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Steam cover
Valve Corporation
Release dates
Windows September 12, 2003
macOS (OS X) May 12, 2010
Linux February 14, 2013
Steam at Wikipedia

Key points

DRM: Digital distribution platform with accompanying client required for downloading and often playing games as well. Games can also be DRM-Free or contain third party DRM.
Refund policy: 14 days or 2 hours of playtime,; see the Steam Refunds and Pre-release titles are refundable through the Store Transactions
Two-factor authentication: Steam Mobile app or email
Some games sold through third parties activate on Steam; see Retail / Digital CD Keys.
Periodic free weekend and individual publisher-driven events provide temporary and permanent free access to select titles.
The Flatpak version of the client is available at the FlatHub database. [1] However, be aware that most games have issues with the Steam Cloud sync, more about this can be found here. For a better security, it is suggested to follow the Snap version progress.
For better integration with Linux, it is recommended to install Linux Steam integration.

General information

Official store
Official Support
Account details
Steam Community Discussions
Steam Database


Steam Cloud[edit]

This section may require cleanup to meet basic quality standards. You can help by modifying the article. The discussion page may contain useful suggestions.

Steam Cloud is a feature of the Steam client that allows save game data to synced to the cloud. A list of Steam Cloud games can be searched for on Steam, though some games are not listed there even though they use Steam Cloud.

Steam Cloud implementation is very inconsistent among developers. Some choose to only sync configuration files, some force users to choose only a single slot to be synced. Some games list Steam Cloud as a feature, but do not sync any data whatsoever. Some examples of such games are Halo: Spartan Assault and Capsized.

Free and built-in with the Steam client.
Automatically backs up saves/settings on supported games.
Not every game is supported; up to the developers to implement it.
Some games only sync saves, while others only sync settings; dependent on the developers.

Big Picture[edit]

This mode can be launched by clicking on the Big Picture icon, by pushing Alt+ Enter while the Steam window is on focus, or through the home button on a controller.
See PC gaming on a TV and couch for general setup information.
Allows Steam to be used with a controller.

Allow Big Picture to display resolutions above 1080p[edit]

Some elements may not be made for high resolutions, and may appear blurry.
High Resolution Instructions
  1. Add -fulldesktopres to Steam's as a launch option.

Adjust font size DPI (Windows)[edit]

Steam does not always respect the Windows DPI settings.
Appears to work if the Windows DPI settings are also adjusted above 100% size.
Instructions[citation needed]
  1. Open the Registry Editor.
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\steam
  3. Right Click on steam, then select New, DWORD (32-bit) value and name it as LogPixels.
  4. Select the LogPixels entry, select Decimal, then write the desired DPI value.

Taskbar showing on top (Windows)[edit]

This is caused by the incompatibility with DPI scaling in Windows.
Disable Display Scaling On High DPI Settings[citation needed]
  1. Right click on Steam shortcut > Properties.
  2. Choose the Compatibility tab.
  3. Select 'Disable display scaling on high DPI settings.
  4. Running Steam will provide a compatibility warning. Press cancel to ignore.

Downloading game files with SteamGet (Linux)[edit]

SteamGet is a script created by Ryan C. Gordon (aka Icculus) which requires SteamCMD to work. What it does is that it will download all the files from the selected game you own in your account without requiring you to rely Wine to do that or use the SteamCMD itself as this script makes its task more simple. This can be very useful if you wish to use the game files for the source port of the game or an open source engine.

Family Sharing[edit]

Allows sharing games between accounts. Each account gets separate saves, achievements, et al. except for DRM keys, which are shared.[2]
If the account's main owner is playing a game from their own account, or someone else is using family share on that account, you are presented with the "buy" option instead of install/play for the selected game.[3]
VAC bans can apply to the both the perpetrator and the owning account of a shared game, and the Family Share feature can be revoked entirely.[2]
Games with 3rd party DRM tied to account-locked keys (such as Uplay), have the feature specifically turned off by their publisher, or are VAC-banned cannot be shared and are not shown in shared accounts.[2]
Instructions[citation needed]
  1. Log into your Steam account and press Authorize this computer if shown in Settings->Family.
  2. Log out and into the account to want to share with, go to Settings->Family, press Authorize this computer if shown, and for each account in Eligible accounts you want to share with ensure the Share box is enabled.
  3. Log back into your main account, go to Library and select Games from the drop down, and you should see games categorized as MY GAMES for games belonging to your account and [USER]'s Games for each family shared account.

