Extending Your Gaming Library, One Drive at a Time
When PS4 entered the gaming scene, the hype around its hot and swappable storage is all the craze. However, not everything is rainbow and flowers when changing your drive.
Because unfortunately, all your local files, including saves, will be gone forever unless they’re safely tucked away in cloud storage. Also, you will need to re-download the games and take apart your beloved console. But before you stop and think it is a bad idea, then hear me out first.
You can quickly remedy this by using an external hard drive. Aside from expanding your PS4’s storage, you also won’t lose files or risk damaging the system by taking it apart. If you are uncertain of what to get, then read this guide. Here, I’ve listed 19 Best External Hard Drive for Ps4 as well as a buyer’s guide and things you need to know before buying one.
Why Do I Need to Upgrade My PS4 Storage?
In the early years of gaming, you buy a game, put it in your system, and play to your heart’s content. However, with technology that we have, the gaming industry has evolved as well. Now every game that you own must be downloaded to your console, and they are not lightweight.
Aside from the base game, the developers are also regularly sending patches for bug fixes or rolling out additional content. So, you, running out of storage is the likely scenario. That is why if you want to buff your game library not to mention dreaded by the thought of wasting time deleting and re-downloading your games, hear me out. It is in your best interest to upgrade your hard drive.
Additionally, extra storage space means you get to take full advantage of Sony’s sales and giveaways. Not to mention how upgrading your console’s storage can free the much-needed ram of your PS4. So that is a win-win.
What is the Difference Between SSD, HDD, and SSHD?
If you are confused between these three, then you are not alone. Most of these devices are interchanged often.
HDD (Hard Disk Drive)
HDD functions via a magnetic disk and writing data on a physical space. This drive spins at a high-speed, which allows data to be written quickly. They are thin and compact but not as slim as SSD. When it comes to storage capacity HDD boasts higher capacity and go as big as 12TB!
SSD (Solid State Drive)
SSD contains no moving parts, that is why transferring, reading, and writing data is remarkably faster. They are sturdier due to being similar to a thumb-drive, they can withstand a fair amount of abuse. Though they are a bit pricier than HDD you can expect faster speeds.
SSHD (Solid State Hybrid Drive)
The SSHD is a combination of SSD and HDD. It’s a standard hard disk with a small built-in amount of solid-state storage. So basically, an SSHD is just a hard drive and SSD in one, hence the name hybrid. For pricing though it is slightly more expensive than HDD but are remarkably cheaper than SSD. Learn more about the best storage options.
Best External Hard Drive for PS4
WD My Passport 4TB Portable Hard Drive
Available Capacity: 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 5TB
Western Digital’s My Passport drive is an excellent HDD without paying extra. If you want a reliable and dependable storage extension for your PS4 but are on a limited budget, then it is the one. Aside from being USB 3.0 compatible, it is straightforward to use as you just need a quick reformat to get started. If you sound like someone meticulous with the material used, then you will be delighted to know that it is sturdy and well-built, so taking it with you wherever you go is no problem at all. My Passport series is also stylish and a bit similar looking to the PS4, so you will have no problem incorporating it into your set-up.
Though there are lower versions available and lower-priced as well, I highly advise against it. You are better off getting the 4TB version or, better yet, the 5TB because aside from more significant savings, bigger capacity is more agreeable. Remember, with games getting bigger and bigger each year, its best to come prepared.
WD Gaming Drive
Available Capacity: 2TB, 3TB, 4TB
The first time I laid my eyes on this HDD, I noticed that the WD Gaming Drive has adapted the iconic black and blue color scheme of the PS4. The front side is coated with a glossy black plastic finish and broad blue accents. It is also lightweight but solidly built.
Setting it up is also easy. No complicated processes just plug in the drive, and you are off to start your newest gaming adventure. Though it is available in three storage capacities, I highly advise that you choose the biggest one. Triple-A titles are known to release patches and DLC’s from time to time, that is why it is better if you have extra space ready whenever. Western Digital also offers a 3-year warranty for the WD Gaming Drive, so it is a good buy over-all.
