Best external SSD for gaming 2023: Our top picks to expand your storage

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If you're after the best external SSD for gaming, look no further, as we've done most of the legwork for you to help you with your search!

With external storage, we know speed is everything and Solid State Drives are the best of the best when it comes to external storage.

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They are the fastest at reading and writing data, as they have no moving parts (hence solid-state) and their compact design also makes them the most robust.

If you're interested in exploring more SSDs and HDDs specifically for consoles, check out our picks for the best external hard drives for Xbox Series X and the best external hard drives for PS4 & PS5 for the latest and greatest.

And don't forget that if you're playing on PS5, options are also opening up for amazing M.2 Internal SSDs too...

So let's get into it - these are some of the best external SSDs for storing and transferring your gaming library.

Let's get to it!

Best external SSD for gaming

Best external SSD for gaming PC - Samsung T5 SSD 1TB

Best External SSD For Gaming PC - Samsung T5 SSD 1TB
Credit: Samsung
Brand: Samsung | Colour: Black | Digital Storage Capacity: 1TB | Compatible Devices: PC | Item Weight: 51 grams | Connectivity Technology: USB, Type-C | Read Speed: 540 Megabytes Per Second

The Samsung T5 SSD has been a solid choice ever since its release. It is extremely fast, carrying a huge 540 Megabytes per second read speed.

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It is also extremely efficient and compact in design, weighing only 51 grams, with dimensions of 10 x 74 x 57 millimetres, making it ideal when travelling around and increasing its overall portability.

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The T5 is also available with alternative storage options, with both a 2TB and 500GB version available. We recommend the 1TB because you get the most for your money with this one.

The Samsung T5 is an overall fantastic drive for PC users and much more!

Best external SSD for gaming Xbox Series X - Seagate Storage Expansion Card For Xbox SSD 1TB

Seagate Storage Expansion Card For Xbox SSD 1TB
Credit: Seagate
Brand: Seagate | Colour: Black | Digital Storage Capacity: 1TB | Compatible Devices: Xbox Series X/S | Item Weight: 30 grams | Connectivity Technology: Direct into Xbox Series X/S | Read Speed: 300 Megabytes Per Second

When it comes to external SSD for Xbox, there is one standout choice - the Seagate Storage Expansion Card

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It is specifically designed for the Xbox Series X/S and plugs directly into the Xbox's expansion slots, plugging in seamlessly with the Xbox velocity architecture.

Read More: Best accessories for Xbox Series X

This means that this specific SSD becomes an expansion of the Xbox memory and enables you to be able to play games directly from the drive, allowing for faster load times matching the speed of the internal SSD.

Currently, the only external SSD that allows you to play directly from it for Xbox Series X/S means that the drive is more expensive. However, we believe this is one of the best external drives for Xbox Series X/S.

Best external SSD for gaming PS5 - WD_Black P50 Game Drive SSD 1TB

Brand: Western Digital | Colour: Black | Digital Storage Capacity: 1TB | Compatible Devices: PS5, Xbox & PC | Item Weight: 115 grams | Connectivity Technology: USB | Read Speed: 2000 Megabytes Per Second

By far the fastest drive on our list with a staggering 2,000 Megabytes Per Second read speed, the WD_Black P50 is a premium and brilliant external drive for PS5.

Rapid data transfer speeds allow for faster overall responsiveness and decreased loading times.

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The external aluminium casing gives the portable device shock resistance making it highly durable and protecting your game library wherever you are.

Alternative sizes of this external SSD are available, with up to 4TB of additional storage, unsurprisingly with them comes an increasing price tag. The 2TB version gives you the most for your money but may set you back over £400.

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An excellent all-around choice, great for PS5, or Xbox Series X, PC, and more.

Best external SSD for gaming under 100 - Samsung T7 SSD 500GB

Brand: Samsung | Colour: Blue/Grey/Red | Digital Storage Capacity: 500GB | Compatible Devices: Gaming Console, PC or Mac | Item Weight: 58 grams | Connectivity Technology: USB | Read Speed: 1,050 Megabytes Per Second

If you're after incredibly fast external storage but don't want to spend hundreds, the Samsung T7 SSD provides you with a 500GB external SSD usually available for under £100.