Issues unresolved[edit]

Steam doesn't scale DPI correctly[edit]

Steam does not scale DPI properly over 100% DPI scale. Valve has still not implemented support for HiDPI resolutions.[4]

Temp fix[citation needed]
  1. Shut down Steam.
  2. Go to <Steam-folder>.
  3. Right click on Steam.exe, Properties, select the Compatibility tab and tick Disable display scaling on high DPI settings.
  4. Save your changes.


Everything will appear tiny.

Issues fixed[edit]

Steam Survey won't show up (Linux)[edit]

A common issue which to this day hasn't been fixed.
Alter the last survey time[citation needed]
  1. Quit/close Steam
  2. Run Terminal and type this command
sed -i -e '/SurveyDate/ s/"[0-9].*"/"'$(date +%Y-%m-%d -d "1 year ago")'"/' ~/.local/share/Steam/config/config.vdf

3. Run Steam

Create Desktop Shortcut doesn't work (Linux)[edit]

Error 80 And Application Load Error P:0000065432[edit]

Restart Steam.

Failed To Find Steam[edit]

Restart Steam. If this doesn't work, then see Delete ClientRegistry.blob.

Failed to start game. App already running[edit]

This may appear when launching the same game twice. Restart Steam if it still appears.

Game fails to launch or has odd gamebreaking issues[edit]

Instructions[citation needed]
  1. Right Click on the desired game in the Library.
  2. Select Properties, the Local files tab, then click on the Verify integrity of game cache button.

Lowered volume when using background Metro apps while Steam is open (Windows 8)[edit]

Instructions[citation needed]
  1. Push Win+R, type mmsys.cpl, then select OK.
  2. Open the Communications tab, then select Do nothing and save.

Make the Big Picture web browser faster (Windows)[edit]

This feature is enabled by default for compatibility reasons. It can add significant delays when loading any content on the internet, and as such is not usually required.
Certain browsers such as Chrome may benefit from this change too.
  1. Open the Start menu and type Internet Options.
  2. Open the Connections tab, click the LAN Settings button.
  3. Uncheck the Automatically detect settings checkbox.

Steam fails to launch[edit]

No error messages are present, placeholder.

Delete ClientRegistry.blob[edit]

Steam updates sometimes fail to progress, or the message Failed to find Steam appears.
Delete <Steam-folder>\ClientRegistry.blob
Deleting this file will reset the login information, while also forcing Steam to re-download any failed client updates.

Reinstalling Steam[edit]

If the other solutions don't work, then follow these instructions.
Every Steam game should be installed in a separate folder, outside the main Steam installation location, this makes it easier to play and backup such games again.
Step One[edit]
Killing the Steam Process[citation needed]
  1. On the top left, select Steam, then Settings.
  2. Open the Interface section, then uncheck the Run Steam when my computer starts checkbox.
  3. Restart the computer.


Restarting should ensure that the main Steam processes are all killed, doing otherwise could lead to some issues down the line.
Step Two[edit]
Removing Steam (Windows)[citation needed]
  1. Navigate to the main installation path, backup the steamapps and userdata folders.
  2. Download Geek Uninstaller, extract it anywhere and run it.
  3. Find Steam in the list, then Double Click on it, select Finish when asked to remove any leftover items.
Removing Steam (OS X and Linux)[citation needed]
  1. Navigate to the main installation path, backup the steamapps and userdata folders.
  2. Uninstall Steam.
Step Three[edit]
Reinstalling Steam[citation needed]
  1. Download and install Steam.
  2. Run Steam and let it update, once it's finished close it.
  3. Copy the steamapps and userdata folders into the main Steam installation path.
Changing the main Steam installation paths[edit]
This is for games downloaded outside of the main Steam installation path.
Instructions[citation needed]
  1. On the top left, select Steam, then Settings.
  2. Open the Downloads section, then click on the Steam Library Folders button, under the Content Libraries header.
  3. Add the desired library paths, by pushing the Add Folder button, then close the window.

Unable to download any games[edit]

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.
Instructions[citation needed]
  1. On the top left, select Steam, then Settings.
  2. Open the Downloads section, then change the Download Region to something else.

Unable to log in[edit]

Steam has an official support page for most network issues here.
Use the -tcp command line argument[citation needed]

Other information[edit]

Use Native Steam runtime mode on Linux[edit]

Improves the performance for both games and the software itself
On a 64-bit system you must install the 32-bit version of these libraries: openal, nss, gtk2, gtk3, libcanberra, gconf, dbus-glib, libnm-glib, libudev0-shim and libappindicator-gtk2 (so the tray icon would work).
Some games may still require some additional libraries to work. You can use this page to learn which ones are needed for the specific software regardless of the linux distribution you are using. Most of the Ubuntu-based distros may already include them.

