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The best external hard drives for the Xbox One

Every Xbox One gamer is bound to run into the issue of managing their game collection — after all, the original Xbox One came with a paltry 500GB of storage. While the Xbox One S and Xbox One X doubled the console’s internal storage capacity, as did the new Xbox Series X and S, hitting that memory threshold is still a problem for anyone with a serious gaming collection. You can easily fill the 500GB with just a handful of titles — not to mention Game Pass additions — especially given how many feature regular updates that require more memory.

Luckily, adding storage to an Xbox One is pretty simple. The right external hard drive connection can solve all your storage woes and make culling through your game collection a thing of the past. And when you’re ready to upgrade, having all your games on an external drive makes the transfer process dead simple. Here, we’ve rounded up some of the best external hard drives for Xbox One on the market.

Best overall external drive: Samsung T5

Samsung T5 SSD

The Samsung T5 took the top spot on our list of best external hard drives for 2020, and that doesn’t change when it comes to what’s best for your Xbox One. The Samsung T5 SSD hits a unique combination of size and speed. Its solid-state drive dominated the competition (and its T3 prequel) in read and write tests. The T5 is small and encased in a solid aluminum shell, meaning it can easily be tucked out of sight behind your Xbox One and take a little punishment if it gets knocked around on accident. It comes in a few different colors and looks pretty stylish, so it might not be a drive you’d mind having on display.

The Samsung T5 has 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB options, so there’s one available to fit your storage needs, whether you’re looking to add a bit of space or never think about storage again.

Best external hard drive designed for the Xbox One: Seagate Game Drive

Seagate Game Drive external hard drive for Xbox One

You can’t go wrong with a storage option that is designed specifically for the console. And that original Xbox green — doesn’t it make you want to jump into a Slayer marathon on Halo 2? The base hard drive comes in at 2TB, or five times more storage than the regular 500GB Xbox One. With a transfer rate of 120MB per second, it’s easy to move files around between internal and external storage as well. Weighing in at just below 6 pounds, it’s not the most portable hard drive out there, but it’s not a pain to travel with either.

If you’re a serious game collector and 2TB isn’t going to cut it, there’s also a Seagate Game Drive 4TB model that costs a little more but still has the classic Xbox look to it.

Best budget external hard drive: Western Digital My Passport

WD - My Passport 2TB External USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive
Western Digital

Ringing up at around $60 most days, the WD My Passport hard drive is your best bet for picking up 1TB of storage on a budget. Data transfer rates only go up to 5Gbps with USB 3.0, so you may see some longer load times booting up games from external storage. But you can also plan your gaming sessions ahead of time and transfer your games of choice to internal storage to skip that annoyance if you’re worried about it. This model is small enough to tuck away behind your console if you want it out of sight. But it has color options in black, red, and electric blue, so you might want to leave it out if a splash of color helps the gaming station vibe.

The worst part about hitting your initial storage limit is looking at external hard drives and realizing how expensive they can get. While the WD My Passport might not be built for gaming and still costs as much as a new game, it’s a relatively cheap and simple option to help get over the storage hump. There are also models with more storage at a bargain compared with faster units.

Best rugged and portable external hard drive: SanDisk Extreme Portable

SanDisk Extreme Portable

Are you regularly taking your games on the go, whether to a friend’s home or on long trips? The SanDisk Extreme Portable is going to be your best bet for a capable external hard drive that’s easy to take on the road. While there are plenty of small hard drives out there, this one is built to travel. It’s slim, has a water- and dust-resistant design, and has a shock-resistant solid-state core. So even if you aren’t on the go, this drive will stand up to rough treatment from the messiest, rage-filled gamer at home too.

With data transfer rates of 550MB, The SanDisk Extreme Portable is a big upgrade on transfer speed from cheaper models.

Largest storage capacity external hard drive: Seagate Game Drive Hub

Seagate Game Drive Hub

Doubling your game storage is great, but what about blowing it up to 8TB? This is the overkill, permanent solution to Xbox storage woes. This big boy will allow you to store your massive game collection, probably twice over. Yes, it’s nearly as big as an Xbox One, but that’s the price you pay for 5Gbps transfer speeds — there won’t be any disconnect from this hard drive to your console. Like the Seagate Game Drive, the Game Hub is designed specifically for Xbox. It comes with two USB 3.0 ports in the front that you can use to charge your controllers or add accessories.

While this is a wild amount of storage, the Seagate Game Drive Hub’s price jump isn’t astronomical. It’s $165 from Best Buy right now, so you can eliminate your storage problem for good by expanding your budget just a bit.

Do-it-yourself external hard drive: Sabrent USB 3.0 SATA Docking Station

Sabrent USB 3.0 SATA Docking Station

If you’ve got a spare hard drive around collecting dust and want to repurpose it for external Xbox storage, you can always grab yourself a cheap docking device. This multi-size enclosure converts your existing storage into an external hard drive. With support for both 2.5-inch and 3.5-inch drives, it guarantees compatibility and ease of use. This station boasts incredibly fast transfer speeds, but some users have complained that the case doesn’t protect fully from dust.

If you’re on a budget and are the least bit savvy, the Sabrent SATA Docking Station is a solid storage option. It does take a little technical knowledge to use correctly, but if you can get past that, you’re in the clear.

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