Is is possible to install a steam game and then play it without having to download a huge update file?

I'm temporally on super slow broadband at my parents and want to play a game I got now, not in 10hours :-/


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    Steam allows some games to be started in offline mode, but before that, updating the steam app and the game to its latest version is mandatory. So, you won't have much luck in your cause. – DrFish Jul 1 '11 at 9:20

Answer would be - it depends. Some games require activation, and it might start downloading soon after the activation is over. Try starting Steam in offline mode and then launch the game - and see if it works

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    Didn't work. It restarted downloading the game update. Also said something along the lines of "this game is not ready to be played yet" stupid steam – Kurru Dec 26 '10 at 17:35
  • @Kurru Sorry, guess you're out of luck then. – Sathyajith Bhat Dec 26 '10 at 22:08

If you have the actual disc, or a Steam backup disc, then yes.

Once a Steam game is installed, you can go to your Steam library, right-click the game's name, choose Properties, click the Updates tab, and change the Automatic Updates dropdown to "Do not automatically update this game."

It's a good idea to go into Offline mode before doing this, or launching Steam while not connected to a network so that it doesn't start downloading the update automatically.

Important Note: Turning off auto-update is almost worthless on multiplayer games, as the servers tend to run the latest version. This includes such popular games as Counter-Strike (original and Source) and Team Fortress 2.

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    Turning off auto-update was already done, which steam ignored :-/ And it was initially installed from a DVD and then again from my other computers backup disc (which then triggered a new 6GB file download... fail) – Kurru Dec 26 '10 at 17:36
  • That's... weird. No clue what's up with that, then. – user2974 Dec 26 '10 at 19:50

Try running the game with steam in "offline mode". I'm not sure what will happen if you switch to this if steam has already started downloading an update, but I think it's your best bet.


You can do it by opening Steam without internet then connect and then go online. However, if the game already started updating, you HAVE to let it finish or else steam won't let you play it.

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    yes, but you can't play a game on steam without activating it at least once, which requires internet – Kurru Jan 5 '11 at 1:32

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