PS4 Compatible USB Flash Drive Stick – The Best Options

USB flash drive on PS4USB flash drives (aka USB sticks) are widely used with PS4 console. That’s because they offer high portability storage solution due to their tiny design size. Moreover, they are very easy to plug and play without the need for a USB cable. These two reasons made USB flash drive sticks very popular in the data storage realm. Once you get a PS4 compatible USB flash drive, you’ll fully enjoy these benefits on your game console.

Using USB Sticks in PS4

There are several purposes of using USB flash drives in PS4. All PS4 compatible storage devices share the same purposes with different level of usability.

  • Backup Storage Solution. Usually a small-capacity USB flash stick can properly do the job. Here, the PS4 user would just store small files like game saves and screenshots to share them with friends and family. If your USB flash drive is too large, you can use it also to backup games and apps. For more details, please visit this article.
  • Upgrading PS4 internal hard drive. The USB flash drive has a significant role in the process of upgrading PS4 hard drive. It’s where you store PS4 system software Update after downloading it on a computer. Later, when it connects to PS4, go launch this system software file and install the operating system from scratch on the new drive.
  • Extended Storage Solution. You can use a USB flash drive stick as an extended storage on PS4. You can directly install games on it thus save space on PS4 system storage. For more details on how to do that, please visit this article.

As for the first and second purposes, literally any USB flash drive would fit properly. As for the third purpose, you need a special type of USB flash drives that conforms to specific standards. These standards are:

  1. The support of USB 3.0 (or higher) connection. It means that older generations are NOT accepted.
  2. Minimum usable storage space is 250gb and maximum is 8tb (if ever available).

Once the USB stick meets these standards, it’s fully PS4 compatible for the purpose of extended storage.

Very Important Note
It’s very important to note that PS4 only accepts 250gb of usable storage space, not the actual storage capacity. That means if your drive comes with an exact 250gb storage capacity, PS4 system will REJECT it. Why?

Data storage manufacturers market drives in terms of decimal (base 10) capacity. In decimal notation, one megabyte (MB) is equal to 1,000,000 bytes, one gigabyte (GB) is equal to 1,000,000,000 bytes, and one terabyte (TB) is equal to 1,000,000,000,000 bytes.

PS4 system use the binary (base 2) numbering system. In the binary numbering system, one megabyte is equal to 1,048,576 bytes, one gigabyte is equal to 1,073,741,824 bytes, and one terabyte is equal to 1,099,511,627,776 bytes.

Accordingly, the 256gb of USB flash drive is actually 256,000mb, which is calculated by PS4 system as an exact 250gb.

But this isn’t the end of story. The drive needs to reserve a few gigabytes for the file system (around 2.5gb). Therefore, the usable storage space on the 256gb flash drive is almost 247.5gb, which is NOT acceptable by PS4 system.

That’s why if you’re going to buy a flash drive for the extended storage purpose on PS4, the minimum storage capacity has to be 512gb not less.

Best USB Flash Drives for PS4

Best USB sticks for PS4Since just ANY USB flash drive would work as a backup solution for PS4, we didn’t make any recommendation for this purpose. Rather, our recommendations here are mainly based on the PS4 compatibility standards of extended storage solution. In other words, these USB sticks work very well as extended storage on PS4.

Remember, PS4 system doesn’t accept 256gb USB flash drives for the extended storage purpose. For that reason the recommended drives below range from 512gb, not less.

Premium USB Flash Drives

The USB sticks in this section are high-end drives that offer cutting-edge, SSD-like performance. They are the best fit for PS4 Pro due to the fact that PS4 Pro USB ports support USB 3.1 connection. If you own the standard PS4 or PS4 Slim, we strongly advise that you consider the drives listed in the second section.

Kingston Digital HyperX Savage

The is the second PS4 flash drive in our list. It offers a high transfer rate up to 350mb/s and varied storage capacities up to 512gb.

