Let’s come straight to the point: For many people, PC gaming similar to Steam. Valve’s gaming client is both a shop as a service, so you can immediately buy games, play, and manage, and even to build a friends list so you can chat while playing.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Steam is full of hidden features that can help you get more out of your PC gaming experience – tricks that only a few people. Here we discuss some of the most useful features.
Steam in-home streaming
Let’s start with a powerful but little-discussed feature that has changed the way I play home games completely changed: Steam in-home streaming.
Steam in-home streaming allows for even graphically intense games on technologically crappy PCs and Windows tablets. It uses the power of your main gaming computer to actually run the games and then streams the game on a Netflix -like fashion to your secondary computer. You can consider it as On Live for Steam Collection, but only on your home network. I use it almost daily on my cheap laptop to play games on the couch or in bed, and my colleague used the feature to Assassin’s Creed IV on an antique 2006 Mac Book play.
Activating Steam in-home streaming is simple: Simply log in to Steam on your laptop while your gaming PC is connected to the same network running and Steam. You will see a pop-up notification that lets you know that the two machines have seen each other and a new Stream option in your Steam library of games will appear installed on your primary PC. There are some snags – most have to do with balancing your network and graphics settings.
Update the drivers for your graphics card
Make sure you always have the latest drivers for your graphics card: It is a golden rule for PC gamers. Nevada and AMD constantly bring new driver updates to support the latest games and optimize older titles, so if you still continue to use old drivers let you just be left precious graphics performance. And that would be a shame.
Both companies have control panels to keep their drivers up to date, but if you do not want to tinker with mysterious graphics settings, you can do the same via Steam. Open the client and go to Steam Check for Video Driver Updates from the menu bar. If new drivers are available for your card Steam will let you know and offer to install them immediately.
Non-Steam games on your Steam library
DRM-free indie titles to EA games sold exclusively through Origin, not every game is available on Steam’s digital shelves – which could be a problem if you only play through Valve’s service games. Fortunately, Valve makes it possible to non-Steam games to add to your Steam client.
Steam holds these titles are not up to date and your progress will not be saved to the Steam Cloud, but your friends can be seen in this way when you’re playing the game, and Shift + Tab you the Steam overlay feature using the full screenshot and in-game chat functionality.
Understood? Good. Open the Steam client and go to Games Add a non-Steam game to My Library. From here, the process is simple. To add a custom image for the game in the grid view of your library, click on it, right-click and select Set Custom Image. The people in the steam grid on Reedit will make custom graphics for games and the Steam Banners website or Deviant Art you can find many homemade lattice images.
Maximum power with Enhanced Steam
The powerful (and free!) Enhanced Steam browser extension you might persuade you to go shopping on the Steam website instead of through the Steam client itself. Enhanced Steam has a lot of useful features designed to let you know when a particular game can buy the best – or not. It shows whether a game is already in your library or on your wish list, a history of the price of individual titles, it allows you to see exactly how much money you will save by buying a bundle, and it shows or plays DRM third party has. If you’re a PC gamer, there’s no reason not immediately install Enhanced Steam.
Decide where you end up games
Maybe you want to put all your tracks on a super fast SSD, or maybe you bought a big new hard drive that you want to put full of good games. Anyway, Steam makes it easy to create new folders in which to save your games.
Open Steam and go to Steam> Settings> Downloads and click on the Steam Library Folders button. From here you can add as many folders for game systems as you want. If you’ve added additional folders you get the option Select location for installation to see if you install a new game.
Moving already installed games is difficult and requires the use of symbolic links, which essentially make your computer believe that the file that is wanted is still in its original location after you have moved. Fortunately, the solution is child’s play thanks to Steam Mover software. Really – download it and follow the instructions. It is much simpler than the do it yourself method.
Moving your entire Steam installation is a different story. Just follow Valve’s step-by-step instructions as Steam all want to move to a new drive.