Toshiba 1TB Canvio Advance
Available Capacity: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, 4TB
Definitely, one of the best budget picks for PS4 hard drives’ the Canvio Advance is a fabulous pick. Unlike other low-priced HDD in the market, Toshiba is a well-established name, so you are sure to get your money’s worth. Though on the lower cost spectrum, the Canvio Advance’s writing and read speeds are almost on a par with the higher priced WD MyPassport. Best value pick if you ask me considering the savings.
The Canvio Advance comes with a 2-year warranty, enough but shorter than competitors which is usually around 3-years. If you decide to use it with your PC, you don’t have to worry about your data getting corrupted as it has password protection and automatic backup feature. Pretty neat seeing the price tag that it has. Design-wise it looks great too and comes with different color variations such as Black, Blue, Red, Silver, and White. Though the Red one personally piques my interest, the Blue matches the PS4 theme better.
Seagate Game Drive for PS4 Systems (Officially Licensed Product)
Available Capacity: 2TB, 4TB
This HDD is officially licensed by Sony as a PS4 product. Because it operates under the consoles’ hard drive firmware, you are guaranteed to have seamless performance, not to mention no compatibility issues whatsoever. It is also aesthetically pleasing and sports the iconic black and blue color pallet and topped with the official PS4 logo.
With its big space offerings, 2TB, and 4TB, you no longer have to delete your games just to make way for a new one. It will also surely last you for a long time, not to mention it comes with a 3-year warranty, so the value is pretty high. Not only is it functional but also sports a solid build. Being co-designed with the PlayStation team, the Seagate Game Drive is housed inside a sleek aluminum shell so you can be sure that it will take more than one bump to put this HDD out of commission.
Seagate Expansion HDD
Available Capacity: 3TB, 4TB, 6TB, 8TB, 10TB,
Now, this trumps almost everything on this list when it comes to storage capacity. The biggest Seagate Expansion HDD offers a whopping 10TB of additional games space. Now that can store loads of games! Though the capacity is super big, you won’t have to shell big bucks too to get it. It is reasonably priced, and with the value it offers? It is well worth it.
This HDD is sleek and slender, undoubtedly stylish and will fit right into your gaming set-up. Sadly, it has its own power supply, so you need to have an available plug whenever you use it. But aside from this, the Seagate Expansion is a fantastic buy for gamers looking to expand their PS4 gaming library.
HGST Touro S
Available Capacity: 500GB, 1TB
HGST is a Western Digital Company, so I’m pretty sure that the quality is legit. When I first saw the HGST Touro S, it resembles an Apple device rather than an HDD. It is stylish thanks to its aluminum outer shell. The color variations are also posh and comes in Ruby, Gold, Platinum, and Silver. Portability is also not a concern as it is lightweight as well.
Thanks to its 7200RPM hard drive spinning capacity, it is technically up to 23% faster than the standard 5400RPM. This HDD also offers multiple layers of data security, such as a pre-loaded backup software and an additional 3GB of FREE cloud backup. Though the first 3GB of cloud backup is free, you can opt to pay for $69.99/year upgrade (as of this writing) for an extra 250 GB of cloud storage.
WD My Passport Go SSD
Available Capacity: 500GB, 1TB
The WD My Passport Go SSD selling point is its insane durability and extreme portability. Let me explain. We gamers are sometimes a bit clumsy, especially when in the heat of battle, that is why untowardly accidents can’t be avoided.
Thankfully the WD My Passport Go SSD got your back as it is drop-resistant and can survive a 2-meter fall! Thanks to its protective rubber bumper, it can withstand bumps even while plugged in. Its built-in shock absorbers plus no active internal parts are vital in keeping this SSD sturdy. Portability is also not an issue as it is basically pocket-sized. Whenever you are traveling, you can easily tuck it in your luggage with no worries. Performance-wise it is 2.5x faster than most hard drives as it doesn’t have any moving parts.