Rapid read speeds of up to 1,050 Megabytes per second mean you won't be delayed when jumping into the action with faster loading times.

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Being lightweight, compact, and durable means that you'll have no trouble when travelling around with this device. Type-C USB connectivity allows for longevity - so you know it's reliable!

The Samsung T7 even comes with the option to add a password to keep your data extra safe.

With gaming console, PC, and Mac compatibility, this pocket-sized device is a fantastic all-rounder for an everyday high-performance SSD.

Best external SSD for gaming Mac - SanDisk Portable SSD 2TB

Brand: SanDisk | Colour: Black | Digital Storage Capacity: 2TB | Compatible Devices: Mac & PC | Item Weight: 40 grams | Connectivity Technology: USB | Read Speed: 520 Megabytes Per Second

The SanDisk Portable SSD has been a solid choice since its release. The latest version of this comes with a rubber hook to allow you to clip it onto your belt or backpack when travelling for extra security.

The slick design not only looks great, but it is impressively sturdy too with a 2-meter-drop protection guarantee. SanDisk also boasts added water protection and dust resistance.

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2TB of storage with reading speeds of 520 Megabytes per second is more than enough to effectively back up your Mac or PC.

Best large capacity external SSD for gaming - Crucial CT4000X6SSD9 X6 4TB Portable SSD

Brand: Crucial | Colour: Black | Digital Storage Capacity: 4TB | Compatible Devices: Gaming Consoles & PC | Item Weight: 40.5 grams | Connectivity Technology: USB | Read Speed: 800 Megabytes Per Second

If you're after maximum storage while maintaining high-speed connectivity and data transfer, the Crucial CT4000X6SSD9 X6 may be exactly what you're looking for.

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Crucial boasts that the huge capacity of 4TB allows you to store up to 100 games!

Surprisingly, even though this SSD contains the most data storage, it is still extremely lightweight and discreet, weighing only 40.5 grams.

Best all-round external SSD for gaming - ADATA 1TB SE800

Brand: ADATA | Colour: Black/Blue | Digital Storage Capacity: 1TB | Compatible Devices: Gaming Consoles, PC & Mac | Item Weight: 39.69 grams | Connectivity Technology: USB | Read Speed: 1,000 Megabytes Per Second

The ADATA SE800 is a solid all-rounder when it comes to external SSDs, compatible with Mac, PC, PS5, and much more.

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In terms of speed, this SSD boasts read/write speeds of up to a whopping 1,000 MB/s.

Read More: Xbox Series X vs. PS5: Which console should you go for?

Plus, weighing under 40 grams and being only 7.11 x 4.32 x 1.02 cm in size, this SSD is highly portable.

The ADATA SE800 is a solid choice, if you ask us!

Frequently asked questions

With SSDs, there are some questions that crop up time and time again, so we're here to answer them as best we can!

Is it worth getting an External SSD for Gaming?

In short, we'd say yes. If you have a large gaming library and you enjoy playing a number of games at the same time.

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If you're more of a 'one game at a time' player, then it's okay not to get an SSD. But if you find yourself constantly downloading new games and dipping in and out of them, then external SSDs can save you a lot of hassle.

Do Games run slower on an External SSD?

This isn't the case commonly, as it would only happen if the external drive was slower than that of the internal drive of the console or PC.

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In fact, sometimes an external SSD can actually make load times quicker, which is an added plus.

Are External SSDs Better Than Hard Drives For Gaming?

For the best performance, having a proper SSD with prime read and write speeds are more suitable.

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They're also more reliable than hard drives given that SSDs have little to no moving parts, which is better for long-term performance.

Read More: Best Hard Drive For PS4 And PS5

They're also very small, which is great for taking them on the go, and you'll find that a number of them are made to withstand knocks and bumps just in case.

How Big Does My External SSD Need To Be For Gaming?

This is all down to personal preference. If you've only got a handful of games, then having a 500GB or 1TB drive should be plentiful.

SSDs tend to be more expensive, so move cautiously as you go above 1TB as you'll see the price jump up substantially.

For vast gaming libraries, a 2TB SSD should be enough, but if you're playing games with multiple content downloads, new maps, and so on, you may even want to consider a 4TB.

Read More: Best M.2 SSD For PS5