Hooray! Steam Adding Remote Game Installs

By Nathan Grayson on May 2nd, 2012 at 10:00 am.

Huh, that's odd. This is the exact same logo that's tattooed on my left shoulder and preceded by 'Property of'.

Wait, why did I write “hooray” up there? This is terrible. The one thing that has – during Steam sales – kept me from making broken bacon from every last piggy bank in my possession is distance. Sure, while out-and-about, I could ogle the deals du jour on my phone or what have you, but it was like standing on the opposite side of the glass from a whimpering, doe-eyed puppy. I could look, but – much as it broke my screaming heart – I couldn’t touch. Now, though, that’s all about to change. The buying-games-on-the-go part, I mean. I still can’t have a puppy, because mine is the harshest existence.

On the Steam forums, Valve’s heralded the arrival of a new beta patch that will allow you to manage and install games on your main machine from any browser or mobile device. Steam feature betas are usually fairly quick affairs, so I’m guessing the full release will be live before too much longer. If you’d like to tame the mysterious telepathic beast as soon as possible, though, Valve’s already released incredibly simple instructions here.

This, of course, enables many possibilities equal parts enticing and appetizing. No pre-loading? No problem anymore. Queue up your game at work and play when you get home. Same goes for being out of town, stuck in rush hour traffic, an internationally wanted fugitive mid-hurried-midnight-flight from the authorities, etc. This is a brave new world. Do you think Valve will let us download self-control any time soon?

, , .

124 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge

    Fede says:

    Aww, I hoped it meant you could install the games on another computer with no internet connection, like Impulse did for some games :/

    • Jon Tetrino says:

      You can – Nothing stopping you from flat copying the files across PCs.

      • Premium User Badge

        jrodman says:

        True, but the steam DRM may reduce the “working” part of the equation.

        • vadvadindabad says:

          Always worked for me if you follow the instruction on the steam support page

          • andytizer says:

            This is news to me! It’s not possible to install games without logging into Steam at some point:
            https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=7418-YUBN-8129
            - Step 5 requires you to “Launch Steam and log into your account.”

            It is certainly possible to move/copy/backup your Steamapps\common folder and restore games. However, a crucial step will always be vaidating the files with Steam with a successful connection to their DRM:
            http://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Steam#Moving_Steam_Files
            http://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Steam#Steam_Backup

          • Theory says:

            You can’t transfer Steam login data to other computers. If you didn’t own the game when you were last online, you won’t be able to play it even you copy all of the files over (and if you try copying your login data Steam won’t even start).

          • andytizer says:

            This is news to me! It’s not possible to install games without logging into Steam at some point: Step 5 requires you to “Launch Steam and log into your account.”

            It is certainly possible to move/copy/backup your Steamapps\common folder and restore games. However, a crucial step will always be vaidating the files with Steam with a successful connection to their DRM:
            http://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Steam#Moving_Steam_Files

          • Bonedwarf says:

            Depends on the game actually. Some games only install via Steam and have no connection to it beyond that. Crusader Kings 2 for example. No DRM at all on that. No idea if you can just copy the files over or if setup registry shenanigans are required, but I’m sure it’d work for some games.

            But yes, ultimately flawed.

          • Gasmask Hero says:

            Unless you want to purchase any of the optional DLC. Then you’ll find out how independent of DRM your Steam Crusader kings 2 installation actually is.

        • suibhne says:

          Huh? No. Really, just no.

          Seamless copying of game files is something that Steam has done perfectly for at least 6 or 8 years. It only affects my life every few years, when I build a new rig, but I’ve always loved Steam’s insane level of convenience in this regard – just copy your Steam games from one location to another and boom, you’re done.

          Not only are you wrong about the “DRM” issue you cite (whatever in heck you might be thinking), but Steam is actually much more convenient than Windows in this regard because Steam manages Microsoft’s registry idiocy for you. This is an area where Steam adds real value over not-Steam.