HyperX Savage USB Flash drive is our top recommendation for PS4. It offers blazing fast speeds up to 350MB/s to save time during file transfers. Additionally, it lets you quickly access, edit and transfer files from the drive without any performance lag. It’s compliant with USB 3.1 Gen 1 specifications to take advantage of USB 3.1 ports in PS4 Pro. Also it’s backward compatible with USB 3.0 and USB 2.0.

HyperX Savage is a stylish drive, with a sleek black casing and signature HyperX logo in red and an aggressive look. It’s designed to work on multiple platforms and game consoles, including PS4, PS3, Xbox One and Xbox 360. It’s available in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB capacities.

Kingston Digital HyperX Savage
W(HXS3/512GB)

Corsair Flash Voyager GTX 3.1

This is the best USB flash drive in terms of performance, but it is so costly. If you want to use it on a computer, then go for it. But as for PS4, we prefer the former drive in this list.

The Flash Voyager GTX USB 3.1 premium flash drive puts SSD performance in your pocket, with up to 440MB/sec read and 440MB/sec write speeds. Encased in a solid zinc alloy housing, and available in 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and massive 1TB capacities, you can load up all your data and access it in speed and style.

Fully compatible with high-speed USB 3.1 Gen 1, USB 3.0 and legacy USB 2.0 connections, the Flash Voyager GTX USB 3.1 is both future-proof and backwards compatible, connecting to any PS4 model without the need for drivers or installs.

Corsair Flash Voyager GTX
CMFVYGTX3C-1TB


Standard USB 3.0 Flash Drives

The drives listed here are the best fit for the base PS4 model and PS4 Slim. They are budget-friendly and high-speed USB flash drive. These drives are the most preferable option for the majority of PS4 users due to the high performance and adequate price. Note that these drives are configured with USB 3.0. Thus, they don’t support USB 3.1 connection that PS4 Pro is equipped with. They still work fine with PS4 Pro, but with the speed of USB 3.0 only.

Flash Voyager GT

The Flash Voyager GT USB 3.0 really takes advantage of the performance of USB 3.0, with up to 8x the speed of a typical USB 2.0 flash drive. But even when used on a USB 2.0 port it’s one of the fastest drives on the market. The unique all-rubber housing is extremely durable, water-resistant and drop-tested for worry-free transport of your valuable data. Just plug it in and it works flawlessly with PS4 as an extended storage. The Flash Voyager GT USB 3.0 is backed by Corsair, a respected name with a passion for quality and customer service.

Corsair Flash Voyager
CMFVYGT3C-512GB

USB Stick Advantages for PS4

The advantages of using a USB stick on PS4 varies according to the purpose you want the USB stock for. But in general, as a miniature of the ordinary external hard drive, these little USB sticks offer nice advantages to their users, that are:

  • Too lightweight, tiny and portable. This offers an extreme flexibility to users who like to play their games on their friends’ consoles.
  • Safer and more secure. Due to its small size and the flash memory technology implemented in its manufacture, USB sticks offer more safety and additional security to its users over the regular external hard drives.
  • More reliable than external hard drives. The failure rates of USB stick is way too less than that with external hard drives.

That’s it. If you can afford buying the largest USB sticks for your PS4, then you have to in order to gain all these nice advantages.

USB Flash Drive vs External SSD

Many PS4 users are confused about whether to go for a USB flash drive or an external SSD. For them we have conducted a quick comparison to help them decide for themselves.

  • Design—External SSDs are larger by two to three times than USB flash drives. This is a strong advantage in terms of portability. Just imagine how easy it is to hang your USB flash drive to your keychain whereas it’s not possible with an external SSD.
  • Direct Connection—The small design of USB flash drives is not the only portability factor, but also the direct connection USB flash drives feature. While an external SSD needs a USB cable to connect to PS4, USB flash drives connects directly without any cable. This strong feature makes USB flash drives more usable.
  • Performance—When it comes to performance (speed and reliability), nothing can beat an SSD. Yes, external SSDs are faster and more reliable than USB flash drives. This doesn’t mean the USB flash drives are not reliable, rather it means external SSDs are MORE reliable in the very long run.
  • Price—High-end Premium USB flash drives are much more expensive than external SSDs. You can get 1tb of external SSD for almost $200 whereas you get 1tb of premium USB flash drive for almost $400.

