A PS4 external hard drive is an essential purchase if you’ve got too many games vying for storage space or want to bring them with you to the PS5. You can solve both of those problems in a simple move by picking up one of our picks for the best external hard drive for PS4.
To make our decisions below, we’ve considered each hard drive’s price, size, speed, manufacturer and value for money. We’ve decided an overall top pick, but we’ve also got a few other options if you’re looking for something a bit different. Essentially, we want to ensure that you can find the perfect PS4 external hard drive no matter your situation.
Best PS4 external hard drive
We think the 2TB Seagate Expansion is currently the best external hard drive for PS4 as it will affordably quadruple the capacity of your PS4. That’s a huge boost that should comfortably handle even the most substantial library of PS4 games. It’ll give you some serious breathing room if you find yourself playing 100GB behemoths such as Destiny 2, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. Or if you like having all your PS Plus games installed at once! It comes with oodles of room from a trusted manufacturer at a reasonable price, so you can be sure that it will solve all your PS4 storage problems with ease.
The 2TB drive is perfectly viable if your gaming habits are fairly normal. At this size, you shouldn’t need to uninstall games regularly to free up some space. However, you can also upgrade to the 4TB version to give yourself the most future-proofing with all that extra space. Whichever you choose, if you’re looking for a simple and elegant solution to your storage problems, either one is easily the best PS4 external hard drive you can buy right now.
Best cheap PS4 external hard drive
Prices can change on a daily basis, but you’ll often find that the Toshiba Canvio Basics is the best PS4 external hard drive if you’re on a budget. And it’s always nice to save yourself a few extra pennies! Ultimately, these are very similar to the Seagate drives above so don’t stress too much about the decision.
We’ve focused on the 1TB version here as it’s the best value in the set. Of course, you can also stretch to the 2TB edition for some added peace of mind. It’s not that much more expensive and sometimes cheaper than the Seagate above. If you’re rocking an older 500GB PS4 then this is a quick and easy way to give yourself some more room for cheap.
Fastest PS4 external hard drive
If you’re looking for a speedier PS4 external hard drive, you can plump for the Samsung Portable SSD T5. As a solid state drive, it’s a lot faster than other standard options. Plus, it offers more security when used for its portability. As they have no moving parts you can take them with you knowing that any accidental bumps or knocks won’t cause disastrous damage.
For this more modern tech, though, you do have to pay a premium. The price of SSDs continues to plummet, but you’ll have to settle for a much smaller drive for a considerably larger sum of money. This external PS4 hard drive, then, is for the enthusiast who only needs a few regular games installed – but wants them to load lightning fast. One if you just can’t get enough of Fortnite, Destiny 2 and Red Dead Redemption 2. You can squeeze them onto one of these SSDs and cut down those load times drastically. 500GB and 1TB versions are available.
Best portable PS4 external hard drive
Perhaps the toughness of a solid state drive sounds like a good idea to you but you’d prefer to get a bit more bang for your buck? In that case, let us recommended the Western Digital Black P10 Game Drive. This rugged PS4 external hard drive comes purpose-built for gaming on the go in capacities up to 5TB. That’ll do nicely.
There’s a tough metal cover encasing the drive, while the small form factor makes it easy to slip into a bag. Even if you’re not always on the move it’s an excellent choice. Western Digital is a good and reliable manufacturer, too. It doesn’t claim the top spot over Seagate as the best external PS4 hard drive, though. It’s generally a little more expensive, so if its added features aren’t all that important to you then the cheaper Seagate is the better option.
Best PS4 external hard drive for max capacity
Want to get super serious with your game installs? Well, the best PS4 external hard drive for you could be this absolute unit: the Seagate Expansion Desktop Drive. Boasting a whopping 6TB of storage (or up to 10TB if you’re so inclined) you’re now at the point where you might struggle to fill all the space. Even if you’ve been a PS Plus subscriber from day one. You can’t get much beefier than that!
As the Desktop variant to the earlier Portable drives from Seagate, you can see that it’s a rather chunky beast. It’s one to consider if you have the room and a spare plug socket next to your console. We reckon there’s a good chance this is going to be overkill in most cases. Still, if you want to ensure you’ve got enough storage space for some time then go right ahead and admire the monstrous PS4 hard drive that awaits you.