          • Premium User Badge

            Fede says:

            As far as I know you’re done and it works only if 1) both computers have internet access or 2) the game doesn’t actually use Steam (like Crusader Kings II).
            Otherwise, if one of the computers lacks an internet connection it will not work. Or at least it didn’t when I tried.

            Back when Stardock owned Impulse, you could get a special version of the games that installed also on computers without an internet connection (if I remember well it required a code).

          • Faceless says:

            You might want to be doubly sure regarding a topic before spouting unnecessary aggression.

            Copying and pasting files doesn’t always work, especially if the game uses Steamworks. Not only will the game not work, it may damage your entire Steam installation, prompting you to reinstall it along with downloading all the games you might have had.

            This isn’t something I read on the forums, this is something I personally experienced.

          • andytizer says:

            It is true that Steam adds a lot of value and automates a lot of the back end. However it’s still DRM and when you transfer a game it still requires authenticating online. What the initial comment was wanting was an option to install games without the authentication.

            Whilst I see the value of Steam, I know that there is the possibility that the entire library will become inaccessible at some point in the future. Maybe not in 5 years or 10 years, but if we start talking about decades.. 20 years from now will my Steam library still be available? Whereas I know that my GOG.com and DRM-free games will always be installable forever (even if in 20 years I need some kind of virtual machine to play those games on modern machines).

          • Premium User Badge

            Fede says:

            @andytizer: I’m not really asking to have it working without an authentication, I’d be very happy with a (maybe even) rather inconvenient one that didn’t require an internet connection. I know it’s asking a lot and rather unlikely, but it would be handy.

            Also, if we speak about 20+ yerars, do someone have an idea about how long do cds and dvds last?

          • Premium User Badge

            Wisq says:

            At our last office TF2 fest, we copied the TF2 files to our office server, distributed them to everyone’s computers, and all they had to do was re-validate the game files to let Steam know it existed.

            This was without even using the Steam “backup and restore” feature, just copying the raw files.

            Yes, both the sender machine and the recipient machine need to have internet access and be able to log in to Steam with an account that is authorised for the game in question. But copying does work, empirically.

          • Premium User Badge

            jrodman says:

            What a lot of huff and puff from people who didn’t read the question closely.

            Fede clearly said a computer without an internet connection, which would mean no logins. Although that’s a bit of an unusual case, I assumed it was meant at face value, and commented on the result.

            Please people, read the text before writing your own.

  2. DanPryce says:

    Nice. I love the idea of being able to think ‘hmmm, I want to play Torchlight when I get home’, start the download as I leave work and have it there when I arrive.

    Of course, disc-based games have had this luxury since their inception but it’s nice that digital platforms are catching up.

    • Grundig says:

      You would need pretty impressive frisbee throwing skills to get the disc into your PC (and to install) all the way from work.

      Edit: You would also need to boomerang your wallet to your local game retailer first.

      • Premium User Badge

        Bluerps says:

        Also, not everyone can remote-control their PC, so that they can install a game while not at home…
        I have no idea what you wanted to say, DanPryce.

        • Premium User Badge

          golem09 says:

          Isn’t that what this is all about? If your PC is running and online, steam will install it for you after being told so from your mobile / browser?

          • f1x says:

            Thats it exactly,

            Now someone could make a gadget that allows you to turn your computer ON from your mobile, that probably exists, …..if it dosnt I claim the patent!!!

          • Kyoss says:

            If your router supports it, you can send a WOL signal to your pc under certain circumstances. I’m still in the middle of figuring out how that would work, but I think my router ain’t up to the task.

          • Premium User Badge

            Bluerps says:

            @golem09: Yes, this is what this is about – installing games remotely using Steam will be very easy. However, DanPryce claimed that this has always been possible with disc-based games, and I was confused what he meant.

          • aepervius says:

            @f1x, you can use wake-on-LAN with VPN over internet. So basically you could it with anything including iOS/Android devices.

          • f1x says:

            Awesome, I was sure it could be done

            Now I just need to get rid of this blackberry thing and get an android phone

          • amorpheous says:

            I have Wake On LAN enabled on my main PC and I used to use it quite often to wake the PC up from my laptop while in bed (ahh, the lazy days). I also have SSH set up on my router, which is running dd-wrt and I can login to the router remotely and send a WOL packet to my PC from the router.

