2019 is another big year for the Xbox One with big releases such as Gears 5, Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order, The Outer Worlds and many other titles. 2020 is looking great as well with Cyberpunk 2077, Resident Evil 3 and more on the way. Because of these games, as well as many other past releases, it is very easy to fill up the default internal HDD of the Xbox One, Xbox One S and Xbox One X.
So, what are the best external disk drives to purchase, either for yourself and/or as a gift for a loved one, for the Xbox One family of systems in 2020 and beyond? You can find out in our buying guide below.
External Storage Requirements for Xbox One
Before we begin, let’s take a look at the requirements in order for a external storage device to be compatible with the Xbox One, Xbox One S and Xbox One X. The systems require a external drive to hold at least 256 GB of space in addition to being able to connect to a USB 3.0 port. When connected, the drive will have to be formatted.
What Xbox One Data can be stored on the external hard drive
The external hard drive will be able to hold games, applications, patch updates, DLC, pictures, music and video.
Internal vs. External Drives
Microsoft made the decision for you in terms of getting an internal or external hard drive for the Xbox One, Xbox One S and Xbox One X. Although you no longer lose your warranty by opening up your system in 2019, it requires a lot of disassembling crucial parts of the consoles in order to remove the default internal hard drive and replace it with a new one. Therefore, you are way better off with getting an external drive.
External hard drives also have other significant advantages on the Xbox One family of consoles. One of which is that you can use these in conjunction with the default internal hard drive. Not to mention that the Xbox One will be able to recognize two external drives at the same time. Furthermore, you will be able to use your external hard drive, and all of the game data, on another Xbox One by simply logging into your Xbox Live account. Last but not least, there external drives provide more size options when compared to the internal ones.
So, if you or a loved one is looking to add more space to the Xbox One, Xbox One S and Xbox One X, then make sure you are getting an external drive instead of an internal one.
About the Xbox One X
The Xbox One X, which was released in 2017, is an enhanced version of the Xbox One and Xbox One S. With its added graphical prowess, you will be able to run games at 4K resolutions. With that said, some games feature 4K texture packs that will take up even more space when downloaded and installed. Therefore, Xbox One X owners may want to opt for the bigger external drives.
Hard Disk Drives vs. Solid State Drives for Xbox One
There are two main types of external drives we suggest using for the Xbox family of home consoles: the regular Hard Disk Drive and the Solid State Drive.
The external HDDs have an advantage when it comes to price, as they are much cheaper when compared to SSDs, as well as size options since the biggest for a commercially available Solid State Drive is just 2 TB. On the other hand, a SSD is much faster than a HDD when it comes to loading and data transfer.
If you want as much free space as possible, then we recommend getting a compatible external HDD. If you want better performance, then we suggest getting a compatible external SSD. Since you can use two drives at the same time on Xbox One, getting one of each type is also not a bad idea as well.
Officially Licensed Xbox One Game Drives
In North America, Microsoft teamed up with Seagate for several Xbox One Game Drives. These officially licensed drives are more expensive when compared to the generic brands that offer the same functionality at cheaper the price. With that said, there is one special bundle that you might want to check out.
The Seagate 2 TB Game Drive Xbox Sea Thieves Special Edition comes bundled with the Midnight Blunderbuss exclusive in-game weapon for the Sea Thieves videogame in addition to a one month subscription to the Xbox One Game Pass, a service that will let you download and play select full Xbox One games. You can find the Seagate 2 TB Game Drive Xbox Sea Thieves Special Edition on Amazon with this link.
There is also a 2 TB and 4 TB Game Pass Special Edition, which includes the one month Xbox Game Pass subscription but not the Sea of Thieves in-game weapon, that you can check out here.
Xbox One Compatible External HDDs
Based on the criteria we mentioned above, below is a list of the best Xbox One, Xbox One S and Xbox One X compatible external hard disk drives to check out in 2020:
- Seagate Expansion Desktop External Hard Drive (Size Options: 2 TB, 3 TB, 4 TB, 5 TB, 6 TB and 8 TB)
- Toshiba Canvio for Desktop External Hard Drive (Size Options: 3 TB, 4 TB, 5 TB and 6 TB)
- Western Digital My Book Desktop External Hard Drive (Size Options: 3 TB, 4 TB, 6 TB, 8 TB and 10 TB)
- Seagate Expansion Portable External Hard Drive (Size Options: 1 TB, 2 TB and 4 TB)
- Toshiba Canvio Basics Portable Hard Drive (Size Options: 500 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB and 3 TB)
- Western Digital Elements Portable External Hard Drive (Size Options: 1 TB, 2 TB, 3 TB and 4 TB)
One thing of note is the differences between external desktop and portable drives. Desktop drives come in bigger sizes but will also require an extra power outlet. On the other hand, the portable drives are powered straight through the same USB cable used to transferred data.
Xbox One Compatible SSDs
You can also take a look at our list for the top Xbox One, Xbox One S and Xbox One X supported solid state drives below:
- Samsung T5 Portable Solid State Drive (Size Options: 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB and 2 TB)
- SanDisk Extreme Portable Solid State Drive (Size Options: 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB and 2 TB)
- Western Digital My Passport Solid State Drive Portable Storage (Size Options: 250 GB, 500 GB, 1 TB and 2 TB)
So, if you are looking for an Xbox One, Xbox One S and Xbox One X external drive to purchase for 2020, then make sure you check out the HDDs and SSDs we mentioned above.
You can also check out our buyer’s guides for other Xbox One accessories below: