PS4 has become the leading gaming console with a number crossing the 100 million consoles sold by December 2019. The reason behind its higher popularity in the gaming community is because of its gaming performance and Sony’s emphasis on bringing more independent game developers to its platform.
There’s a fundamental problem – lack of storage capacity.
It is not feasible to keep uninstalling older games for installing new ones. Users consistently raised their voices for increasing the storage space of the consoles.
Sony worked on this front and released a 4.5 firmware update for the PS4 allowing external hard drives to be used in tandem with the internal storage. With the update, PlayStation 4 now supports up to 8 TB external hard drive support.
PS4s have reached their shelf life, and the release of PS5 is around the corner. Users would want to make the most out of their PS4 devices before a new device starts to dominate.
We have created a carefully reviewed buying guide for you to get the best storage boost in your budget and expectations.
Is it worth getting an External Hard Drive for PS4?
Despite the model of PlayStation 4 you purchase, it will eventually run out of storage space, where you will have to either format the entire device or start removing older games, images, and videos. More developers creating massive open-world games have ignited a need for higher storage space.
Downloading AAA titles and open-world games such as Red Dead Redemption 2 and GTA V require 94 – 99 GB of free space but combat games such as Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 requires merely 11 GB of space to download. The operating system for PS4 also eats up some storage from the internal storage.
As such, even with a 1TB model, you will not be able to keep more than 10 open-world games at a time. At the same time, buying an external hard drive will allow you to store all your files and data in internal storage and install your games on the external hard drive. Just format your hard drive, and you are good to go.
How to Choose an External Hard Drive for PS4?
The diversification and qualities of hard drives available in the market can be confusing, especially while selecting one for PS4. The first and foremost factor to consider is the hard drive features supported by your PlayStation 4 console. Use these conditions as filters while searching for external hard drives.
- USB 3.0 or later versions
- Storage Space between 250 GB and 8 TB
Other than these filters, you have factors such as RPM, weight, size, and the price per TB, which will have an impact on which device is most suitable for you.
You might want to contemplate if you desire an HDD with 7200 RPM or 5400 RPM. A 7200 RPM hard drive will perform a little better than a slower RPM drive. Though the gaming performance difference won’t be significant, it can provide faster loading speeds. So, you will find your games/missions loading faster with a higher RPM device.
When it comes to storage space, HDDs with higher storage spaces will be bulkier and weigh more than one with lower storage space. The choices you make will directly impact its mobility.
An 8 TB hard drive weighs above 900 grams while a 4 TB weighs around 230 grams. The weight wouldn’t make a difference when carried in a bag pack, but it can significantly impact the convenience with which you can carry the drive without a bag pack.
Price per TB is another important factor to consider. Hard disk drives have a base price, and as the size of hard drives increases, the price per TB starts decreasing.
Best External Hard Drives for PS4: User Reviewed
We present you with the 8 best external hard drives compatible with PS4. Plug in, format and you are all set with an extra storage boost to your gaming console!
8. Silicon Power 2TB
This 2 TB game drive from Silicon Power comes with A-62 military-grade shock-proof protection and IPX4 water resistance. The surface of this device is rugged with a decent grasp minus pesky fingerprints on the body. It also protects your console cover from scratches and damage, useful especially if you want to take it over to your friends’ place for a sesh.
This protection comes at the cost of around 80 grams of extra weight compared to other 2 TB hard drives. The carry case of this device features a unique design that provides space for towing the cable within the cover. It reduces the chances of losing the cable while on the move.
Given the price tag of around $60, shockproof protection, 3-year complete technical and service support warranty, this device is among the dedicated PS4 external hard drives available in the market today.
Model No: B08736JJ62 | Speed: 5400 RPM | Storage Capacity: 2 TB | USB support: USB 3.2 Generation 1 | Product Dimensions: 7.49 inches x 5.2 inches x 1.18 inches | Weight: 238 grams | Warranty: 3-years
- Damage protection
- Grip for better hold
- 3-year complete warranty
- Lacks hardware encryption
7. WD 5TB Elements
The WD Elements 5TB version is a standout among the other hard drives because of its high storage space, sleek design, and tapered edges. The device features an all-black design with chic WD brandings.
This device comes in NTFS file system, which is not compatible with PS4.
It can be formatted in exFAT or FAT 32 mode to make it compatible with your PS4.
WD Elements 5TB is ultra-lightweight, considering weight per TB of just 46 grams which is far lesser than any other external hard drive. This lighter weight comes at the cost of a soft external cover. Know that this is not the hardiest external HD for your PS4.
