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A close-up shot of a white Xbox Series S controller on a white and green background

External storage for Xbox

Microsoft’s Xbox Series S & X consoles offer next-generation gaming experiences, with incredible graphical and processing power. However, while they feature fast and reliable NVMe SSDs, external storage for Xbox users is a priority considering that the operating system for each console takes up almost 20% of each drive. The Series S has an effective 364GB available out of its 512GB out-of-the-box storage, while the Series X has 802GB to spare from its 1TB drive. With triple-A games like Call of Duty’s installations weighing in at over 100GB, it’s imperative to have multiple sources of storage available.

Restrictions on Xbox Series S/X external drives

Xbox Series S/X users should reserve their consoles’ internal storage for games specifically released for those consoles. External drives are not permitted to run games for the Xbox Series S/X. They can, however, run games for the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and original Xbox, assuming those games are compatible. They can also store Xbox Series S/X games that are not in use, though they must be transferred to the internal drive to be played.

External drives must be at least USB 3.0-enabled in order to be compatible. Console users can have up to three external drives connected at a time, as the Xbox Series S/X both have three USB-A ports.

How to use external storage with Xbox Series S/X

It’s not only very helpful to use external storage drives with the Xbox Series S/X, it’s easy too. All a user has to do is turn on the console and plug in the drive. If it’s compatible, a popup will appear, followed by all the instructions they need. Alternatively, a user can enter System Settings and find the Storage devices tab in there.

New storage devices usually require formatting. The Xbox Series S/X can perform this for users and also name devices to help keep track of them. This may be useful as, after formatting, both internal and external storage are presented as one statistic, visible on the My Games & Apps screen.

Best external storage for Xbox Series S/X

There are multiple hardware traits that will benefit Xbox Series S/X users. Fast read and write speed, of course, will make it more convenient to install, save and load games and media from an external drive. However, reliability is the most important factor. Losing your data can result in the loss of hundreds or even thousands of hours of game progress, as well as digital products to which you may no longer have access. Lastly, capacity is of course a factor. Whether you go for a single large drive for ease of transportation, or multiple smaller drives for versatility and the ability to back up data, drive capacity will help take the load off the internal storage of the console.

External storage options for Xbox Series S/X

The Kingston XS1000 External Solid State Drive is a compact and lightning-fast USB 3.2 Gen 2 SSD, capable of transfer speeds of up to 1,050MB/s. Despite being less than eight centimetres long and barely 30g in weight, it has substantial capacity: 1TB or even 2TB. The XS1000 comes with a five-year warranty and is backed by Kingston’s industry-leading free tech support. It’s an excellent choice for external storage for your Xbox Series S/X.


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