Steam Limits Auto-Updates To Help Players Manage Bandwidth

Slowing things a bit,
Slowing things a bit, Valve

With a lot of people staying at home these days, there’s bound to be the problem of getting the most of the internet bandwidth. This include those who are working from home, attending school online, or simply just playing games.

In answer to what is clearly going to be an issue, Valve revealed that it’s going to make slight changes to how Steam is going to auto-update games. In particular, games on Steam are going to have their updates spread out over the next several days. Starting this week, only games that have been played within the last three days are going to get auto-updated. Valve went on to say in a post that players “can always initiate an update through the Download Manager.”

While this is indeed good news, Valve added that when using the Steam client, it’s not just about the auto-update since “there are also a number of options you can control.”

For one, Steam has features that allow for throttling and scheduling in order for players to come up with their own optimal settings. Here are the other things you can do in order to minimize the bandwidth use:

  • Schedule auto-update windows.
    • With this, you should be guaranteed that Steam won’t just start updating a game, especially for those who are currently in the middle of their work day.
  • For games that you don’t play often, there’s really no need to uninstall them. However, just be sure to set it in a way that it no longer downloads updates automatically.
  • It’s possible to throttle your own connection to Steam.
    • This could help ease the load on your current network connection.
    • It could also help ease bandwidth loads, especially if the network traffic in your area needs to be lowered.
  • It’s also good to take advantage of the Library Folder settings.
    • What this means is that you can move games that you usually don’t play from an SSD to a storage HDD.
    • The advantage of doing this is that there is no need to uninstall the game and then re-download it later when you do want to play it.

You can learn more about Steam's decision here.

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