This hard drive is priced at around $100. So, you get around 1 TB of storage per $20, quite affordable! The all-black theme goes well with the PS4 design. Moreover, this hard drive from WD comes with a 2-year manufacturer limited warranty!
Model No: WDBU6Y0050BBK-WESN | Speed: 5400 RPM | Storage Capacity: 5 TB | USB support: USB 3.0 | Product Dimensions: 4.35 inches x 3.23 inches x 0.82 inches | Weight: 230 grams | Warranty: 2-years
- Lightweight per TB
- Lower cost per TB
- No backup software
- Lacks hardware encryption
6. Seagate 4TB Game Drive
The Seagate 4 TB Game Drive is an exceptional portable external hard drive specially designed for PS4. It is compatible with system firmware 4.5 or higher. The aluminum enclosure provides additional protection to this small and compact HDD. Being a lightweight device it is very easy to carry.
This game drive features an all-black design, with PS4 branding as it was developed in collaboration with PS4. The color and branding make it a perfect accessory for your PS4 console. All the files are accessible by a simple USB 3.0 connection. Once formatted through the PS4 system, it will be automatically detected as the main installation drive.
It delivers decent performance at 5400 RPM offering a decent performance devoid of any stuttering. The highlight of this external device is the capability of working without a dedicated power cable, working fine with the USB port on the PS4.
This is a PS4-only gaming HDD, is available at around $120, this is a great add-on to your gaming console.
Model No: STGD2000100 | Speed: 5400 RPM | Storage Capacity: 2 TB | USB support: USB 3.0 | Product Dimensions: 4.47 inches x 2.99 inches x 0.48 inches | Weight: 148 grams | Warranty: 3-year
- Compact design
- Strong performance
- Compatible with PS4 only
- Lacks hardware encryption
5. WD Black 8TB D10 Game Drive
The WD Black D10 game drive offers an exceptional 7200 GB of storage space powered by a 7200 RPM drive. The humongous hard drive requires a separate power source to work. WD D10 features active cooling technology to cope up with the high thermal output during active use. This cooling helps reduce the chances of failure and provides an optimized performance.
High storage and cooling features render this device too heavy to be used as a portable device weigh close to 1000 grams. This device features a power input cable, a data transfer port, and two 7.5 Ampere charging ports, which can power up the consoles. WD D10 comes with a stand to set it in either portrait or landscape orientation.
Aside from the heavyweight, this device offers 250 MB per second of write speeds. You can get your hands on this monster for around $180. This device is undoubtedly the best PS4 external hard drive if you don’t need to move it very often and if you have the bank for it!
Model No: WDBA3P0080HBK-NESN | Speed: 7200 RPM | Storage Capacity: 8 TB | USB support: USB 3.0 | Product Dimensions: 7.68 inches x 4.92 inches x 1.73 inches | Weight: 980 grams | Warranty: multiple options
- Standalone performance
- Excellent storage
- Generates high levels of noise
- Very heavy for portability
4. Toshiba Canvio Basics 2TB
Toshiba’s Canvio Basics is a super sleek and portable external hard drive that comes in a 2.5-inch laptop drive form factor. The form factor is complemented by its lightweight aesthetics. The size and weight of this external drive make it easier to carry around. You also get a smudge-free, fingerprint-proof matt finish cover.
It features a USB 3.0 connection offering transfer speeds of up to 5 Gigabits per second. Though this device doesn’t come with PS4 compatibility out of the box, you can format it to FAT32 or exFAT mode and plug it into your console. This external hard drive has a red LED light that glows whenever a connection is made.
Given the size, weight, and affordable price of around $60, this device is a cheap bargain.
Model No: HDTB420XK3AA | Speed: 5400 RPM | Storage Capacity: 2 TB | USB support: USB 3.0 | Product Dimensions: 4.30 inches x 3.10 inches x 0.55 inches | Weight: 150 grams | Warranty: 1-year
- Slim Design
- 2.5-inch form factor
- Only 1-year standard warranty
3. WD 4TB Gaming Drive
This 4TB Gaming drive from WD sports a glossy matt design featuring black and blue colors. The drive comes with a data connection cable and faster load speeds. It has a power connection LED present just beside from the connection port. The location of this LED makes it unable to notice for a user until the device is deliberately faced towards the user.
