Best external SSD for Xbox Series X / S 2023: Expand memory with these top hard drives and cards

Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles may take visual performance to the next level, but the internal storage capacity is likely to become a problem for many users over time.

Especially since many of the top Xbox games have very large file sizes, it’s time you counteracted this with a top memory solution, such as an external SSD.

After all, despite the Xbox Series X coming with a 1TB SSD, and the Series S a 512GB drive, this actually translates into much less useable storage after each console itself has taken up a portion for its operating system. For the Series X, this means only around 802GB of storage is left to play with while the Series S features just 364GB.

That’s why we’ve gathered together some excellent external SSDs to make sure your game collection doesn’t have to get deleted, in a moment of need.

Since expandable storage for both Xbox consoles is an area that’s still in its relative infancy, however, with a dearth of official options, we’d also suggest checking out our advice on how to choose the right expandable storage for your exact console.

Our Top Pick:

best storage expansion for xbox series x and series s photo 4
Seagate
Seagate 1TB Game Drive

Superb performance

The best and only direct expansion drive officially available, this is a superb little bit of kit.

SQUIRREL_3659696

For

  • Amazingly small
  • Loads of capacity
  • So easy to install

Against

  • Really expensive

Seagate stands alone in offering official expandable storage for the Xbox Series X and S, not just external storage.

That means that you can plug it into the devices’ expansion slots and actually play games from it directly. This 1TB drive is therefore perfect for most people’s needs.

It’s especially useful for the Series S, with its smaller amount of storage, and, to be honest, the price tag attached is really reasonable compared to the high-end components the drive contains.

However, that still makes it pretty pricey for the amount of extra space, so, if you don’t care about playing your games direct from your drive, you might not fancy the cost.

Xbox storage solutions we also recommend

Here are four other SSDs that are also great options for your Xbox Series X or Series S.

best storage expansion for xbox series x and series s photo 5
Samsung
Samsung T7 Touch

Great alternative

A great SSD for Xbox consoles, and one that’s secured with a fingerprint.

SQUIRREL_351366

For

  • Great biometric security
  • Slim size
  • Decent price

Against

  • Not the most rugged

Samsung’s SSD is an easy one to recommend – in fact, it’s so good that we think it’s basically the drive for anyone, not just Xbox gamers.

It’s priced nicely for the amount of storage, and, though not the cheapest around, what sets it apart is that fingerprint scanner, which means that your games will be safe and secure behind biometric security.

best storage expansion for xbox series x and series s photo 8
WD
WD_Black 1 TB P50 NVMe SSD

Fast speeds

If you’re happy to pay, this is a superb option.

SQUIRREL_176859

For

  • Really quick
  • Large capacity

Against

  • Again, very expensive

Now, if you want to go all out, this drive from WD_Black is more explicitly aimed at gamers and packs in a full terabyte of really, really rapid storage.

However, it’s also pricey as a result. It’s a brilliant, luxury way to store your games and you won’t get much quicker transfer speeds anywhere else, but that price tag might make it a bit much for some.

best storage expansion for xbox series x and series s photo 6
Sandisk
SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD

Hardy storage

A great drive that’s safe even in rugged situations.

SQUIRREL_169154

For

  • Stands up to a beating
  • Nice and small

Against

  • A little pricey given capacity

SanDisk makes a great case for itself with the Extreme Portable largely on the price front, where it undercuts Samsung handily. It’s also got its own USP up a sleeve – that “Extreme” in the name is all about how rugged it is.

Obviously, your game collection might not be accompanying you up mountains or on hikes, but it’s still nice to know that it’s safe from dampness and drops, making it useful for house moves or portability.

best storage expansion for xbox series x and series s photo 7
Gtech
Gtech G-Drive Mobile SSD

Solid choice

A great drive that’s perfect for the clumsy among us.

SQUIRREL_169155

For

  • Very rugged

Against

  • A little ugly (if you care)
  • On the expensive side

Gtech has also managed to make its drive impressively durable, especially when it comes to drops, so if you’re particularly clumsy you might find that it works nicely for you.

It’s also solidly priced, and you’ll get really good speeds as you transfer games back and forth depending on your whims.

How to choose an SSD for your Xbox Series X or Series S

Choosing the right SSD can feel a bit like picking a needle out of a haystack, so we’ve got some questions you can ask yourself to help narrow things down.

How much space do you need?

This is the first big question, in our mind – how often do you find yourself deleting games? How many games do you want to have downloaded at once, ideally? If you’ve got a single monster like Call of Duty Warzone taking up all your space, then you might only need a small extra drive.

So, if you think 250GB would be enough, that’ll cut down both your costs and your options to make things a little easier to decide. Equally, if you’re looking for 1TB or more, that’ll have a knock-on effect as well. Either way, it’s worth having a think about!

Does speed matter to you?

It might feel like an SSD that is slower than the competition isn’t worth it, but that’s not always the case. If you’re only storing your games on them, after all, transfer speeds will matter but hardly be game-changing. Settling for a slower speed than the market leader can be another good way to keep your costs down.

What’s your budget?

Just like with almost every tech guide we write, we want to make sure that you think about your budget before jumping in and making a purchase – you could regret it if you don’t! This will help you narrow the field and make sure that you stick to options that you can afford, rather than getting blinded by minor upgrades.

Do you care about security or ruggedness?

One of the other big variables between the different SSDs you can pick up for your Xbox Series X or S is in the form of their security features – meaning some have the ability to password-lock your collection, while others can go further and use fingerprint scanning tech.

On top of that, other drives make a big deal out of being weatherproof and drop-resistant to reassure you that you won’t lose your collection to dampness. However, whether this matters to you will be down to your personal preferences, and you might find that neither is too important for a game collection that won’t move around too much.