Valve makes changes to Steam’s auto-update feature to reduce bandwidth usage

Valve has announced that it has made changes to how games auto-update on Steam to help reduce the strain on the internet while everyone is at home.

“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. “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.”

“With that in mind, we thought it was a good time to remind everyone of some of the features the Steam client offers relating to downloads, so that you can manage your home bandwidth and help everyone in your house handle this unique situation we all find ourselves in.”

Usually, games that have not been played recently will be updated during the next off-peak local time period. However, from now on, Valve will be “spreading these updates out over several more days.” Only games played within the last three days will be automatically updated, but players can still choose to manually initiate an update if they wish to.

Valve also shared a number of existing options available to players that can help reduce the strain on their home internet. These include scheduling auto-update windows, choosing to no longer update installed games that aren’t played often, and self-throttling the connection to Steam.

Last week, Sony announced that it is also trying to help reduce the strain on the internet by managing download traffic on PlayStation.

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