Steam Changes Auto-Update Policy In Response To Coronavirus, Stay-At-Home Concerns

The company has changed how games will update in an effort to "ease the load on your network connection."


In order to better manage data usage and downloads on its side during these times of social distancing, Steam said it will only push updates to games that have been played within the last three days.

According to a blog post, all other infrequently-played titles will need to be manually updated as Steam has "schedul[ed these] updates for the next off-peak local time period." The post said this new auto-update policy will take effect this week.

Please use a html5 video capable browser to watch videos.
This video has an invalid file format.
Sorry, but you can't access this content!
Please enter your date of birth to view this video

By clicking 'enter', you agree to GameSpot's
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Now Playing: Top New Video Games Releasing On Switch, PS4, Xbox One, And PC This Month -- April 2020

Steam also made a number of suggestions to assist with reducing data strain. Scheduling updates for some games, opting out of auto-updates for other games, and self-throttling your own connection to Steam are some ways the company hopes you can "ease the load on your network connection" while stuck at home. Steam said it is also "looking into additional solutions to help on our side."

Sony took similar measures in both Europe and the US, mitigating the impact of the PlayStation Network in order to maintain internet reliability during social distancing due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

In other Steam news, the realistic military FPS Insurgency: Sandstorm is free on PC right now through April 1. If you happen to miss that short window to play it, the Standard edition is 50% off, slashing the price from $30 to $15. While they're no longer free, both Cities: Skylines and Kerbal Space Program are also discounted on Steam.

The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 5 comments about this story