Valve Finally Adds Throttling Functionality to Steam
Posted on May 7, 2013 9:30 AM by Rob Williams
Despite the fact that Valve’s Steam platform is about as synonymous with PC gaming as it could get, the client still lacks a lot of functionality that many would expect it to have. One gaping omission has finally been rectified: download throttling. For as long as Steam has existed, it’s downloaded games, patches and what-have-you at your net’s peak speed – not ideal when others in the house might be gaming or streaming a movie.
With the most recent client update (May 6th), a drop-down menu has been added to the “Downloads” section of Steam’s settings area. Unfortunately, the control here is rather limited; you’re unable to manually specify a value, but instead choose between 12 presets ranging from 16KB/s to 25MB/s. Still, this is better than nothing, and chances are Valve will increase its functionality in a future update (though I also expected a feature like this to have existed in the client since day 1).
With this addition, I’m hopeful that other much-expected functionality will make its way into the Steam client in the near-future. Here’s a short list of personal wants; feel free to add your own in the comments.
An option that tells Steam to continue downloading content when you’re playing a game (it’s ridiculous for the downloads to stop when it’s just a single-player game that’s active). Better still, you could have an exceptions list, where specific games will halt downloading.
Restricted download times. Some folks get free bandwidth through the night; this option would allow them to capitalize on that and not accidentally soak up their allowance during the day.
People should have the ability to disable all patching with the flick of a button. Some people have large or unlimited bandwidth packages; most do not.
The ability to disable Big Picture. I’ve launched it numerous times by accident just because I hit the button on my Xbox controller to check up on battery life.