Steam Beta Introduces Remote Download Feature

Martin Brinkmann
May 2, 2012
Updated • Nov 25, 2012

If you like to browse the Steam store while at work, in an Internet cafe or at school, you may have sometimes stumbled upon a great deal or new game that you would like to purchase right away. And while you can do that on the Steam website, there was no way until now to start the download right away from the remote location. This meant that you had to wait until your are home, before you could start the download of the purchased game. With games reaching ten and more Gigabytes easily these days, this sometimes meant waiting the whole night or even more before you could play the game on your PC.

The latest Steam Beta release introduces a new remote download feature. It basically gives Steam users the option to preload games that they have just purchased on computers running their Steam account, and to install games that are already linked to their account.  Here is how it works in detail:

  • You log into the Steam online store using the same Steam account credentials that you use on the computer running the Steam client
  • You can now click on the games list by navigating to community and clicking on Games in the secondary navigation bar. This should display all of the games linked to the Steam account, and their current installation state.
  • Locate the game that you want to install, and click the install button to initiate the remote download

The new remote download feature on Steam is available in the beta Steam client currently. You need to opt-in for the beta Steam client to download it. Here is how this is done.

With Steam open, click on Steam > Settings. Locate Beta participation under Account, and click on the Change button beneath the listing.

Select Steam Beta Update from the pulldown list to install the beta Steam client. Note that Steam needs to be restarted to complete the process.

Not all users see the install option on the Steam website yet. It is likely that it is getting rolled out gradually. For remote downloads of Steam games to work, a PC or Mac running Steam needs to be connected to the Internet.

We will update the article as soon as the install option goes life on the Steam community website.


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