What Are the Best External Hard Drives for Xbox One?

By Jack SteinLast Updated January 29, 2021
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The Xbox One comes in two sizes: 500GB or 1 TB. If you consider the average size of modern console games (about 40 GB), this means that the average Xbox One can hold anywhere between a dozen and two dozen games, not including downloadable content (DLC).

Consequently, many Microsoft gamers require additional external storage space to enjoy their full range of games. External hard drives come in a wide variety of sizes and types, though most are quite easy to use. However, this doesn't make the buying process any simpler, especially if you've never purchased a hard drive before. With this in mind, we’ll get you caught up on the external hard drive shopping basics.

Before You Buy: Size

Before your charge headfirst into the buying portion of this process, you may want to set aside a few minutes to review some of the most important considerations one has when buying an external hard drive. First up? The size. Generally speaking, the more storage space your preferred external hard drive offers, the better off you'll be in the long run. Standard storage sizes range anywhere from 100GB to several terabytes.

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Because video games are only likely to get larger and more complex, investing in more storage space could pay off over time. Still, you're likely to pay more for a larger capacity. However, if you're short on dough, it may be better to opt for a moderately-sized external hard drive instead of springing for several terabytes-worth of space.

Before You Buy: Price

The average price for an Xbox One external hard drive varies depending on brand and storage space. Additionally, the type (HDD vs. SSD) may also influence the final price. Still, you can expect to spend anywhere between $40 and $200 on a new, top-notch drive.

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Typically, the more storage space available and the higher quality the drive, the more money you'll be expected to spend. Pretty basic, right? Interestingly, external hard drives that are challenging to use may also be more affordable than those with straightforward instructions and guidelines.

Before You Buy: Ease of Use

You can spend hundreds of dollars on a hi-tech external hard drive, but if you struggle to operate it, you may experience immediate buyer's remorse. Consequently, it's crucial to consider ease of use when choosing an external hard drive for your Xbox One.

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If you've never owned and operated a hard drive, you may want to start with a simple model. Some types of external drives require users to build them. If you're new to tech, you may want to stick with a pre-built option.

So, What Do We Recommend?

Now that you know what to look for when choosing an external hard drive, we’re spotlighting some of the best hard drives on the market for Xbox One users. These options cover many of the bases mentioned above — and they each offer some unique advantages.

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As mentioned above, the right one for you ultimately depends on your storage needs, brand preferences and budget. Hopefully, you'll be able to find a hard drive that meets your needs down below. If not, you can use the buying guide to point yourself in the right direction.

WD 4TB My Passport Portable

When you refuse to accept anything but the best, Western Digital is there to serve. This rugged portable external hard drive is expertly designed and crafted. Though it costs a bit more than other models, it also offers massive storage space and unrivaled read/write speeds. If you're serious about your game data, this disk drive may be worth the investment.

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Pros

  • Superior read/write speeds
  • Features an auto-backup setting for data loss prevention
  • Comes with a 3-year manufacturer's warranty

Cons

  • A relatively pricey external hard drive

Seagate 4TB Xbox One Game Drive

This external hard drive might be the most compatible option for Xbox One consoles. It also offers buyers a competitive range of storage sizes, from 500GB to 8TB. With an exceptional one-year service warranty and relatively fast read/write speeds, you could do a lot worse than this external drive.

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Pros

  • Built specifically for Xbox One consoles
  • Fantastic range of storage options
  • Excellent download and upload speeds

Cons

  • Could prove to be too expensive for some
  • May stop working after several months of use

Toshiba 1TB Canvio Advance

Looking for the best value for your money? Then this Toshiba external hard drive may be the best option. It comes in several impressive sizes — all of which are affordably priced. It's an excellent fit for Xbox One consoles and can appease the tastes of gamers of all skill levels. Still, some have reported data loss issues, which can be concerning.

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Pros

  • Excellent value for storage size
  • Available in three massive storage sizes, including 1TB/2TB/4TB
  • A stylish option that's available in four colors
  • An excellent option for novice and experienced gamers alike

Cons

  • Some users have reported data loss issues
  • Drive may stop working after several weeks or month of use

ADATA SD600Q 480GB Portable External SSD

This lightweight-yet-sturdy SSD external hard drive is budget-friendly, compatible with Xbox One consoles, and available in a variety of storage capacities. However, it can take awhile to transfer large amounts of data, even with the more impressively-sized options.

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Pros

  • An affordable option
  • Features an Xbox One-friendly USB 3.1 connection
  • Available in 240GB/480GB/960GB models

Cons

  • Read/Write speeds leave much to be desired
  • Might not work well with Windows 10 systems

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