I have a simple laptop connected to the internet with a simple graphic card, good for browsing the internet and writing emails. The graphics card is too basic and the GPU overheats when playing computer games. I also have a gaming computer with a much better graphic card that will no longer connect to the internet. Otherwise it works just fine. The gaming computer has a 4 year old version of Steam already installed.

Can I purchase a Steam game using the simple laptop but install it and use it on the gaming computer?

  • 1
    Can you connect the Desktop to the internet at all? Even for a brief amount of time (ie. load one or two web pages) would affect this answer greatly. Also how do you plan on installing the games onto your desktop? – Malco Mar 28 '18 at 18:41

Using method of moving steam installation to another drive from here you can avoid downloading games but you still have to download steam client:

  1. Buy and download game to non-gaming pc;
  2. Copy steam folder to gaming pc;
  3. Delete everything but SteamApps and Userdata;
  4. Launch Steam - it will download missing steam files.

This still requires internet connection, but greatly reduces amount of data needed to be downloaded.

  • So, to be clear, you need to have internet initially. – xrogaan Mar 29 '18 at 10:52

Depends on what games you want, I think. If the games need to go online, likely they do it through Steam and so, you need Steam / Internet to use it.

But games that don't need it, you can extract the files out of the Steam Apps / Common folder, and run it anywhere, I think.


It's not possible.

There is no way you can register your new game without updating Steam, and once you do that, offline mode will no longer work indefinitely.

I am also reading between the line that you're sharing your account or doing something that they do not allow. There really is no good reason to not update Steam. Of course you can clarify why you need to keep the gaming computer off the internet and we can probably fix that instead.

  • I am ok, without being able to buy new games, I much rather prefer that than the issues I had before. My computer had Windows 8 and Microsoft automatically updated it to Windows 8.1 without actually if I remember correctly myself agreeing to the upgrade. In the process the last time this happened I could not go back to a previous save and had to reinstall from a backup copy. Every time this happened a ton of things including my mods were no longer working, so the only solution for me was to take the computer permanently off the internet. Thanks for your willingness to help. – geoffreyM2TW Mar 30 '18 at 21:59

Yes, but only if you can get the desktop connected to the internet (even for a short time). This is one of the primary benefits of Steam. Once you purchase a game, that game is tied to your Steam account, and you will be able to install it on any computer which 1) has Steam installed, and 2) you are logged into Steam.

Part of the process of installing any game through Steam is downloading the game content, so your gaming computer will still need an internet connection. And if Steam is out of date, you'll probably have to update that as well. If you completely unable to connect to the internet, however, you will not be able to install the game.

  • 1
    If the desktop has no internet connection, how can they log into steam? – Malco Mar 28 '18 at 18:41
  • ...except they have no internet on that computer. How are they going to download it? – Sumurai8 Mar 28 '18 at 18:41
  • You also don't necessarily need to download the games to install them. It is possible to just move the files over from another machine and then have them verified. Have done it before to save bandwidth of downloading the same games twice on two different computers. – Malco Mar 28 '18 at 18:43
  • @Malco I've tried that, but it doesn't always work with every game. – Mage Xy Mar 28 '18 at 18:44
  • @MageXy In the times I have done it you just move over the relevant files in the steam folder then choose start download, steam will see that the files are already there and not download them. Downside is you still need an internet connection for this, but if OP just has an inconsistent connection instead of Zero connection this could be a solution as it dramatically reduces the amount of stuff needed to be downloaded. – Malco Mar 28 '18 at 18:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.