What Are the PS4 USB Ports and How to Use Them?

A USB port on PS4 is a small port that allows a variety of USB compatible devices to connect to it and transfer digital data over USB cables. It can also supply electric power across the cable to devices that need it. Some examples of devices that connect to the PS4 USB ports include controller, external storage devices, speakers & headphones, PS4 VR and more.

Any PS4 user knows very well about the significance of having USB ports in their game console. In fact, the majority of users also feel that the two USB ports PS4 offers aren’t enough. They suggest having at least 4 or even 5 ports for their convenience. In this route, some may go for a USB hub to get additional USB ports, but this is not a complete solution free of flaws. The primary disadvantage here is that not all USB devices work via USB hub. Some will work without an issue and some wont work at all.

PS4 USB connection is an essential topic to talk about here because it features a major factor in understanding how external storage devices work on PS4. And since PS4 Storage Expert website is mainly and solely concerned about PS4 storage, such a topic have to be sufficiently handled.

PS4 USB Ports Number & Location

The number of USB ports in PlayStation 4 is two. PS4 still maintains these two USB ports as it has been doing in other previous versions of the PS consoles. The two USB ports are located right at the front of the console which isn’t a surprise because we saw that in the PS2 and PS3.

the two USB ports in PS4 standard

Two USB Ports in the front side of PS4

Sony made a change in the Pro version of the PS4 to add an additional USB port at the back of the console together with the AUX, HDMI and LAN ports.

PS4 Pro Rear USB Port

One USB 3.1 (Gen 1) Port in the rear side of PS4 Pro

PS4 USB Port Basic Features

  • USB 3.0/3.1 Generation 1. The PS4 is packed with USB 3.0, and the Pro version has USB 3.1 ports, both Gen 1. The PS4 USB 3.0 has a SuperSpeed transfer rate of 5 Gbit/s which can transfer about 625mb/s. This makes data transfer from an external device to the console super-fast. It’s ten times faster than the previous USB versions. Although it may not be as fast as the USB 3.1 Gen 2 or the USB 3.2 which transfers data with SuperSpeed+ at the rate of 10 Gbit/s, the performance of USB 3.0/3.1 connection fits its purpose in the PS4/PS4 Pro. Additionally, we can always expect an updated version of the USB in the next release of the PlayStation.
  • Bi-Directional. Also, the PS4 USB 3.0/3.1 is ‘bi-directional’ which means the USB ports on the PS4 gives the user the opportunity to read and write data at the same time. You can download files from the console and at the same time, upload data to it without waiting for one function to end. So, you can download music, pictures and also upload movies to the console all at once.
  • Power-Saving. The USB Port 3.0/3.1 also put unused devices attached to the PS4 console to sleep mode to save energy.

Supported Devices

There are several USB devices that PS4 supports to work with.

  • Controllers. One of the purposes of PS4 USB ports is to connect PS4 controllers if, for any reason, you don’t wish to connect them wirelessly. It can be used also for charging the battery of these controllers by by emitting a 900 mA, making it twice as fast more than the USB 2.0.
  • External Storage Devices. The PS4 USB ports also enables an external storage device, such as USB flash memory, USB external hard drive and USB external SSD to be used on the console either as a backup storage or an extended storage.
  • USB Hub. You can increase the numbers of USB ports by connecting a USB hub to one of the ports. But you have to note that by doing this you’ll not be able to use external storage devices as extended storage, but only as backup storage. Moreover, PlayStation VR won’t work via USB hub. It must connect directly to PS4 via the original USB port.
  • Keyboard & Mouse. You can use the keyboard to navigate the PS4’s system menus, input text, browse the web, and more. To properly setup your keyboard and mouse, go to [Settings] > [Devices] > [External Keyboard].
  • PS4 Accessories. There are different USB devices that work with PS4 and enhance the gaming experience with it. Devices such as PlayStation VR, headsets, and more.
  • Using PS4 USB Ports

    Connect PS4 and a USB device directly with one USB cable by plugging each end into a USB port.

    ​You may plug cables into a USB port at any time regardless of whether the devices involved are powered on or off. Follow the instructions provided with your equipment before unplugging USB cables. In some cases, unplugging a USB cable from a running PS4 can cause damage to the device or the files being used on the PS4. For this reason, it is good practice to always safely eject your USB device before physically unplugging it.

    Multiple USB devices can also be connected to each other using a USB hub. A USB hub plugs into one USB port and contains additional ports for other devices to connect subsequently. If using a USB hub with PS4, plug a separate cable into each device and connect them to the hub individually.

    Note that external hard drives won’t work as an extended storage if connected via a USB hub. You have to connect them directly to the PS4 USB port without any third-party medium.

    PS4 USB Port Transfer Speed

    Since PS4 uses USB 3.0 connection and PS4 Pro uses USB 3.1, it’s worth to illustrate the speed of both connections for general knowledge.

