Best PS5 External Hard Drives Guide & Review – 2021 Edition

Photo: DiamondLobby

To keep DiamondLobby free to read, this post may contain affiliate links. Learn more

If you are running low on storage space on your PS5, the only way you can solve that problem without deleting any previously installed titles is by using an external hard drive.

To help you with picking the best external hard drive for PS5, we set ourselves the challenge to research the entire market and form up a comprehensive list of our best picks. To do that, we considered each external hard drive’s:

  • Technology
  • Storage Capacity
  • Transfer Speed
  • Durability

Upon concluding our research, we had 24 different external hard drives worthy of a mention in this guide and review. Our next job was to narrow down our initial selection to the best eight PS5 external hard drives.

Let’s take a closer look at our findings.

Why Buy an External Hard Drive For Your PS5?

As you may or may not already know, the PS5 comes with an 825GB NVMe SSD. If we take into consideration the system files and the PS5 operating system that must be stored on the internal SSD for your console to function properly, in the end, you are left with 667.2GB of storage space to play with.

While 667.2 GB of storage space may seem like a decent chunk, it isn’t, especially if you love playing games like  Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, which alone is 225.3 GB. That’s 1/3 of your storage space gone for just one game.

While not all games are of this size, as you could imagine, don’t hope to be storing more than 5-6 mainstream games on your internal SSD and expect to have space for any future updates.

This is where an external hard drive comes in handy. Though you can’t play video games that are stored on an external hard drive, if you wish to play that particular game, you can simply transfer it to your internal SSD.

This process takes just a few minutes as opposed to having to wait for hours until you can re-download the game you want to play, which you previously uninstalled to free up space for a different game or update.

Why You Can Trust This Review

Before we picked the products that we have reviewed below, we went out and searched the market by considering each external hard drive’s technology, storage capacity,

How We Picked

To pick the products that you will see in this guide and review, we considered each of the external hard drives:

Technology

When it comes to external hard drives, there are two different types – the old hard disk drive that we all know, and the newer, more prominent, and performing solid-state drive.

Solid-state drives are generally more expensive per gigabyte as compared to their old counterparts, hard disk drives.

To provide a fair amount of variety and price ranges so that everyone can find an external drive that matches their budget, we decided to find and include the best of both worlds.

Storage Capacity

When it comes to storage capacity, what you go for is entirely up to you. As the price of the typical HDD or SSD is determined based on the storage capacity of the unit, we’ve ensured to provide a wide variety of storage solutions from as low as 500 GB to as high as 2 TB. In some cases, if a particular product comes in a variety of storage sizes, we will have linked them in the review of the product.

Transfer Speed

As you can’t directly play games from the external hard drive on your PS5, you should only pay attention to the transfer speed of the external hard drive. The transfer speed of your external hard drive will impact how long it takes you to transfer a game from your external hard drive to your PS5’s internal storage and vice versa.

During our research, we figured that the faster the transfer speed of the external hard drive is, the more expensive it is. So, to provide a number of affordable and performing options, we have picked a handful of external hard drives that range in transfer speed from as low as 138.5 MB/s to as high as 2,000 MB/s.

Durability

When buying a PS5 accessory such as an external hard drive, you want to get something that lasts you for years into the future. One way to ensure that is by purchasing a storage solution from a reputable manufacturer.

To ensure that we recommend you products that will last you for the foreseeable future, we’ve ensured to make our final selection from products made by renowned companies in the industry.

Best External Hard Drive for PS5

TypeStorage CapacityTransfer SpeedSize
SSD1 TB2,000 MB/s4.65″ (L) x 2.44″ (W) x 0.55″ (H)

In our opinion, the WD Black 1TB P50 is the best external hard drive for PS5 that you can find on the market today. From super-quick transfer speed to a very decent storage capacity and durability, we’d recommend this external SSD for PS5 to any gamer looking for a long-term solution to their storage concerns.

The price at the time of writing was $199.99.

As a PS5 gamer, the WD Black 1TB P50 external solid-state drive is a no-brainer pick. This external SSD is another entry from Western Digital with a juiced-up design that’s sure to overtake most of its competitors in terms of speed and performance.

