How to Play Wii Games from an External USB Hard Drive

By Editorial Team

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • Wii

  • Homebrew Channel Installed

  • Compatible USB hard drive

  • SDCard

Wii USBLoader Play Wii

A soft mod for the Nintendo Wii allows the Nintendo Wii to load custom programs, applications and games that other people have made without needing to take the Nintendo Wii apart or voiding a warranty. Typically a Nintendo Wii will get soft modded to avoid the risk of damaging the Wii and allowing the person to play backed up Nintendo Wii games. We all know that the disks that these newer consoles use do not last forever, especially if you have children who use them a lot. Playing Nintendo Wii games from an external USB hard drive allows you to put the disks away and still be able to play all of your Nintendo Wii games.

External Hard Drive Play Wii Games

This first step is just to make sure you have everything you need. You will need to have a soft modded Wii with the homebrew channel installed. Have your external USB hard drive plugged into the bottom (or left most) USB port.

Play Wii Games From Hard Drive

Download WBFS manager, GParted and Configurable USB Loader from the links at the bottom. WBFS manager is an application that allows you to move games to and from the external USB hard drive. GParted is a Linux based operating system specifically for partitioning and formatting all types of hard drives. You are going to need to burn GParted to a burnable disk. Configurable USB Loader is the program that you will place on your Nintendo Wii SDCard so you can play the games from the external USB Hard drive. For now, just download all three and burn GParted to a bootable disk.

Play Wii games Hard drive

Plug in your external USB hard drive into a USB port, place the GParted bootable CD into your drive and restart your computer. If it doesn't ask you to press any key to boot from cd you may have to go into your bios settings and set your boot device priority.

After GParted has loaded, you need to locate your external USB hard drive and format it as a FAT partition or a WBFS partition if it allows it. After the external USB hard drive has been formatted, unplug the external USB hard drive from your computer and reboot back into your operating system.

Extract the files from the USBLoader program in any folder. Copy the folder it should have extracted it to (USBLoader) into the apps folder on the root directory of your SDCard. The path should look something like

USBLoader WBFS Wii Games External Hard Drive

Download or rip the Wii game that you have purchased, run WBFS manager, plug in your external USB hard drive, select the corresponding drive letter for your external USB hard drive, browse to the ripped ISO of the game and click add. Once it is completed, exit WBFS manager and plug your USB drive into your Wii.

Wii USB External Games

Turn your Wii on, navigate to Configurable USB Loader in your homebrew channel and the game should be listed. If not, press + to browse your external USB hard drive or install the game currently in the DVD ROM.


Use the links below for the files you need, more info and a tutorial from the maker of USBLoader.


Not all External USB hard drives are going to be compatible. Keep the packaging of the external USB hard drive as you may have to return it.