By now you might be close to hitting the cap of your 500 GB of storage in the console, but luckily you’re in the right place to find the best Xbox One external hard drive for your growing needs. Pick up one of these and you’ll have a lot less to worry about when it comes to buying, installing and updating your next game purchase. It’s an extremely straightforward process with no need to fiddle about inside your console so simply scroll on to get our picks for the best Xbox One external hard drive.
The best Xbox One hard drives in 2019
Further down on this page we delve more into the nitty-gritty of Xbox One external hard drives in our FAQ. But we want to get you to the info you’re after straight away. Here are the Xbox One compatible storage solutions that are big, huge and indeterminably vast – ranging from handsome 1 TB drives to colossal ones that are 8 TB and more. There’s something for everyone whether you’re playing the odd game or filling your Xbox One with Game Pass downloads regularly.
Best Xbox One external hard drive – 1 TB
The standard minimum, which will net you around ten installs of Red Dead Redemption 2 on the Xbox One. Some bytes are of course, better than no bytes! We’d recommend this for a light gamer, who plays through a few titles a year and is not building a particularly expansive library of games.
Best Xbox One external hard drive – 2 TB
2 TB drives are where things really start getting interesting! With this amount of space, you’ll be more than comfortable installing almost every game you’ve got for quite some time. Like the others, you can also unplug this drive and take it to a friend’s house, as long as you take your profile with it.
Best Xbox One external hard drive – 4 TB
The higher end of the scale, 4 TB or more will guarantee you years of (reasonable) game installs, saves and media. Ideal for folk building a big bad games library, or someone who simply must have the latest big-name title.
Best Xbox One external hard drive – 8 TB
In the grand scheme of things, an 8 TB external hard-drive such as this beefy boy from Seagate should sort you for over 200 games. In this scenario, it’s less a case of whether you have enough room of everything but do you have funds for all those games?
Best Solid State Drive for Xbox One
Solid State Drives (SSDs) are much faster than regular hard drives but come at a much higher price. Realistically speaking, the speeds you’ll be getting some a USB connection will already hamper some of the SSDs effectiveness, but if read speed is important to you and you’re willing to pay for it, the choice is there. Just keep in mind that SSDs won’t give you anywhere near the same amount of storage for your money as HDDs. If you’re dead-set on picking up one of these pricier drives, we’ve got a few top picks for them as well.
Everything you need to know about Xbox One external hard drives
Hard drives are one of the more intricate bits of computer hardware that you can buy: with a wide variety of variations, sizes, speeds and variations that can affect the overall performance. Before you put your cash down, we’ve prepared some key advice to make this whole process of finding the best Xbox One external hard drive easier.
What USB connection works with an Xbox One external hard drive?
First things first, if you’re getting an external drive, make sure it is USB 3.0. The Xbox One won’t be able to recognise any HDD that is USB 2.0 or below and only works with USB 3.0 drives. After that, make sure you get a drive that is at least 256GB since once again, Xbox One systems don’t recognise any driver smaller than that.
If you happen to have an internal drive that previously lived in a PC or console laying around somewhere, you can absolutely use that. Provided it still works, all you’ll need to do is pick up a USB 3.0 enclosure (these generally aren’t very expensive), slot your existing drive into that and plug it in via USB cable. This method actually makes SSDs more effective, too, as the Xbox One is able to take advantage of the extra speed through USB 3.0.
Do I need an external hard drive for Xbox One?
If you’re only ever going to be playing a handful of games on your Xbox One S or Xbox One X console, then no. If, however, you’re going to be playing more than Madden, FIFA and Call of Duty each year, odds are very good that you’ll need an external hard drive sooner or later. Games are getting bigger with each passing release, with game storage demands ballooning up to 70GB and 80GB in some recent cases – Call of Duty Black Ops 4 and Red Dead Redemption 2 even recommend having more than 100GB free. If you’re trying to fit everything onto the built-in drive, you’re going to hit a wall sooner than you think.
How do I use an Xbox One external hard drive?
In order to connect an external hard drive to your Xbox One console, including the theoretical best external hard drive for Xbox One, it’s best to use a completely empty and fresh drive. Since the console will need to reformat the drive in order for it to work, if the drive has any content on it already, it’ll all be deleted. Once you’ve got a completely clean drive, you just need to connect it to the Xbox One via a USB cable and any one of the console’s numerous USB ports.
Once it’s all plugged in, boot up your Xbox One, navigate to the My Games and Apps section and you’ll see that your total storage space has been significantly upgraded. You can even sort your games and apps by ‘external’, ‘internal’, or ‘all’ in order to keep tabs on what you have installed on each drive.
There you have it, those are our top picks for the very best external hard drive for Xbox One, available right now at least. We’ll be keeping this page as updated as possible in order to bring you the very best Xbox One external hard drives for all future models, as and when tech evolves and prices drop.
As mentioned previously, if you’d like to take a look at the other side of the gaming fence, you can check out our guide to the best PS4 external hard drive as well, or have a look at the best Nintendo Switch SD cards. There’s a whole lot more storage space to be had out there. Enjoy!