This particular external hard drive is part of the new breed of portable game storage solutions that make use of NVMe SSD technology, which is leagues faster than SATA-based SSDs. Combined with the advanced USB 3.2 Gen 2 interface, the WD Black 1TB P50 can reach read speeds of up to a whopping 2,000 MB/s! 

This means ultra-fast loading times that you won’t even finish one blinking cycle and you’re on the next stage of your game. This also means the textures are loaded almost instantaneously, which is pretty helpful especially for competitive games like first-person shooters and Esports titles that require the least amount of stutter and lag as possible to achieve game-winning performance.

As mentioned earlier, we went with the 1TB variant for this one as your PlayStation 5 already has ample space to store your main games, and supplementing it with a 1TB external hard drive is more than enough to keep you going for weeks without having to constantly delete and download your games.

All of this comes in an industrial, almost tactical-looking package with ridged accents and robust angles that evoke ruggedness. A simplistic white print of the brand and product name greets your eyes for that premium feel in a form factor that you can just chuck into your bag and it’s ready to go.

Yes, we said chuck, as the WD Black 1TB P50 external hard drive is designed to take a beating from physical factors like vibrations, drops, and bumps. This helps protect your precious game files and saved data from loss or corruption at all times. If the budget is not an issue for you, the WD Black 1TB P50 is a great choice for your PS5’s external game storage needs.

In case 1 TB of external storage space is a little too much or too little for your needs, you can also find this exact model in 500 GB, 2 TB, and 4 TB.

Best Budget External Hard Drive for PS5

TypeStorage CapacityTransfer SpeedSize
SSD500 GB540 MB/s2.91″ (L) x 2.26″ (W) x 0.41″ (H)

Looking for the best PS5 external SSD while on a budget? Upon finalizing our market research, we concluded that the Samsung T5 500GB External SSD is a fantastic choice for any gamer that needs a little more space than their PS5 comes with.

The price at the time of writing was $89.99.

The Samsung T5 500GB External SSD is one of the most reliable and affordable external hard drives for PS5 on the market today. Though this particular unit has been available for a few years now, it still remains one of the most popular choices among gamers as it is up to 4.9x faster than the standard external HDD.

Speed is an essential factor when considering buying an external hard drive, and this unit certainly is no slouch in that department. It has room for 500 GBs worth of games, making it spacious enough to store several casual titles or a handful of loaded triple-A games with ease. 

The Samsung T5 500GB External SSD sports a USB 3.1 Gen 2 interface that works with Samsung’s V-NAND flash memory to provide insane reading speeds of up to 540 MB/s. This allows for the free movement of games from the external SSD to your PS5 a super quick and easy process.

Also, the Samsung T5 500GB External SSD is one of the lightest external drives to carry around, weighing in at a mere 51 grams. Don’t worry about the misconception that light electronics are substandard, as this is just the nature of SSD-based external drives.

Instead of moving mechanical platters, SSDs rely on circuitry and memory chips to store data in a faster and safer manner. It also comes in a durable aluminum housing to preserve its portability while adding a layer of protection against physical threats like moisture and dropping, as it boasts a shock resistance rating of up to two meters of falling height.

Runner Up

TypeStorage CapacityTransfer SpeedSize
SSD1 TB1050 MB/s3.97″ (L) x 2.07″ (W) x 0.38″ (H)

The SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD is another top-of-the-line external storage solution for many PS5 console gamers. Its durability, compact size, and quick transfer speed make it one of the most popular choices in the community.

The price at the time of writing was $159.17.

For those that need a rugged storage solution that one can just toss away after a day of well-deserved gaming, the SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD is just for you. This shockproof external storage device has a two-meter height drop protection and is rated for IP55 water and dust resistance, allowing you to take it outdoors with you. It also comes with a carabiner loop that allows you to attach the drive to your backpack or belt hoop for that authentic outdoor survivability.

But enough of the SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD’s apparent durability. We’re here to talk about gaming performance, especially what it can deliver with regards to gaming on the PlayStation 5. It sports an NVMe implementation, which makes it faster than SATA-based external drives.

