|First release date||2003|
Steam is a digital distribution platform launched by Valve Corporation in 2003, and is natively supported on both Windows and Mac. Steamworks games activate through Steam through a serial key, and many games can be bought outside of Steam through a variety of retail and digital distribution channels.
Verify Integrity Of Game Cache
This the first recommended troubleshooting step for all issues. Verifying the cache will checksum the game against Valve's code and replace any errant files.
Library > [Game] > Right click > Properties > Local files > Verify Integrity of Game Cache
Steam updates sometimes fail to progress, or the message
'Failed to find Steam' appears. This can normally be fixed by deleting:
clientregistry.blob which can be found in the following locations:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\
This will delete your saved password for Steam, and force it to re-download the Steam client update. This method usually always fix other problems with Steam, so it is usually a good idea to delete this whenever Steam encounters an error.
If Steam will not launch, delete this folder and restart:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\appcache\
If this fails, try deleting everything except
First Time Setup
When launching a freshly installed game on Steam for the first time, the game will normally initiate "First Time Setup", installing DirectX, Visual Studio re-distributable and .NET libraries. This happens for the majority of Steam games.
While you may be running the latest and greatest versions of these programs, the individual games may still require specific versions of APIs like Direct 3D 10.
Occasionally the root of the hard drive will be filled with a dozen or so "vcredist" files. These can be safely removed.
Change Download Region
- "Steam servers are currently unavailable" or "Steam servers are too busy"
These messages may appear when trying to launch or install a game. This can be fixed by changing the Steam content server you are downloading from using the following steps:
- In the Steam client, select "Steam" then Settings.
- Navigate to the Downloads tab.
- Change the Download region to a different location.
Locations in a time zone where it is currently late night may yield the best results.
Moving Steam Files
If you wish to re-install Steam, or transfer your game data to a new hard drive, simply move the
\steamapp\ folder to a new location. This folder is normally kept here:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\
Depending on the size of the folder it may take some time. Then, on the new system, install Steam and let it run once. Replace the newly created
\steamapps\ directory with the previous
\steamapps\ directory. Restart Steam, connect online, and then 'install' the games, which will revalidate the files and update the entry in the Steam library.
Moving Steam Games To SSD
Solid state drives (SSDs) are typically expensive and smaller than standard hard drives (HDDs). Since all of Steam's game folders must sit in the same directory, this folder will usually be placed on the larger HDD. However, select games can be moved to a smaller drive using Wikipedia:symbolic links, effectively 'splitting' the Steam games folder.
Option - GameSave Manager
- contains a large list of relatively up to date game path locations
- can scan whether a game is already in that folder
- can create symbolic links in a single click.
Option - Steam Mover
The native backup facility can be used to backup and restore Steam games. However, the manual move method is simpler, faster and more reliable.
Steam Backup Won't Restore
Sometimes when trying to install a backup created using inbuilt backup utility the loader will pop up and disappear constantly. To fix this, launch Steam and delete local data for the game you're trying to restore. Exit Steam and rerun the installer.
Steam Offline Mode
For some reason, if your internet connection is limited (i.e. if ports required for Steam to run are closed), Steam will not start in Offline Mode and will return the following error:
- "Could not connect to steam network. This could be due to a problem with your internet connection, or with the Steam network. Please visit www.steampowered.com for more info."
This can be due to Steam detecting a valid internet connection (for example, for accessing normal browsing through Wikipedia:HTTP), but lacking connection to certain ports required to start Steam. Ports may not be open for a large variety of reasons, for example:
- Ports are not open on router.
- Router may be overloaded by activity such as BitTorrent.
- Firewall may be blocking Steam ports.
A number of ways to force Offline Mode are available. However, all methods require authentication by logging into Steam at least once with a working internet connection.
- Find a working internet connection. Open Steam whilst internet connection is working.
- Tick 'Remember my password'.
- Click "Steam" > Go Offline. Steam should now restart.
Steam Offline Mode should now be accessible to the methods below.