While the current Steam package already includes required libraries to work, they are sadly outdated as they are from Ubuntu 12.04. However, Valve included an option to force Steam to use the libraries used in your system, also known as Steam Native mode. This can be done by adding STEAM_RUNTIME=0 before the command for launching Steam.

It's best to create a separate executable file for it in order to allow easily switch between the Runtime and Native.

Create a Steam Native executable script
  1. Open or go to /usr/bin in Terminal and type sudo nano steam-native
  2. Copy and paste this script:
# Workaround for dbus fatal termination related coredumps (SIGABRT)
# Override some libraries as these are what games linked against.
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH="/usr/lib/steam:/usr/lib32/steam"
exec /usr/lib/steam/steam "$@"
  1. Exit while saving the file with Ctrl+X and accept while leaving the name intact.
  2. Type sudo chmod +x steam-native to mark the script as executable

Once done, you will be able to run Steam Native with the steam-native command on Terminal, you can add it to the Start/Program Menu if you wish, but it is also best to add it's .desktop file as well, so it'd be available and automatically added.

Create a Steam Native Desktop script
  1. Open or go to /usr/share/applications in Terminal and type sudo nano steam-native.desktop
  2. Copy and paste this script
  3. Exit while saving the file with Ctrl+X and accept while leaving the name intact.

ArchLinux based distributions only require installing steam-native-runtime package which will automatically install required repositories and automatically set everything for you, once you install Steam.

Change a game's language[edit]

  1. Right Click on the desired game in the Library.
  2. Select Properties, the Language tab, then select the desired language.


Changing a game's language might not be possible while the game is already open.

Toggle Steam Cloud per game[edit]

  1. Right Click on the desired game in the Library.
  2. Select Properties, the Updates tab, then click on the Enable Steam Cloud synchronization checkbox.

Toggle the Steam overlay per game[edit]

  1. Right Click on the desired game in the Library.
  2. Select Properties, the General tab, then click on the Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game checkbox.

Open Steam console[edit]

Enter steam://nav/console in browser URL bar and open it[citation needed]

Delete files stored in the Steam Cloud[edit]

Upload Empty Files[7]
  1. Check if the Steam Cloud is enabled on the desired game, then close Steam.
  2. Navigate to <Steam-folder>\userdata\<user-id>\<game-id>\
  3. Erase the contents of every file present in the remote folder with a text editor.
  4. Navigate to <Steam-folder>\userdata\<user-id>\<game-id>\ and delete remotecache.vdf.
  5. Launch Steam, then start the desired game from the Library.
  6. When prompted with the Sync Conflict, delete the <game-id> folder.
  7. Select Upload to the Steam Cloud.


If the data is still being synced check any other possible locations in which the files may be stored, then erase them if they exist.

Disable Steam announcements[edit]

Instructions[citation needed]
  1. On the top left, select Steam, then Downloads.
  2. Tick the Notify me about additions or changes to my games, new releases, and upcoming releases checkbox.

Download older games versions[edit]

  1. Search your game on SteamDB
  2. Look in the Depots tab for the one(s) with the required files to downgrade
  3. Switch to History and scroll until the change date of the old desired version
  4. Take note of the manifest IDs of the aforementioned depots
  5. Open Steam console
  6. Enter download_depot <appid> <depotid> <target manifestid> command (with corresponding information)
  7. Wait until download is finished (progress is lost on closure)
  8. Move to the indicated download folder
  9. Good luck trying to copy it over <path-to-game>

Playing without game updates[edit]

The Only update this game when I launch it checkbox does not allow playing without updates, the only way to avoid updates is by playing Offline.[9]
Some developers make earlier versions available under the Betas tab in the game's properties in the Steam client. Once selected and downloaded, this alternate version can be played without further updates.

Steam Offline Mode[edit]

The Steam Offline Mode can only be enabled after logging in at least once with a working internet connection.
Instructions[citation needed]
  1. Open Steam while being connected to the internet.
  2. When logging in tick the Remember my password checkbox.
  3. On the top left, select Steam and Go Offline.


Start dialog box can be removed by setting SkipOfflineModeWarning to 1 in <Steam-folder>/config/loginusers.vdf
Some games cannot be played in offline mode due to DRM.

