Do you really need an external hard drive for your Xbox One?

Xbox One X
Xbox One X (Image credit: Matt Brown | Windows Central)

Do you really need an external hard drive for your Xbox One?

Best answer: No, but they are significantly useful. If you plan on having more than a handful of games installed at one time, you'll be needing an external hard drive. Luckily, there are multiple options and sizes to choose from.Amazon: WD 4TB My Book (opens in new tab) ($90)Amazon: WD 1TB My Passport (opens in new tab) ($53)

What makes external hard drives so useful?

The reason why getting an external hard drive for your Xbox One console is a good idea is that in today's market, games are getting bigger and bigger. On average, most big titles are around 50GB in size, with some titles like Halo 5: Guardians and Red Dead Redemption II being more than double that.

This means that the Xbox One family's built-in hard drive (either 500GB or 1TB, depending on the version you own) won't be enough if you plan on having more than a handful of AAA games installed at one time. An external hard drive gives you significantly more space to work with, meaning you won't have to pick and choose what to have installed.

Why get the WD 4TB My Book?

The tech industry is filled with different external hard drives of all shapes and sizes, but in our opinion, the best one you can get for your Xbox One is the Western Digital 4TB My Book. At a solid $90, you get 4TB of hard drive space, which is quadruple the maximum amount of storage available with the console's built-in drive. It also shares a similar color scheme with standard black Xbox One consoles, making it a stylish option for many users.

Alternative option

If you need some more space but don't want to go overboard, then the smaller WD 1TB My Passport is an excellent choice. Though it only offers a single terabyte of storage, that may be more than enough for your needs. More casual players will likely find this the best choice, as it ensures you'll be able to keep a good amount of games installed at the very consumer-friendly price of just $53. It's also compact and light, which makes it a great choice if you travel a lot and bring your Xbox One with you.

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.