    • USB 3.0, also known as SuperSpeed USB, first appeared in November 2009 by Buffalo Technology. The first certified devices weren’t available until in January 2010. USB 3.0 improved upon the USB 2.0 technology with speed and performance increases, improved power management and increased bandwidth capability. It provides two unidirectional data paths for receiving and sending data at the same time. PS4 USB 3.0 supports transfer rates up to 5.0 gigabits per second (Gbps), or 640 megabytes per second (MBps). Following the release of USB 3.1, it’s officially renamed to “USB 3.1 Gen1” for marketing purposes.
    • USB 3.1, also known as SuperSpeed+, was made available as of July 31, 2013, and is the latest version of the USB protocol. PS4 USB 3.1 is capable of transfer rates of up to 10 Gbps, putting it in line with the first generation of Apple’s Thunderbolt channel. Today, many devices use the USB 3.0 and 3.1 revisions for improved performance and speed, including PS4 consoles.

    Note that You can use a USB 2.0 device in the PS4 USB 3.0 port. Also, you can use USB 3.0 device in the PS4 Pro USB 3.1 port. The problem here though is that neither setup provides the extra speed benefit.

    USB-A, USB-B, and USB-C Port Types

    Several major types of physical layouts exist for USB ports:

    • USB-A (Type A): The rectangular USB Type A connector approximately 1.4 cm (9/16 in) length by 0.65 cm (1/4 in) height. USB sticks normally feature USB-A connectors.
    • USB-B (Type B): An almost square connector, mostly used for printers and other powered devices that connect to a computer. They’re not very common these days, as most devices have moved onto a smaller connection.
    • Mini-USB: A smaller connector type that was standard for mobile devices before micro-USB. While not as common today, you’ll still see these on some cameras, the PlayStation 3 controller, MP3 players, and similar.
    • Micro USB: So-called Micro USB versions of both USB-A and USB-B also exist – smaller versions than their base counterparts, popular on mobile devices. Older but now obsolete “mini USB” versions can also be found on many old devices.
    • USB Type C: With dimensions of 0.84 cm by 0.26cm, this newer standard is designed to replace both A and B with smaller ports to better support the thinner form factors of mobile devices. This is a reversible cable that promises higher transfer rates and more power than previous USB types. It’s also capable of juggling multiple functions.

    In most cases, you’ll find USB cables have one standard type-A end and one type-B end of some sort. The type-A end powers the device, while the type-B end receives power. This is to prevent potential damage that would be caused by connecting two PS4’s via USB-A.

    To connect a device to PS4 having one kind of port per device with another type, simply use the correct type of cable with appropriate interfaces on each end. USB cables are manufactured to support all supported combinations of types and male/female options.

    Conclusion

    PS4 USB ports are a strong addition to this mighty game console. Now, after PS4 Pro is released with USB 3.1 connection, the use of high-speed external storage devices such as external SSDs has become more flexible.

    The power of the USB ports in the PlayStation 4 gives the console the opportunity to serve you better as you can connect more devices to enhance your gaming experience. but Sony should build more ports to bring it to a total of four to ensure you are well connected and enabling us to do more at a time.

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    42 Responses

    1. Jane young says:

      Could I use a decent size memory stick at all? If so what size would be best?

      • PS4 Storage says:

        If you want to use it as an extended storage, minimum size is 500gb. Otherwise, if you want to use it as a backup storage, any size would fit (read more.)

    2. DMAN says:

      Gb=Gigabits, GB=Gigabytes
      Mb=Megabits, MB=Megabyte
      8bits= 1Byte
      So, 5Gb/s= 625MB/s NOT 5Gbs=625mb/s
      5Gb=5000Mb, 5GB= 5000MB
      The speeds are dependent on other hardware other than the USB port, cable, and external hard drive,so boasting about how fast of speeds the USB port can support is pointless.

      • mr usb says:

        Not really actually. Its Very informative. I transfer data from ps4 to usb all the time. and the fact the pro is faster saves me alot of transistion time.
        while the hdd in my ps4 pro is trash due to it not being ssd … the usb port does help in maintaining a responable rate of speed.it can be faster if my hd was ssd but luckly my usb port is fast… if i used a 2.0 port it would take me 10 hours of time to transfer 8 gigs
        with usb 3.0 it only takes me 4. thats big!

    3. SannyDev123 says:

      Where can I buy more USB ports for my ps4?

    4. Raffael says:

      Will any usb hub work? Would it be better if the hub had its own power supply? I have a vr connected at the 1st usb and an external hdd at the 2nd. So much for the ps4 gold headphones…. If i get a hub and connect the hdd and the headphone usb will they work properly? Thank you

      • PS4 Storage says:

        The best is a separately powered USB 3.0 Hub.