What PS4 hard drive size do I need?
The majority of current PS4 consoles will either ship with a 500GB or 1TB hard drive. That’s a decent amount of space, but now that we’ve entered the late stages of the console’s life cycle it’s very easy to fill. Chances are you’ve got a vast library of games that you like to dip in and out of at any one time. Many of them could be digital titles that are taking up increasingly more space on your console. If you want more freedom to buy, download and update games without fear of reaching your cap then a new external hard drive for your PS4 is absolutely recommended.
In terms of PS4 hard drive size, then, we’d recommend you aim for a 2TB drive at the absolute minimum. This will either double (or quadruple!) the amount of room you have in a single step for the least amount of money. That should keep you going for a good while. Plus, there’s still a lot to play this late in the PS4’s life, with The Last of Us Part 2 and Ghost of Tsushima now available!
Of course, if you want to completely avoid ever going back into data management for hours on end uninstalling old games and deleting unused save files you could go for an even bigger hard drive. You can go for the most extreme option and walk away with our ginormous 6TB pick. To be honest, though, the most sensible size for a PS4 hard drive is 4TB at maximum. These are reasonably priced, widely available and don’t require an extra plug socket.
If speed is your biggest concern, then it might be worth taking a closer look at our external SSD pick. These won’t get you as much storage for your money but are perfect if you only play a handful of games regularly and want them to load lightning fast.
Either way, the next time you treat yourself to a new game you’ll not have to worry about having the space to install it, or whether the next update will be able to download without issue!
How to add an external hard drive to your PS4
Fortunately, it is ever so easy to install an external hard drive to your PS4. There’s no need to remove any screws or tinker with the console’s innards. All you have to do is plug the drive into one of the free USB slots on your PS4. Then, when you turn your console on, it’s instantly recognised and ready for use.
The only extra step you may need to take is to format the drive once it’s installed for the first time. This process is fully automatic and handled entirely by the PS4. Just sit back and wait for a few minutes until it’s finished. After that, you’ll be free to download and install games onto your new PS4 external hard drive to your heart’s content!
Which external hard drives can I use with PS4?
All you need to look for when buying an external hard drive for PS4 is to check that it is USB 3.0 compatible. All of the hard drives we’ve chosen on this page meet that requirement, so you can pick up something here and be confident that it will work without issue.
Should I get an internal or external hard drive for my PS4?
Whether or not you feel you need an internal hard drive really depends on how much you’d like to avoid unscrewing your PS4 to remove the old internal hard drive. It’s not exactly the most complicated process, but you can avoid all that faff with an external hard drive. If you’ve got space for an external hard drive to sit on top of or alongside your PS4 then that’s definitely the most straightforward option. An external PS4 hard drive might be wise if you’re thinking of upgrading to the PS5 as well – as our next point explains.
Will my PS4 external hard drive work on the PS5?
It will, in part. Most importantly, you won’t be able to use it to install and play PS5 games. They require very specific compatible PS5 SSDs that are likely to be released in the future but have not been officially announced or released yet.
However, Sony recently confirmed that the PS5 will the backwards compatible with all “almost all” PS4 games. What that means is you can plug your external hard drive full of PS4 games into your PS5 and play them through the newer console. That’s on top of the PS4 games that you can freely upgrade to their PS5 versions once the console launches later this year. If you haven’t done so, then, you might want to grab an external hard drive for PS4, transfer your games and be ready to play them on PS5 from day one!
And there you have it: our top picks for the best PS4 external hard drive. We hope this will help you find the perfect hard drive for you to expand your PS4 storage capacity so you’ll be able to have more than just a few games installed at once. No more worries about needing to rejig your library to handle any sudden updates either.
Hopefully, it’ll be enough to keep you going until the PS5 launches later this year. And, although you’ll need an SSD for PS5, you can still use these USB drives to play your PS4 games on Sony’s upcoming next-gen console. Should you want to plan ahead, you can find loads more about that in our big PS5 pre-order guide.