Steam Might Soon Finally Allow You to Play Games While They’re Downloading

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Steam has been a big part of PC gaming for the last decade, but it’s also notorious for its lengthy download times. Recently, Valve announced that they will finally allow users to play games while they’re downloading. This is a huge step forward and one that could make Steam more appealing than ever.

The epic games is a new feature that might be coming to the Steam platform. It would allow users to play games while they’re downloading.

independent games However, it’s a big pain in the neck when it comes to many contemporary AAA games, which may require up to 100 gigabytes of space. Unless you have fast internet, you’re probably accustomed to having to wait several hours for one of these games to download. But maybe you won’t have to in the near future.

Valve seems to be working on technology that would enable Steam users to play games while they are still downloading, according to a newly discovered patent. “Discarding of unneeded blocks of game data to free up local memory resources, and/or local prefetching of game data to reduce latency during gameplay,” according to the patent. The patent was submitted on March 17th, 2020, however the document was just recently discovered when SteamDB founder Pavel Djundik tweeted about it.

A new Valve patent covers monitoring game file read activities and allowing “immediate play,” which allows you to begin playing a game before it has finished downloading.

September 21, 2021 — Pavel Djundik (@thexpaw)

It’s not a new concept to play games as they download. Sony and Microsoft have been doing it since the previous generation of consoles, and many PC game launchers offer the functionality as well. Probably the most well-known example is

The functionality was also tried on Steam with Mortal Kombat X in 2015, and there have been a few more efforts to integrate it even before then. Valve hasn’t been able to pull it off in the past for various reasons, but maybe this time will be different. We don’t know when the much-anticipated feature will arrive, but considering that the patent was submitted more than a year ago, we may learn more about it soon.


I’m a typical jack-of-all-trades author who enjoys writing about a wide range of subjects, but gaming has always been my forte. That said, I’d jump at the opportunity to report any exciting news about superhero movies, Stephen King books, or space exploration. Alternatively, there are robots. Or Stephen King-like space-traveling superhero robots.

The how to keep limited time games on steam is a feature that might soon be coming to Steam. This would allow you to start your game and then continue playing while the download is happening in the background.

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