            I rarely use the feature these days though; only if I really need something from my PC in an emergency while I’m away.

          • Premium User Badge

            sirgoit says:

            logmein lets you do this with minimal fuss (and the browser based remote control is free too)

        • DanPryce says:

          My poorly-worded point was that, assuming you owned the disc, you wouldn’t have to wait for it to download when you got home – you could just pop it in and play.

          • Premium User Badge

            Bluerps says:

            Ah! But you still had to install the game before you could play it. Here you can do that remotely too, if I understand that correctly. The only thing that you still have to wait on is that annoying first-start procedure (which can take a while for some games, but is still shorter than a complete installation from a disc).

      • Premium User Badge

        Gundato says:

        I THINK he means console games. The concept of “no installs, just insert the disc and play”

        Which is actually hilarious since many console games these days DO have mandatory installs and patches you have to wait for :p. Metal Gear Solid 4 is probably the most annoying since it uninstalls an Act as it installs the next one. Meaning, even on a replay, you have to watch Snake smoke for no apparent reason for a few minutes (or watch Burn Notice).

        • f1x says:

          I think actually he was refering to disc-based games (in the past) where after work you could go buy the game get to your home install it and play, installation would take maximun 30 mins,
          actually now I’m being nostalgic, I think it was a more magical experience being in the bus back home with the game’s box and getting home unboxing, installing, I dont know.. less cold
          (even tho, I think digital games are more convenient and ecological)

          now even disc-versions as you said, have to be patched as hell after installing

          • Grundig says:

            Also you need to either go to a shop or get it delivered.
            If you had the foresight to do that, why would you not have the foresight to download the game before you went to work?

            Long story short.:A cheap stab was made at digital downloads, a hilarious retort pointed out this cheap stab was invalid, a whole bunch of people got confused.

            The person who made the hilarious retort saves the day and goes back to his day job of being a super scientist/international playboy/penis model.

          • Premium User Badge

            Wisq says:

            Some of us are fortunate enough to have internet connections where installing any game via Steam is actually faster than installing it from a CD/DVD.

            In theory, that will become more and more common, since CD/DVD speeds are never going to increase any further, while internet speeds get faster and faster.

          • Premium User Badge

            Gundato says:

            Yeah, I do miss the fun of buying a game in a store and eagerly anticipating the install. I have fond memories of reading the box for the first Company of Heroes while waiting for a light to turn green (then tossing it to the seat next to me after getting honked at because it had already turned green).

  3. Firkragg says:

    Aww, but the touching is the best part!

  4. brat-sampson says:

    I thought you could already purchase items to your account from any browser and via the mobile app. If I’m away from home for any length of time my PC’s usually off, so a remote install feature won’t really affect me either way.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      However, apart from timed sales, it was only of limited use – you could buy it but that would only save you 30 seconds once you get home.

      Now you can buy it and have it installed by the time you are home.

      I know what you mean about not leaving the machine on but i think it is quite common to leave your machine running through the day for a lot of people.

    • Subatomic says:

      Yeah, this only seems to be a thing for those people whose PC runs 24/7 even while they’re not at home, which – as an economically and ecologically responsible and all-around awesome person – doesn’t include me. Joking aside, I really don’t think there are that many users benefitting from this, but I guess it’s nice for playing some new release right after coming home once in a while.

    • Premium User Badge

      Oozo says:

      My thoughts exactly. And I was seriously (and probably naively) wondering: What advantages are there to leaving the machine on the whole day long? Unless you use it as a server?

      …I never considered myself the greenish type, but that sounds like an egolocial nightmare to me.
      Or are there ways to remotely boot your computer and switch it off again? Sounds like sci-fi, but the nice kind, I guess.

      • Ajh says:

        When I go to work (I work an appointment based job so I can be there from anywhere around 1-8 hours.) I leave my computer on. I turn off the monitor.

