How Much Hard Drive Space is Enough for PC Gaming?

February 28, 2024

As any gaming enthusiast knows, one of the most frustrating things about PC gaming is having enough hard drive storage space available to play all your favorite games. The hard drive might not be as sexy as the graphics card or as visible as your monitor, but storage is certainly just as important to a good gaming experience. Without enough space, you will get error messages after several hours of trying to download the latest game telling you there isn’t enough disk space, or your computer will just randomly crash in the middle of gameplay.

So let’s talk about how much storage space you need.

Option 1: The Budget Storage Choice

If you are on the “budget” end of the spectrum, the most important thing you can do is get enough hard drive storage space to facilitate the games you want to play, without paying extra for costly storage you won’t be using in the short term. Since the average game is between 25 and 50 GB, 512 GB of storage space is probably the lowest you should go.

Option 2: The Average Gamer Storage Choice

There really isn’t a way to “future-proof” your gaming PC, because let’s be honest, by the time you get the latest and greatest there are some pretty amazing game designers out there already pushing the boundaries of what you’ll need to play their next game. However, you can find storage options that allow you to play today’s biggest games and also plan for a future where storage needs are likely to increase.

As noted above, most games still only take up about 25 to 50 GB, but there are some titles that clock in at much larger sizes, including Quantum Break (178 GB), Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (175 GB) and Destiny 2: Shadowkeep (165 GB). Even one of these games will fill almost half of your 512 GB storage without any other programs installed. For those who want to be able to accommodate today’s games and be prepared for what is coming in the next 12 months or so, spring for 1 TB of storage, or 2 TB if your budget allows.

Option 3: The Ultimate Storage for All the Things

For those who have no upper limit to your budget and you want to be able to store everything from the coolest and largest PC games to the best 4K movies, you need the ultimate storage solution. Generally that will require more than just the storage available inside your computer. You will probably also need one or more external drive(s) to keep it all.

Hard drives today can go as high as 8 TB, and those who want to store as many games and 4K movies as possible should look at the upper end of this range. You can add a second external drive if you max out this massive drive, but most people will cover the next several years with 4 TB to 8 TB of storage.

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