To reduce the strain on internet bandwidth during this time of social isolation, Valve is making tweaks to Steam’s auto-update function.
Steam will now prioritize games that were played during the last three days for immediate updates. Games that haven’t been played recently will instead have their updates scheduled for “the next off-peak local time period”.
“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,” says the post. “We’re also looking into additional solutions to help on our side.”
Valve also reminded Steam users of the downloading options they’ve access to, like scheduling auto-update windows, disabling auto-updates for a game, and self-throttling. They also encouraged gamers to move “move infrequently-played games from an SSD to a storage HDD” with the Library Folders settings instead of uninstalling and redownloading them in the future.
It’s nowhere near as drastic as what Netflix did, but it’s still good to see Valve doing something. With Steam’s peak user counts hitting record numbers, it’d be surprising if they didn’t do anything.