Valve has announced that Steam will restrict auto-updates to games you have played in the last three days as the gaming client tries to do its part to reduce internet congestion that the world is facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Valve announced on its blog that it will longer automatically update games in your libraries as regularly as before.

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The change will start this week as Valve says Steam will only immediately auto-update games you’ve played in the last three days. Valve says that Steam will be spreading out updates over several days but users can update their games manually if they wish to do so. Users will still be able to make use of the scheduling system and even self-throttle your connection if you wish.

  • Schedule auto-update windows! This will ensure that Steam doesn’t start updating a game while you’re in the middle of your work day.
  • If you don’t play a game in your library often, you can keep it installed but choose to no longer download automatic updates.
  • You can self-throttle your own connection to Steam. This might ease the load on your network connection, and may help ease bandwidth loads if network traffic in your area needs to be reduced.
  • Take advantage of Library Folders settings, so you can move infrequently-played games from an SSD to a storage HDD. This is usually better for you (and your bandwidth) rather than uninstalling the game and needing to re-download it later.

The latest move comes in light of other companies such as Netflix, Sony, Microsoft, and Google. These mega-corporations all revealed that they would be reducing stream quality and download speed during the COVID-19 pandemic to try and reduce the strain on the internet worldwide. Sony announced it would reduce download speed, and both Netflix and Google announced that they would reduce its streaming quality down to SD during the global pandemic.

This move by Valve will no doubt help the situation as many users leave their PCs on for extended periods of time without knowing while Steam auto-updates download. The gaming client will now only automatically update games if you have launched them in the past three days.

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