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Which external hard drive is best for PS4?

As the complex worlds of your favorite video games become larger, so too does the amount of storage space games require. Games like “The Last of Us 2” or “Final Fantasy XV” require 100GB, while the largest PS4 game to date, “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare,” uses 175GB.

With such large games, you can run out of the included space on some PS4 consoles with only three or four games. The best PS4 external hard drive we’ve found to solve that problem is the Western Digital Gaming Drive. This external hard drive is specifically made for the Playstation 4s and comes in 2TB and 4TB sizes.

What to know before you buy a PS4 external hard drive


PS4 external hard drives come in sizes from 250GB to 8TB. The larger the storage space of a PS4 external hard drive, the less you pay per gigabyte. The sweet spot between price and storage for most gamers is 1TB, but 2TB and 4TB PS4 external hard drives ensure maximum value and capacity.


You can’t use just any external hard drive on a Playstation 4. It has to connect to the device via USB 3.0, and the PS4 isn’t compatible with hard drives smaller than 250GB or larger than 8TB. While you are unable to connect more than one external hard drive at once, you can still swap external hard drives around easily. Via either a computer or the console itself, the user must format the external hard drive to the Playstation 4’s operating system.

Drive type

There are two types of hard drives: hard disk drives(HDDs) and solid-state drives (SDDs). HDDs use a spinning disk to store and read data, unlike an SSD, which has no moving parts. SSDs are faster, more reliable and weigh less. SSDs are more expensive than HDDs, but the faster speeds and higher quality are worth the extra cost.

PS4 external hard drive features


The internal hard drive of PS4 models uses HDDs that spin at 5,400 rpm. Use an external HDD with a higher rpm for faster speeds than what the console can manage alone or an SSD for even faster speeds.


Depending on your set-up and location you might need a more durable PS4 external hard drive. If you live in an area with high humidity, find an external hard drive that’s resistant to moisture. If you plan to travel with your Playstation 4, choose an external hard drive with extra protection.  


Heat greatly affects the lifespan of the hard drive, so make sure the design of your external hard drive allows for maximum airflow to keep it cool. If you prefer to game in dark environments, check to see whether your device has LED indicators that you might find too bright and distracting. 

If you want to display your PS4 external hard drive, choose a more stylized model or even one that comes with a display stand. If you have limited space, purchase a compact external drive that can be stored in smaller, out-of-the-way spaces.

PS4 external hard drive costs

You can find 1TB PS4 external hard drives for as little as $60, while the 8TB models go up to $200. Keep in mind that PS4 external hard drives that cost more but provide the same amount of storage space offer higher durability or extra features, not necessarily increased performance.

PS4 external hard drive FAQ

How do I set up my new external hard drive?

A. Most PS4 external hard drives just need to be plugged into the console and they’re ready to go. Your console will notify you if the external hard drive needs to be formatted and those step-by-step instructions will then be displayed.

Why isn’t my PS4 recognizing my external hard drive?

A. If the compatibility criteria are met by your external hard drive but you don’t get a notification on your console, try using a different USB port. If that doesn’t work, you might need to use a computer to assign it a drive letter or initialize it.

Do I need to do anything special to access the games on my external hard drive?

A. You can select your games from the PS4 menu just as you did before.

Which PS4 external hard drive should I get?

Best of the best PS4 external hard drive

Western Digital Gaming Drive

Western Digital Gaming Drive

What you need to know: Specifically made for the Playstation 4, this durable hard drive can store plenty of games.

What you’ll love: Western Digital makes a slim and lightweight model with 2TB and 4TB sizes.

What you should consider: This hard drive is pricier than others on this list.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

Best bang for your buck PS4 external hard drive

Western Digital My Passport Portable External Hard Drive

Western Digital My Passport Portable External Hard Drive

What you need to know:  This hard drive is small, reliable and travel ready. It offers a great value for the price. 

What you’ll love: This external hard drive comes in four different color options and storage sizes to match your exact preferences .

What you should consider: This model lacks the shock resistance of more expensive options.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon

Honorable mention PS4 external hard drive

Seagate Game Drive for PS4

Seagate Game Drive for PS4

What you need to know: This hard drive offers 2TB or 4TB of storage in a small, powerful package. 

What you’ll love: Directly compatible with the Playstation 4, this hard drive requires no installation.

What you should consider: This hard drive can be fairly noisy when in use.

Where to buy: Sold at Amazon


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Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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