Steam has made changes to its auto-update system to spread out the peak load that game downloads have on bandwidth.
Steam has already been scheduling updates for games that users haven’t played recently for the next off-peak time slot.
Now, however, Steam will spread these updates over several days.
Steam said that only games played within the last three days will be updated immediately
“As always, the game will begin updating immediately if you request to play it, and you can always initiate an update (or pause it indefinitely) through the Download Manager,” Steam said.
It said it is looking into other measures to help reduce the load the gaming platform has on user bandwidth.
Customising your download schedule
Steam said that alongside its auto-update changes, there are several other ways of controlling your downloads.
“We believe that the best solution for most users is to take advantage of Steam’s existing throttling and scheduling features to set their own optimal behaviour,” Steam said.
To this end, Steam provided the following tips on how to optimise your download schedule:
- Schedule auto-update windows – this will ensure that Steam doesn’t begin updating a game during the work day.
- If you don’t play a game in your library often, you can keep it installed but manually choose not to download automatic updates for it.
- Self-throttle your connection to Steam. This could ease the load on your network connection, as well as bandwidth loads.
- Take advantage of library folders settings by moving infrequently-played games from an SSD to an HDD – a superior option to uninstalling games and then re-downloading them later.
Massive growth in Xbox gaming
Microsoft has also noted a huge increase in demand for its cloud and gaming services because of the COVID-19 coronavirus shutdown.
It reported record numbers on Xbox Live, Xbox Game Pass, and Mixer.
As a result of this, it has disabled the ability to upload custom gamerpics, club pics, and club backgrounds.
The company is also working with game publishers to deliver updates in off-peak hours.