Disable Internet Connection
To ensure that Steam never tries to connect online (and lose the authentication required for Offline Mode), disable one's network adapter. Opening Steam with a disabled connection will normally open the Steam Offline mode. However, many users report problems with this method. Repeat the authentication step, remembering to tick 'Remember my password'.
Always Force Offline Mode
Forcing Offline Mode will make Steam to always open in Offline Mode, even with a working internet connection. A prompt will appear and the options Retry and Offline Mode will show up. Retry will simply restart Steam and cause the same menu options to come up, whereas Offline Mode will take one into the Steam game library.
This step still requires the authentication to be carried out.
Create or edit the
steam.cfg in this folder (the same folder as the steam.exe):
Enter the following and save:
Resume Download Whilst Playing Game
Most Steam games will pause all downloads in progress, even if the game running is single player and has no need to access the bandwidth.
Disable Automatic Game Updates
Steam automatically updates games when new patches are released by default. It may be useful to disable this (only possible on an individual game basis). This may also stop Steam interfering with modifications to game and configuration files.
From the game library, right click on the game title in the list, select "Properties", "Updates", and switch to "Do not automatically keep this game up to date".
Using Steam On Large Screen
Valve are reportedly creating a "Big Picture Mode" for Steam which is not yet released.. However, some more friendly TV picture modes can be activated through modifications.
Adjust Font Size DPI
Steam does not always respect the Windows DPI settings. This hack adjusts the DPI of Steam using a registry hack. Appears to work if the Windows DPI settings are also adjusted above 100% size.
- Run regedit
- Navigation HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Classes\Steam
LogPixelsas a DWORD registry key and set to 120 decimal (120 dpi) to increase dpi settings.
Optimizing Steam's GCF Files and Batch Maintenance
Steam's Game Properties offers an interface to validate and physically and internally de-fragment the game's GCF files if it has them, however Steam itself uses 2 GCF files but does not provide a way to do this, and there is a lot of time, prompting, and UI lockout between tasks. GCFScape has some batch mode utilities to handle this.
Get Nem's GCFScape. Once downloaded and installed, shutdown Steam*. Go to GCFScape's Tools menu -> Batch -> Defragment. Navigate to the Steam App Cache in
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\
Select as many GCF Files as you want to batch de-fragment. If you decide to do all the files, this could take a long time! Consider making it an overnight task. If you just want to de-fragment the two unreachable files used by Steam, they are
- Shutting down Steam is optional, however
sourceinit.gcf, the two files Steam uses, are locked while Steam is running. Steam can run while performing maintenance on the other GCF files, but it may cause problems if there is an update while the files are being worked on.
GCFScape also provides batch validation, but does not have the repair facility that Steam has when it detects a corrupted file. Batch validation as an overnight task prior to backing up your files is a great idea. If it finds a problem, have Steam do a validation and repair on it.
Change Game Library Backgrounds
This is a guide on how to use custom backgrounds in the Steam Library.
- Find out the GAME-ID by right-clicking on a game, and setting a desktop shortcut. Right-click on the shortcut to find the GAME-ID:
- Navigate to:
- Enter replacement .jpg file:
- If the above folder does not exist, create it in the format 760/remote
|OS|| Windows XP|
Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.8
|Hard Drive||1 GB|
Clientregistry.blob is located:
~/Library/Application/Support/Steam/ (Mac OSX)
List of Linux Steam Games
The Big List of Steam Games on GNU/Linux documents games on Steam which have been been ported to GNU/Linux (officially or otherwise), plan to be ported, or are DOSBox games. It also has a list of recommended source ports for id Software titles. NOTE: Not all of these games are available to buy from Steam.
- Free Steam games - from user IvanDoomer.
- The Big List of 3rd Party DRM on Steam - maintained by flibitijibibo.
- Steam Wishlist Notifier - a free service which can provide email notification for Steam sales.
- ↑ http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showpost.php?p=23759166&postcount=47
- ↑ https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=7418-YUBN-8129
- ↑ http://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/v07nb/any_suggestions_on_how_to_improve_steam/c506lcf
- ↑ http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/02/28/valve-announces-big-picture-mode-for-steam/
- ↑ http://forums.steamgames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2095661
- ↑ http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1925247