Many players reach out to us to ask help in fixing slow download speed on Steam. If you are one of them, check out this guide so you’ll know what things to try.
Keep in mind that fixing network problems is a complicated task so there’s no universal way to fix all cases of connection issues. The general rule is to do troubleshooting steps in a logical manner in order to narrow down factors one by one. This article should walk through the necessary steps.
Why your Steam download is slow
There are a number of reasons why your Steam download speed may be slow. In some cases, a combination of at least two causes may even come at play to degrade your network throughput. Learn some of the common causes for slow connection problem when Steam gaming below.
Slow ISP internet connection.
This is the first thing that you should look into. If the internet speed that you’re subscribed to is slow in the first place, the only way to improve the situation is to replace it with a faster one.
When it comes to online gaming, you want to have at least 10Mbps of download speed. While some can definitely play on Steam with slower speeds, 10Mbps is recommended especially if there are other devices that uses the connection when you’re playing.
If you think that you’re not getting the subscribed download speed when playing on Steam, you should start your troubleshooting by conducting a speed test. Try checking your internet connection speed at various periods in a day to get a general idea of your download speed.
If the average download speed you’re getting is way too low than the speed you’re paying for, contact your ISP for help. This is important as there’s nothing that you can do on your computer to fix it.
Steam server issue.
When you notice that your Steam download speed is too slow and the game or update is taking too long to finish, it’s possible that it may be caused by a server issue. You can confirm this by checking how your download speed works outside Steam. If your connection works normally when you’re not using Steam, there may be an issue with Steam servers, or with the game you’re trying to download or update.To check for Steam server status, you can visit their official website.
Download server/region is down.
In your Steam application, there’s an option that you can go to force it to use a different server. This can come handy if the nearest server location that you’ve selected is down or undergoing maintenance. Try changing the download region to see if that will improve the download speed.
Sometimes, too many devices using a local network can severely degrade the download speed. If you have other smartphones, computers, or consoles using the connection the same time that you’re on Steam, there may be an issue with low bandwidth.
Try to disconnect online devices for a while while leaving only your computer. Then, run a speed test and see if that will fix the problem.
In some cases, malware can be the reason why your computer has slow download. Make sure that you update all software and applications on your computer and run periodic security scans.
How to fix slow download on Steam | Increase download speed
There is quite a list of troubleshooting steps and potential solutions that you can try in fixing slow download issue when playing on Steam. Check out the things that you must do below.
Turn off downloads in PC or other devices.
The first troubleshooting step that you want to do is to monitor your computer for any download tasks it may be doing that you’re not aware of. For example, it’s possible that your PC may be trying to update Windows or some software without your knowledge. As much as possible, you’ll want to suspend these updates when you’re playing online to avoid interruptions.
Restrict background applications.
Other applications that may be running in the background can impact your download speed too, especially if they’re also using the internet to do something. These are the typical programs that may run in the background and use the internet:
-Cloud-storage applications like Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc.
-GPU apps like NVIDIA GeForce Experience
If you have any of these programs, make sure that close them using Task Manager (press CTRL+ALT+DEL).
Power cycle modem or router.
A simple reboot of your modem or router may be enough to fix an unresponsive networking device. Unplug the modem or router from the power outlet or source for about 30 seconds and see if that will fix the problem.
Pick nearer server and change bandwidth limit.
You can change a couple of things within Steam to improve your slow download issue. Here’s what you need to do:
-Open Steam application.
-Click on Steam at the upper left.
-Check the Download Region to your own country. If you’re having a problem with that region, try using a nearer server.
-Go to Download Restrictions section and under Limit bandwidth to, change the option to No Limit.
-Make sure that you uncheck the Allow downloads during gameplay box. This is important if you have a slow internet and you need all the bandwidth when gaming.
Sometimes, a simple thing like restarting the Steam application is enough to fix a connection problem. Make sure that you close Steam before downloading again.
Change Steam client Bootstrapper priority to real time.
This is another trick that you can try if you are still unable to fix the slow download speed issue on Steam. Here’s what you must do:
-Make sure that Steam application is running.
-Open Task Manager (press CTRL+ALT+DEL).
-Under Processes tab, click on the dropdown arrow near Steam Client Bootstrapper.
-Right click on Steam Client Bootstrapper and select Go to details.
-Then, right click on Steam.exe, click Set priority, and select Realtime.
-Click Change Priority
Do the same exact steps for SteamService.exe to change its priority.
Disable AV or Firewall.
Some security software may or firewall may interfere with gaming clients. Try to disable your antivirus and firewall when you’re playing on Steam to see if that will fix the problem.
Make sure to turn them back on once you’re finished playing.
Some routers are capable of prioritizing game packets in order to lessen network lag in games. This feature is called Quality of Service (QoS). if your router has this capability, do some research using Google on how to enable QoS for Steam as exact steps vary for every device.
Alternatively, you can consult the documentation or manual of your router to know. If your router is provided by your Internet Service Provider, contact their technical support team to get help in enabling QoS.
Use wired connection.
If you rely on wireless connection or wifi, try connecting your computer to the router with an ethernet cable and see if there’s a difference in the download speed. If that fixes your problem, there may be wifi issue in your home that you need to address first.
Get faster internet
As mentioned above, you’ll want to have at least 10Mbps of download speed in order to maintain a reliable connect to Steam. If there are multiple devices that uses your connection when you’re playing on Steam, we suggest that you increase your download speed even faster to provide enough bandwidth for all devices.
Otherwise, you simply have to ask others to turn off their Netflix, downloads, or console in order for you to play online without problems.
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