This storage solution can reach speeds of up to 1050 MB/s in reading performance, which is slightly behind its more premium counterparts, but for the price you’re getting it at, it’s already a no-brainer. It is also compatible with devices using USB Type-C ports, which the PS5 has, so you’re safe in terms of connectivity.

The SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable SSD is an upgraded version of its similar-named older model that provided half the read speeds in the past – all for a small price increase. This nets you better in-game performance in terms of loading times and resource caching, which means faster scene transitions and more consistent frame output performance.

As this portable SSD is designed with data protection features in mind, one won’t need to worry about its reliability, especially in running games on the new PlayStation 5 console.

Other Great External Hard Drives for PS5

In case you didn’t find the right external hard drive for your PS5, below, you can find five other great recommendations.

Fantom Drives 2TB

TypeStorage CapacityTransfer SpeedSize
HDD2 TB150 MB/s7.75″ (L) x 4.5″ (W) x 1.37″ (H)

If you are looking for an affordable, large storage solution for storing all of your PS5 games, then the Fantom Drives 2TB is one of our best recommendations. With a large storage capacity and very decent transfer speed for an HDD, this product is certainly worthwhile.

The price at the time of writing was $99.13.

The Fantom Drives 2TB external hard drive’s spacious 2TB capacity means you can load your favorite games on it and still have room for more by the time you’re done downloading. You’re gonna have to, however, trade that sweet file transfer speed performance for cheap mass storage, which will net you up to 150 MB/s most of the time.

This is a far cry from what is offered by SSD-based drives but is more than enough if you really value the capacity offered by this unit. It also supports USB 3.1 performance for added versatility in case you want to use it on your gaming PC.

Unlike most external hard drives, the Fantom Drives 2TB External Hard Drive requires an auxiliary power source instead of being directly supplied by the USB connection, which is a vital factor to note depending on your setup.

It comes in a robust aluminum housing that helps with passive cooling to omit fans in the equation, making it extra silent, and also helps to prevent throttling and potential damage that heat may cause on the hard drive. It also has a power switch that not only helps in preserving the remaining health on the drives but also protects them from power fluctuation and surges that may cause irreversible damage.

If 2 TB of storage is a little too much or too little for your needs, you can also find this exact HDD in 1 TB, 4 TB, 6 TB, 8 TB, 10 TB, 12 TB, 14 TB, 16 TB, and 18 TB.

Seagate Firecuda Gaming SSD 500GB

TypeStorage CapacityTransfer SpeedSize
SSD500 GB2,000 MB/s4.11″ (L) x 2.07″ (W) x 0.39″ (H)

Looking for a smaller-sized SSD with lightning-fast transfer speeds? The Seagate Firecuda Gaming SSD 500GB would be a great solution to any PS5 gamer’s storage concerns.

The price at the time of writing was $130.79.

This external solid-state drive by Seagate comes from the brand’s specialized line of storage solutions that focus on gaming-oriented applications. You need not worry about this unit, however, as it sports an NVMe drive that is paired with the USB 3.2 Gen 2×2 interface. This nets you with an average read speed of up to 2,000 MB/s.

With this, loading your games up will take just a few seconds, while in-game level transitions will run for as short as a blink of an eye. Also, you’re treated to a stutter-free performance as resources are pre-loaded faster to keep up with the current events in the game.

This configuration comes in a 500 GB variant which can hold a couple of games just fine, although you can definitely step up the storage capacity if you feel the need to. We’re taking into account how the Seagate Firecuda Gaming SSD 500GB is one of the pricier options when it comes to the gigabyte per dollar value, so choose what fits in your budget. 

Just like most modern external hard drives, the Seagate Firecuda Gaming SSD 500GB has forgone most of the aesthetic gimmicks of past offerings in favor of a thin and classic look that’s reminiscent of its internal storage counterparts.

Of course, Seagate hasn’t forgotten about the lighting accents present on the Barracuda model and pasted it onto the Firecuda for that extra bling. As for connectivity, this external hard drive makes use of a reversible USB Type-C cable for foolproof connection or one can opt for the Type-C to Type-A cable if the available ports call for the need to.

