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Using the same steam account, can I download games on one pc, and transfer them to play on another pc using the same account? My problem is, my internet at home is quite slow. So, I'd like to download all the game files at my office, and transfer them to my Laptop to play. I'll be using the same steam account on both machines. Is it possible to do this?

  • I think this should work. In steam you can add libraries. That means you can select any location (external harddrive...) to store your games. I'm not a 100 percent sure because of registry entries on your computer. I need to test this first. – mabu Dec 6 '16 at 6:20
  • You can right click on the game and make a back up iso. – ElectricRouge Dec 6 '16 at 10:10
  • Heh, I do this on the same system, different OSes. Steam on Wine on Linux downloads, plays fine on Steam on Windows. – muru Dec 6 '16 at 14:39
  • Please also make sure to check that using the office bandwidth for such personal uses is permitted. – SBoss Dec 6 '16 at 17:09
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It is definitely possible to do with external hard drive that has enough room for all of your video games file. I recommend this with an external hard drive since it takes less space. But it is definite doable with a laptop.

You will need to use a steam library folder on the external hard drive.

To create a new steam library. Go to Steam on top left, click setting, go to download tab, click steam library folders. Click on add steam library folder. Navigate to where your external hard drive is.

You can freely move from the external hard drive onboard your home PC by moving from external steam library to your local PC's steam folder. Just make that ALL of your video game files end up in the steamapp\\ on your local PC.

The best part is once you are done transferring the file over while steam is offline, once you boot up steam. It will look in steamapp for anything new and add it in your steam library list.

Even if something end up partially complete, steam will download what was not done. IE if you download only 500 MB out of 600 MB. Steam on your local PC will download the rest for you.

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  1. If you're trying to play directly on an external drive make sure it's fast enough, otherwise yo will have a lot of time watching loading bars. USB 3.0 should do pretty well. You'll need to set the target location of the office's Steam library to that drive you're using at home.

  2. If your intention is to download all files to an external drive and copy them over to your home computer, yes this works without any issues.

PS: If you're using a laptop anyway, why don't you just take it with you and download the games directly in your office? This way you don't have to do any copy/paste jobs at all. Even if your shift ends and your games aren't fully downloaded you could just continue them later.

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It would depend on the game. Many create specific registry entries or directories outside the game's installation folder during installation, which would render them unplayable when moving the installation folder to another computer.

Dovetail/Microsoft Flight Simulator (Steam Edition) is an example of this.

  • On Steam, missing Registry settings can usually be restored by just launching the game. If it really fails (I've never seen this happen with Steam games), verifying the game files will suffice. – dly Dec 6 '16 at 14:01
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    @dly possibly, never tried. But remember there are pretty old games that predate Steam and were moved to Steam (hence the FSX example) and may lack such functionality in their installers – jwenting Dec 6 '16 at 14:07
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Yes, all you have to do is copy the files from one steam library to another. Then start installing the game through Steam as usual, and it will discover and verify those files, avoiding the download entirely, and start the usual installation process.

Note that this will still take some time - Steam needs to download the file hashes and compare them to the ones on disk, but it's much faster than just downloading everything.

It works across Steam accounts as well - we routinely use it to avoid downloading the same game multiple times :)

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