I just bought Borderlands 2 on the retail disk strictly so I wouldn't need to download anything off the internet, because I don't have a good internet plan. Turns out, after buying it, when I put the disk in, it installs just fine and everything. Then, it opens Steam and says I need to install updates and stuff that I don't have the internet data plan for. The updates are required. Yes, I know it says internet connection required on the back, but I just kinda ignored it because Skyrim said the same thing when I first got it, and I just had to connect once. For Borderlands 2 it requires Internet for mandatory updates. If someone could please help or find a workaround that doesn't involve internet (unless on the phone) that would help a lot. The reason is I can only use 3 GB of internet a month, that's my data plan. The updates are a total of like 5 GB.

  • To be clear: You want a way to either play the game without having to update it or to download the updates over your phone, right?
    – Sentry
    Dec 15, 2014 at 23:31
  • To clarify, is your limited data plan on your phone or on your home internet? I thought you meant you used your phone for internet and you can only use 3 GB per month, but this sentence seemed to contradict that: "If someone could please help or find a workaround that doesn't involve internet (unless on the phone) that would help alot."
    – Keavon
    Dec 16, 2014 at 1:10
  • 1
    @Sentry Either one, really. Just so I could be able to play it. I'd prefer not to update it at all, but updating from the phone would be cool if possible. I just can't update from my computer because no internet Dec 18, 2014 at 0:11
  • @Keavon I mean my computer at home has 3GB data plan a month. That's why I need to know if there is any workaround Dec 18, 2014 at 0:12
  • @Totalturtles Thanks, I've guessed it all along. I was mainly asking because meme scientist got it wrong and I wanted to check with you. But Ross Ridge provided a good answer.
    – Sentry
    Dec 18, 2014 at 9:00

3 Answers 3


Assuming your computer does have Internet access, but your monthly data limit is such that you don't want to use it to download updates to your computer then there might be a possible workaround to your problem. If there's another computer that you have access to that you can install Steam and where it's Internet access isn't as limited, say a friend or relative's computer, you can download the updated version of the game to that computer and then copy it to your own computer.

To do all this is fairly easy. Just download the Steam client from the Steam store on to the other computer, log in to your account and install the game on that computer. Once the game is downloaded you can backup the game to a USB stick or portable hard drive. It will need sufficient space, so you might need a 16 GB or bigger drive. To perform the backup right-click on the game in your library and select "Backup Game Files...". The game should already be selected in the list of the games to backup so press "NEXT". It will then ask you where to make the backup, so select the drive you brought with you. Once you done that and you've pressed "NEXT" you be asked how you want the files divided up. You can press just "NEXT" since you're not planning on burning them to a disk. The Steam client should then backup the game to your drive.

Now take your drive back to your own computer and start Steam. I'm not sure how well this will work if you already have the game installed, so uninstall it by right clicking on it and choosing "Delete Local Content...". After doing that select "Backup and Restore Games..." from the "Steam" menu at the top left. Select "Restore a previous backup" and press "NEXT". You'll then be prompted for the location of the backup, so use the browse button to select your drive. There should be a folder with the same of the game you backed up on the drive, so select that. The dialog should say "Program backups found: ", if not you need to find the subdirectory on the drive where the backups were placed. Then just press "NEXT" through all the prompts to install the game pretty much like normal. The Steam client will still need Internet access during this part, and might need to download a small bit of data, but not gigabytes.

The next thing you should do after you've launched the game and verified that it works is set the Steam client to Offline Mode. This is the "Go Offline..." option under the "Steam" menu. You'll want to keep the client in offline mode so it won't check for updates and you won't have to go through all this again the next time the game gets a multi-gigabyte update.

  • Also note that "offline mode" keeps files cached on the computer which, if your computer suddenly loses power, can be lost and then you have to go online before you can start offline mode again. Again, it wouldn't even take a mb - unless it finds more updates Dec 16, 2014 at 5:36
  • You can't stay in offline mode forever anyway, @DoubleDouble. I think Steam insists for going online at least once a week.
    – badp
    Dec 16, 2014 at 11:44
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    @badp According to Valve the client is supposed to allow you to be offline indefinitely, however there have been bugs in this area. steamcommunity.com/discussions/forum/1/864969953572102601/…
    – user86571
    Dec 16, 2014 at 18:06
  • Thank you. I'll try that next time I get a chance. Hopefully it works. I'll let ya know haha thanks Dec 18, 2014 at 0:25

Many retail games don't include all the necessary game data on the disk. In the case of Borderlands 2, it seems that it did not include the full game on disk, so an update is required to download the rest of it. Since a newer version exists since the disk was released, those remaining files turn out to be a majority of the game's file size.

Since it's not possible to originally obtain the data without using internet, here are several possible work-arounds depending on your circumstances.

  • If you're using a laptop, try bringing it somewhere with an internet connection. You don't have to download the full update all at once, and you can pause and resume when needed.

  • If you're not using a laptop, but you have one, try downloading it somewhere with an internet connection such as a school, library, or coffee shop.

  • Try to install Steam somewhere with an internet connection, download the game, and then use the backup and restore feature of Steam to transfer the files to a couple blank DVDs or a flash drive.

  • Use Family Sharing to give a friend access to play your copy of the game. In exchange, ask that they let you borrow a flash drive or set of DVDs with the backed up copy.

  • Download half the update this month and half next month so you don't go over your data cap.


Internet [ ]?

Without internet you will be unable to download ANY mandatory update. You could try going to public places like libraries or coffee shops that offer free Wi-Fi and try downloading from there. The nice thing about Steam is it doesn't need to download updates all at once, rather the download can be split up as many times possible.

Internet [x]?

Yes, you can, see this link:

Steam Remote Downloading from a browser

Remote Downloads are enabled from any web browser when you leave the Steam application running on your PC or Mac. Of course, we only recommend you do this on your own private, secured computer. When you’re logged into Steam on your home PC or Mac, you can manage your library by visiting your Games list on the web.

  1. Log into your Steam account online from your computer or mobile device at www.steampowered.com
  2. Visit your Games list by navigating to the Community and then clicking GAMES in the secondary navigation bar. If you’re logged into the Steam client, the games list will reflect the installation state of your library on that machine.
  3. Locate your game and tap the install button to initiate your remote download. You may choose to refresh this page to check the current status of your installation. When you return to your active client session, your game will be ready to play!
  • 1
    I think the biggest issue is that you can't "download updates" without having internet. You need the internet to download the update, it's not like the update is hidden somewhere in the CD and needs permission to install it.
    – childe
    Dec 15, 2014 at 22:21
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    I'm confused. That solution only uses the phone to start the download on the PC, right? How does that circumvent the 3 GB cap of this internet plan?
    – Sentry
    Dec 15, 2014 at 23:29
  • @Sentry There's nothing we can do, other than to ask him to upgrade his internet. He wanted to know how he can install remotely, this is the best solution yet.
    – childe
    Dec 16, 2014 at 0:51
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    It's not a solution at all. It uses his phone but still requires Internet connectivity on his PC.
    – user86571
    Dec 16, 2014 at 0:55
  • 4
    The fact that original title didn't represent the question actually asked doesn't excuse you for not attempting to answer the actual question. Especially after you edited the title to reflect the actual question.
    – user86571
    Dec 16, 2014 at 0:59

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