        An external hard drive won’t work through a USB hub. It must connect directly to PS4. On the other hands, other devices can use the hub and they will work fine.

    5. Janne says:

      I have first ps4. Only 2 usb
      I have
      Vr
      Thrustmaster t150
      Ps4 platina headphones.
      How can i get all working?

      • PS4 Storage says:

        Use a USB 3.0 HUB for your headphones and Thrustmaster. As for the VR, you have to connect it directly to the PS4 USB port.

    6. Ron says:

      Hi, can I connect an external laptop fan to my slim to avoid overheating? Or could it be harmful to the console?

    7. collin says:

      Hey do you think for a flash drive the patriot supersonic rage 2 would work also here is a link to it https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01G26T9UW/ref=psdc_3151491_t1_B00F9V72H4?th=1

      • collin says:

        I also only have 2 usb ports

        • PS4 Storage says:

          You can use a USB hub to expand the number of USB ports. But bear in mind that neither extended storage nor VR will work via a USB hub. They must connect directly to PS4.

      • PS4 Storage says:

        Yes it will work well. It meets all the conditions that allow you to use an external storage on PS4.

    8. D. Parker says:

      What’s the difference between 3.0 and 3.1 and which PS4 has which?

      • PS4 Storage says:

        The difference is the data transfer rate. The USB 3.1 (10Gbps) is much faster than USB 3.0 (5Gbps). Only PS4 Pro has USB 3.1.

    9. ThePas says:

      I have first ps4. Only 2 usb
      Want to by a VR
      have Logitech g29 wheel
      one USB port used with external Hard drive
      How can i get all working?

      • PS4 Storage says:

        You can’t get all working together. VR and the external HDD must connect directly to USB port, whereas the wheel, speakers and other gadgets can connect indirectly via a USB hub.

    10. Nic says:

      How do I get the 3.1 speed from my PS4? I have a 3.1 drive and it takes and hour to put 1-2 hours of content onto it. Transferring onto my PC takes 3 minutes. I don’t get it.

      • PS4 Storage says:

        USB 3.1 is only available on PS4 Pro. Plus, the transfer speed depends on a large part on the speed of the internal storage device. So, if you PC uses an SSD, it will take much less time to transfer files compared to traditional hard drive.

    11. Dokser says:

      Hi. Does an USB 2.0 flash drive work with ps4 slim ? Or do you necesarilly need an 3.0 USB. I’m only talking about flash drives, not hdd’s. Thanks.

      • PS4 Storage says:

        Yes, it does work, but only as a mass storage device (for backup purposes) not as an extended storage (on which you can install games and apps).

    12. Shamarri says:

      If I have movies on a 3.0 256gb SanDisk usb, can I plug the usb into the ps4 and watch it from there?

    13. Shamarri says:

      Or can a usb 2.0/3.0 compatible SanDisk Cruzer glide usb 256GB play movies from it, if plugged into ps4?

    14. Dokser says:

      I tried 3 usb 2.0 flash drives and none of them were working, hence my question. Found another one and I got lucky so that means they depend on the writing/reading speed. Thanks.

      • PS4 Storage says:

        Thanks for your feedback. That’s quite strange. How did you know they weren’t working? PS4 didn’t recognize them or what exactly? I am interested to know in order to enrich my knowledge about this case.

    15. Dokser says:

      That’s right, the PS4 didnt see them. I was just just trying to apply a PES patch. Got it working with the last stick I tried.

      • PS4 Storage says:

        I think the problem is with the sticks themselves. PS4 recognizes all USB drives, but it will tell you whether it’s compatible or not. Anyway, glad that you have got one working at least.

    16. Ryan says:

      How many amps can the original PS4 handle?

    17. Dozer says:

      Can I use a USB hub to read a flash drive? My 2nd port has an external hard drive hooked up. I want to transfer some save files

    18. Knee says:

      If I use a USB stick as Mass Storage and not extended storage, how do I get that information back off the USB Thumb drive to the PS4? Ex. I am able to transfer my Capture Gallery data to a 2TB USB stick, that apparently cannot be formatted as extended storage even though it is 3.0, but when I put my new hard drive in there is no way to take the Capture Gallery information, that is clearly readable, off the USB to the new SSD… I cannot even play the Capture screenshots or videos

      • PS4 Storage says:

        You need to transfer the data stored on the USB flash drive to the internal hard drive. They only work there. Even on an extended storage that data won’t work.

    19. Herc says:

      I have set my USB-ports on my PS4 Pro to stop charging my controller connected after 3 hours when set in rest mode. Does this apply to the rear USB-port as well?

    20. Courtney Terrell says:

      What if my usb in the back …..broke can I use any of the other cords back there 2 work as my usb did?

      • PS4 Storage says:

        Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. It depends on the level of damage of the USB port. You can try.

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