        I have network streaming with login for my ipod. If I need to grab a file for someone from my desktop and send it out, no problem.

        I’ve also used this feature to log in and invite people into my guild in wow, install windows updates as I was sitting at lunch break, and make a new playlist to sync up when i got home. This will be another awesome thing I can do, only without the clunky interface of connecting remotely to my pc.

        As for the power consumption, well…there are worse things to leave running all day. I hang out my laundry to save money on electricity, not turn off my computer.

    • Premium User Badge

      TheApologist says:

      Me too. First thought: people leave their machine on all day?! MONSTERS.

      Ok, not the monsters bit quite, but I would feel guilty about the wasted energy.

      (Cue someone telling me it is in fact more efficient as powering up a PC something something actual knowledge blah blah)

      • KauhuK says:

        I you would power up and shut down PC many times a day then it would be so.

        • Premium User Badge

          TheApologist says:

          Right on cue!! :)

          • Premium User Badge

            Diziet Sma says:

            Yeah but you’d have to power up and shut down your PC almost constantly…. so no it’s not more efficient, though it may reduce wear on the hard disks if the pc is on and idle (and not running windows).

      • Premium User Badge

        felisc says:

        I’m with you guys, this is ecologically irresponsible.

        • Premium User Badge

          Crimsoneer says:

          The moment you take a plane for one short-term flight, you’ve pretty much been far, far more irresponsible than I have been leaving my PC on for twenty years of my life.

          • InventiveDingo says:

            I’d be very interested to see an analysis that supports your conclusion, because it surprises me greatly.

            I’d also like to point out that you keeping your computer on won’t prevent someone else from getting on a plane (which in turn wouldn’t prevent the plane from flying in the first place, without collective action). So turning it off *would* save power, and surely it’s better to save a little power than to save no power at all.

            Interestingly, standby power does consume a surprisingly large percentage of household electricity. If everyone in first-world countries halved the amount of electricity consumed by devices they owned in standby mode (say, by aggressively turning them off when not in use), that would be a hugely significant step towards combating climate change.

          • Premium User Badge

            felisc says:

            What dingo said.

            I’m not saying letting your pc on is the worst act in the world, but it’s one of many little habits that can be easily cancelled without diminishing comfort. Just little things than prevent from making it worse.

          • unimural says:

            Here’s some oversimplification, but not too far removed from the reality:

            Saving power does not directly save power. How much power is used doesn’t matter, what matters is how much power is generated. At all times the power plants must be able to feed the power grid. This means power must be generated in excess of what is used, at all times.

            So you could make exactly the same plane argument dingo made over power consumption. The only effect you not keeping your computer on has, is the same as with you not flying somewhere. It has a real but very tiny effect on the usage statistics.

            Also, turning electrical devices off isn’t usually enough to stop them from drawing power, you actually have to unplug them. Or have an extension cord with an off switch. Admittedly there’s been some improvement in regards to energy efficiency standards taking note of this. So, some only draw 1-2 watts. But as a consumer it’s difficult to find out how much the devices draw when turned off. Or on standby.

            Not to say saving power isn’t a good idea. In fact, it is. Please do so.

          • FRIENDLYUNIT says:

            I love this logic.
            It allows me to also say “Well I didn’t murder that pregnant woman yesterday so I can justifiably maim for life this person who cut me off in traffic now.”

            See? Stupid isn’t it (no, it’s not different).
            Almost as good as:
            “No one else recycles. So I don’t have to either!”

            @ unimural
            Yeess.. but honestly that’s detail. Personally I’m not sure it’s a good idea to go into (on the interwebs), because people then mistakenly seize on it as a justification to put it all in the I’m Too Lazy Basket.

      • Ajh says:

        Not going to say it. Never seen any actual PROOF of that. Plus if your computer is prone to overheating after long periods of time, or it’s hot outside, by all means turn it off when you leave home.

        I will say this though, running the AC or your clothes dryer knocks the computer out of the water any day.