This drive was launched specially for PS4, but you can use it for your PC just as easily. It does the basics very well, providing ample storage space without taking up much of your space. It comes ready out of the box for your PS4 as well – just plug and start downloading games.
Priced at around $90, this hard drive is a tad more expensive, mostly thanks to its plug and play features. Other than that, you will also enjoy the 3-year warranty from WD making this one of the best PS4 external hard drives around.
Model No: WDBM1M0040BBK-WESN | Speed: 5400 RPM | Storage Capacity: 4 TB | USB support: USB 3.0 | Product Dimensions: 4.33 inches x 3.21 inches x 0.83 inches | Weight: 231 grams | Warranty: 3-year
- Slim design
- Plug and Play
- LED indicator
- 3-year standard warranty
- Comparatively expensive
2. WD 4TB My Passport
Another powerful HD by Western Digital, WD Passport is a highly utilitarian drive with added security features such as password protection and 256-bit AES hardware encryption. This device is compatible with WD Backup software and drives the manager. The design features rugged striped patterns for a firm grip.
Though the device lacks a protective case, its 3-year manufacturer’s warranty tends to balance the odds. It comes as a PC compatible drive and requires formatting into the ex-FAT or FAT 32 mode before using it with your PlayStation 4 gaming console. Considering data security there is no alternative to this drive.
Priced at around $85, this HD will work just as good as the dedicated game drives, and the 3-year warranty from WD only makes the deal even sweeter.
Model No: WDBPKJ0040BBK-WESN | Speed: 5400 RPM | Storage Capacity: 4 TB | USB support: USB 3.0 | Product Dimensions: 4.22 inches x 2.95 inches x 0.75 inches | Weight: 210 grams | Warranty: 3-year
- Slim design
- Rugged cover for grip
- Hardware encryption
- Password protection
- Lacks LED indicator
1. WD Black 2TB P10
WD Black series is one of the best external hard drives for PS4 you can buy. While the earlier model on this list was quite bulky, WD P10 offers similar performance while delivering with a better form factor.
This game drive features an aggressive design with a full metal cover on a 2.5-inch form factor. It features a railing pattern design over a better grip.
The WD Black P10 comes PS4 compatible straight out of the box. All you need to do is plug it in and give it a moment or two before you start downloading games into it. This HDD will offer reading speeds of around 140 MB per second and comes with an optimized speed boost for faster speeds while playing AAA titles.
Priced at around $75, this HDD is a good deal for all PS4 enthusiasts and is also one of the most popular external hard drives compatible with PS4.
Model No: HDTB420XK3AA | Speed: 5400 RPM | Storage Capacity: 2 TB | USB support: USB 3.0 | Product Dimensions: 4.65 inches x 3.46 inches x 0.5 inches | Weight: 139 grams | Warranty: 3-year
- Slim Design
- 2.5-inch form factor
- Metal body
- 3-year warranty
- Expensive compared to the storage offered
External hard drive support changed the entire game for Sony’s PlayStation 4. The release of firmware 4.5 was a win-win situation for both gamers and the company. Finally, a console gamer can neatly store more games on the console than on a PC.
For most PS4 players, a 2 TB HDD will do the trick. For those engaged in professional gaming or those who have a hard time letting go of completed games, larger storage capacities are available on the market. Worth mentioning, the best external hard drives for PS4 are the ones that provide the most affordable TB/$ ratios. So, it is better to go for HDDs with higher storage capacities.
1. How Many PS4 Games Can 2 TB HDD Store?
You can store around 20 to 40 game files in 2 TB storage. Calculating the exact number of games that can be installed in a given space is not exactly possible. Any downloadable game will have a larger size as compared to the disk-loaded ones. Open world games can expand from 60 GB to 150 GB per title. Hence, be wary of that. Other formats such as race, arcade, and combat games do not exceed 40 GB, generally. A 2TB drive will store at least 20 massive open-world games.
2. Will Any 2.5 HDD Work With PS4?
2.5 is a form factor having no impact on the compatibility with PS4. External hard drives can come in various sizes. What matters is that the external hard disk of your choice should be in Ex Fat 32 format. It should have at least 5400 RPM and a USB 3.0 connection for working with PS4. The only reason game drives come with a 2.5-inch form factor is to offer better portability and reduce power consumption.
3. Should You Unplug Your External Hard Drive From PS4 When Not in Use?
Unplugging your external hard drive when PS4 is powered-off has no impact on either device. But doing so amid a game might lead to data error. Note that installing the same game on an external drive and internal drive will show an error while loading the game file.