WD Elements Desktop Hard Drive
Available Capacity: 3TB, 4TB, 6TB, 8TB, 10TB, 12TB
Western Digital has been a frontrunner in the storage technology sector thanks to WD’s commitment to producing top quality products. The WD Elements Desktop Hard Drive is not an exception to this rule as it is a solid drive for PS4 gaming. Though it is not as fast as other HDDs on this drive, this one is solid enough to last you for years.
Aside from being robust in build, the storage offerings are sure to answer gamer’s need. If you like hoarding games and are always patching for updates, then getting the 8TB above is best. But if you are not lacking space but fancies having extra at your disposal, then the 4TB and 6TB is enough for you.
Samsung T5 Portable SSD
Available Capacity: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
The Samsung T5 is unarguably one of the SSD drives that you can get that screams value. Though a bit higher in price than most on this list this SSD lets you enjoy premium features. The metal design of this drive makes it a premium addition to your gaming build, not to mention how it easily fits inside the palm of your hands. Aside from looking pretty neat thanks to its bright metallic color offerings, its performance is also the real deal.
This SSD’s read and write speed are of up to 540 MB/s. Faster than the standard HDD speed so you can expect better performance. Data protection is also excellent as it offers optional password protection plus an AES 256-bit hardware encryption.
LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt
SSD: 500GB. 1TB, 2TB
HDD: 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 5TB
If you are someone who prone to knocking things down or off the table, then the LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt is your lifesaver. LaCie has made the Rugged Thunderbolt robust enough to survive abuse. It is also dust and water-resistant so it can endure any unfortunate accidents. Though built like a tank, it is also super stylish.
Overall the Rugged Thunderbolt is a versatile storage device for your gaming needs. Because it is super durable and very stable, you are sure to game in peace, knowing that you won’t lose hours of game progress even if it gets knocked down.
Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSHD
Available Capacity: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
If you’re scanning for a more permanent storage solution, then the Seagate Firecuda SSHD is your guy. This small 2.5″ drive will fit nicely into your console without a hitch. You also don’t have to agonize about its quality as Seagate is well-established in the storage industry, so their name alone is your guarantee.
Though this is technically not an external hard drive, you can still set it up as an external HDD as long as you have an adapter cord. Though having this internal one has its own advantages. Firstly, it minimizes clutter, and lastly, the Firecuda allows better reading and writing speeds than your regular HDD. Basically, it means that you get an SSD-like performance for less.
WD My Passport Wireless Pro
Available Capacity: 1TB, 2TB, 3TB, 4TB
The WD My Passport Wireless Pro offers storage variation from 1TB to 4TB, though I suggest you get the biggest one for better savings and more space. One of its good points is that this HDD will allow you to transfer data wirelessly. To do this, just connect the Passport Wireless Pro to the same Wi-Fi connection as the laptop, smartphone, or whatever you are transferring from.
This HDD is sure to add more value to your gaming set-up as it also doubles as a power bank. Portability is another of its strong points, so bring it with you anywhere you go, and it will pose no issues at all. Having to lug around a big HDD is not efficient not to no mention the clutter it could bring just based on its sheer size.
Samsung 860 EVO SSD
Available Capacity: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB
Yes, this is not external, but hear me out. With SSD slowly overrunning, the traditional HDD, jumping ship to SSD is not a bad idea. This is particularly true if you want your PS4 games to load at optimum speeds. After all, this is basically the cheaper option rather than getting an external SSD for your PS4. So, what is not to like?
With the price point being super friendly, you are sure to invest in this one easily rather than its external counterparts. The storage capacity is also diverse; you are sure to pick the one that suits you best. But as I always, I’m more inclined to getting the biggest one just to ensure more space for future games. Though HDD is fine on its own and boasts a longer life, SSD is, without a doubt is faster by a long shot.
Seagate Backup Plus Hub
Available Capacity:4GB, 6GB, 8GB, 10GB
The Seagate Backup Plus Hub has an incredible offering when it comes to storage capacity. From 4TB to 10TB, it is undeniably one of the biggest external hard drives you can get for your PS4. Aside from its massive storage space, it also has two additional USB 3.0 ports that you can use to plug in additional PlayStation peripherals.