If you like to get an external SSD for PS4, please visit this article.

Conclusion

USB flash drives (or USB sticks) are largely used on PS4 for lightweight use like keeping a copy of the game saves and storing the installation pack of PS4 System Software so as to perform an internal hard drive upgrade.

Nowadays, many users tend to use USB flash drives as extended storage for PS4 due to the high portability and ease of use they offer. This is a valid reason to go for if you often play your favorite games on other PS4 consoles. But if you want to keep that storage inside your house most of the time, an external SSD or external HDD can is a better option.

24 Responses

  1. Oscar Carreno says:

    this is so ridiculous you made the ps4 so expensive and now you made this impossible for some of us to play it by raising the price on the system software update.

  2. HODOR says:

    I have a 2gb usb stick and I can’t transfer my saves to it. Help!

  3. Will says:

    No, not “just ANY USB flash drive” will work. I have a 128GB PNY Turbo Attache that I grabbed out of my bag of USB sticks thinking it would be perfect for getting files off the PS4. But no, it physically does not fit into the recessed “slot” or groove Sony designed into the front of the PS4. So some sticks, probably any that slide open and closed to protect the plug, cannot reach the ports since they are not flush.

    I have another old 8GB PNY Attache (USB 2.0) and a Lexar stick with the exact same problem. They’re too thick to fit. Then I have a couple Sandisk models, Cruzer Fit and Ultra Fit, that have a different problem. They’re so small and short that they do not protrude from the groove and are difficult to remove.

    So that’s 5 sticks that are less than great to use with the PS4. And owning them is how I got to a page like this, looking for a recommendation of a stick that works extremely well with the PS4.

    • PS4 Storage says:

      Yes you are right here. But even these thick USB drives can work properly if connected to PS4 via a USB cable extender. So, no much worry.

  4. Ryan says:

    So what is the cheapest option available to save to a usb? I have a flash drive in there but it isn’t a 3.0 and have been saving files to it. Thanks!

  5. Scott Reid says:

    You reference the USB has to be greater than 256gb but the first in the list is 256gb. Why?

    • PS4 Storage says:

      The first in the list is Kingston Digital HyperX Savage W(HXS3/512GB).

      • Scott Reid says:

        First on your list above is Samsung BAR Plus 256gb Flash Drive in the premium.

        This is a copy and paste from above.
        Kingston Digital HyperX Savage
        The is the second PS4 flash drive in our list. That is why I am confused. Thanks for your reply.

        • PS4 Storage says:

          Ops, I have just noticed that. This was a mistake that must be corrected right away. Thank you very much for notifying us.

  6. kerrijo3 says:

    So… the hard drive in my son’s ps4 crashed. I bought a brand new one thinking he could just swap them out. Trouble is it has NOTHING on it. My question is, can I get a USB 256gb 3.0 and Dow load the software to it and bring it to him and him put it in his ps4 and fix it? Sorry… not very tech savvy and no internet right now. Only satellite internet and I’d rather have nothing. Lol.

    • PS4 Storage says:

      Yes, surely you can. Just make sure to download the FULL PS4 system software package, NOT only the update patch.

  7. Lavelle Hatic says:

    Can you use 16gb flash drives for PS4 slim

  8. Brian Dietz says:

    I just found a Samsung 3.0 High Speed USB for 9 Bucks USD, I’m gonna buy multiples the brand says it all and an inexpensive method for back up and storage.

  9. Michael says:

    A need to update my ps4 but the console no read my usb I need a special usb ?

  10. Tobias says:

    Hello I have an USB 3.0 Stick with 2 Tb with exfat that I plugged directly into my PS4 without any USB hubs. Problem is that when I want to make it an extended storage then my PS4 says, that it isn’t possible with the code CE-41902-6. But all problems that are listed there can’t be it. So have you any idea what I can do? Thanks in advance.

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