Seagate Game Drive 2TB

TypeStorage CapacityTransfer SpeedSize
HDD2 TB138.5 MB/s4.47″ (L) x 2.99″ (W) x 0.48″ (H)

If you are on the lookout for a great value for money in regards to price per gigabyte, then the Seagate Game Drive 2TB would be a fantastic choice to solve all of your storage needs now and for the future.

The price at the time of writing was $79.99.

Despite the fact that the Seagate Game Drive 2TB is based on a mechanical drive, which is inherently slower than our previous SSD recommendations, you can expect great gigabyte per dollar value for those who are looking for external storage on a budget.

For our pick, we’ve gone with the 2TB variant of the Seagate Game Drive 2TB to maximize storage space versus price. This nets you up to four times the capacity for a cheaper bargain than say, an SSD-based external drove of the same price.

If you can look past this relatively minor performance downside in regards to transferring speed, the Seagate Game Drive 2TB can be a pretty useful accessory to your PlayStation 5.  This external hard drive connects to the PS5 via a USB 3.0 Type-A cable and comes in a compact housing that not only protects the internals but also adds to the premium feel of the drive.

In case you aren’t in a particular rush when it comes to transferring games to and from your external hard drive, then you might as well go for an affordable option like the Game Drive by Seagate, which will also last you for years to come.

WD 1TB My Passport SSD

TypeStorage CapacityTransfer SpeedSize
SSD1 TB1050 MB/s3.54″ (L) x 1.77″ (L) x 0.39″ (H)

WD are known for being one of the most reliable manufacturers and suppliers of external hard drives. During our research, we came across the WD 1TB My Passport SSD, which is not only tiny in size but is also super-performing.

The price at the time of writing was $299.99.

Another go-to option for gamers who want stutter-free performance in games stored by external means is the WD 1TB My Passport SSD external drive. This particular model is another SSD-based external drive that has a larger storage capacity than our previous suggestion, making it perfect for those who really want to go all out on their PlayStation 5 gaming sessions with multiple titles ready to go. 

Western Digital is already an established name when it comes to storage solutions so there’s no need to hesitate in getting a WD 1TB My Passport SSD. Connectivity with the PlayStation 5 is secured with the USB Type-A and C ports, allowing you to choose the most convenient way to hook your external drive up to the console. As expected of external SSDs in its class, it provides read speeds of up to 1050 MB/s – almost twice the speed of its competitors – which is vital in loading up games faster.

This is thanks to the NVMe implementation in the drive’s design. Not only do you get a faster rate of communication with the console, but also a larger amount of storage space thanks to the 1TB allocation on this external hard drive. This doubles the number of games you can carry with you when traveling or visiting a friend who wants to experience new titles but doesn’t have the means to acquire them.

Not only does the WD 1TB My Passport SSD come with boosted performance over its previous iterations, but it also sports a new, sleeker design. No one would suspect a simple, compact piece of hardware to contain some of the most hardcore triple-A games, right?

What’s more, is that this external hard drive has an integrated channel where you can store the USB cable when not in use, making it easy to store and deploy whenever you’re ready to play some games. And oh, it also comes protected from shock and vibration for a drop height of about two meters, securing your game data in case an accident happens. 

Seagate Barracuda Fast SSD 1TB

TypeStorage CapacityTransfer SpeedSize
SSD1 TB540 MB/s3.68″ (L) x 3.11″ (W) x 0.36″ (H)

And last but not least, we have the Seagate Barracuda Fast SSD 1TB, which is another relatively quick 1 TB external SSD by Seagate Barracuda Fast.

The price at the time of writing was $299.99.

Our next recommendation comes from another trusted brand in the storage market – Seagate. From internal to external solutions, the company has proven time and time again that their offerings are fast, reliable, and have lower failure rates than most competing brands. For use with the PlayStation 5, we’re going with the Seagate Barracuda Fast SSD 1TB.

As you can infer from the product name, this external solid-state drive offers a generous 1TB storage capacity, which is a lot in addition to your PlayStation 5’s 825GB SSD. This provides you with more room to store your favorite titles and saves you the hassle of deleting them to make room for new ones, and then having to redownload to play these games again.

