Steam tweaks game auto-updates to reduce bandwidth usage


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Steam generates a considerable amount of internet traffic, and with the service setting new concurrent user records almost every week, it too has made some adjustments on how it will deliver content to gamers, specifically, titles set to auto-update that haven't been played recently.

In its official blog post, the company reminds players about managing their home's internet bandwidth, at a time when most people are keeping indoors and sharing this resource to work, stream, play and stay connected.

It goes on to mention that auto-updates for games not played recently will be scheduled "for the next off-peak local time period," meaning that your game library will now be updated less frequently. "Only games played within the last 3 days will be updated immediately," notes Steam, adding that players can still manually trigger an update for a game they wish to play, through the Download Manager.

There's also the Steam client's in-built throttling and scheduling features, something which advanced users are already well-aware of, and are worth checking out for optimizing internet usage. These include various options under Steam>Settings>Downloads for restricting game auto-updates to suitable time periods and limiting the client's bandwidth to reduce stress on your home internet.

Players are also encouraged to disable auto-updates for games played less frequently, and to utilize HDD space for storing such items by shifting entire Library Folders or individual games from SSDs, instead of deleting and redownloading them in the future.

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Slappy McPhee

Posts: 200   +109
This is such a hoot. The Internet infrastructure is doing perfectly fine. The problem is the money grubbing ISPs even during such a crisis being more concerned about greasing their pockets rather than doing what is right to support the common man. Truly sad. As an example ALL ISPs that have Data Caps should waive them for the next 60-90 days. They only have them in place to once again pad their pockets and the pockets of their investors.
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Posts: 77   +37
I find it weird that bandwidth is a concern in 2020.

Once the cables have been installed and the routers powered on and configured, it doesn't matter if 10 MB or 1000 PB have been transferred. Unless your aren't cooling the devices.