With much of the world under recommended self-isolation, as well as sanctioned quarantine and lockdown, the number of people playing games on Steam has skyrocketed with the platform breaking concurrent user numbers every other day.

To try to make sure there’s enough bandwidth going around for everyone, the platform has released a blog post detailing some ways to make sure your home network isn’t bogged down.

The first bit of advice is centred around auto-updates. In recent times Steam has been scheduling these to happen during off-peak local times. Beginning this week, however, this will be changed with only your most recently-played games getting immediate updates.

The platform defines this as games which have been played in the last three days, so those titles which have been downloaded but not played will not receive an update until you initiate them in your download manager.

Together with this change Steam reminds users of certain options they have when it comes to controlling how its client works on your network. The summary of this can be found below, with more details on how to do each available on this support page.

  • “Schedule auto-update windows! This will ensure that Steam doesn’t start updating a game while you’re in the middle of your work day.
  • If you don’t play a game in your library often, you can keep it installed but choose to no longer download automatic updates.
  • You can self-throttle your own connection to Steam. This might ease the load on your network connection, and may help ease bandwidth loads if network traffic in your area needs to be reduced.
  • Take advantage of Library Folders settings, so you can move infrequently-played games from an SSD to a storage HDD. This is usually better for you (and your bandwidth) rather than uninstalling the game and needing to re-download it later.”