Batch installation or uninstall games
A recent update has made it much easier to reinstall all your games when you have to move Steam to a new computer. Yes, Steam may now install or uninstall games in bulk.
Open your Steam library in the Detail or List view and select the games you want to install the Ctrl key and hold while the games one by one click. (The games you have selected are highlighted.) When you’re done you must click on one of the games right and Install chooses the option. Immediately, everything installed in bulk.
Conversely, you can also select multiple games that are already on your hard drive, right-click on it and Delete Local Data choose to remove them all at once from your PC.
Games remotely install
You can also remotely install games you buy on the go if your home PC is turned on, have an Internet connection, and logged into Steam. It is a welcome feature when you are at work or in public transport suddenly doing big impulse purchases.
To install a game from a distance, first, log in to your Steam account on the Steam Community website. Then click on your Steam account name in the list of options at the top of the page and click on the Play option in the right pane option that appears. Open your Games page tab All Games to check your entire library. Click the Installation icon on the right side of the game you want to install and the home will be downloaded directly to your computer.
Hide games in your library
In a world where your library greatly threatens to swell due to Summer Sales and Humble Bundles, ask gamers for years to find a way to hide games in their library. And finally – finally! – Has Valve listened, though Steam advertises the useful function in any way?
To hide a game in your library, click it, right-click and choose Set Categories. Then put a check in the box next to Hiding this game in my library, and then click OK. Done! The game will disappear from your library, relegated to a Hidden filter which is accessible only by the small games, clicking a button next to the search field of the library, and then – you guessed it – Hidden clicking. There you can go back to the category of options the game and uncheck Hide this game if you want to be able to see the weather in your library.
Adjusting Steam’s Taskbar Jump List
The pin programs to the taskbar, and using Jump Lists is one of the fastest ways to navigate Windows. (By right-clicking the program pinned to the taskbar, you can view the Jump List them.) By default Steam’s Jump List can see most recently played a game, as well as links to different parts of the client – News, Big Picture, Library, friends, etc. But most people do not really jump list option required to promptly arrive at your screenshots or activities of friends. Fortunately, you can change the Steam’s Jump List settings so that less not been shown to useful things and more important things game.
Go to Steam> Settings> Interface, and click the Set Preferences Taskbar. In the dialog that pops up you get the ticks off all Steam locations that you do not want to stand in the Jump List, and click OK when you’re done.
Then right-click on the Steam icon in your system tray; For each standard Jump List item you removed to have another game recently played will be displayed. If you click you immediately get the game right, making it easier to start the tracks you are currently doing.
Your games locally backup
Of course, the Steam Cloud saves your progress safely on the servers of Valve, but then only the save games titles that support this feature. The backup of the games themselves will protect you from those moments in life when it sometimes goes wrong, so you risking any corruption or not you get the ire of your ISP to the neck through your entire library to re-download if your hard disk fails.
Guess? Steam can also manage backups of your games. Go to your library, right-click on an installed game and select Backup Game Files. A dialog box with a list of all your installed games will appear, allowing you to select which tracks you want to back up. From that point, it’s a simple process.
Restoring those backups is just as easy. Just log in to your Steam account, open the backup folder and turn the steambackup.exe file (which you can find if you’re lost). Then follow the instructions on the screen. Note that the executable program should run automatically when you have your games on a CD or DVD backed up. If you get into trouble, take a look at Steam’s backup FAQ.
Steam’s backup is not infallible. It does not for example backup moods, custom configuration files, or games that use the installation files from third parties such as MMOs and many other free-to-play games. Also, games that call Steam not “home” is not backed up. You will, therefore, have to manually backup. But the most important is that the backup function of Steam not create a backup of your “save games”.
More reading material
This maze goes even further if you wish. If you are not afraid of the art features, which are full of bugs, you can get a glimpse into the future of PC gaming by registering for the Steam beta client or try steams, Valve’s beta Linux operating system based on Steam. If you just want to stay informed about the latest news about Steam, make sure your Steam Database unofficial blog and Twitter account follow.
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