Valve changing Steam auto-updates to help bandwidth during coronavirus pandemic

by Ash
March 30, 2020
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Valve has announced that the company is changing how auto-updates on Steam work in order to keep your home’s internet bandwidth working at a stable speed during the coronavirus pandemic.

“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,” Valve wrote in a post. “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 a stress on your home’s internet bandwidth.”

As such, game auto-updates will now be spread over several days. Games that have been played within the last 3 days will be updated immediately, but games which have been gathering a bit of virtual dust in your library may not be auto-updated for a good number of days.

These auto-updates are also scheduled for your next off-peak local time period in order to ease the strain on your bandwidth that little bit more.

Of course, you can always choose to initiate updates on games that you want to play. You can also always pause updates at your leisure using the Download Manager.

Valve would also like to remind gamers that they have the ability to schedule their own auto-update window, ensuring that Steam won’t start updating games in the middle of an important work day.

Players can also opt out of downloading automatic updates for barely played games, self-throttle their own internet connection to Steam if they need to, and move infrequently-played games from an SSD to a storage HDD in order to prevent constant uninstalling and re-downloading.

If you’re experiencing some internet issues while you’re isolating at home, it may be a good idea to heed Valve’s advice and set Steam to auto-update less frequently (or not at all) and also throttle your connection to the client. It might also be an idea to get back into offline games during this time. Stay safe and wash your hands!

About COVID-19:

This footnote will be included in every relevant article regarding the coronavirus pandemic that is written by this author. All information is sourced from the official WHO website and is correct at the time of publishing.

COVID-19, also known as coronavirus disease and previously known as 2019 novel coronavirus, is the disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2). COVID-19 has officially been classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation.

At the time of publishing, there have been 693,224 cases and 33,106 deaths confirmed globally.

If you start displaying symptoms of COVID-19, the smartest thing to do is to isolate yourself from others and remain at home until you recover. If you start feeling worse, seek medical advice as soon as possible while keeping a safe distance from others.

Maintaining good hygiene practices, such as washing your hands regularly and covering your mouth when you cough and sneeze, can help to prevent the spread of most viruses and keep yourself and others safe from infection.

It’s important to note that SARS-CoV-2 does not discriminate in who it infects. Even if you’re lucky enough to be asymptomatic, you can still be a carrier, and you can still infect others. Be smart and stay at home.

For any concerns regarding COVID-19, you can visit the World Health Organization website to check on the status of the outbreak and educate yourself on related issues.

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