All PC gamers have probably stumbled upon Steam, Valve's digital distribution platform. It's hard to avoid if you want to take advantage of the vast collection of video games available on PC. We've rounded up ten of our favorite Steam tips for beginners or those who just need a refresher so you can get the most out of this versatile app.
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The Steam client has a lot of features. It's not just a place where you empty your bank account and start your games. You can install games in batches, avoid network download fees, turn your PC into a game server, and customize it the way you want. And even this is not the limit of its capabilities.
You're probably already familiar with most of these features, but there might be a few you didn't know about that could save you time and/or bandwidth. Something few of us have in great abundance or can afford to waste.
Table of Contents
1. Transfer games to discs
If you just bought the fastest flash drive you can get, you can put your games on your NAND flash chips. It was a bit of a hassle due to complicated Steam file validation, but Valve added a few new features to fix customer issues.
1. Go to "Settings" in the top left drop-down menu on Steam.
2. Click Download.
3. After the Steam Library folder.
4. Add library folder
5. Then select the drive of your choice (your new fast SSD) from the drop-down menu and click "Add Folder".
Just follow these steps when first setting up your new player and you should now be able to quickly transfer games between the two libraries.
It's easy to transfer your games from here.
1. Right click on the game you want to move between discs.
2. Select Properties.
3. Go to Local Files.
4. Select Move to installation folder.
5. Select a new directory.
6. Click Move Folder.
From there, Steam will take care of all necessary redirects in the background.
2. By installing the game on another computer
Do you have another machine on hand that already has the game you want to play? Don't worry, it's very easy to delete the installation folder on your PC and play without waiting for a single byte download.
Installed the game on the computer.
1. Copy the game installation folder to a shared folder, usually located in C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common, but may be in a separate directory.
2. Place the game folder on a transport drive: USB or removable HDD/SDD.
Place the computer in the target game.
1. Make sure Steam is completely disabled.
2. Switch on the transport device.
3. Copy the game installation folder to your transport drive.
4. Navigate to a shared folder in Steam or another Steam library directory.
5. Place the game installation folder in this directory.
6. Open Steam and select the game you want to install (you must purchase the game for it to appear in your library).
7. Click "Install" and select the directory where you placed the game installation folder .
Steam should recognize that the files required by Steam to play the game of your choice already exist and quickly complete the installation process. As long as no updates are required at this time, you should be fine.
You can also create a backup file of the game you want and then restore that file to the target computer, but we found the method above to be much quicker.
3. Mass installation
There's no point in waiting for your games to install individually. We don't have time for that, and probably neither do you. Luckily, Steam has a bulk install feature that lets you let your games install overnight in one big swipe.
1. Hold down the CTRL key and select all the games you want to install.
2. Right-click on one of the selected games and select "Install".
3. An installer popup should appear for various Steam games and you can select your preferred directory for these games.
4. Download Speed
Sometimes Steam tends to be a bandwidth monopoly. Over time, I mean it will turn off your WIFI once in a while for any other user, just to download a visual novel. Well, there are checks and balances to keep Steam under control.
These checks are performed in the startup settings menu. From there, you'll find options to throttle bandwidth, download while the game is installing, and change regions if you're suffering from annoying download speeds unnecessarily.
5. In-game first-person shooter
There are many applications for measuring and monitoring computer performance. MSI's Afterburner is great for deep analysis and overclocking, but Fraps and similar apps are also great for test logging. Of course, if you really need something light and minimal just to make sure your hardware is running smoothly, you can use Steam's built-in FPS overlay.
Go to settings, in-game and turn the meter to any corner of the screen that suits you.
6. Library Categories
It's a great tool for cleaning monsters and serial organizers. With Library Categories, you can group your games and software any way you want. Whether it's age, favorites, rating, gender, developer…it doesn't matter.
All you have to do is right-click on the titles you want to categorize (games can be grouped by pressing CTRL) and click "Set Categories".
Once you've organized your library, you can also configure Steam to include all of your games, whether or not they were purchased from the Steam store. Simply click +Add Game in the lower left corner of your library screen, wait for the list to populate with installed apps, and select the apps you want to add to your library. Some games still require you to use the appropriate launcher, but this can improve things a bit and turn Steam into a full game store.
7. Home Streaming on Steam
If you're already familiar with Steam Link, you're probably familiar with Steam Home Streaming. Steam Link isn't really necessary for streaming games throughout the house if you already have Steam-enabled devices, like a low-powered laptop, that are already scattered around the house.
on an additional computer.
1. Go to settings.
2. Click Boot Sequence.
3. Check the box for streaming.
You will now be able to see which games are available to stream when both devices are online at the same time. You can also adjust speed and quality settings on this page. We recommend connecting all streaming devices to wired connections for the best experience, as Wi-Fi can be a bit underpowered for such demanding network functionality unless everything is connected to a signal. powerful 5 GHz.
8. Share family games
Streaming is one thing, but you can also share almost your entire library with select friends and family. If this feature is enabled, any user logged in on an authorized device can access your games to play for free. However, the biggest limitation is that the owner of this library must be offline to share their library. Don't worry, Steam always prioritizes the owner of the library and notifies anyone online and about to kick them out of the game session.
To enable Family Sharing:
1. Go to settings.
2. Click Family.
3. Check the Shared library on this computer box.
4. Specify the names of users who can access the library on authorized computers.
You can allow five users to access your library from up to ten devices. You can control who has access and which computers are allowed using the Computer Management link on this settings page, even if you suddenly need to revoke access.
9. Steam Command Line
Command-line switches are a bit more advanced than some of the other suggestions on this list, but they can be extremely useful if you need to fix a game that won't launch or change some settings that the developers don't know about. .
To access the game launch options:
1. Right-click on the game of your choice.
2. Open "Properties".
3. Select Set Launch Options.
4. Enter the commands and click OK
You'll need to know the specific command line switches for your specific games, but here are a few for each of Steam's most popular games:
Defense of Antiquities (DOTA) 2
- Turn on the panel. -console OR with_enable 1
- Disable intro videos -novid
- High CPU priority. – high
Check out our full guide for more DOTA 2 tips and commands.
- Force refresh rate: -refresh [0 – 260 and more]
- Use all available CPU cores -USEALLAVAILABLECORES
- Maximum memory usage: -maxMem=[0 – 64000 (bytes)]
for example -maxMen=
Counter attack. general attack:
- activate the dashboard
- Disable intro videos -novid
- Set update frequency: -update
for example update
Check out our full guide for more CS:GO tips and commands.
Grand Theft Auto V:
- Run in safe mode: -safemode
- Starting point of departure. – Benchmark
- Start multiplayer free mode: -StraightIntoFreemode
10. Steam masks
You don't get stuck staring at the same skin that Steam has been using for a year now. There are many third-party Steam skins available online offering new and improved designs. Metro and Air are just two of the most popular, but they are good starting points.
To post a topic:
1. Make sure Steam is disabled.
2. Locate the Steam skins folder, usually located at: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\skins.
3. Upload your favorite skin file.
4. Unmount this folder and copy the contents.
5. Place the skins root directory inside the Steam Skins folder.
6. Launch Steam and go to settings and interface.
7. Select the skin drop-down menu and find the desired skin.
8. You will now be prompted to restart Steam.
When Steam restarts, you will be greeted with a new Steam view. Relax and admire your new beauty.
Now play games and forget that ever happened.