Valve is providing a new means for Steam Deck users with sluggish internet connections or data limits to install games on their devices. Local network game transfers, which allow you to transport existing files from one PC to another via a local area network, are now available in the newest Steam and Steam Deck betas. Valve claims that the tool can minimise internet traffic and shorten the time it takes to install games and updates by bypassing the requirement to connect to a Steam content server via the internet.
“Local Network Game Transfers are fantastic for Steam Deck owners, multi-user Steam homes, dorms, LAN parties, and so on,” says the business. “There’s no need to be concerned about bandwidth or data restrictions when all of the files you need are already nearby.” After installing the new software on your devices, Steam will first try to see if it can transfer a game installation or set of update files over your local network before contacting a public Steam content server. If any of the devices participating in the transfer loses connection to your local network, Steam will download any necessary files from the internet.
The capability is configured by default to only work between devices that are linked to the same Steam account, but you can also transfer files between pals on the same local area network. It is also possible to transfer to any user on the same network, as would be done during a LAN event. On the Steam website, Valve has issued a FAQ with further information about local network game transfers, including specifics on some of the feature’s limitations.