The best PS5 external hard drives are the most efficient way to store games on your console, making them far easier to access and redownload without costing you too much. Since the console ships with limited storage from the get-go, it's important to expand your space wherever you can to help make gaming more streamlined.
However, even the best PS5 external hard drives are not capable of running some of the best PS5 games natively. That's because these external options are simply too slow for the job to safely keep up with the internal drive inside the console itself. As far as the best PS5 accessories are concerned, going external certainly has its place.
If you're solely in the market for drives that can provide on-par performance with what's already inside the PS5 then we recommend going internal. Fortunately, installing a PS5 SSD is easy to do with our illustrative step-by-step guide.
Best PS5 external hard drives in 2023
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The Crucial X8 uses an NVMe SSD, which means it’s got more speed than older and more affordable SATA SSDs. Its pace gets close to saturating the PS5’s USB ports – it’s not the fastest option when it comes to portable SSDs, but the Crucial is easily good enough to tackle console use.
The Crucial X8 drive withstands shocks, vibrations, 7.5ft drops, and extreme temperatures, so it’ll survive life on the road and around the house, and its robust design joins with impressive dimensions and impressively low prices.
Be aware, though, that there are lighter or slimmer drives available elsewhere, and more pace can be found on rivals, although you’ll have to pay for it. The Crucial may not be the slimmest, lightest, or fastest, but it’s never far off and it’s always pretty affordable, making it a good choice.
- Read more: Crucial X8 review
Samsung has proven itself to be the modern master of the SSD, so it’s no surprise that its latest portable drive is impressive. It’s available in capacities between 500GB and 2TB, and there’s plenty to like: it’s barely longer than a bank card, and its 8mm thickness and 58g weight make it the smallest and lightest portable SSD in this group.
If you want to use this drive for secure functions alongside your consoles, it has AES 256-bit encryption. The T7 is quick enough to nearly saturate the PS5’s USB ports, although Seagate and LaCie’s drives are faster. That speed advantage isn’t essential for PS5 use, but it could be a dealbreaker if you want to use the drive with PCs and laptops too.
Also, bear in mind that while the Samsung T7 has reasonable build quality, but it doesn’t have the drop, shock, and temperature certifications of its rivals. The price is lower than most rivals, and the Samsung combines decent speeds with tiny dimensions. It’s ideal if you want good pace at a lower price than most other portable SSDs.
- Read more: Samsung T7 Shield Touch review
WD Black products are usually bold, and the P50 portable SSD is no different thanks to an exterior made of ridged, black metal.
The exterior is rock-solid and withstands drops and bumps, so it’ll withstand everyday life. Beyond the design, you’ll find an NVMe drive that tops out at a mighty 2,000MB/s. That pace is far beyond what the PS5 can handle, but it does mean that the P50 saturates the console’s USB ports and deliver maximum speed. It also means that you can use that pace on devices with future-proofed USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 or Thunderbolt 3 ports.
There are downsides to this drive. It’s heavier and thicker than most portable SSDs, and it’s more expensive than most. If you’ve got the cash and need a product that’s great for the PS5 and ideal for the future, though, the WD Black P50 is a tremendous, future-proofed choice.
Most portable SSDs have shock and drop-resistant designs, but few drives go as far as the LaCie Rugged SSD Pro. It’s officially rated for water resistance, three-meter drops, two tons of crush resistance and dust resistance, so it’s virtually indestructible – perfect if you need a gaming drive to take on the road. It’s even got a flap that closes to protect the USB-C port.
This tough hardware sits inside a smart and subdued rubber casing, and a generous five-year warranty protects the LaCie. The rugged design doesn’t come at the expense of speed. This is another drive that saturates the PS5’s USB ports and heads beyond 2,000MB/s if you’ve got the right hardware, which makes it ideal for console use now and other devices in the future.
The design means that the LaCie is a little heavier and thicker than most SSDs, and it’s very expensive. But if you need a drive with lashings of speed and tough design, it’s worth the outlay.
The Seagate Game Drive is the only external hard disk officially licensed by Sony. While it’s technically licensed for PS4 devices, these drives will work with the PS5, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the licensing extended to Sony’s latest machines.
It’s available in capacities of 2TB and 4TB and is also available in The Last of Us and Marvel’s Avengers designs if you’d like something to represent your favorite game. Both capacities are solid options for ample storage, and both are cheaper than the WD drives – only the Toshiba Canvio Basics is more affordable. In terms of speed, it’s mid-range: fine, but not particularly impressive.
Seagate’s drive is lighter and slimmer than most rivals, and it has a robust aluminum exterior that’s stronger than the plastic Toshiba. It’s not fast or feature-packed, but it’s a good-looking, affordable, and official option.
Best portable PS5 external hard drives
Toshiba’s drive is the cheapest portable hard disk here by some distance, and it’s the only one available here that drops down to a 500GB capacity. If you’re on an extreme budget and you know that you only need a drive for a handful of key games, then that makes the smallest Canvio appealing.
The low price, broad range of capacities and no-nonsense design pair with reasonable weight and dimensions, but the Canvio also has compromises. It’s not particularly fast, so it’s not suitable if you want the quickest hard disk available to play your old PS4 library or transfer PS5 games to the console’s SSD. Its plastic exterior has mediocre build quality, so it’s admittedly not the best option for tossing into a bag. Still, this is a solid choice if you need external storage on a tight budget.
