When building a gaming PC or purchasing a console, it’s always hard to know what size hard drive to get. Will 1 TB be enough? A few years ago I would have said yes! But a number of AAA games now require 100-250 GB of space each, meaning that you can only save a few games with a 1TB drive.
So would a large drive (such as a 2 TB, 4 TB or 8 TB disk) be better for storing your games? Let’s find out.
How Many Games 1 TB, 2 TB and 4 TB Can Hold
A typical 1 TB hard disk can store up 6 or 7 modern AAA PC games with all the DLC and updates installed, since these games often require 150 GB or more of disk space. However you will be able to store 100-300 smaller/indie games, because these average just 1-3 GB of disk space.
To give some examples:
- Minecraft will often only use 1 GB of disk space.
- ARK: Survival Evolved (with all updates and maps installed) will use a whopping 350 GB!
- Terraria barely uses 50 MB (yes, MB not GB!) of space.
- Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War requires 250 GB.
It’s frustrating how much difference there is between each game, but I would plan for an average of 150 GB for big, modern PC games – and an average of 3-5 GB for smaller (or indie) games. You can then calculate how many games should fit in larger drives:
A 2 TB hard disk should be able to store 13-15 modern AAA PC games, or 250-600 small/indie games. Whereas a 4 TB hard disk should have capacity for close to 30 modern PC games or almost 1,000 smaller/indie games!
Calculate Exactly How Many Games Your Drive Can Hold
The calculator below will help you to work out roughly how many games your storage drive can hold.
You will have no more room to install further games.
Note: while this calculator is fairly accurate from our testing, it can never be 100% accurate - especially because games frequently receive new updates, patches and DLC which can increase their disk space requirements. So the results from this calculator should always be taken as a rough guide only.
Examples Of Different Game Sizes
The table below shows the disk space that various games use. It's worth noting that some games will download less than these amounts, but when the downloaded files are unpacked and installed, they then use the full amounts we quote.
Also some games required less space when they were first released, then this amount increased with every new update and patch (Deus Ex: Mankind Divided went from 45GB in 2016 to 75GB in 2022, for example).
|Game||Disk Space Required||Game Release Date|
|Hitman 2||104 GB||November 2018|
|Hitman 3||70 GB||January 2021|
|Deus Ex: Mankind Divided||75 GB||August 2016|
|Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare||100 GB||November 2016|
|Call of Duty: Modern Warfare||200 GB||October 2019|
|Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II||150 GB||October 2022|
|Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War||250 GB||November 2020|
|ARK: Survival Evolved||100 GB||June 2015|
|ARK: Survival Evolved (All DLC & Maps)||350 GB||June 2015|
|Mass Effect: Legendary Edition||120 GB||May 2021|
|Microsoft Flight Simulator 40th Anniversary||150 GB||November 2022|
|Final Fantasy XV (PS5, All Updates & DLC)||100 GB||November 2016|
|Final Fantasy XV (PC, All Updates & DLC)||170 GB||March 2018|
|Age Of Empires IV (Non-4K/Non-Game Pass)||86 GB||October 2021|
|Age Of Empires IV (4K/Game Pass Edition)||220 GB||October 2021|
|Destiny 2||120 GB||September 2017|
|Rocket League||20 GB||July 2015|
|Minecraft||1 GB||November 2011|
As you can see, the more updates and DLC you end up installing, the more disk space a game ends up using. However this is quite frustrating because you might install a 100 GB game in 2015 (like ARK), and when you update and play it a few years ago, it requires 3x as much disk space!
Unfortunately short of turning off all updates (which is a bad idea because it will skip necessary security patches), you can't really control a game's hunger for increasing amounts of your disk space!
The average of all the games above is 140 GB of disk space per PC game, and I think it is safe to assume that future games will require around this amount too. Yes, you will get some massive games like BLOPS Cold War using 250 GB, but you will also come across large three-in-one games like Mass Effect: Legendary Edition that 'only' use 120 GB total.
PSA: "1 TB" Does Not Mean 1,000 GB Of Usable Space For Games
Many people assume that purchasing a "1 TB" drive means that they will suddenly have 1,000 GB of usable disk space inside their computer (or console). Unfortunately that is not the case.
A 1 TB drive inside a computer will only give 931 GB of usable disk space, due to historic unclearness about what exactly a "byte" or "terabyte" actually means. We know that 1 terabyte equals 1,024 gigabytes - however a 1 TB drive is actually advertising 931 gibibytes. Notice how that's "gibi" not "giga"?
That's where the historical weirdness kicks in, and it's down to humans look at everything in powers of ten, but computers looking at things in powers of two.
I'll move on before I bore you, but it's worth repeating that a 1 TB drive in a PC will only equal 931 GB of usable space. However the situation is even worse for consoles:
- A 1 TB Xbox Series X requires 198 GB of space for system and OS files, meaning it only has 802 GB of usable space for games.
- The PS5 is even worse, with the 1 TB PS5 only giving you 667 GB of usable space for games - due to system files requiring the rest.
So you also need to factor this in when deciding whether to buy a glorious PC, or a lowly console (just kidding!). If I planned on installing lots of console games, I would aim to upgrade my PS5 to have 2 TB of disk space. Whereas a 1 TB drive on a PC might be enough, due to the extra 264 GB of usable disk space.
If you have any questions, feedback or suggestions about this article, please leave a comment below. Please note that all comments go into a moderation queue (to prevent blog spam). Your comment will be manually reviewed and approved by Tristan in less than a week. Thanks!