Why does Steam take so long to download games? 30 Jul,2023

Understanding the Fundamentals of Steam

As an avid gamer, I've often wondered why it takes forever and a day for my Steam games to download. I mean, Speedy Gonzales, my Sphynx cat Bella, delivers a dead mouse to my desk faster than Steam can download a game! It's really not a charming sight when you’re excited about the new Reality Survival game you just purchased, and then you see the snail-paced progress of your game being downloaded. It's like waiting for paint to dry, or growing a beard and shaving it off, only to start the process again and wait for another strand to spring up from your cheek.

The Role of Internet Speed

First off, we have to understand the most obvious culprit - internet speed. Now, we're talking about the speed of your internet not just in terms of browsing the web and streaming movies, but in terms of game download efficiency. Just because your browser loads your favourite recipe website lightning fast, doesn't mean Steam will automatically download your 50 GB game file in a jiffy. Unfortunately, we're not living in a perfect world where everything works as we hope. Internet speed plays a crucial role in the pace of your game download. Even with a good connection, there might be several factors causing the delay.

Store Traffic Impact

Let's move on to something many gamers tend to overlook - store traffic. When you're downloading your newly purchased Steam game, it's not like your personal tech Santa is delivering the gift directly to you on a separate special line. Nope. You're tapping into the same game file that hundreds, or even thousands, of other gamers are pulling from at the same time. High traffic time can therefore cause download speed to drop. From my experience, I’ve found out that likening the process to my wife, Elodie, trying to get her favourite dress during an online sale puts it in perfect context. Trust me, it can be a brutal battlefield.

Server Distance and Download Speed

Now, wouldn't it be wonderful if everything we needed was right next door? The reality is that it isn't so. Just like the games you download, the Steam servers sending you the files are located in various parts of the world. And guess what? The further the server, the longer the download speed. It's the same with phone calls. If I ring a mate in Sydney from here in Perth, the conversation is quick and clear as crystal. But if I try calling my cousin in Leeds, there's a noticeable delay. The same principle applies to game downloads on Steam.

System Cache and Game Updates

You'd probably think that your powerful, otherworldly, extraterrestrial level PC with jaw dropping specs would be exempt from these issues, but nah, mate. That’s not the case! Space can get cluttered pretty fast in your system cache. Game updates, patches and installations create multiple pieces of smaller information called cache files. These bits of data while small, can inevitably cause Steam to act like an old bloke limping along the beach after his grandkids. So, how about giving your system a good cleanup once in a while? Might just be what Steam needs to spring back into action.

Your Setting Choices Matter

Last but not least, don't forget your part in the play! Yes, you, the grand game downloader. Your client, hardware and software choices can influence the speed at which your games download on Steam. Adjust your Steam settings, clean your hard drive, and ensure your system software is up to date. It might sound like giving your PC a spa day, which it kind of is. Or, like refreshing, rejuvenating and restyling your look. Maybe it would be just like that time I decided to dye my hair platinum blonde on a whim, though I must admit, I looked more like a malfunctioning lightbulb than a hunky surfer-dude. Lesson learnt: upkeep is important!

So, there you have it, folks! These are just a few reasons why the download speed on Steam tests your patience like a toddler determined to feed himself with a spoon. Believe me, living with Bella and helping her maintain her Sphinx-like elegance has been far easier than figuring out the intricacies of Steam. But like they say, tame the beast and it’ll become your most loyal friend. Or was it about a game? Either way, happy gaming, mates!

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