        If you want to feel better about power consumption…open a window, hang out your clothes. Turning off the pc is about the same level as turning off a few lights. I’d also recommend looking into the greener power supplies for when you upgrade your pc. Antec has their Earthwatts line…

        • Subatomic says:

          I know it’s different in the U.S., but around here, private homes usually don’t have AC and most people I know don’t use their dryer all that often, even if they have one (I don’t). Also, a PC consumes more power than “a few lights”, at least if you’re using energy efficient lamps / LED. “Classic” 40w+ lamps aren’t even sold in europe anymore.

          • Ajh says:

            Fair enough. I have AC but it’s never really turned on. And I DO turn my computer off at night when I sleep because I know that I won’t need to access it.

            I have my family set up with power supplies that shut down their monitors printers and desk lights when they turn the computer off.

            It’s actually insanely difficult to find LED lights here. I have no idea why.

    • Grundig says:

      It would be good to have an external hard drive with downloading capabilities you could leave on while you were out.

      Edit: (In the spirit of this thread) cue someone telling me that this already exists and everyone has one except me.

      • Soon says:

        One has servants for this kind of thing.

        • methodology says:

          servants consume way too much food, add to global waste, and are very energy inefficient. I mean I do shut them off at night when I no longer require their services but they still leak out.

    • Premium User Badge

      Diziet Sma says:

      You can always rig up your home system to support Wake on LAN, if you’re that way inclined. Bizarrely it’s a feature that the PS3 supports quite well along with remote connections. You remote connect from PSP or Vita, PS3 turns on, you connect; hit the store and download your game. Sadly it does leave the PS3 making a continuous noise as it leaves some aspect of the machine powered up. I think it leaves at least one fan running.

      A similar setup is possible with the PC though how to secure it I’m not sure; though it’s definitely possible.

    • f1x says:

      Not to break the bubble, but traditionally people that leaves their computer on is downloading porn/isos/movies basically

      On the other hand (no pun intended) yes, I turn my computer off when I leave because even if it dosn’t really consumes that much electricity I want to lower my bills as much as possible

  5. SanguineAngel says:

    This will not go well for my bank balance

  6. ghling says:

    Surely a great addition to the mobile client of steam.
    On the other hand totally useless for me as my pc is turned off when I’m not at home. And even if I would let my pc be turned in 24/7 I don’t see a possibility to be satisfied with that feature, there are still to many suspended downloads in my steam today. It’s more like “start install remote and check every 20 – 30 minutes if the download got suspended” instead of “start install remote and play when you get home”.

  7. FlammableD says:

    Awesome, now add a download scheduler so I don’t keep hitting my data cap.

  8. Fanbuoy says:

    Does this mean that next time Steam gets hacked, the perps can fill up my precious SSD space with games I don’t want to play? The horror!

    • Premium User Badge

      Malibu Stacey says:

      Next time? I guess I missed the announcement for the first one.

        • Premium User Badge

          Malibu Stacey says:

          Yeah their entirely separate forums are totally the same thing as the account & authentication servers….

          Never has the sound of the bottom of a barrel being scraped rang so loud.

          • Fanbuoy says:

            If you had managed to muster the energy to finish the second sentence (keep fighting, you’ll get there), you would have found: “We began investigating and found that the intrusion goes beyond the Steam forums.” Later on: “This database contained information including user names, hashed and salted passwords, game purchases, email addresses, billing addresses and encrypted credit card information.” If you’re bad at being snide, I suggest you try avoiding it.

  9. Was Neurotic says:

    Presumably your computer has to be actually switched on the whole time you’re not there. Unless you can switch it on via some remote smartphone command?

    • SanguineAngel says:

      This is possible by the way. My flatmate does it. Or did until it bored him

  10. D3xter says:

    Must be something for those people with less than 100MBit internet connections…
    Downloading the things quickly has never particularly been a problem. Playing all of them games has.

  11. Chizu says:

    The instructions say to navigate to your games list on your community page.
    However, what about those few rare games that have decided they never want to show up on that page?
    For example Sacrifice ( http://store.steampowered.com/app/38440/ ).
    I have owned that game since they added it on steam, and it has never appeared on my community page.

