Step-by-step guide on how to copy games to the Steam Deck or between PCs without redownloading using Steam's new feature

In this short article, we will cover how you can copy games to the steam deck without the need to redownload the whole game after the new Steam feature.

Rejoice, PC gamers with poor internet connections or limited bandwidth: Valve has released a feature in the latest Steam beta that lets users transfer game installations from one PC to the Steam Deck or another PC on the same local network. For example, instead of installing Elden Ring on your desktop and laptop computers, you may now download the game once and copy it to your secondary device.

This feature is now available in the latest Steam Deck beta and the latest beta desktop client.

The feature was first spotted in Steam OS code back in October, so it’s great to see it come to fruition “A common use case would be a home setup with multiple PCs or Steam Decks on the same local network,” Valve writes in a new FAQ Once a game is installed on one PC, all other PCs or the Steam Deck can install or update that game by transferring files directly from that PC A modern PC can easily transfer game content at 100MB/s, and during the transfer, the Steam client sending the content creates a load on the disk and CPU (i.e. you may not want to do this). perform intensive tasks on this PC during transmission).

How to Copy Games to the Steam Deck? what is the new steam feature?

This upgrade is unlikely to be relevant if you have an unlimited gigabit internet connection. Yet, given the massive storage capacity of PC games (over 100 GB per day), that will be a big blessing for everyone else, especially PC gamers with low bandwidth constraints. now.

It appears that the feature is all-or-nothing and can switch between local transfer and internet download if your PC is turned off, for example. Answers to frequently asked questions:

“If a potential PC is found, your client will ask the Steam backend server to contact that other PC’s Steam client and start a game file transfer if local network transfers are enabled and possible, If the game file transfer is accepted, your PC will try to download as much content as possible from the other PC. If the connection is lost or no more content is available, Steam will fall back to use public Steam content servers to download the remainder.”

By default, this feature only allows switching between systems signed in to the same Steam account However, you can configure it to support both people on your Steam friends list or any other user.


There are four options for determining which other PC+Steam client can be used to transfer game files. These options are bidirectional, thus enabling local transfers in immediately enables outward transfers. The default choice is “My own devices only,” which means you can only transfer files to and from the PC to which your Steam account is linked.

For example, if a friend brought in their Steam Deck and wanted to download Apex Legends to play together, you could get the job done much faster by transferring 60GB of your game files to them, though it largely depends on the hardware of both ends.

In my quick tests, I actually downloaded the Elden Ring to my Steam Deck faster than transferring it from my PC Local transfers from a PCIe Gen 4 SSD from my wired desktop to Steam Deck internal storage (over Wi-Fi) only travel at about 25MB/s, while the speed increases to over 35MB /sec when I start a download from Steam servers.

There are a few limits to the feature Valve notes. These are the ones that stand out to me:

  • Game content can only be transferred out if the transferring Steam client is idle, e.g. no downloads or games running
  • The game needs to released to the public and playable by both Steam users (no preloads)
  • The game needs to be up-to-date on the PC sending the game files
  • Only a PC running in Steam desktop mode can send files. So Steam Decks, PCs in Big Picture mode, and custom launchers can currently not transfer files out over the local network.

This option is available on the desktop under the Downloads tab in Settings. On the download page, both systems will show a blue banner indicating that the transfer is in progress.

When I select the “Stop Transfer” button, Steam automatically switches to the internet downloading.

There doesn’t appear to be a method to reset it after undoing the local transfer – even removing the half-finished installation and re-downloading the game from Valve’s servers.

Comments are closed.