How To Expand Your PS5’s Storage Space

How To Expand Your PS5’s Storage Space
Image: Sony

Looking for ways to fit more games on your next-gen PlayStation? Here are your options for expanding the PS5‘s storage.

In a time where digital game downloads, patches, and DLC content can quickly eat up all the storage space on your game consoles, it’s nice to know that you have the option to increase the hard drive capacity by yourself, if you want to.

Sony has always been open to you upgrading your own hard drive, with the PS3 and PS4 giving you relatively easy access to the hard drive bay to replace the internal drive, as well as allowing you to use external storage options. The PS5 has a similar philosophy, but unfortunately, not one you can take advantage of at launch.

How Do I Upgrade Storage On PS5?

Almost a full year after the console’s launch, Sony has finally provided firm details on how you can upgrade the PS5’s internal storage with an extra drive.

It’s worth noting you’ll need an PCIe 4.0 generation NVMe SSD — PCIe 3.0 NVMe drives simply aren’t fast enough. On top of that, the drive needs to have at least 5,500mb/s sequential read speed, and it can only be 30mm, 42mm, 60mm, 80mm or 110mm long.

Only drives with the prefix 22 are supported (this indicates the drives are 22mm long, incidentally), meaning only M.2 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280 and 22110 drives are compatible.

Image: Sony

Here’s the full list of requirements:

Interface: PCIe Gen4 x4 M.2 NVMe SSD

Capacity: 250GB – 4TB

Cooling structure: Using an M.2 SSD with your PS5 console requires effective heat dissipation with a cooling structure, such as a heatsink. You can attach one to your M.2 SSD yourself, either in a single-sided format, or double-sided format. There are also M.2 SSDs that have cooling structures (such as heatsinks) built in.

Sequential read speed: 5,500MB/s or faster is recommended

Module width: 22mm width (25mm width is not supported)

Form Factor: M.2 type 2230, 2242, 2260, 2280 and 22110.
These numbers can be found on retail listings for M.2 SSD devices. The first two digits refer to the width, the remaining digits to the length.

Socket type: Socket 3 (Key M)

Total size including cooling structure:
In millimeters: smaller than 110mm (L) x 25mm (W) x 11.25mm (H).
In inches: smaller than 4.33in (L) x 0.984 in (W) x 0.442in (H).

See below for full requirements.

Length

The following M.2 SSD lengths are compatible with PS5 consoles:
30mm, 42mm, 60mm, 80mm, 110mm (corresponding to the form factor type, per above).

Width
A 22mm-wide M.2 SSD module is required.
The total structure (including an added cooling structure) cannot exceed 25mm (0.984in).

Height
The total height of the M.2 SSD and its cooling structure (such as a heatsink) – whether built-in or separate – must be less than 11.25mm (0.442in).
The height must also be in the right place, in relation to the M.2 SSD’s circuit board:

The size below the board must be less than 2.45mm (0.096in).

The total size above the board must be less than 8mm (0.314in).

A major factor to consider is that not all PCIe 4.0 drives will have heatsinks that support the PS5’s enclosure. You’ll want to check the specifications for each individual drive, but at the moment at least two drives are fully compatible: the WD_Black SN850 and the FireCuda 530.

Along with the physical installation — which requires a Philips-head screwdriver and some disassembly of your PS5 — you’ll also need a beta software update from Sony. Details on how to access that can be found on the official support page here.

Can I Use External Hard Drives With My PS5?

Yes, but only for PS4 games. You can plug in an external USB hard drive of any kind to store and access PS4 game data on your PS5.

You’ll be able to run any PS4 games you have directly off the drive, and even tell the console to install any future PS4 games directly onto said external drive, if you wish. You cannot move PS5 data to an external drive.


Edmond Tran is a long-time video games journalist and the former Australian editor of GameSpot.

Comments

    • Yep, totally.
      Why is this still unclear? Is it because SSDs are (relatively) new and haven’t settled down to a few recognised standards? Or is the PS5 slightly ahead of commercial SSDs, and so the right ones haven’t been made yet? I guess I’m just puzzled what’s going on. Because I’m absolutely going to need expansion.

      • It’s fairly clear, but Sony need to certify drives because the speeds required are very high even by NVMe standards. Moment-to-moment game performance may rely on consistent throughput from the drive in a way that current games don’t so it’ll only be a subset of drives that get the nod.

        What I want to see personally is the option to swap PS5 (and XBox) games out to external drives for storage – encrypted if necessary – then back into internal storage if/when you want to start playing that game again. It’d surely be a hell of a lot more convenient than having to delete games to make room.

        • It turns out that XBox will let you archive games to external storage. PS5 has some major features it needs to implement like archiving and VRR.

        • It’s fine to say “you need to use specific drives” but those drives should be available fairly quickly after launch in my opinion as you can’t play PS5 games from an external.

          Xbox has the Seagate expansion drives good to go, expensive though considering the cost of the console.

          If it’s like the Xbox One you can copy games across drives easily, filter to see which games are on which drives, the UI is pretty good for that. If it’s a disk game you need the disk in and if it’s a digital game you need to be signed in – no encryption needed.

  • So how do I ‘How To Expand Your PS5’s Storage Space?’

    Your article seems high on click-ability and low on actual answers to the headline.

    • you dont was the answer i got from the article.

      Sony will test M2 chips and tell you which ones work, then you can buy one and install it 🙂

      • No… apparently all the beta-tests will test M2 chips, and maybe Sony will tell us which ones are approved. Why would they bother to test any third-party (essential?) add-ons when they can get a bunch of people with too much disposable income to actually put down their own money to see whether or not drives will work. My guess – Sony knows there’s a problem with delivering on extended (internal) storage, and they’re now trying to distract with the beta program.

  • Bugger. Guess it’s part of the design spec that PS5 games have access to high speed drives.

    I have an SSD that I’m pulling out of my PS4, I’m planning on sticking it in an enclosure and using it for extra games, looks like they’ll only be PS4 games at this point.

    Gotta say though, as a long time PC gamer, I’ve regularly seen visual on my ps4 that have been jaw droppingly beautiful. God of War is a case in point but there are many others. It’s pretty cool that the next gen is here. I wonder what we’ll be seeing in a few years time?

    Hopefully not a PS5 Pro though. Just…. no.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!