    How would one install a game that does not show up :v

  12. AbyssUK says:

    Dear Valve, please add some useful features to Steam… where is the big picture mode you teased!

    Also why on gods earth does it take so long to boot up.. you must be able to do something about that..

  13. JD Ogre says:

    Sounds like a horrible idea to allow remote manipulation of my Steam library. They’d better have an option to automatically reject all access from anywhere other than right at a desktop/laptop with the main program installed and running.

    • diebroken says:

      Agree. /signed

    • DeanLearner says:

      I’d be very surprised if there was direct access between wherever you request the remote install and the PC that has steam. I imagine it will be You tell steam server, steam servers tell your PC with steam, PC with steam installs game.

      • diebroken says:

        That would be the minimum level of security to expect when using such a service, what I’d just want is the ability to opt. in/out for use of the remote service at all…

    • saladin says:

      Activate Steam Guard?

  14. Premium User Badge

    drewski says:

    I think an economist would say this is a prime example of energy being too cheap.

    Now, when Valve can make Steam start your computer, download and install your game, then shut down your computer automatically, we’ll be cooking with gas. But no more than absolutely necessary.

    • olemars says:

      Ideally they should make Steam start your computer, download and install your game, play through the game, delete the game, then shut down your computer automatically. Otherwise my backlog will just continue to build up.

      • Premium User Badge

        Malibu Stacey says:

        Wouldn’t it need to implant memories of you playing the game for that to work effectively?

        • MadTinkerer says:

          Hmmm, yeah and if it can play the game at a faster speed than a human, you could eventually do that with all your games, and have more memories of playing through games than actual time you have lived so far.

          Indeed, I am looking forward to the future.

          • Premium User Badge

            Muffalopadus says:

            Hell, if that’s the case why bother installing the game at all then? Just use Steam to directly buy memories of playing games and they’ll download ‘em to your brain while you sleep.

            TOOOO THEEEEEE FUTURRREEEEE!!

      • Premium User Badge

        jezcentral says:

        It better get all the Steam achievements while it does that, though..

  15. NathanH says:

    It’s a nice feature and all, but I wish they’d fix offline mode instead.

    • Premium User Badge

      Muffalopadus says:

      Me too. Its really annoying when offline mode works only 20% of the time. Its ju-ust enough to let me fruitlessly try to get it to work when I need it most…and, well, we are probably both familiar with the frustration of being locked out of our respective steam accounts.

    • Ajh says:

      That would be nice. Especially if I could go play offline AFTER comcast decided to go down for 6 hours during my day off randomly.

  16. tkioz says:

    Wait… so they are bringing in something you can already do via any number of remote access programs… yet we STILL can’t tell Steam to install a game to a different drive if the drive the Steam program itself is installed on is running out of space… and you STILL can’t customize the font sizes in the program itself…

    WTH Valve… put functionality that’s been around in most programs since the 90s in before you start putting in this mobile crap.

  17. Frosty840 says:

    What is it with all of you people who leave your PCs on at home all bloody day?

    What are you accomplishing by that, for fuck’s sake?

    • AbyssUK says:

      Power saving modes and wake on lan my friend… look it up this isn’t 1997… indeed my PC when in standby uses less power than a light bulb.

      My media centre is a Acer REVO which even when fully on uses less than 50W…

      Also RPS leave there serv3ers on 24/7 ! how dare they burn them at the stake!

      • Ironclad says:

        What the hell? My pc takes about 2 minutes to boot, tops. Boot up, go get a coffee or something, and it’s ready for work/play. What do I gain by powersaving?

      • JD Ogre says:

        Wake on LAN is a horrible concept. Why anyone would let such an obvious security hole anywhere near their system is beyond me… *sigh* Of course, I shouldn’t be surprised that some do. After all, there are plenty of people stupid enough to leave Windows’ “Remote Desktop Connection” and “Windows Remote Assistance” running.

        • Ajh says:

          Connecting to the internet at all is the biggest security hole.