Furthermore, the Seagate Barracuda Fast SSD 1TB has a read speed of up to 540 MB/s, which is pretty standard for most SSD-based external drives, but this is four times faster than the traditional spinning disks of mechanical variants.

Not only does it allow for faster file transfers but also improve game loading times along with almost-instant texture utilization – this means you’ll spend less time staring at a loading screen and more time gaming, along with minimal stutters in-game as the textures are loaded faster to keep up with the current scenario.

Connectivity is secured by the USB Type-A and C compatibility of the drive and even comes with a reversible 18-inch Type-C cable or a Type-C to Type-A cable for maximum convenience. 

The Seagate Barracuda Fast SSD 1TB comes in a minimalist package with the brand name in simple print, while a slim green lighting accent runs across its bottom half to add a bit of flair to the drive.

It also comes protected from shocks and vibrations making it perfect for those who travel frequently but feel the need to lug their games around. Adding to this is the limited product protection plan and a 3-year Rescue Services availability should unforeseeable circumstances occur. 

External Hard Drive for PS5 Shopping Tips

Before you buy your next external hard drive for PS5, consider the following shopping tips below.

Solid State Drive (SSD) vs Hard Disk Drive (HDD)

When it comes to external hard drives and hard drives as a whole, the biggest question in the community is whether one should go with an SSD or HDD.

The obvious advantage of going with an SSD for PS5 is that the integrated technology will allow you to transfer your video games to and from the device in times faster as compared to the standard HDD. This, of course, comes at a premium. SSDs are generally a lot more expensive per gigabyte compared to HDDs.

To answer the question, if you have quite a bit more money to play with, then going with an SSD is a great choice that will last you for years. However, if you are on a budget and would still like to get a decent-sized external storage solution, then HDD would be the best choice for you.

Both are just as reliable, one is just much quicker than the other.

Avoid SSDs Under 500GB

While there is no harm in getting a 256GB SSD as an external solution to storing more of your favorite games that cannot be stored on your PS5’s internal storage, it’s hardly worth it.

As the SSD technology is generally quite pricy compared to HDDs, you will find that there is very little difference in price between a 256GB SSD and a 500GB one.

So, if you want the most value for money while on a budget, go for an SSD that is at least 500GB in capacity.

Pay Attention to the Transfer Speeds of the Drive Before You Buy

If you are someone who doesn’t want to wait for half an hour to forty-five minutes for a game to transfer over from the external hard drive to the internal SSD of your PS5, then pay attention to the transfer speeds of your external hard drive.

If we take CoD: Cold War as an example, which is 225.3 GB in size, and take an external hard drive with a transfer speed of 500 MB/s, it would take your drive 7 minutes 51 seconds to transfer the game from A to B.

To achieve such quick transfer speeds and better, we’d strongly advise you to stay away from HDD and opt-in for an SSD. SSD drives are at times faster than HDDs.

Picking the Right External Hard Drive for Your PS5

If you aren’t quite sure which external hard drive to go for, below, you will find three highly relevant scenarios alongside the best PS5 external hard drive for that particular case.

Scenario 1: You love playing games – a lot of them and require a large storage solution. You’d also like to be able to transfer games from your PS5 to your external hard drive and vise versa without much delay.

In this case, we’d recommend you the WD 1TB My Passport SSD.

Scenario 2: You are on a tight budget, but would still like to take advantage of an SSD external hard drive and transfer your videos games back and forth at lighting-fast speeds.

In this case, we’d recommend you out budget-friendly pick, the Samsung T5 500GB External SSD.

Scenario 3: You don’t mind waiting a little extra time for your games to transfer from your external hard drive to your PS5, and would rather save money by getting a cheaper product while getting a lot more storage space.

In this case, we’d recommend you the Seagate Game Drive 2TB.

Final Thoughts

If you have owned your PS5 for some time, you’d know how annoying it is to not be able to download and install a new game or update on your console because you’ve already run out of space.

A PS5 external hard drive can solve all of your problems for around a hundred dollars, and while you can’t play games directly the external storage solution, that is the best solution to date. At least it saves you a ton of time and a lot of hard decisions on what game you should uninstall to open up more space.