Games On Xbox One External Drives Will Be Instantly Playable On Xbox Series X / S

Yesterday I wrote about downloading the entire Xbox Game Pass library to one external Xbox One hard drive. According to today’s storage-centric Xbox Wire post, I’ll be able to plug that drive into an Xbox Series X / S come November and instantly access all of those games.


Additional super-speedy SSD storage for the Xbox Series consoles is pricey and required for next-generation games, but older, less expensive USB 3.1 external drives will play Xbox One compatible games just fine. Answering the question “Is my existing USB-based HDD/SSD with my library of games compatible with Series X / S?” Xbox director of program management Jason Ronald says it’s all plug and play.

“It is easy as unplugging your existing external USB 3.1 HDD or SSD from your Xbox One and connecting it to your Xbox Series X | S and all your games are instantly available. You can continue to play your favorite Xbox One games, including backward-compatible Xbox 360 and original Xbox games, directly from the external hard drive.”

That’s very good news for me. It means that when I get my hands on the Xbox Series X in November, I’ll have an instant library of more than 200 games ready to play.

It’s also good news for anyone stressing out about having to spend a ton on Xbox Series X / S specific storage to increase the Series X’s terabyte or Series S’ paltry 512 gigs. They’ll be able to save some space by keeping their Xbox One and other backwards compatible games on a cheap USB 3.1 drive (assuming, of course, that they’re just not keeping them on an actual Xbox One console). And should the main drive get too full, Xbox Series X / S games can still be stored on older drives, they just have to be transferred to faster storage to play. If that’s confusing, Microsoft made up a handy little table to clear it up.

Illustration for article titled Games On Xbox One External Drives Will Be Instantly Playable On Xbox Series X / S
Screenshot: Microsoft

Considering most of the games playable on the Xbox Series X / S at launch will be Xbox One titles, it’s worth keeping those older external drives around.

Kotaku elder, lover of video games, keyboards, toys, snacks, and other unsavory things.


Yes, we know. PS5 as well. Those are things we’ve known for a very long time.

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