          The second biggest is keeping personal information on your pc. I finally convinced my father that he really didn’t want to keep his banking info on his computer.

      • AbyssUK says:

        Well the clear added advantage is that I can remote access my own PC when ever I want without having to keep my PC on all the time…… also yeah it is a security hole.. but what the heck so is fact that I have a net connection at all.

        Pro tip if you have something to hide.. don’t plug it onto the internet…

        • Premium User Badge

          Muffalopadus says:

          I completely agree with you, sir. Remote desktop is quite handy for when I’m at work.

          If you aren’t stupid about your browsing habits then you should be fine unless someone is targeting you specifically. I know if that’s the case I’m screwed no matter what I do, so why worry about it?

          If you’re paranoid about hackers, just unplug your computer from the wall and read a book.

    • fish99 says:

      Got to agree, PCs use a lot of power, even when they’re not doing anything. The very least I can get mine to use, with the screen asleep, and the CPU and GPU in maximum power saving mode is about 100-110W. Why anyone would want to throw away that amount of money is beyond me.

      I don’t even use my PC if there’s something my laptop can do just as well, since that uses about 80-90% less power. The PC only gets switched on for gaming. D3D development, 3dsmax, the laptop does it all just fine.

      • AbyssUK says:

        Again this isn’t 1997, ACPI suspend to ram (S3 sleep) shut downs everything almost and runs on like 10w… a shut down PC runs on 1W anyway (unless its unplugged)….

        http://www.pcworld.com/article/169941/why_you_should_use_sleep_mode.html

        Even PCworld knew this back in 2009….

        • fish99 says:

          Well fair enough, but since I never leave my PC on when I’m not using it, that wouldn’t gain me anything except eliminating boot time, and at the cost of 9W extra power consumption all day long, it’s not worth it for me. There’s also the time your PC is waiting for the sleep timer and during that time it’s using 100W.

  18. Ironclad says:

    Does this allow me to download using work broadband and saving some bandwith at home (probably not, I’m guessing..)

    • Premium User Badge

      Malibu Stacey says:

      LOL how do you think that would be possible without Steam somehow physically connecting your machine to your work network?

    • Premium User Badge

      Dare_Wreck says:

      This feature doesn’t, but if your work for some odd reason allowed you to install the Steam client AND let you get away with downloading gigabyte after gigabyte of non-work related material… then you could download games to your work PC and copy the downloaded data to your home PC.

  19. mbp says:

    Being able to buy Steam games from yoru phone is nothing new. They have a web page where you can do that. I was a regular user of the feature until I learned to control my Steam Sale addiction. (“Step1: I admit that am I powerless over Steam … and so on).

    Being able to remotely control your computer to download a game is kind of interesting but I am not sure I want to leave my PC on all day just in case I need to download a game.

  20. InternetBatman says:

    This a neat idea, but I, like many don’t keep my computer on when I’m gone. It’s good that they keep adding features. The two that I want are downloading inside another game (I know you can pause/resume but it’s unnecessary, and a better organization system for the library. Tagging would be nice.

    • Premium User Badge

      Malibu Stacey says:

      Library has had categories since some time last year. Possibly even longer.

      While not pausing downloads when I’m playing non-online games would be nice, I can see how it’d be a hassle to implement so manually managing it by clicking 1 button is pretty good already.

      • InternetBatman says:

        Some games don’t like alt-tabbing to do so, and categories could use a lot of work, which is why I said better. Also, to nitpick, it’s 4 clicks, not 1.

        Right now my categories are organized by how much I’ve completed the game. If I want to sort them by genre or enjoyment or size of game or multiplayer vs single player I have to move every game out of their category into another one. A tag system would work so much better, and they’ve even experimented with this, but didn’t implement it for whatever reason.

