These days, it’s probably the norm for most households to have internet connections of varying speed, but generally with no download caps. If you normally use a connection with a low top download speed, or with a data cap, downloading games can be quite a pain, especially considering game sizes these days. But with a future feature, Steam may make things easier, especially if you have easy access to another gaming PC.
As PC Gamer reports, SteamDB creator Pavel Djundik has discovered code in the latest Steam beta client that hints at a feature that’s described as peer-to-peer downloads via LAN. The idea is that if you want to download a specific game to a gaming laptop, but you already have a desktop rig with said game, then you can download the game from the gaming rig rather than over the internet.
Valve is seemingly working on peer-to-peer Steam downloads on LAN. pic.twitter.com/o6fXYo7gHK
— Pavel Djundik (@thexpaw) October 27, 2022
Granted, this use case scenario is pretty niche. Most people wouldn’t have multiple gaming PCs, be they desktop or laptop, to make use of this, since each is plenty expensive as it is. But if you have, say, a friend that lives nearby that has the game installed on their system, then you can either have them bring their laptop over, or you can drive your PC there, and get the download done more quickly than usual.
All these caveats to using the feature on the user side notwithstanding, this can also alleviate congestion somewhat. That’s because the feature would mean a few less people downloading the same game over the internet. All that being said, it remains to be seen if this will eventually end up in the general Steam client. Valve has yet to announce this officially, unlike the Steam Deck UI taking over the game launcher’s Big Picture Mode.