The Seagate Backup Plus Hub is ideal for gamers who are constantly stuffing their gaming library with games. You will also enjoy some peace of mind with this HDD thanks to the Seagate’s Dashboard backup software. Transferring big games is a piece of cake for this drive thanks to its 181 MB/s for writing and 195 MB/s for reading speeds.
Seagate Fast SSD
Available Capacity: 250GB, 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
The Seagate Fast SSD is a well-designed extra storage for your PS4 gaming. Aside from looking sleek, it is also lightweight and has a high shock resistance. The outer shell is also made of durable materials, something we naturally expect from a company like Seagate. It can endure a fair amount of abuse before giving up on you.
The data transfer of this SSD is reasonably fast, with reading /write speeds that reaches up to 540/500MB/s, gaming, and transferring data is sure to be a breeze. Powered by USB-C technology you will get to fully enjoy the hassle-free connectivity anytime you plug it in to play. The last thing you would like to experience is you, getting disconnected, while in the middle of a game, yikes!
Samsung X5 Portable SSD
Available Capacity: 500GB, 1TB, 2TB
The Samsung X5 Portable SSD is the first-ever NVMe based portable SSD from Samsung. Aside from utilizing the Thunderbolt 3 technology, it’s read and write speed can reach up to 2,800MB/s and 2,300MB/s. Now you won’t have to wait for hours and hours just to play your favorite game. After all, in recent years, games are becoming bigger and bigger, so storage comes in short supply.
Design-wise it features a metal body, a glossy topside, and non-slip bottom part. Super stylish and can quickly settle in your gaming set-up thanks to its gamer vibes look. Aside from looking cool, it is also shock-resistant and can survive a 2-meter drop without problems. Pretty neat, especially if you are accident-prone.
Transcend StoreJet M3
Available Capacity: 1TB, 2TB
Manufactured by SanDisk, a frontrunner in SSD production, the Transcend StoreJet M3 looked like a tank and was built like it. SanDisk has gone as far as commissioning a military-grade shock resistant technology to ensure that the StoreJet M3 can survive. Utilizing an advanced 3-stage shock protection system, this HDD will outlast them all. For sure, even if you accidentally knock this HDD off the table, you will be at peace knowing how reliable the StoreJet M3 is.
Moving on to performance, this HDD did not disappoint as well. The StoreJet M3 supports SuperSpeed USB 3.0. You will also get to enjoy high-speed transfers that can reach up to 550MB/s read speeds. Nothing is more annoying than itching to play a game but getting stopped by slow data transfers.
Western Digital WD_Black
Available Capacity: 2TB, 3TB, 4TB, 5TB
The Western Digital WD_Black looks like it holds some top-secret information, and owning one makes you privy to the nation’s most classified data. But then again, it is just our imagination running; however, we can’t deny that it is one cool looking HDD. Perfect for a gaming set-up if you ask me.
Aside from looking epic, it is also highly portable and durable and will endure a few mishaps. This high-performing HDD is sure to optimize your gaming by a lot. Designed with gamers in mind, the WD_Black is a worthy addition to your gaming arsenal. It also offers a wide array of storage capacity, so make sure to pick one that suits you best. Remember, the bigger, the better, with game patches rolling out every month, we can never be sure.
ADATA HD710 Pro
Available Capacity: 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, 5TB
The ADATA HD710 Pro is aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. With several varieties to choose from, you are sure to pick the one that suits your personality best. Though the Blue one screams PS4 better, I can’t help but think how the Camo looks like you mean serious business.
Well though they are good-looking, they are tough as nails as the HD710 PRO has passed the US Army MIL-STD-810G 516.6 standard. Now that is extreme! This means that even if it falls from up to 1.5 meters, your data will remain safe. With gamers getting in the heat of the moment when gaming, it is better to have sturdy equipment.
PS4 External HDD Buyers Guide
But what really makes a good HDD? If you charge blindly into the world of retail, getting overwhelmed with specs and information is not unlikely. That is why, for a better buying experience, read on to know what to look out for when buying your additional PS4 storage.
