According to an announcement from Valve, games in the libraries of Steam users won’t be automatically updated at the frequency they were previously to conserve bandwidth during the novel coronavirus pandemic. This is after the gaming platform sees itself stuck in a pattern of overcoming its own all-time concurrent user records as millions self-isolate to protect themselves from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Starting this week, only the last three games played by a user will receive automatic updates – otherwise, Valve says, Steam will be spreading out updates over several days.
“We know a lot of you (like us here at Valve) are stuck at home right now trying to work or attend school remotely. Or maybe you’re just playing a bunch of great games on Steam. Whatever the case may be, we know that with so many people at home trying to get things done at the same time, it can put stress on your home’s internet bandwidth,” writes the company in the blog post.
Games will begin updating immediately if they are launched, and a user can select any game to be updated in the library. The only feature being curtailed is the auto-updating of games you simply haven’t played in a while.
“With that in mind, we thought it was a good time to remind everyone of some of the features the Steam client offers relating to downloads so that you can manage your home bandwidth and help everyone in your house handle this unique situation we all find ourselves in.”
These features include the options to:
- Schedule auto-update windows, to ensure that Steam doesn’t begin updating a game while you’re in the middle of work on your PC.
- Turn off automatic updates on any game in your library but keep it installed.
- Steam allows users to self-throttle their connection to Steam, your downloads will take longer but your bandwidth with be preserved.
- Take advantage of Library Folders settings, so you can move infrequently-played games from an SSD to a storage HDD. This is usually better for you (and your bandwidth) rather than uninstalling the game and needing to re-download it later.
Valve says it is looking into further solutions to help ease the burden on bandwidth.
Edited by Luis Monzon
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