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Both models of Sony’s PlayStation 5 come with 1TB (terabyte) of internal storage, which is a lot less space than it seems. The system only lets you access 825GB of its built-in SSD (Solid State Drive), and popular games like Final Fantasy VII: Remake and Death Stranding: Director’s Cut take up well over 50GB. If you’re committed to building up a digital game library this generation, sticking with the PlayStation 5’s storage means being very selective about the games you get, or constantly deleting and re-downloading them, which can take a long time depending on your internet connection.
The solution to this problem is adding additional storage to your PlayStation 5’s storage by installing an additional SSD. This allows you to store up to 2TB of additional games on your system. Sony has detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to perform this upgrade, which should only take about 10 minutes. You will need to open up your PlayStation 5, which requires no tools, and use a standard Phillips head screwdriver to screw the new SSD into place.
Once the SSD is installed, the PlayStation 5 will format (erase and make usable) the storage, and it’ll be ready to use. Your new SSD will function identically to the one that was already inside your PlayStation 5, allowing you to store and play any title from your digital game library. You can manage your storage ie. move games from your internal drive to the new one, using the “Storage” setting on the PlayStation 5. It will take a few minutes to transfer games from one drive to another, but it’s much faster than re-downloading a huge game.
If you’re running out of storage space on your PlayStation 5, or need a gift for the PlayStation gamer in your life, here’s everything you’ll need to get.
1. Samsung 980 PRO w/Heatsink
The most important part of this upgrade is deciding which SSD to get. Sony has strict prerequisites for compatible drives: It must be an M.2 N.VME drive with a dedicated heatsink. This type of drive won’t get overly hot when reading or writing data, which happens constantly when you’re playing games, and it’ll be fast enough to match the speed of the PlayStation 5’s internal drive.
We’ve been able to test Samsung’s 980 Pro With Heatsink, and we feel it’s the drive to get if you want to upgrade your PlayStation 5’s storage. The console instantly recognized the drive upon boot, and we were able to seamlessly transfer games to and from the 980 Pro quickly and easily. We never received an error message, or noticed any slowdown when playing games off the drive. In our experience, there was no difference between gaming on the PlayStation 5’s internal storage or Samsung’s 980 Pro With Heatsink.
We used the 1TB model of this drive, which more than doubled the amount of digital space we had to work with, but Samsung offers a 2TB version if you’re downloading a lot of games. Samsung also offers a varient of this drive without a heatsink, but that is incompatible with the PlayStation 5, so you should avoid it for this use case. You can add a third-party heatsink to that version to meet Sony’s recommendations if you’d like, but it will require additional work. After using it for ourselves, we can’t recommend any other PlayStation-5 compatible SSD more highly than Samsung’s 980 Pro With Heatsink.
2. StarTech Anti-Static Mat
If you’re working on any electronics project, it’s important to make sure you’re working on an anti-static surface. A static shock can kill a component of your gear, and while this is very rare, it’s better to be safe than sorry. We recommend getting an anti-static mat when adding an SSD to your PlayStation 5 just to be safe.
This mat from StarTech is 24-inches wide by 27.5-inches long, which is large enough to easily fit a PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, or PC. It comes with a grounding clip, which you should attach to a piece of metal to continually dispel any electricity that’s built up. While this component isn’t essential to upgrading your PlayStation 5’s storage, working on one is a best practice.