I hear both sides of the story. "Installing both discs will improve performance" or "Playing from the disc is best". I've come across a few threads that say to install the play disc to a USB drive. Will the Xbox 360 even read from 2 different sources at once?

Someone please clear this up for me, for all of us. Do I Install the second "play" disc or not, and why?

  • 3
    You definitely do not want to install the second disc to the same drive as the first disc. It will not improve performance because the game is optimized to load from two sources simultaneously. Individuals who received the digital download version on the PSN have the same issue because the game is reading from the HDD only. Sep 20, 2013 at 14:08
  • I wish I could find a definitive source to support @Foo, but unfortunately I'm behind a work filter at the moment. As I understand it, disk 1 contains the world, while disk 2 contains the story elements.
    – MBraedley
    Sep 20, 2013 at 14:30
  • I've not seen anywhere suggest there's an increase in performance from installing disk two on Xbox. For the PS3 download issues @Foo mentioned, this article describes it
    – TZHX
    Sep 20, 2013 at 17:02
  • Based on how loud the DVD drives are on consoles and how irritating they get after listening the disc spinning, of course you should install the disc. If you have spare USB drive, use that.
    – user918176
    Oct 12, 2013 at 13:04
  • @user918176 As Foo Barrigno said, when playing the boxed version it is optimised when you have installed the Install disc but are using the Play disc in the drive. The only scenario where installing the Play disc would improve performance is if it is installed to a separate drive than the Install disc is on.
    – Alan B
    Jan 6, 2014 at 15:30

5 Answers 5


It all started with this tweet from Rockstar official Support:

For optimal performance, we recommend not installing that disc. We will have more info on our Support Site at launch.

In their official support page they wrote:

I know Grand Theft Auto V has an 8 GB mandatory install. If I want to install the Play Disc too, through Xbox Home (dashboard), is that possible?

For optimal performance, we recommend only installing the Install Disc, and not also installing the Play Disc to the Xbox 360 Hard Drive or USB drive via Xbox Home (dashboard). You will be prompted to install the Install Disc the first time you boot the game.


Yeah don't install the second disc. Just install the first one and keep the second one in while playing so it has two places to grab data.


Digital Foundry did some research and found no performance penalty if you install the play disk to a separate USB flash drive while having the install disk installed on the main HDD. Performance seems to roughly match streaming from the DVD drive so the main benefit is doing away with the loud xbox DVD drive noises.

You can see a video demo of the two modes side-by-side here:


Well technically having it on two different sources is still two places, and I've heard putting the play disc on the hdd is optimal since its where all primary streaming comes from, and having the install disc installed on a usb drive separately as its the base content; not the immediate textures, etc things like that. Yes it reads from two different sources.


The game plays much smoother with play disc installed on hi speed usb drive.


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