The WD Black P10 is the most expensive portable hard disk here, and the P10 tries to justify the cost in several important ways. It’s got a robust metal exterior that offers rock-solid build quality for frequent transport, and its ridged design makes it eye-catching.
The P10’s internal hard disk is the fastest out of the quartet of portable hard disks here. While it’s still a long way behind the PS5’s internal SSD, it means slightly faster loading times for PS4 games and quicker PS5 game transfers. The P10 also has a three-year warranty, which is an extra year of protection when compared to the cheaper Toshiba and Seagate drives.
Hard disks may not compete with SSDs when it comes to speed, but the WD Black P10 offers good performance and design, and it’s still far more affordable than an SSD – and with bigger capacities. If you’d like reasonable performance and rock-solid design, the P10 is the top choice.
The WD My Passport drives occupy the middle ground in the portable hard disk market. These products offer reasonable speeds that sit between the quicker WD Black P10 and the slower Toshiba Canvio, which is reflected in the mid-range pricing.
The My Passport is one of the slimmest portable hard drives around, and its weight levels aren’t bad either – it’s lighter than the WD Black and Toshiba Canvio products. At smaller capacities, it’s the lightest drive in this group.
Elsewhere, the My Passport has a three-year warranty, which means it’s got one more year of coverage than the Toshiba and Seagate products. You'll also find it available in blue, black, and red shades. The 5TB capacity option also makes this product a little more versatile than its cheaper rivals.
The My Passport is unfussy but effective. With solid specification, reasonable speed, and decent mainstream performance, it makes for a very good mid-range choice.
- Read more: WD My Passport review
Best PS5 desktop external hard drives
The WD Elements range isn’t flashy and doesn’t include future-proofed features, but it does offer a huge amount of versatility: Capacities range between a modest 2TB and a vast 18TB, and prices remain sensible, with the cost regularly undercutting the other desktop drives mentioned here.
The Elements drive looks good, with a sleek and sturdy exterior, although this drive is a little larger and heavier than some of the other desktop options. The performance levels on offer are not spectacular, either: the Elements delivers similar speed to the PS4’s hard disk. That’s fine for playing and storing games, but don’t expect the levels of pace you’ll find on an SSD.
As usual, though, a hard disk sacrifices speed to deliver affordability and capacity, and the WD Elements drive offers lashings of space at solid prices. If you’ve got a huge game collection to store and don’t want to spend loads of cash, this is a great choice.
As with other WD Black products, the D10 places a big emphasis on bold design, and build quality is superb. Handily, the D10 has a couple of USB ports that can charge controllers and peripherals, which is a handy extra on a gaming drive.
The D10 is only available in an 8TB capacity, and it’s a little more expensive than the equivalent size on the WD Elements. The design accounts for some of that, but the price increase is also justified by a 7,200rpm hard disk. That’s quicker than the 5,400rpm drives used in rivals, and it helps bring a little extra speed to the D10.
Happily, that means the D10 is a little quicker than the PS4’s internal hard disk, so you’ll experience better loading times on the PS5 if you’ve got a hefty collection of old games, and this drive is the fastest way to transfer PS5 games without shelling out more cash for an SSD.
So, while SSDs offer more pace, the D10 serves up great design and loads of capacity. It’s an ideal choice if you want a good-looking and capacious external drive.
The G-Technology ArmorATD has a rugged exterior that can withstand dust, water splashes, loads of pressure, and drops from a decent distance. It achieves this feat with an aluminium shell, a rubber bumper, and internal shock mounting.
It’s impressive given that hard disks have moving parts, and protecting them is far trickier than safeguarding SSDs. It makes the ArmorATD ideal if you need a drive to use with your PS5 and sling inside a backpack. The ArmorATD uses a 3.5in desktop hard disk, but it’s designed for portability, so its weight and dimensions sit between larger desktop drives and smaller portable options.
On the inside, the 5,400rpm hard disk means mediocre speeds, so don’t expect great loading and transfer times here – it’s reasonable, but not outstanding.
This drive is not great for speed, but it provides tremendous protection and high capacities, and it’s much cheaper than rugged SSDs. If you need storage and stability on a budget, it’s top-notch.
- Read more: G-Technology ArmorATD review
Best PS5 external hard drives - Frequently asked questions
We've put our knowledge of all things hard drive and SSD related to do with PS5 hardware together to bring you answers to some of the internet's most burning questions.
Can I play PS5 games from an external hard drive?
Unfortunately, no, you cannot run PS5 games from an external hard drive regardless of how fast it is. The main appeal of having an external hard drive is having the ability to store games rather than downloading them directly onto the console. If you'd rather have instant access to the games you download, it's worth looking into the best SSD for PS5.
Is it better to have an external HDD or SSD for my PS5?
Depending on your budget, an external SSD is much faster, but they do run up slightly more expensive than your standard hard drive. In addition, you'll be able to launch and play PS4 and PS5 games directly off an SSD rather than an HDD.
Is it worth getting an external hard drive for PS5?
An external hard drive for your PS5 is a great additional storage option for the console as it allows you to store native PS5 games and play PS4 games from them. Given that they are typically cheaper and easier to use than an internal PS5 SSD, we think they are worth considering as a solid secondary storage option behind a dedicated NVMe.