly into your setup and be unobtrusive even if it's on show.

In terms of specific capacities, we'd probably go for the 4TB version. This is because we've seen the biggest savings on the 4TB, and you do get better value, generally, with the bigger drives. A 4TB HDD will provide easily enough space for 50+ games, and loads of saves, data, and media too. 

The best for big storage

9. Seagate Expansion 6TB HDD

The best for big storage

Specifications

Capacity: 6TB, 12TB
Storage Type: HDD
Sequential Read: 160MB/s
Sequential Write (non-official): 120MB/s

Reasons to buy

+
Great price
+
Holy hell, that's a lot of storage

Reasons to avoid

-
Again, HDD speed

You'll never have to worry about the sheer capacity of your external storage again (probably) with this ridiculously well-priced 6TB offering from Seagate. It's an absolute unit, and kind of goes against the portability perk one of the best PS5 external hard drives is supposed to give you, but it does maintain a slick and slim finish and size. You can get capacities from 6TB up to 12TB. But we think this 6TB monster represents the best value for money. I mean, how much space do you really need for PS4 and PS5 games? At last count, the entire Game Pass library only adds up to about 10TB, and with PS Plus being a bit less than that, it's doubtful you'd need more than 6 if you wanted to download everything.

Setup is easy as you like, with a simple plug and play, but due to its thiccness, you will have a mains power to plug in as well as the USB 3.0. That latter connection offers great HDD speeds for transfers, and if you get a 6TB drive, you're probably looking at about 80-100 PS4 games. 

Short of going for one of WD's My Book Duos that can hold the entire game pass library four times (and still have space left over), this is the most storage you can get.

The best PS5 external hard drives: FAQ

Is 1TB enough for PS5?

We think that 1TB for an internal SSD is going to be the sweet spot for most players. This would give your PS5 just over 1.5TB of proper usable space, and also ensures you're not paying silly money for the 2TB and up variants of the SSDs - this is where prices can skyrocket (some 2TB models are about the same price as a whole PS5!).

Externally, you do get way more bang for your buck, and we'd say a 1TB model is probably a minimum, a starting point. Particularly in sales season, you'll find high-quality 2TB and up models - of SSDs - coming down to the same prices as their smaller counterparts. HDDs will get you even further and 4TB and 5TB models will get you all the storage you'll ever need, for a low price - if you're happy with slower speeds.

Is external SSD or HDD better for PS5

We would always suggest you go for SSD over HDD, as performance is exponentially better in solid state drives. Looking to the future, you'll get more money out of an SSD, especially with prices on them being at their most affordable rate in years. While you may find higher capacities of HDD, we'd advocate for SSD if you want the best futureproofing.

Is it worth getting an external hard drive for PS5?

In our opinion, it's absolutely worth getting one of the best PS5 external hard drives. Not only will you get more storage space for your games that you'll be able to take on the go, but you'll get great performance times if you go for an external SSD compared to what you might be used to from the PS4. Don't forget that you don't have to use an external hard drive for games storage. If you frequently move clips and media from your PS5 to your computer for content creation reasons, an external SSD will make transferring those files an absolute breeze. 

Crucial X10 Pro's back, showing the 2TB capacity and product info

(Image credit: Future / Duncan Robertson)

Can I use any external hard drive for PS5?

PS5 external hard drives utilize the USB 3.0 port on the back of the system in order to provide the fastest transfer times available. This means the vast majority of USB-powered drives can work with the system. However, they will need to be formatted correctly, and a lot of the time that means wiping them clean of any existing data on the drive first. 

When you initially plug in an external drive, the PlayStation 5 will prompt you to format it if you need to, so it's a quick and easy process. Just ensure you've transferred any existing data off of it first.

Do games run slower on a PS5 external hard drive?

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Unfortunately, PS5 games can't be played from an external drive, even if it's an external SSD. While you can store games on an external drive, you'll just need to transfer them back to internal storage before you play them. 

The good news is, you can play PS4 games from an external drive, and since the internal storage of the PS4 was an HDD, you shouldn't experience any slow-downs if you run games from an external drive. If you use an external SSD, you may even experience quicker load times than are typical for PS4 games. 


If you want to check out storage solutions for other platforms, we also have lists for the best Xbox One hard drives, the best PS4 SSDs, and the best PS4 external hard drives.