June 9, 2023

Since external hard drives are slower than the Xbox Series X/S’ SSDs, they aren’t equipped for playing modern Series X/S titles. In order to run these games, you need to first transfer them back onto your console. Thankfully, since older Xbox platforms used HDDs, Xbox One and older titles run fine on external drives. In fact, you can probably solve many of your storage woes by purchasing an external HDD, moving all backward-compatible titles onto that drive, and saving your console’s precious SSD space for Series X/S titles. Also, while some companies manufacture external SSDs, there’s no guarantee any modern game installed on it will run on the Xbox, so your best bet is to save money and just buy an external HDD.

After the failure of services such as Stadia, you might reconsider the very concept of cloud gaming, but if you have an Xbox Series X/S, an active Game Pass Ultimate subscription, and a speedy internet connection, why not give Xbox Cloud Gaming a go? This service lets you play a library of titles without downloading a single one. Just visit your game library, enter the Xbox Game Pass section, and select any game with the cloud icon.

While Xbox Cloud Gaming can help you save space on your console, it is far from the best way to play. Depending on your internet speed and connection stability, the game might look fuzzy and suffer from lag. This might not be a problem for older games that don’t require a ton of quick reactions, but it does demonstrate some of the basic ways that playing something natively off a console is still superior to streaming one onto it. Then again, if you don’t have room for the game on your console, a kinda fuzzy, slightly laggy experience is better than none at all, right?

As is usually the case with games, if worse comes to worst, you can always “expand” storage by just deleting old data. This includes games, DLC, and videos. While you can delete these manually, in the Manage tab of the My Games & Apps menu, you should find the option to Free up Space. From there, pick either Leftover Add-Ons to delete DLC that is still on your console, or select Shrinkable Games to get rid of extraneous game modes.

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