The best external hard drive for PS5 is going to be a great way to expand the storage space of Sony's latest console with the minimum amount of fuss.
The hard drive in the PS5 is one of the console's best features. It's been custom-made to offer incredible speeds that allow games to load up in a matter of seconds. However, the storage space it offers is quite limited – only 825GB. Even worse, after storing essential system files and the operating system, you actually only have around 667GB of storage space.
With modern games now taking up ever more space, often around 100GB, the internal hard drive of the PS5 can fill up incredibly fast.
There is a workaround though, as the PS5 allows you to store games on external hard drives, as long as they support USB 3.1 connections. While you can't play PS5 games directly from the external hard drive, you can move games there when you're not playing them. This frees up space in the PS5's internal hard drive to store games you're currently playing. If you want to play a PS5 game stored on the external hard drive, you can then move it back onto the internal drive.
It's not ideal, but it's faster than re-downloading the games over the internet. The PS5 is also backwards compatible with its predecessor, which means you can play PS4 games on it. The good news is that you can play PS4 games straight from the external hard drive on the PS5, and if it's an SSD (Solid State Drive), you'll find PS4 games actually load faster.
Sony will be adding a feature that allows you to add another internal SSD into the PS5, but until that arrives, buying the best external hard drives for PS5 is the only way to expand the storage space of the console.
Make sure you check out our best external hard drives buying guide for advice on buying these devices for more general use, and check out our PS5 restock news if you're having trouble buying a PS5 in the first place.
The best external hard drive for PS5
In our opinion, the WD Black P50 is the best external hard drive for the PS5. It's got a bold and eye-catching design that will appeal to most gamers, and it's solidly built as well. Thanks to its sturdy metal out shell, this is an external hard drive you wouldn't worry about throwing in a backpack and carrying around with you.
It's also incredibly fast, thanks to the speedy NVMe SSD inside. This means transferring PS5 games to and from this drive is done impressively speedily, so you'll spend less time waiting around and more time gaming. Any PS4 games you play from this drive will also benefit from noticeably faster load times.
With choices of capacity ranging from 500GB (which is a bit too low for PS5 games storage) to a huge 4TB (which will mean you'll likely never run out of room), there's plenty of options depending on how big you're planning your PS5 games library to be.
However, it is more expensive than many other SSDs, and there are smaller, less flamboyantly designed, drives out there as well, so this may not be ideal for everyone.
The Toshiba Canvio Basics is the best value external hard drive for PS5. While this doesn't offer the fastest speeds, or premium build quality, of more expensive external hard drives on this list, it does a good job nonetheless, and most importantly of all, it does it affordably.
This means if you just want an external hard drive to store games on, and you'd rather spend your money on actually buying games, then this is a great choice. It offers a good selection of capacities, starting at 500GB. While we think this is a little low, as you may find it'll fill up pretty quickly, it's a good choice if you want the absolute lowest price. However, if your budget can stretch to it, we recommend the 1TB option, which offers you plenty of space, but still doesn't cost a fortune.
There's also a huge 4TB version, and that costs less than the 4TB options from most other external hard drive models, so even if you want a lot of storage space, the Toshiba Canvio Basics is a great choice for saving you cash.
The Seagate Game Drive is the only external hard disk officially licensed by Sony, and while it was originally designed for the PS4, it works great with the PS5 as well. As an official device, it comes with a design and branding that fits in well with the PS5 (and there are alternative designs for The Last of Us and Marvel's Avengers, which can both be played on the PS5).
It also means that it's one of the easiest external hard drives to set up with the PS5, and you can be sure of its compatibility. It doesn't offer a huge choice in capacities, just 2TB and 4TB, but those both offer plenty of space for storing PS5 games, though a lower capacity option would have been good for people who are on a budget.
The drive isn't as expensive as many of the other drives on this list, which makes it a good value proposition, even if it's not quite as cheap as the likes of the Toshiba Canvio Basics. It does offer better build quality and performance than that budget drive, however.
WD My Passport drives are some of the most recognisable external hard drives in the world, as they offer plenty of space, good speeds and, most importantly, they are reliable and dependable. This is an important consideration if you're saving your PS5 save games on here, as you don't want them to fail and lose your progress.
Price-wise, they hit the sweet spot of not being too budget (and therefore sacrificing performance and build quality), while also not being too expensive. With a choice of capacities, from 1TB to 5TB, you again have plenty of options when looking for the right external PS5 hard drive for your needs.
However, the WD My Passport is primarily made for use with PCs, not consoles, like some of the external hard drives on this list, and this means it may need a little setting up before it works with your PS5. It's also a traditional hard drive, rather than an SSD, so while it offers more space, it's not as fast. Any PS4 games you play off it won't see much of an improvement in load times either.
Samsung makes some great SSDs, and the Samsung T7 is a great example of this, which makes it a great option for the PS5. It offers plenty of capacities to choose from, for 500GB to 2TB, while keeping its overall size down - it's just 8mm thick and weighs just 58g.
This means it can sit unobtrusively by your PS5 in your living room. It also offers excellent performance, and while it's not quite the fastest external hard drive on this list, it offers plenty of speed for what the PS5 is capable of.
The build quality of this external hard drive is very good – this is a Samsung product after all – but its slim and small design does mean it feels a little less robust than some of the chunkier drives on this list. The price is good, but if you want a better deal, the older T5, below, may be a better bet.
The T5 is another great SSD from Samsung. It's a bit older than the T7 above, but that means you should be able to find some great deals on it, making it a more affordable choice.
Despite its age, it still offers very good performance, and again it's a gorgeously-designed little external drive, with an incredibly compact design, measuring just11mm and weighing just 51g, plus a lovely metal finish.
It offers a wide range of smaller capacity options, starting at 250GB and going to 2TB – something some of the newer SSDs on this list neglect. This is good if you don't need that much space, but we wouldn't recommend anything under 500GB, otherwise you'll soon find yourself running out of storage space again.
It does top out at 2TB, however. While that will be fine for a lot of people, if you want to buy a larger capacity external hard drive for your PS5, so you don't have to worry about running out of space for a long time (if ever), then you'll want to look elsewhere.
If you liked the look of the WD Black P10 Game Drive, but wanted even more space, then the WD Black D10 Game Drive is a great choice. While it looks very similar to the P10, it's a much larger drive, in both storage space and physical dimensions.
This is designed for desktops, so it may be a bit too big for some people's living rooms, but it comes with extra USB ports, which can be used for charging controllers, or expanding the PS5's USB connectivity. The larger size means it can keep cool while in use as well.
Best of all, it offers a whopping 8TB of storage space. This essentially ensures that you'll never run out of space again. Hopefully, the PS5 will be supported with new games for at least another five years, if not more, and getting 8TB of storage space means even after all that time, you'll not run out of space.
The hard drive in the WD Black D10 Game Drive is fast, but it can't compete with SSD speeds. This means if you'd rather have speed over capacity, you'll want to look elsewhere. But, if you're after a great looking external hard drive for your PS5 to hold all of your games, media and more, then this is a great choice.
The Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSD is an external SSD that has been designed for gamers, offering excellent data transfer speeds, which means moving PS5 games to and from it is impressively quick.
And, if you're going to be playing PS4 games on your PS5 using this external SSD to store them, then you'll find loading times are much improved.
Also, unlike other, rather boring, external hard drives, the Seagate FireCuda Gaming SSD comes with RGB lighting, and we all know gamers love a bit of RGB. Of course, if that's not your thing, you can turn off the lighting.
It offers capacities between 500GB to 2TB, which is a decent spread, and it also features a five-year warranty, which should last the PS5's lifespan.