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17 obscure Steam tips and tricks that can power up your PC gaming



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Let’s reduce to the chase: For many people, PC gaming is synonymous with Steam. Valve’s ubiquitous gaming customer is each storefront and provider, handing over a one-prevent shop for purchasing games, coping with those video games, and even constructing out pals listing to speak with while you play. And then there are the ones impossible to resist Steam Summer Sales. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Steam’s rife with hidden features that can help you get extra out of your PC gaming revel in—hints that few humans ever touch. Here is a number of the maximum useful, starting with difficult to understand (yet helpful) library control gear in this web page before diving into greater distinctive pointers.

[ Further reading: These 20 absorbing PC games will eat days of your life ]
Optimize your Steam library
Family sport sharing
Show your in-sport FPS
Steam in-home streaming
Advanced server alternatives
Optimize your Steam library

Add non-Steam video games to your library

From DRM-unfastened indie titles to EA games offered completely via Origin, not every PC game graces Steam’s virtual cabinets—which can be a problem if you game and socialize exclusively through Valve’s carrier. Fortunately, Valve lets you upload non-Steam video games to the Steam purchaser. Steam still won’t keep the rogue name updated or store your recreation to Steam Cloud, but including non-Steam video games on your library shall we your pals see when you’re gambling the sport, and unlocks the Steam overlay function (Shift + Tab), together with a complete screenshot and in-game chat capability.


Add applications to steam library IDG.

Got it? Good. Now open the Steam customer and head to Games > Add a Non-Steam Game to My Library. The method is straightforward from there. If you need to feature a custom image for the sport to your Library’s grid view, simply proper-click it and pick Set Custom Image, then pass from there. The best folks in the r/steam grid on Reddit will whip up custom photos for video games if you’d like. You can discover a ton of custom grid pictures on the Steam Banners internet site or Deviant Art as properly.

Manage where your games land

Maybe you need to shift all of your titles onto a blazing-rapid SSD, or perhaps you hooked up a spacious new conventional tough drive that’s just begging to be packed with gaming goodness. Either manner, Steam makes it a cinch to add new folders in which to keep your games.

Steam download places


Open Steam and head to Steam > Settings > Downloads, then click the Steam Library Folders button. From here, you could upload as many folders for sports installations as you’d like. Once you’ve brought folders, you’ll take delivery of a Choose place for installation option while you’re installing a new recreation.


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Even better, it’s lifelessly easy to transport your previously set up games among directories now. Moving game installs (from, say, an SSD to a hard drive) used to require arcane trickery, but now all you need to do is right-click on a sport, choose Properties, then Local Files, and at the bottom, you’ll see a Move Install Folder button. Clicking it brings up all your to be had Steam folder places. Easy-peasy.

[ Further reading: The best SSDs ]

Batch set up or uninstall video games

Good information for oldsters migrating to a brand new PC or truly seeking to clear out a variety of space in a brief quantity of time: Steam can set up or delete video games in bulk.

Batch set up steam video games.


Open your Steam library in Detail or ListView and pick out the games you’d like to put in by Ctrl + clicking on every. (The video games you select will appear highlighted.) When you’re achieved, absolutely proper-click on one of the games and pick the Install option. Boom! You’ll be greeted by bulk setup options for the complete mass of video games. Conversely, you can also choose more than one games that are already mounted on your tough power, then proper-click and select Delete Local Data to wipe them all off your PC in one fell swoop.

Sort your hooked up games via size

Speaking of deleting stuff, if you’re seeking to free up the garage for new video games, the capacity to sort your Steam video games via setting up size permits you to find the largest space-suckers. It’s hidden in a fiendish spot, but.

Steam type size on disk IDG

You need “Size on disk” decided on this drop-down menu. Please enter your library and set it to List View the usage of the View alternatives close to the upper-proper corner. Once that’s enabled, click on the little + icon on the far proper of the display screen, just below the View alternatives. You’re going to want to click on the “Size on Disk” choice at the bottom of the listing that appears.

Steam sort length on disk after


That adds a new “Size on Disk” column to the list view. Click it as soon as to sort in ascending length order, and once more, type through descending size order.

Categorize your Steam library

By default, Steam arranges the video games for your library alphabetically. Easy sufficient, right? Not if you’ve accrued a catalog of loads (or heaps!) of games, or in case you surely want to browse games in a certain genre. Fortunately, the service offers categorization gear, although it’s all guide work.

Steam libraries Brad Chacos/IDG

Select one or more games on your library, then right-click on and pick out Set Categories. A separate window opens, and you may create a category name for the chosen games (or add them to present classes if you’ve already made a few). Go nuts sorting your video games by style, collection, ones you’re presently playing, ones you need to play quickly, or something else you provide you with.

Back up your video games


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Sure, the Steam Cloud continues your shop games high-quality and relaxed on Valve’s servers. However, it most effectively backs up your keep video games—and best on titles that aid the characteristic. Backing up your games themselves protects against lifestyles “Oh crap!” moments, making sure that you don’t danger corruption or angering your Internet company through re-downloading your complete library in case your difficult force gives up the ghost.

Geneva A. Crawford
Twitter nerd. Coffee junkie. Prone to fits of apathy. Professional beer geek. Spent several years buying and selling magma in Miami, FL. Spent a year lecturing about psoriasis in Las Vegas, NV. Managed a small team writing about circus clowns in Las Vegas, NV. Garnered an industry award while writing about lint in the financial sector. Spoke at an international conference about getting my feet wet with dust in Libya. Spoke at an international conference about researching rocking horses in Bethesda, MD.