Steam is one of the most well-known online game distribution platforms. It allows gamers to buy, download, and play games on their computers. One of the most common questions that several gamers ask is whether Steam throttles download speeds.
Steam does not intentionally throttle download speeds for most users. However, a few factors, like network congestion, server load, and internet service provider throttling, can cause slower download speeds.
To improve download speeds, users can change their download region, restrict the number of downloads, pause other downloads and updates, and use a wired connection. The article will explore the answer to this question.
What Is Throttling?
Before we dive into whether Steam throttles download speeds, let’s first talk about what throttling is. Throttling is the intentional slowing of internet speeds by an internet service provider (ISP). ISPs may throttle internet speeds to manage and organize network congestion or discourage excessive usage.
What Are Download Speeds?
The term ‘download speeds’ refer to the rate at which data is transferred from a server to a computer. Download speeds are measured in megabits per second (Mbps) or gigabits per second (Gbps). The faster the download speed, the quicker data can be downloaded from a server.
Steam Throttle And Download Speeds
A question that many gamers often wonder is whether Steam throttles download speeds. The answer is more complex, though, as it depends.
Steam does not throttle download speeds for most users on purpose. There are, however, certain situations where download speeds may be slower than expected. These situations include the following:
- Network Congestion
If there is a lot of traffic on the internet, download speeds may be slower than expected. However, it is not specific to the Steam platform and can happen with any other online service.
- Server Load
If a lot of people are trying to download a game at the same time, the server may become overloaded. It slows down download speeds just like every other platform does. Therefore, this issue is also wider than Steam.
- Internet Service Provider
Your internet service provider may restrain your internet speeds. As a result, just like every other platform, Steam also throttles the speed.
Here’s how you can fix your slow download speed:
How To Check Your Download Speeds On Steam?
Follow these few simple steps to check your download speeds on Steam.
Firstly, open Steam and navigate to your library. Once you’ve found the game you want to download, right-click on it and select “Properties.”
Next, click on the “Local Files” tab, where you can “Verify integrity of game files.” This process will ensure that the game files are in good condition and ready to be downloaded.
After completing the verification process, click “Download” and wait for the download to start. While the download is in progress, click on the “Downloads” tab in the Steam client, where you’ll find the download speed listed next to the game you are downloading.
If you are experiencing slower-than-expected download speeds, take these few simple steps to improve them.
Improving Download Speeds On Steam
If you are experiencing slower-than-expected download speeds on Steam, there are a few things you can try to improve them:
- Change Your Download Region
One of the ways to improve download speeds on Steam is to change your download region. Steam allows you to choose from different download regions, and selecting a region closer to your location can improve download speeds.
To change your download region, go to “Settings” in the Steam client, click on “Downloads,” and select a different region from the drop-down menu under “Download Region.” Once you have chosen a new region, click “OK” to save your changes.
It’s important to note that changing your download region may also affect the pricing and availability of some games, so choosing an area closest to your location while still allowing you to access the games you want is recommended.
- Limit The Number Of Downloads
If you’re experiencing slower-than-expected download speeds on Steam while downloading multiple games at once, you can try to limit the number of downloads.
In order to do this, hover your mouse to the “Settings” in the Steam client, click on “Downloads,” and select “Limit bandwidth to” under “Download Restrictions.”
Here, you can set a value for the maximum download speed, limiting the amount of bandwidth used for downloads. Once you have set the maximum download speed, click “OK” to save your changes.
Restricting the number of downloads can help ensure that your internet bandwidth is dedicated to downloading the games on Steam, which can improve download speeds.
Pause Other Downloads And Updates
If you have other downloads or updates running on your computer, pause them while you download a game on Steam. It will help ensure your internet bandwidth is dedicated to downloading the game on Steam.
Use A Wired Connection
When using a wireless connection, the signal can be interrupted by physical obstructions, such as walls, weakening the signal strength and resulting in slower download speeds.
On the other hand, a wired connection provides a direct and stable connection between your computer and the router, resulting in faster and more reliable download speeds.
Additionally, a wired connection can reduce latency, which is the delay between the time you click and the time the action is performed. It can be significant for online gaming, where even a tiny delay can affect gameplay.
Therefore, using a wired connection is highly recommended if you want to experience faster and more stable download speeds.
Although Steam does not deliberately reduce download speeds for most users, certain factors, such as network congestion, server load, and internet service provider throttling, can cause slower-than-expected download speeds.
If you’re also facing the issue of slow download speeds on Steam, you can take many steps to improve your download speeds. These include changing your download region, limiting the number of simultaneous downloads, pausing other downloads and updates, and using a wired connection.
By following these tips, you can enhance your download speeds on Steam, enabling you to enjoy your games more quickly.