|First release date|| Windows September 12, 2003|
Mac OS X May 12, 2010
Linux February 14, 2013
- Steam is a digital distribution platform launched by Valve Corporation in 2003, and is natively supported on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
- The Big List of 3rd Party DRM on Steam
- Steam Subreddit - a good place to discuss Steam issues.
- ValveTime - Valve news and discussion site.
- SteamDB - Steam Database hosting all information about games, sales, and even not yet released games. Updates instantaneously.
 Steam sales
- Main article: Steam sales.
 Steam Big Picture Mode
This article contains some helpful information about how to set up PC gaming (with programs like Steam) on large displays.
 Big Picture Mode
- Big Picture Mode is a new interface which allows using Steam with a controller.
- Big Picture Mode requires Windows Vista or newer or Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) or newer; earlier versions are not supported.
Launch Big Picture Mode • Link
 Taskbar Showing On Top
- This is caused by the incompatibility with DPI scaling in Windows.
Disable Display Scaling On High DPI Settings • Link
 Speed Up Big Picture Web Browser
- Steam Big Picture web browser can be slow.
Uncheck Automatically Detect Proxy Settings • Link
1) Change this setting in Windows to speed up the web browser in the big picture mode in Steam.
2) If this causes some problems in other programs, one should change the setting back.
 Adjust Font Size DPI
- 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.
 Clean reinstall
If the above steps do not resolve your problem, doing a clean reinstall of Steam may eliminate the issue.
- Go to your Steam install folder; the default location is as follows:
- 64-bit Windows:
- 32-bit Windows:
- 64-bit Windows:
- Move the
userdatafolders somewhere safe (see Moving Steam Files).
- Uninstall Steam.
- Delete the Steam installation folder, if it remains.
- Reinstall Steam and let it update, then exit it.
- Restore the
userdatafolders, replacing any existing files.
- Run Steam and "install" your games (it will see and verify the existing files).
- Set your Steam settings again, if necessary.
 Other Tips
 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 internet bandwidth.
 Disable Advertising Popups
By default, Steam will periodically display popups of new games and announcements. This can be disabled by going to
View > Settings > Interface > Notify me about additions.
 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".
 Steam Skins
Steam has the option to install other skins. By far the most popular skin and most recommended skin is PixelVision. Installation requires installing the skin to the correct directory, installing a font and changing a setting within Steam.
 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\Steam\steamapps\ or
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
 Steam Trading Cards
Steam Trading Cards were added on May 15, 2013 in a closed beta. After playing certain games for a random amount of time, you'll earn a card. You can only earn up to half the cards a game has to offer, afterwards you'll be forced to trade or purchase cards in order to earn the full set. Once you have the full set you can craft them into a badge. This badge will also get you a random coupon for an item in the Steam store, as well as an emoticon for chat. For supported games, see Games with Steam Trading Cards support.
 Steam Won't Launch
 Delete ClientRegistry.blob
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.
 Delete Folders
If Steam will not launch, delete this folder and restart:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\appcache\
If this fails, try deleting everything except
 Error following updates
Manifests as update loops, possibly having one of the following errors:
"ERROR! Steam.exe (main exception): ERROR: copying SteamNew.exe to Steam.exe failed, Win32 Error 32 "The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process.""
The fix belongs to andrey-t, found here: http://steamcommunity.com/discussions/forum/1/846938350899919669/
"The primary cause of this problem is a confirmed bug in Windows 7. When "Application Experience" service is not running, Windows 7 will retain the lock on executable files for several minutes after they finished execution.
Most people who encounter this problem are people who decided to optimize their Windows services and disabled "Application Experience" service as part of that process.
Because of the above bug, Steam client cannot update itself since Windows 7 retains the lock on "Steam.exe".
So, if you run into this issue, first and foremost go to your Services and make sure "Application Experience" service is enabled and running. Enable and start it. This will fix the issue in most cases."
 Game Won't Launch
 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
 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.
 Steam Servers Too Busy
Steam servers are currently unavailable
Steam servers are too busy
The Steam servers are currently too busy to handle your request. Please try again in a few minutes.
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.
 Error 80 And Application Load Error P:0000065432
Simply restart Steam to fix this error.
 Failed to start game. App already running.
This is a legitimate error message preventing you from launching the same game twice. If it is incorrect, restart Steam.
