Best external hard drives for PS5 in 2024

PS5 console with logo
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

You can now store PS5 games on an external drive, so if you're running out of storage on your console, you can move games to an external HDD or SSD. If you want to play those games again, you'll need to transfer them back to your console either using its built-in SSD or another compatible internal SSD. That isn't the case for PS4 games, however, which can be stored and played from an external drive.

While we always recommend picking up one of the best SSDs for PS5 for all of your newer games, an external drive comes in handy for storing backward compatible PS4 games. Having an external drive also means you don't have to download games all over again, so let's take a look at the best external drives and SSDs for PS5 games.

Best external hard drives for PS5

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How to pick the best external drives and SSDs for PS5 backups

The PlayStation 5 has an 825GB internal SSD, but with the best PS5 games taking up over 100GB, you will need to add extra storage at some point. The PS5 has slots for internal NMVe SSDs, but you won't want to waste it with backward compatible PS4 games.

An external drive lets you seamlessly store your PS5 and PS4 games so that you can free up storage on the console itself. Note that while you can play PS4 games stored on an external drive, that ability is not available for PS5 games. If you move a PS5 game to an external drive, you will need to transfer it back to the console's internal SSD to be able to play that game.

Thankfully, external SSDs are more affordable than ever before, and if you're looking to offload a few games, my recommendation would be the Samsung T7. The external SSD has a proven design that will hold up just fine after several years of use, and at 1,050MB/s transfers, you will be able to transfer 100GB of game files to the SSD in under 10 minutes.

If you don't mind waiting a little longer and are looking for value, you're better off with a regular hard drive. You can pick up a 2TB Seagate external hard drive for just $60, making it a great option for storing games. The downside is that with transfers of 120MB/s, you will have to wait an hour or so to offload a 100GB game from your PS5.

If you have a rather large game library and need more storage, the Western Digital Black D10 Game Drive is a brilliant choice. The external HDD is available in 8TB and 12TB storage sizes, and includes a mechanical drive spinning at 7,500RPM. You can transfer files at up to 240MB/s, double that of most external HDDs.

Regardless of whatever drive you go with, you can be sure that it works seamlessly with your PS5. So if you are running low on storage on the console, pick up one of the options highlighted above.

Should you buy an external HDD or SSD for your PS5?

One point to note here is that mechanical hard drives are prone to failure after a few years. That's because of the moving parts inside; the drive works on a platter with a read/write head, and these wear out over time.

With external SSDs, that's not an issue as they don't have any moving parts — the data is written directly onto flash memory, so these drives last much longer. So while regular HDDs are much more affordable, if you want long-term reliability, you're better off with an SSD.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is Android Central's Senior Editor of Asia. In his current role, he oversees the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, networking products, and AV gear. He has been testing phones for over a decade, and has extensive experience in mobile hardware and the global semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.