Play Wii U games on an external Hard Drive

WiiU games external hard drive

You’ve been looking at getting your Wii U to the next level and wanting to back up your games on an external hard drive. To prevent kids from breaking game discs or scratch them?

Beside the Wii U system itself, you’ll need to get 3 more items to complete the hardware setup:

  1. A SD Card, minimum required is a 32 GB like this Kingston 32GB SD or this one I have been using with a lot more capacity at a good price, this SanDisk Ultra 400GB microSDXC UHS-I Card with Adapter
  2. Then you’ll need an external hard, I suggest at least 1 TB like this Western Digital 1TB USB 3.0 external HD
  3. And lastly, which might surprise some, you’ll need a USB Y cable to provide enough power to the external HD, because the USB ports on a Wii U don’t feed enough power, and this CableCreation USB 3.0 Type A to Micro USB Y Cable will do just that.

Then you are all set to setup your SD card and bring your system to a different level.

Make sure your Wii U’s firmware is at the latest, 5.5.3. This won’t change since Nintendo stopped supporting this console some time ago already.

Bigger the SD card, more games and tools you can put on to install on your console.

First part is to prepare the SD Card, so take your SD card and format it using this tool (Windows doesn’t format it properly for the WiiU) named guiformat and set to an Allocation Unit Size of 64k.

You cannot name the SD card “wiiu” else the console won’t see it.

Download this file and extract it directly on your SD Card; you should see 2 folders at the root of your SD card named “install” and “wiiu”

It contains the Appstore, homebrew launcher, mocha firmware with fat32 support and the WUP Installer GX2 utility. Then put the SD Card in your WiiU

Second part is to connect the External HD to your WiiU, then boot the system and let the WiiU format the Hard drive.

Lastly, open the web browser on your WiiU and hit this website : wiiuexploit.xyz (I suggest you bookmark it) and press the big blue button “5.5.X Exploit!” to enable your WiiU to load those applications on your SD Card.

Basically, you’ll want to load “WUP” if you need to install games on your external HD.

Else, all you need is to load Mocha to be able to load any games/games with DLC installed on your external HD.


Now, a pretty important part is to get your games, easiest way is using this free tool called WiiU USB Helper.

Only get the games that you own or else it’s illegal.

During setup, use this title key site: titlekeys.ovh

Then you should be all set. When downloaded, simply copy the folder on your SD Card in the “install” directory and using WUP you can install it on your external HD.


This way, you prevent your disc from breaking/scratching and faster loading and no more disc spinning sound noise!

Have fun!



    1. Hi, yes you can. But i wouldn’t recommend it,
      It’s cheaper per GB for hard drive and they tend to last longer.
      Some USB keys become hot quickly which may lead to a dead USB key at some time.

  1. Hi, thanks for the guide, works so far, the game installed succesfully according to the WUP, but… I do not see any option in the standard WiiU menu to start my installed game from the external USB drive. Any advice?

    1. Hey buddy,
      they should show on your wiiU dashboard.

      to play some of them, you may need to hit the exploit website then load Mocha (which loads a firmware to be able to play games you got with DLCs).
      But if your games aren’t showing after installing them using WUP, something didn’t go right. I would suggest going over the steps to install it.
      sorry for the trouble you are having.

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