Upgrading your PS5 SSD could be costly, and it's not for everyone

Ps5 Sony Closeup On
Ps5 Sony Closeup On (Image credit: Jennifer Locke / Android Central)

The PS5's ultra-fast internal SSD allows developers to seriously reduce or even eliminate load times in the best PS5 games. With that in mind, expanding that storage can be extremely tricky if you don't know what you're doing. If you're planning on upgrading your PS5 storage space, there are some things you need to be careful of. You need to properly research the SSD you're using, making sure it meets multiple requirements. You'll also have to understand how to install the drive.

You need to be careful when upgrading your PS5 SSD

If you're not sure how to add an internal SSD to your PS5, we've got you covered. Before you even begin, it's worth noting that the program is still in beta testing and isn't widely available for most PS5 owners. If you want to upgrade your storage, you'll need to sign up as a PS5 beta tester. There's also no guarantee you'll be selected at any point after registering.

If you are selected to beta test upcoming PS5 features, you'll have the option of inserting an M.2 drive to expand your internal storage. At this point, it's time to do some research. The drive needs to have a read speed of at least 5,500Mb/s or there's a fair chance it might not work. It also needs to be no larger than 110mm (L) x 25mm (W) x 11.25mm (H).

You'll also want to make sure the drive you select comes with a heatsink attached. Otherwise, your drive slot could get really hot while playing games and could see degraded performance, or even shut down entirely. We've compiled some of the best PS5 M2. SSDs that should be compatible.

Once that's all sorted, you'll have to carefully take the front panel off your PS5. If you do this the wrong way, the plastic joints on the panel could snap, which actually happened to one of our coworkers. You'll also need to be careful not to strip the screws on the actual SSD drive bay. If you strip the screws, you'll need replacements, otherwise later on it'll be difficult or impossible to remove whatever SSD you've installed.

Consider whether you even need to upgrade your PS5 SSD

It's entirely possible that right now, you don't need to upgrade your PS5's SSD. The PS5 comes with an 825 GB drive, of which around 667 GB are usable. This isn't a huge amount of space, especially if you've got larger AAA titles installed. With that in mind, if the prospects and problems possibly caused by adding an internal SSD to your PS5 are too much, you could use an external HDD to simply store games you aren't playing. You'll need to move around titles as you play them or finish them, but it's still a superior option to redownloading games after deleting them.

Upgrading your PS5 SSD should improve in the future

Ultimately, PS5 SSD expansions suck, but only for now. The program is still in beta testing and we're expecting that once the beta ends, Sony will have a more rigid list of which drives are specifically compatible with the PS5 and which ones aren't.

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on PlayStation on Android Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert

2 Comments
  • Got the beta but waiting to pick up a SSD. The fact that only one of them (WD Black) comes with a heat sink (and it cost $20 more) is a good hint that now is the time to wait. Just move the PS5 games off to the cheap hard drive hanging off the front of your console and wait for a decent 1TB SSD to go on sale for around $180.
  • The process is ridiculously easy despite the cautions mentioned. Process to less than 5 minutes and I'm 100% confident my 10 year old could do it. Though someone who could snap the plastic joints off the front panel despite countless videos showing the correct way to do it perhaps should be tinkering with $400+ electronics anymore. Went with the WD 850 myself and its been great thus far!