5 best external HDD to run games off of [2021 Guide]

Tashreef Shareef
by Tashreef Shareef
Windows & Software Expert
Last update:
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Whether you have an SSD installed on a laptop or have a gaming console, modern Triple-A titles take a lot of space on the hard drive, as a result, your gaming setup can run out of space in no time.

Buying an external hard drive for your PC or laptop allows you to get that extra storage required to be flexible with your games and media files.

In this article, we have listed the best external hard drive for PCs and gaming consoles to run games off of.

Note: Deals are subject to change. Keep in mind that the price tag often varies. We recommend going on the vendor’s website to check the price. Some of the products may be out of stock by the time you’ve made your purchasing decision. So, hurry up and hit the buy button.


Which are the best external hard drives for gamers?

Samsung T5 Portable SSD

  • Optional password and hardware encryption support
  • Superfast SSD with up to 540 MB/s transfer rate
  • USB Type-C and Type-A cable included
  • The speed comes at a premium

Samsung T5 Portable SSD is for those power users who want reliable performance and don’t want to compromise with the speed of their external hard drive and are ready to spend a premium.

Samsung T5 Portable SSD offers 1TB of storage with a claimed superfast Read and Write speed of up to 540 MB/s to reduce the game loading time.

For connectivity, it comes with both USB Type-C and USB Type-A cables. Samsung has also equipped the SSD drive with an optional password and hardware encryption option.


WD 4TB My Passport 

  • Offers automatic backups, password protection, and hardware encryption
  • Bulk storage for a cheap price
  • Compact design
  • Performs slower than SSDs

For a sub $100 device, WD 4TB My Passport offers a ton of storage at a good price. It may not be as compact the Samsung’s SSD, but for an HDD, it is compact enough.

WD bundle’s My Passport external hard drive with its Automatic backup software along with password protection and hardware encryption features.

For connectivity, it comes with a standard USB 3.0 port that is compatible with the USB 2.0 interface as well.


LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt

  • Rugged external hard drive with shock, splash, and dust resistant case
  • Multiple connection types
  • Reasonable price
  • Comparatively expensive than standard HDDs

LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt is made for those who take their external hard drive’s durability seriously and prefer a device that can withstand some rough usage.

LaCie Rugged STFR1000800 offers 5TB of storage space with a shock, dust, and splash resistant shell protecting the data inside. For connectivity, it has a USB Type-C port along with the legacy USB 3.0 adapter included in the box.


Seagate Backup Plus Hub

  • Loads of storage for an affordable price tag
  • Seagate Backup software
  • Additional USB Ports
  • Requires an external power source

Apart from the massive storage on offer, Seagate Backup Plus Hub comes with two additional USB 3.0 ports to connect external USB devices as well as for charging your smartphone.

Seagate Backup Plus Hub offers 8TB of storage for a premium. It also requires an external power source to power the device making it ideal for a desktop setup.


Seagate Expansion Desktop 8TB

  • Loads of storage for an affordable price
  • Massive storage given the price
  • Decent speed for an HDD
  • Requires an external power source

If you want to go big without breaking the bank, the Seagate Expansion Desktop 8TB offers a massive amount of storage for a reasonable price. However, this is more of a desktop hard drive as it requires an external power source to power the device.

Despite its size, Seagate Expansion Desktop 8TB offers performance similar to WD My Passport hard drive with a sustained Read Write speed of 150MB/s.

For connectivity, it comes with USB 3.0 port but misses out on backup software and password protection.


Depending on how you are planning to use your external hard drive, go for either the faster SSDs or stick to the HDDs that offer more storage for less price.


Here are the best  SSDs for gaming.

  • Can I use an HDD for gaming?

External HDDs are good because games are getting bigger and bigger.

Check out this list of the best external HDDs for gaming that you can buy.

  • How big can an HDD be?

Consumer-grade HDDs can go up as much as 32TB or more, but those at around 5 TB are the biggest that still have an acceptable price tag.


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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Yes, they are. Because of their fast reading and writing speeds, they are excellent for loading large applications such as games.

    Here are the best  SSDs for gaming.

  • External HDDs are good because games are getting bigger and bigger. Check out this list of the best external HDDs for gaming that you can buy.

  • Consumer-grade HDDs can go up as much as 32TB or more, but those at around 5 TB are the biggest that still have an acceptable price tag.

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