Copying a game from a different computer[edit]

Instructions[citation needed]
  1. Go to <Steam-folder>/SteamApps/common/ on the computer where the game is installed.
  2. Look for the folder that fits the game you want to copy and move it to the same location on the target computer.
  3. Go to in your browser and visit the game's store page
  4. in the Url bar of your browser you'll see<appid>/, where <appid> is a number that uniquely identifies the game on Steam.
  5. Grab the <Steam-folder>/SteamApps/appmanifest_<appid>.acf file that fits the <appid> from the store page and copy it to the same location on the target computer.
  6. Close and restart Steam.
  7. The game should now show up in your Library and be ready to play.
  8. (Optional) If the game doesn't run or if it came from a different OS, right click on the game in your Library and choose Properties ; then go to the Local Files tab and click on Verify integrity of game cache… . This will trigger Steam to repair the installation.

Add Microsoft Store games as non-Steam games[edit]

Use UWPHook[citation needed]

Disable Steam's link filter[edit]

Use disablesteamlinkfilter[citation needed]

Steam sales[edit]

Steam sales occur on a regular basis, and can includes sales as high as 90% off. On any given date, a Steam sale will switch at 6pm UTC, e.g. a weekend sale may last from Thursday 6pm UTC to Monday 6pm UTC.

Regular deals[edit]

Daily deal or Today's deal

Single game only. Lasts for 48 hours from 6pm UTC every day.

Midweek madness

Multiple games, highlighted on Store page in the 'Spotlight'. Lasts from Tuesday 6pm UTC to Thursday 6pm UTC.

Weekend sale

Multiple games, highlighted on Store page in the 'Spotlight'. Lasts from Thursday 6pm UTC to Tuesday 6pm UTC.

Long sales[edit]

Steam is famous for having long periods of deep discounts which apply to virtually its entire catalogue of games. During this period, Steam will usually run daily discounts, further slashing prices (as low as 90% off). Therefore, it is a good idea to hold off buying a particular game unless the game is on a daily deal (or flash sale), or it is the last day of the sale.

Seasonal sales[edit]

Year Date Length in days Sale name
2009 Dec 23 - Jan 03 11 Holiday Sale[10]
2010 Jun 24 - Jul 04 10 Perils Of Summer Sale[11]
2010 Oct 28 - Nov 01 4 Halloween Sale[12]
2010 Dec 20 - Jan 02 13 Holiday Sale[13]
2011 Jun 30 - Jul 11 11 Summer Camp Sale[14]
2011 Oct 27 - Oct 31 4 Halloween Sale[15]
2011 Nov 23 - Nov 27 4 Autumn Sale[16]
2011 Dec 19 - Jan 01 13 Holiday Sale[17]
2012 Jul 12 - Jul 22 10 Summer Camp Sale
2012 Oct 29 - Nov 01 4 Halloween Sale[18]
2012 Nov 21 - Nov 26 5 Autumn Sale[19]
2012 Dec 20 - Jan 05 16 Holiday Sale[20]
2013 Mar 21 - Mar 29 9 Spring Indie Sale[21]
2013 Jul 11 - Jul 23 12 Summer Getaway Sale[22]
2013 Oct 29 - Nov 01 4 Halloween Sale[23]
2013 Nov 27 - Dec 03 6 Autumn Sale[24]
2013 Dec 19 - Jan 03 15 Holiday Sale[25]
2014 Jun 19 - Jun 30 11 Summer Sale[26]
2014 Oct 30 - Nov 03 4 Halloween Sale[27]
2014 Dec 18 - Jan 02 15 Holiday Sale[28]
2015 Jun 11 - Jun 21 11 Monster Summer Sale[29]
2015 Dec 23 - Jan 4 12 Holiday Sale[30]
2016 Feb 5 - Feb 12 7 Lunar Sale[31]
2016 Jun 23 - Jul 4 11 Summer Sale[32]
2016 Dec 22 - Jan 4 12 Winter Sale[33]

Price Comparison[edit]

During Steam sales, you can make sure you are getting the best price available by using a service like IsThereAnyDeal, CheapShark or SteamPrices, which compares pricing across multiple game stores/distributors/regions.


  1. Steam Is Now Available As A Flatpak App Via Flathub - GamingOnLinux
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Steam Family Sharing FAQ
  3. StackExchange :: Why is Steam only showing me “Buy” instead of “Play” option for a game shared via Family Sharing?
  6. Reddit Gaming Subreddit - Make Big Picture Quicker
  7. Finally! A method to DELETE files stored in Steam Cloud servers! - Steam Users' Forums (retrieved)
  8. Guide: How to download older versions of a game on Steam : Steam - Reddit
  9. New Steam version removes option to disable automatic updates - Steam Users' Forums (retrieved)