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 hard drives.
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 console, 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...
From a cracking choice for Xbox Series X owners with the Seagate Expansion Card all the way to a marvellous pick for Mac users in the SanDisk Portable SSD, we've got you covered right here with our top picks for gaming.
At the time of writing, you can currently save 28% on the Samsung T5 which brings the price down from £149.99 to £108.40 at Amazon UK!
Let's get to it!
Best External SSD For Gaming 2021
- Samsung T5 SSD 1TB
- Seagate Expansion Card for Xbox Series X/S 1TB
- WD_Black P50 Game Drive SSD TB
- Samsung T7 SSD 500GB
- SanDisk Portable SSD
- Crucial CT4000X6SSD9 X6 4TB Portable SSD
Best External SSD For Gaming PC - Samsung T5 SSD 1TB
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.
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 durability.
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.
An overall fantastic drive for PC users!
Best External SSD For Gaming Xbox Series X - Seagate Storage Expansion Card For Xbox SSD 1TB
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 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.
This means that this specific SSD becomes an expansion of the Xbox memory which means you'll 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
Rapid data transfer speeds allow for faster overall responsiveness and decreased loading times.
The external aluminium casing gives the portable device shock resistance making it highly durable and protects 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.
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, means you won't be delayed when jumping into the action with faster loading times.
Lightweight, compact and durable means that you'll have no trouble when travelling around with this device. Type-C USB connectivity allows for longevity, a reliable drive to last you a long time.
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.
2TB of storage with reading speeds of 520 Megabytes per second is more than enough to effectively back up your Mac.
Best External SSD for Gaming Large Capacity - 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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions About External SSDs For Gaming
Why Do Next-Gen Consoles Need External SSDs For Gaming?
Given that new consoles such as the Xbox Series X and the PS5 are powered by even quicker hardware than previous generations, it makes sense that SSDs also need to be up to scratch.
As a result, the games released for new consoles need to be accessed speedily in order to run as smoothly as they can.
Are External SSDs Better Than Hard Drives For Gaming?
For the best performance, having a proper SSD with prime read and write speeds are ideal.
They're also more reliable than hard drives given that SSDs have little to no moving parts, which is better for long-term performance gains.
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.
However, if you're looking to have the potential for expansion in the future if you buy more games, then getting something 3TB and upwards is worthwhile.
Read More: Best Hard Drives for PS4 and PS5 2021