Need space for games? Here’s how to upgrade the Xbox Series S SSD

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If you’re hoping to upgrade the Xbox Series S SSD, we’ve covered all of the most relevant information here.

The Xbox Series S ships with a 512GB Custom NVMe SSD, though for a console without a disk-drive, this can be a problem for many. Especially now as games can often take up nearly 100GBs of storage space. Often the case with games consoles is that a partition of the hard drive is reserved for the operating system. What this really means is that the Xbox Series S ships with about 360GB of free space for games, which is really not enough.

If you’ve ended up getting the best TV for Xbox Series X/S, you’re not going to want to waste it by not having enough space for any games, so we’re going to show you how to upgrade the Xbox Series S SSD easily.

Can you upgrade the internal Xbox Series S SSD?

It is possible to upgrade the internal Xbox Series S SSD, however we don’t think this is at all necessary. While the SSD that does ship with the Xbox Series S is only 512GB, it’s a custom NVMe M.2 2230 SSD.

Normal SSDs that you might have come across if you’ve ever built a PC are generally 4.33-inches long. 2230 M.2 SSDs are only 1.18-inches long, nearly a quarter of the length. They’re much harder to come across due to their niche specificity, and they’re also generally more expensive. If money isn’t a problem for you, and you can get hold of a 2230 M.2 NVMe SSD with a larger capacity, you’re left with the next road-block.

If you remove the proprietary SSD inside the Xbox Series S, you’re going to have to flash the operating software back onto the new drive, which is a much trickier affair. We wouldn’t advise doing this as you could potentially void your warranty.

However, if you do choose to replace the original SSD inside your Xbox Series S, we’d advise you to only do so if you have experience working with electronics and taking apart games consoles.

Recent news was announced that Xbox was going to be disabling third-party device compatibility – is this going to have a knock on effect on what’s going to happen with replacing Xbox Series S SSDs. What are your other options?

How to upgrade external Xbox Series S SSD

The most sensible option for upgrading the Xbox Series S SSD is to use an external SSD. Of course it would be nice to be able to actually upgrade the hardware inside the Xbox Series S, though realistically external storage expansion is the easiest option.

  1. Seagate Expansion card for Xbox Series S

    Your first option is to use the Seagate Expansion Card for Xbox Series X|S. It’s available in a few different storage capacities, though you’re likely only going to really choose between 1TB and 2TB. The choice is yours, though the price will obviously be higher the more you get.

    The expansion card uses the CFexpress connection standard, which is unlike the USB-C you might have been accustomed to. It also makes use of ‘Xbox Velocity Architecture’, which optimizes gameplay through hardware decompression and DirectStorage compatibility.

    If you’re used to gaming on older consoles, you’ll know how annoying it can be to have to use external hard-drives to store your games on, though now you can connect an SSD that will run games lightning fast thanks to specially designed software and hardware.

    The Seagate Expansion Card for Xbox Series X/S easily plugs into the back of the console, and you should be good to go.

  2. USB 3.1 external HDD

    Your other option is to use a USB 3.1 external HDD or SSD, though we’d only recommend this if you’re happy with slightly slower data transfer speeds. This format will likely slow down how fast games load, and will likely frustrate you more than help you out.

We hope that we’ve helped you connect an external SSD to your Xbox Series S in order to best enjoy your games. You might be interested in finding out what GPU equivalent to the Xbox Series S, or what graphics card is in the Xbox Series X. We’re going to be putting out loads more content about the Xbox Series X & S, so make sure to check back in for the latest updates on your favorite console.

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About the Author

Amaar Chowdhury

Amaar loves retro hardware and boring games with more words than action. So, he writes about them daily.