I have a bunch of Macs that I'd like to install the same Steam games on (they all have separate accounts) I'd like to be able to install it on one and have Steam leach the files from that machine instead of the Internet. The games total 10GB which would be fast over LAN but slow over the net.

I know it uses some P2P tech, is it clever enough to detect nearby hosts? Or can I copy some steam install files manually?

  • As far as I know, steam uses torrents (and some proprietary stuff). But I doubt it's capable of doing what you're looking for (as nice as that would be) Commented Oct 4, 2011 at 22:25
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    I'd use one of the backup/restore methods we already have questions about here (I can't search to link atm). No reason a backup can't be restored to multiple computers, or the data copied directly. Commented Oct 4, 2011 at 22:55
  • @matthewread This worked, but because it's not a answer, I can't mark it as correct :)
    – Tom
    Commented Oct 6, 2011 at 13:00
  • Glad it worked, I posted an answer. Commented Oct 6, 2011 at 17:22
  • Great feature to have but it can break Steam DRM requirement of one active (logged in) installation at any given time. Commented Jun 5, 2012 at 23:49

2 Answers 2


I'd use one if the backup/restore methods discussed in other questions here (such as How do I move Steam games to a new computer without re-downloading them?). There's no reason a backup can't be restored to multiple computers, or the data copied directly from one to the others.

  • Your idea works great on games that do big updates or at irregular intervals. Dungeon Defenders is an exception because it constantly updates 200-300MB every few days which IMO can be annoying. Commented Jun 5, 2012 at 23:43

I have a couple of (windows) machines with steam in my home network, and nope, it doesn't find the other hosts. Best you can do is get all your games on one machine and copy out the steamapps folder to the others. Steam will recognise the games whether your account has them or not, the "Play" button will become a "Buy" button for games you don't have IIRC.

If you're up to it, you can try using rsync - http://everythinglinux.org/rsync/

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