Though most consoles are bundled with an internal hard drive, it usually just ranges around 500GB and 1TB tops. Though this is a pretty decent space for storing a few games, apps and save files, a hardcore gamer may find the size lacking. With modern games getting bigger each year with some titles eating up to 80GB of space, an upgrade must be done.
If you don’t like the cycle of deleting old games to make room for installing new ones, then you make sure to get an HDD/SSD that can give you the ample space that you need. With offerings ranging from 500GB to as big as 12TB, you are sure to get the one that you need. When choosing, always take into consideration the games that you are playing. Are your usual games support mods? How often do patches get rolled out? By answering these questions, you are sure to come with the decision in a picking storage capacity.
Speed and Drive Type
Most of the time, the bundled HDD that powers most consoles are good enough to run standard games. But once the game increases in size, due to patches, mods, or save files, then you are sure to run into some problems. With the stock HDD at play, booting up games can cost you minutes of waiting time or crashes if you are unlucky. After all, older HDD devices are somewhat outdated and sluggish compared to a modern SSD or SSHD. Though you won’t really achieve PC SSD speed, we can’t deny that it will indeed speed up the process.
Before buying, take note of the reading and write speeds as well as connection ports. Though SSD and SSHD are faster than HDD, they are more prone to heating up and may suffer shorter lifespans. That is why if you are not that conscious to speed, then HDD may be a better choice.
Not everybody has unlimited gaming funds, so buying cost-efficient items must be a priority. If you have a restricted budget to work with, the HDD may be the right choice. Because it is faster than the built-in HDD inside your PS4, you will still get the most out of your money.
However, if you have extra dough to spare, getting an SSD or an SSHD is a good choice too. Because it is faster than the traditional HDD, it also costs more. But whatever you decide on, make sure to get the one that gives you more value.
Step by Step Guide in Using an External Hard Drive for the PS4
Sony has specifically designed the PS4 to have an accessible hard drive inside a dedicated slot that is away from other console parts. I suspect that this is a consideration on their part to minimize any dismantling damages and making sure that the switch is made convenient.
Though changing the internal hard drive of the PS4 and PS4 Pro is designed to be easy, it still carries some risk. Some people may find it even complicated, so they opt for using external storage.
Before getting started, take note that before you can start playing using your external hard drive, you need to format it first. Good thing you can do this by using the console itself.
The PS4 has its dedicated file system, so you have to format the external drive to it. Before proceeding, make sure that you have a backup for your files, as formatting the drive will delete all of your data.
Now once you are all set up follow these instructions below to start formatting:
Step 1: Connect the hard drive to a vacant USB slot on the PS4
Step 2: Don’t mind the error prompt and continue
Step 3: Go to “Settings” and scroll down to “Devices.”
Step 4: Now, select “USB Storage Device.”
Step 5: Next is to find your external hard drive from the options and select “Format as Extended Storage.”
After doing these steps, you can now install your games on the drive. However, it is essential to remember that the PS4 will not ask you to format the drive like in Xbox One, so it is normal to get the error message. Now your newly formatted drive will be the default location for your future games.
However, if you want to change that, you can follow these steps:
Step 1: Go to the “Settings” menu and select “Storage.”
Step 2: Select your preferred download location and choose the “Options” button on your controller
Step 3: Select “Application Install Location” and pick either the default internal storage or your external hard drive
You can also move games and applications between the two storages. Just follow these steps:
Step 1: Select the drive where the game that you want to move is located
Step 2: Now find the game you that want to move and press the “Options” button
Step 3: Now select “Move to Extended Storage.”
Picking out a brand-new hard drive for your PS4 is a lot of work, especially when you are considering all these factors. However, all the arduous task will pay off in the end, especially when you no longer have to do the cycle of deleting and reinstalling games whenever you want to play a new game. Considering all the advantages of owning one, the more we want to get our hands in a shiny new storage device.
But as you know, retail can be scary, so knowing what you want before taking the plunge is the best course of action. There are tons of available HDD, SSD, and SSHD on the market, so be careful when choosing as this will help you keep the games that you want. After all, a PS4 stocked with great game titles is not so bad.