The Xbox One X's Hard Drive Can Fill Up Pretty Fast

Games optimized for the Xbox One X can look better on the new console than they do on older hardware, but adding HDR support, 4K textures and other enhancements takes a bit more space. With three games taking up over a third of my console’s drive, 1TB of storage isn’t gonna cut it.

I’ve spent the past year slowly filling up 2TB of storage on my Xbox One, so it was alarming to see the storage meter on the lower left of the screen rapidly filling as I downloaded fresh games to the Xbox One X’s 1TB drive. If you’d told me a decade ago that one day I’d be complaining about only having one terabyte of storage, I’d be very surprised and curious about how you got into my house.


To be fair, the Xbox One X’s 1TB drive isn’t completely open to game downloads. Of the 1,024 gigabytes that make up a terabyte, only 780.9 are available for game and app installs and captures.

Luckily I had an external hard drive handy.

Let’s take a look at the Xbox One X enhanced games I have installed so far. Halo 5: Guardians is the current space-taking champ at 107GB, following a 15GB update that enables playing at native 4K resolution. Gears of War 4, already a hefty install on a regular Xbox One, takes up 103.3GB fully enhanced. Forza Motorsports 7, which recently updated to Xbox One X enhanced, takes up 95GB.


Those three games alone total 305.3GB. If I remembered how to use the calculator correctly, that’s nearly 40 percent of the Xbox One X’s hard drive space right there.

More modest games like FIFA 18, the recently-updated Middle-earth: Shadow of War and the technically not playable yet Star Wars Battlefront II seem to enjoy hanging out in the 45GB range. That’s not too bad. I could load 17 of those on 1TB no problem. But if I want to play more than a handful of games the size of Halo 5, Gears 4 or say, Quantum Break (currently downloading 83.70GB, not counting video files), extra space is going to come in really handy.


Each new game update steals another piece of the pie. I’m currently downloading a 30GB update for Ark: Survival Evolved, which adds a 1440p, high-quality 30 frames-per-second mode to the game, as well as an enhanced 60 frames-per-second 1080p mode. That’s a lot of data. It should make the game look a lot better, but damn.


Long story short, if you’re going to be playing a lot of games on your Xbox One X, it wouldn’t hurt to have an external hard drive handy. That, or wait until a more sensible 2TB or higher version of the console is released down the line.

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About the author

Mike Fahey

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