 Moving Steam Files
 Manual Move
If you wish to re-install Steam, or transfer your game data to a new hard drive, simply move the
userdata folders to a new location. You will find these folders in the following folder by default:
- 64-bit Windows:
- 32-bit Windows:
- 64-bit Windows:
Depending on the size of the folder it may take some time. Then, on the new system, install Steam and let it run once. Move
userdata back to the new Steam folder, replacing any existing files, then run Steam, connect online, and 'install' the games, which will revalidate the existing files and update their entries in the Steam library.
 Failed To Find Steam
This error can be solved by simply restarting the Steam client. If this fails, try to refer to #Delete clientregistry.blob.
 Moving Steam Games To Another Drive
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 symbolic links, effectively 'splitting' the Steam games folder. Steam also has the ability to choose the drive on which it will install a game when it is downloaded.
 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
 Option - SteamTool
 Steam Backup
The native backup facility can be used to backup and restore Steam games. However, the manual move method is simpler, faster and more reliable.
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
Steam's Offline Mode is designed to allow access to one's Steam library without having an internet connection. However, there are a large number of problems that often occur. If one's 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 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:
 Hex Editing winui.gcf
winui.gcf file can be hex edited in order to reenable Offline Mode. Please refer to instructions from X.nano.
 Clientregistry.blob Location
- If you are unable to find the file you can locate it using Terminal commands like Find and Locate.
 Installing Steam for Linux
 Install Steam for Ubuntu (Official)
- Steam is only officially available on Ubuntu versions 12.04 and up.
 Install Steam from the Steam website
- Visit http://store.steampowered.com/about/ and download the client.
- Perform set-up
- Play games!
 Install Steam from the Ubuntu Software Centre
- Click here and press the "Available on Ubuntu Software Centre" button.
- It will prompt you to open the Ubuntu Software Centre. Do so.
- Press Install
- Perform set-up
- Play games!
 Install Steam in Wine (Unofficial)
With the release of Steam on Linux, this is only useful for playing games limited to Windows or Mac OS X.
 Step 1: Install Wine
To learn how to install WINE for your specific distribution, search for it on this page from the unofficial Wine Wiki. Most distributions have a prebuilt version of Wine in their repository.
If your distro is not listed, however, you will either need to use the standard tarball or compile it from source.
 Step 2: Install Winetricks
Winetricks is a neat program written by the Wine community that automatically downloads and installs specific programs into your Wine prefix (if you don't know, it's likely going to be ~/.wine).
To install it, enter these commands:
sudo mv winetricks /usr/bin/
sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/winetricks
And there you go!
 Step 3: Install Steam
Now that we have Winetricks installed, all we need to enter is this:
It should download and install Steam automatically, shortcut included! All you should have to do is click the shortcut and Steam will run. Most games should not have a problem installing/running either.
 Other Libraries
Because of the nature of Windows games, odds are they're going to need a lot of the little Microsoft redistributable packages (the most common/annoying one is MS Visual C++ Redistributable 200-whatever). Steam will try to install these, but oftentimes it will fail. Luckily, Winetricks can take care of this too:
winetricks vcrun2005 vcrun2008 vcrun2010 dotnet35
That line, for example, will install the 2005, 2008, and 2010 Visual C++ Redistributable packages and all of the .NET packages up to version 3.5.
 Optional Step 4: Save space on dual-boot machines
If you are dual-booting your machine, it is possible to symlink your steamapps folder from your Wine installation of Steam to the Windows installation. This will allow you to maintain only one copy of the game downloads.
Example (stop Steam first!):
cd ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Steam/
mv steamapps steamapps.bak
ln -s <ABSOLUTE-WINDOWS-DRIVE-MOUNT-POINT>/Program\ Files/Steam/steamapps steamapps
If you symlink your steamapps folder, make sure you have your Windows drive mounted before launching Steam or it will fail to login and present a network related error message. If you use 64-bit Windows, the Program Files directory will need an (x86) suffix.
 List of Linux Steam Games
The Big List of Steam Games on GNU/Linux documents games on Steam which have been been ported to 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.
 General Information
 Useful Links
- List of Free Steam games - from user IvanDoomer.
- ↑ http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/zo66b/by_request_psa_drastically_speed_up_steams_web/c66itdn
- ↑ http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/zo66b/by_request_psa_drastically_speed_up_steams_web/
- ↑ http://forums.steamgames.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2095661
- ↑ http://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/v07nb/any_suggestions_on_how_to_improve_steam/c506lcf
- ↑ http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1925247
- ↑ http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showpost.php?p=23759166&postcount=47
- ↑ https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=7418-YUBN-8129