For newbies to the platform, Steam can seem a touch overwhelming at first. While it’s not too hard to get the general stuff down- purchasing games, installing files, accessing steam apps, adding friends – there are a few tips and tricks that not everyone seems to be entirely aware of.
We’ll start simple for now- more complex functions and features will be covered later.
Set Up Offline Mode In Steam
As a gaming platform, Steam’s one of the best. Easy access to your games anywhere there’s an internet connection? Count me in. But what about those rare occasions when you want to game on Steam, but you don’t have an internet connection? It’s as simple as logging on in offline mode, right?
See, the problem is; if you simply try to open Steam in Offline mode without an internet connection, there’s a good chance you’ll get a rather irksome error informing you that Steam was unable to contact the update server. Then it’ll close, and you’ll be no closer to playing your games. Irritating, no?
In order to rectify this, you’re going to first have to prepare Steam to start in offline mode- by going into it while you’ve got an active Internet connection. Once you’ve done that, you should be able to access your library of installed Steam games anytime and anywhere. Note that you obviously won’t be able to install any new games while in offline mode, and games that require online functionality will still be generally unplayable.
Update Your Video Drivers
Believe it or not, you can actually update your video drivers through the Steam client. It’s as simple as clicking on the “steam” context menu in the upper left hand corner, then clicking on “search for video driver updates.”
Troubleshooting Application Issues
Aside from client-side issues, one of the things that tends to go wrong with Steam involves your games library-your apps, in other words. Occasionally, they might crash, or fail to update, or simply not function at all. While the solutions to these problems often tend to be specifically tied to what app’s experiencing trouble, you can usually at least attempt to fix things by either verifying your game cache integrity.
To do this, right click on the game that’s giving you trouble to open the “properties” menu, then go over to the ‘local files tab’ and click “verify cache integrity.” You can also create a backup folder for your save files, see what folder the game’s in, access DLC, and look for updates.
Uninstalling A Game On Steam
Uninstalling a Steam app is very simple, though it tends to differ from your typical installation/uninstall process- just go to your library, right click, then hit the “delete local content” option. That’ll start the uninstall process. Simple, right?
Run Downloads While In Game
One rather irritating quirk of Steam is that it does’t allow your downloads to run while you’re playing a game. While I certainly understand giving priority to your gaming experience-particularly if you’re in an online match in TF2 or thereabouts- what about those of us who’s internet connections can handle the added strain? What about games that don’t use up bandwidth? Unfortunately, until Valve codes in the option to keep downloads running while in-game, you’ll have to alt+tab out of your game, and ‘resume’ each individual download in order to keep them going.
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