Microsoft has confirmed how gamers can use a hard drive to move over their current-generation games.
With a new generation of games consoles comes a new wave of games, but the jump between the Xbox One and Xbox Series X or S is one of the smoothest ever for most gamers.
Microsoft has made a lot out of its commitment to making sure that the switch is clean and easy, including existing controllers working on the new hardware, and universal support for Xbox One games on the newer consoles, too. That’s well and good if you have disc copies of your Xbox One favourites, but many of us have sizeable digital collections nowadays.
How can you transfer your digital games over to the Series X or Series S? We’ve got the details for you right here.
The key piece of information to know about moving games off your Xbox One and onto your new console is that you can do it with any compatible external hard drive or SSD.
Just like you would to expand your Xbox One’s storage without any upgrade, you simply need to get yourself an external, USB hard drive, and plug it into the USB port on your Xbox One.
You’ll get a pop-up on your TV screen to confirm the drive is connected, meaning that you can move to the Settings app on your Xbox One to progress.
In the System section, go to Storage and select your drive. This will give you the option to wipe the drive and make it suitable for the Xbox’s use, which you can do by selecting “Format”. From there, you’ll be able to select games in your hard drive and move them over to your external drive easily.
The next step is an obvious one – get yourself an Xbox Series X or Series S!
Once you’ve got your new console all set up, it’s time for a familiar process – plug your USB drive into a free port and wait for it to recognise the storage.
Here’s the good news – at this point, you’re basically done! Your games will be immediately available to play from your drive and to transfer over to the new console if you prefer. Of course, even if you’re using an external SSD you’ll likely find that the best performance is unlocked by moving the games over to the new console, but you’ve got the freedom to choose.
One smart way to organise things would be to keep your Xbox One and Xbox 360 games on your external drive, reserving your actual console’s storage for next-gen titles that need faster read/write speeds to power their upgraded performance.
If you don’t have an external drive yet for your Xbox One, and think that you’re going to want to get one to make it easier to transfer your games over, we’ve got a couple here that could work nicely – one HDD and one SSD in case you want a quicker choice.
Seagate’s official storage drive is a great way to expand your horizons, with a massive two terabytes of space to fill up, and it’s priced pretty nicely too. That green design means it’ll stand out and fit in as a nice accent to your new console, whether it’s the black Series X or white Series S, and it’s also got very solid speeds for an HDD.
This is a superb SSD for any purpose, but it works really nicely as a speedy game backup, and will be much quicker to move titles back and forth between your old and new consoles, so the upgrade versus an HDD could be something to consider carefully. Of course, you get much less storage real estate for your money.
Max is an avid gamer, but writes about whatever is newsworthy, and works across features, reviews, buyer’s guides and more for the site.
Max joined Pocket-lint after a fruitful spell writing about wearable and smart home tech for Wareable and The Ambient as a magazine journalism graduate from City, University of London.
He’s also contributed to Kotaku UK, The Sunday Times, the Press Association and MUNDIAL. When he’s not working, his time is divided worryingly evenly between football, culture and sleeping.