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How to transfer games to Xbox Series X via external transfer or network transfer

xbox series x
(Image credit: Future)

If you need to know how to transfer games to Xbox Series X via external transfer or network transfer, we've got you covered. Both methods will save you a lot of internet bandwidth and time, removing the need to spend ages re-downloading your entire library again, or even just your favorite games for Xbox One, Xbox 360, and even original Xbox games. Since you've been able to buy the Xbox Series X, you don't want to be hanging around waiting for your games when they're already sitting on your hard drive, but thankfully the process of moving them over is relatively painless. Here's how to transfer games to your Xbox Series X via external transfer or network transfer.

Do note that these procedures only apply to Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Xbox software, as newer games optimised for Xbox Series X and S can only be played from the internal SSD or an installed Storage Expansion Card.

How to transfer games to Xbox Series X via external transfer

Seagate 2TB Xbox HDD

(Image credit: Seagate)

The quickest method available is to transfer games to Xbox Series X via external transfer, for which you'll need a USB 3.1+ external hard drive to connect to your previous Xbox device. If you were using this external hard drive with your Xbox device then your games may be installed on it already, otherwise you can copy them over to it via the dashboard. Once they're on the drive, you can plug it into your Xbox Series X or S and play your downloaded Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Xbox games directly from the external HDD. You can also move them over to your the SSD on you Xbox Series X, but this'll take up valuable space for games optimized for the SSD's speed.

How to transfer games to Xbox Series X via network transfer

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Although not as immediate, you can also transfer games to Xbox Series X via network transfer, the speed of which will depend on the quality of your wifi or wired connections. To set up and enable this feature, you'll need to select the Profile & system > Settings > System > Backup & transfer > Network transfer option from the Xbox guide on both your Xbox One and your Xbox Series X or S. Once up and running, you can then choose which Xbox One, Xbox 360, and Xbox games you want to transfer over the network to your new console.

Of course, if neither of those options are suitable for you, you can always access your purchase history from the Store and find any games you own to download them directly to your Xbox Series X or S – you'll just need to wait for the download to complete before you can play them. You'll find more information on how to install Xbox Series X games here!

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Iain Wilson
Guides Editor

Iain originally joined Future in 2012 to write guides for CVG, PSM3, and Xbox World, before moving on to join GamesRadar in 2013 as Guides Editor. His words have also appeared in OPM, OXM, PC Gamer, GamesMaster, and SFX. He is better known to many as ‘Mr Trophy’, due to his slightly unhealthy obsession with amassing intangible PlayStation silverware, and he now has over 475 Platinum pots weighing down the shelves of his virtual award cabinet. He does not care for Xbox Achievements.