PS4 Compatible USB Flash Drive Stick – The Best Options
USB 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:
- The support of USB 3.0 (or higher) connection. It means that older generations are NOT accepted.
- 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
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
Since 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.
Samsung BAR Plus 256gb Flash Drive
Although this drive is lower in performance than the second drive in this list, it’s the best fit for PS4. Why? Because PS4 processor cannot fully handle the too high transfer speed that premium USB flash drives offer. By experience, a 200mb/s – 250mb/s transfer speed can work almost the same as the higher speeds on PS4. So why waste your money? This is our mere opinion after all.
Additionally, this is an incredibly low-cost premium flash drive that offers up to 300mb/s transfer rate. This makes it the best fit for PS4 console, especially PS4 Pro that supports that USB 3.1 connection.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.