  21. Xaromir says:

    Can it be used for evil? We will find out after i dig out my friends Steam Password. :3

  22. Tei says:

    I have see this featured asked millions times in forums and sites like reddit. This will be really useful for new game releases for gamers with jobs :-)

    • ghling says:

      I see how this is a good feature to install a game on release for those people, who want to come home from work and be able to play the game immediately. On the other side, they could just had implemented an option to automatically download a preordered game on release…

  23. MadTinkerer says:

    Soon we’ll be able to buy Steam games from our phones as well, plunging me into utter financial ruin. :(

    • Premium User Badge

      jezcentral says:

      Wot, like the Steam app? (Or web browser, for that matter).

  24. wuwul says:

    Does it also automatically play the game for you?

    Seems like that’s the weak link now.

  25. fish99 says:

    How about just letting you choose where each game gets installed? Yeah I know there’s ways of splitting your steam folder over multiple drives, but it shouldn’t be necessary, steam should just give you an install location dialogue, like all games used to. It should have a built in way of moving games from one drive to another as well, for people with SSDs.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      This.

      Why they had the stupid idea – just like Microsoft – that everything needs to be in one place AND NOWHERE ELSE AND THAT’S FINAL is just mindboggling.
      Forcing users to manually rejigger/junction their drives is just silly when the effort to internally manage paths is really minimal.

  26. RockandGrohl says:

    So here’s the process:

    Enable Steam to run when Windows starts.

    Set up WOL (Wake On LAN) on your PC.

    Set up a system on your router so that it pings the PC, waking it up, with an internet based phone.

    Use Steam on iOS to buy a game, and install it. Ping the router which wakes the PC up, starts Steam and then installs it.

    BRAVO!

    • RegisteredUser says:

      Or just watch a movie/series/play a game while steam does whatever.
      Added advantage of not getting fired for smartphone fiddling while at work. :p

  27. RegisteredUser says:

    So here’s the first rational thought I had after all this: How is this radically better than doing RDP or using a VLC over SSH to just remote control my pc and install stuff on steam there?
    Or, considering that that way you could always have done that, anything adding “new” functionality.

    Its like all the other 50 programs that have “WebUI”s. Seriously, why open 50 security holes when you can just have ONE open port with a sensible standardized, restricted interface and long password?

    • Premium User Badge

      Sinomatic says:

      It might not be better or new, but I imagine it’s easier for your average steam/pc user who doesn’t know anything about using their pc remotely. If it’s all there in the steam client then it’s just another click to accomplish the remote game download, rather than having to learn some other entirely new system to do the same thing.

  28. Fumarole says:

    Welcome news for sure. The GOG downloader already has this capability; I used it to download and install Legend of Grimrock while at work. Truly the future has arrived.

  29. Cooper says:

    What Steam needs to is plug itself as a games library; the “iTunes” of games.

    There’s no reason that Steam couldn’t accept a “installer location” for external games, and to provide screenshots / news for games with title matches. As it stands, non-Steam games hardly flush with the rest.

    It might be an incentive to get people to buy games on Steam, but the PC is sorely lacking a decent games library bit of software that can keep track of what you have, whether it’s installed or not (and whether the install file is a DVD, archived on your hard disk or downloadable form somewhere).

    Someone will make this (the answer is not something like Raptr which onyl recognises 1/3 of games…) and will make money out of it…

  30. MegaAndy says:

    Who Leaves their PC on when there at work anyway !?

    • Premium User Badge

      Sinomatic says:

      People who don’t live in areas with thunderstorms, I imagine.

      I get twitchy if I leave mine on and go round to the local shop for 20 minutes..

  31. hypercrisis says:

    Shame on anyone who leaves their PC on all day

    Now if Steam would finally add a ‘shutdown when downloads complete’ function i would be happy.

    I find it insane for a company based near Seattle to be so insensitive to energy conservation

  32. Premium User Badge

    Hypocee says:

    Have they figured out yet how to make one thing download and then, after it is done, have another thing download? ‘Queue’ technology, if you will? I’d heard they were on the verge of a breakthrough maybe six months ago, but I bought a couple things a week ago, took my Steam online and spent three days off and on clicking ‘now download this file!’ because otherwise it murdered itself spewing packets at ALL THE DOWNLOADS. Doing it wrong, or are computers still really bad at iterative tasks?